My Top 7 Favourite Dragon Age Characters (Guest Post by Jen Williams)
First of all, I already know I will annoy some people with this post. Because Dragon Age fans tend to have their favourites, and they are very passionate about those favourites. Already I can hear people crying ‘where is Varric?’ and ‘What of Ban Teagan, he of the silly dance?’ and ‘she has literally ignored Leliana, put her to death immediately’, but this is the very special thing about Dragon Age: its writing is so good, and its characters so impressive, it is almost impossible to narrow them down to a handful of favourites. Secondly, I apologise in advance if most of them are from the first game, Origins, but the first cut is the deepest, some things are never forgotten, etc, and frankly I will never get over Alastair unexpectedly dumping me that one time. Okay? Okay.
My top seven favourite characters from the Dragon Age franchise (and not just the ones I want to sleep with this time… but mostly that)
Swooping is bad…
What to say of Alistair Theirin, grey warden, bastard prince, virgin and blatant thirst trap? When I first played Dragon Age: Origins, I knew absolutely nothing about the ‘romancing’ your party characters aspect, but I was quickly very fond of Alistair’s responsibility phobia, his earnestness and his irreverent sense of humour. Plus, he was beefy and cute and remarkably devoted to your character, then there was the business with the rose… Suffice to say, my second playthrough was all about making Alistair king and then marrying him. Queen of Ferelden forever!
Oghren is the red-headed berserker dwarf who first makes an appearance in Origins. Rude, frequently drunk and apparently obsessed with metaphors for wanking, Oghren also has a vulnerable side, demonstrated by his need to find out what happened to his ex, Branka (this being Dragon Age, it ends badly). For all his outrageousness, Oghren becomes one of the Grey Warden’s closest and most loyal friends, and I love him.
Wonderful! I can sense his terror! Oh, that will make the loving all the sweeter.
Morrigan, witch of the wilds and mage who is Totally Done With Your Shit, gets a massive head start on everyone else by being voiced by the wonderful Claudia Black, better known to some SFF fans as Aeryn Sun from Farscape. Sarcastic, long-suffering and ruthless, it is nonetheless possible to win Morrigan’s trust, and it is totally worth it – who doesn’t need a friend who can turn into a giant spider?
Magic can kill. Knives can kill. Even small children, when launched at very fast speeds, can kill.
Ah Zevran, you delightfully murderous sauce pot. To be fair to Zevran (after whom I named my teddy bear, shhh, don’t ask) he is an assassin just looking to survive in a cutthroat business, and he genuinely seems to prefer flirting and wearing leather to anything else. Zevran provides some of the best dialogue in Origins, particularly when it comes to ‘party banter’, where he especially enjoys winding up Alistair. And who doesn’t enjoy that?
I don’t brood.
In the initial lead-up to the release of Dragon Age 2, I was all set to dismiss Fenris. He had an oddly bishy haircut and his sword looked too big ~cough~ but, like a large portion of Dragon Age fandom, I experienced a complete reversal of opinion when he opened his mouth for the first time. Fenris is voiced by Gideon Emery, a man whose deep, rumbly voice apparently vibrates on some secret sex frequency. I’m not proud. Add to that a deeply angsty personality and a genuinely heart-breaking origin story, Fenris was instantly the only character I would ever romance in Dragon Age 2.
Please speak up, I cannot hear you over your outfit!
Yes, Solas, or he as he is affectionately known in DA fandom circles, Egg. And yes, Solas will be a controversial choice for spoilerific reasons that I won’t go into here, but I think he might just be one of the most complex and interesting characters Bioware have ever come up with, and is, therefore, one of the most interesting characters in videogames in general. I did not expect to be charmed by Solas at all, because as Dorian points out, he is dressed like an ‘apostate hobo’, but he has that kind of older teacher thing going on, and I had a devastating crush on my RE teacher in secondary school, so what can you do? Also, he has a slight Welsh accent…
Just once, we should enter a cave and see normal-sized spiders
Since we’re on to Inquisition now, perhaps it is time to praise the greatest character in that game: Dorian Pavus. It’s pretty easy to see why Dorian is so great straight away; he’s handsome, has an excellent moustache, is the absolute prince of sass, has fabulous outfits… But, in true Dragon Age tradition, Dorian’s storyline is devastating and genuinely moving, and stands as a real highlight in a games franchise stuffed with great moments.