Dragon Age is a series of three fantasy RPGs about sarcastic queer people saving the world, being miserable in a bad city, and militarizing the world’s largest religion, respectively. The games have pretty good plots, but the heart of the series is its core cast of characters and how they grow and change throughout the story. Even better, your main character can make out with some of them!
Most of your friends in Dragon Age are hot, but very few have any social skills or restraint. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and all of the bad dates that are about to go down, I’ve assembled a list of the five Dragon Age companions who would take you on the worst dates.
Introduced in Dragon Age: Origins, Leliana is Dragon Age’s first queer woman, so a lot of gays learned to love her in spite of her batshit “I saw some weird flowers once, which means that God wants me specifically to save the world” ideology. She’s a romance option for every baby gay who had a crush on Joan of Arc in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and foreshadowing for every queer unitarian you will ever date going forward.
Leliana fucks and is probably really good at it, but she would still definitely take you to church as a date. What starts as “going to see some music” suspiciously early on a Wednesday evening quickly goes south and suddenly you’re in the megachurch of Andraste with your unnerving girlfriend. As you watch her sway and weep along to fantasy-Hillsong, you swear that this is the last straw. She’s just too goddamn charming though, and you’ll probably forgive her.
Fenris is the second-hottest guy in Dragon Age 2, and inarguably the hottest one you can date — my unrequited Varric crush burns undimmed after all these years. His voice is incredible, his brooding charm makes him a fanfiction darling, and he has the emotional intelligence of Sasuke Uchiha.
But Fenris is a shut-in and a misanthrope, so he won’t really go on dates with you. The most date-adjacent experience would be a late-night trip to his local liquor store. The cashier knows his name and they clearly have a rapport, but your presence makes him embarrassed to own up to it. He’s weird and cold to the staff, but they humor him. It’s got extreme “high school boyfriend takes you to rite-aid” energy, but you go back to his spooky derelict mansion and have a great time afterwards.
Merrill is my favorite Dragon Age 2 companion and I will defend her forever. Three years before Solas opened Dragon Age players’ minds about the virtues of blood magic and chilling with demons, Merrill was getting called “dangerously naive” for saying the exact same things less confidently. The city of Kirkwall is a horrible racist shithole and living there isolates Merrill from her culture, but she manages to stay positive and work to improve the lives of her friends and her people. Merrill has this hapless uwu affect, but her life is unbearably sad and she’s getting on with it as well as she can.
In spite of my love for Merrill, I have to admit that she would be catastrophically bad at planning dates. She’s heard about a new Fereldan restaurant in Lowtown and convinces you to try it out. “It’ll be an adventure!” she laughs Welshly.
After wandering the streets for an hour or two, you finally find the restaurant. It is clearly a money-laundering business for an organized crime organization, and you whisper this to Merrill. Her eyes go wide and she loudly, incredulously repeats everything you just said—like some kind of cartoon character. The two of you get shot at and chased by some nasty guys with swords before losing them in a crowded area, somehow unscathed.
Dragon Age: Inquisition follows a stateless militia of religious zealots that grows into a dominating sociopolitical force. The command structure of this crusading army is irrepressibly horny and somehow, Blackwall manages to be the horniest and most guilt-ridden person in the entire Inquisition.
If Blackwall is hot to you, I understand you in theory, but I do not trust you. If Ron Swanson fucked the song “Creep”, Blackwall would be their large old son. A sad bearded dad whose secondary hobby is carpentry and primary hobby is lying about everything all the time, Blackwall doesn’t see himself as worthy of redemption or love. I agree with him.
It almost doesn’t matter what kind of date Blackwall would prepare for you, since he would spend the whole time moping about how he doesn’t deserve your attention and putting you on a creepy weird pedestal, so I’m going to propose the best possible scenario. You convince Blackwall to see a therapist, but he’s not comfortable going without you. Over the course of your appointment, the therapist gives you the confidence to dump him.
Solas is the Christian Grey of video games. His role in the Inquisition is condescendingly explaining the spirit world of the Fade, ideally getting punched in the face, and dramatically betraying you. If you’re a female elf, you can choose to fuck him around the time he explains that all of your cultural traditions are shitty and based on lies. Dating Solas is like giving your insufferable, paternalistic anthropology professor a chili pepper on ratemyprofessor.
Solas can literally invade your dreams, and he despises the modern world. Date night with the Dread Wolf starts with him showing up unannounced in your sleeping consciousness. You were having a rad dream about eating a thousand hot dogs with Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings, but Solas snaps his fingers and all of that disappears.
The two of you are transported to a boring, ethereal hillock and spend a couple of hours doing what you always do when you and Solas hang out. He lectures you about the ancient World That Was, and you nod meekly, occasionally asking questions. He finishes his story about the duality of spiritual beings, pats you gingerly on the head, and you wake up — completely unrested and unsatisfied.
Please, straight women, just let Cullen take you to a dog park or something.