That movie where Russell Crowe plays an exorcist might have mixed up the Spanish and Dragon Age Inquisitions

Russell Crowe done up like a priest for The Pope's Exorcist
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The Pope's Exorcist starring Russell Crowe is another one of those ambient movies for me, something whose ads I'll see on Instagram in between lifting videos, ads for nootropics, pictures of modded Game Boys, and ads for meal prep services. Seriously, like a lot of the stuff on streaming these days, it looks like a fake movie from the Simpsons or 30 Rock, though it does look like they've got a Dragon Age fan or two on the crew.

I first noticed the swap by way of Kelgrid and Fleur Bleue on Twitter, though WhyNow Gaming points out that xMoonxCakex on the Dragon Age subreddit clocked this even earlier. It looks like, in the course of his regular exorcising, Russell Crowe exercises his right to check out a spooky crypt tied to the Spanish Inquisition. You can tell it's the Spanish Inquisition because that's their symbol chiselled on the wall, only they actually put the symbol of the Dragon Age Inquisition up there.

Although the names may sound the same, the Dragon Age Inquisition was an (arguably) heroic organization that saved Thedas from the predations of the evil Corypheus, a primeval Tevinter magister who attempted to seize the throne of God. The Spanish Inquisition was an outgrowth of a long-standing Papal institution that was hijacked by the famous monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, to ethnically cleanse their newly reconquista-d nation and consolidate their power. It mostly persecuted Spain's remaining Jews and Muslims while torturing people who understood that cleanliness helps prevent the spread of disease (we called them witches back then).

Kotaku theorizes that this was a result of someone Googling "Inquisition symbol" and Dragon Age's distinctive sword-and-eye being the first result, and honestly? That's pretty plausible, just look at a screenshot of the results (from incognito mode no less!) down below. Aside from the cheeky Warhammer 40K one, it's "oops, all Dragon Age." But I want to give the film's production more credit. Surely some nerdy set designer slipped this in deliberately? Whatever the case, the lines between reality and fiction continue to blur, with portions of real-life European history infected and replaced with one of Canada's greatest cultural exports.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.