companion

Solas – The Mind

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Solas is voiced by Gareth David-Lloyd, known for his portrayal of Ianto Jones in in Torchwood and Doctor Who. I’ve you need me I’ll be in the corner dying from joy.

He mastered his magic without the help of tutors, spending years exploring the spirit realm of the Fade and coming to an understanding of its denizens that few others could claim. He would be happiest left alone to sleep in ancient ruins, searching for memories and knowledge that has been lost for ages, but the Breach in the sky threatens all worlds.

“The Hedge Mage” – Solas is very much a free thinker. He is not Dalish, but he’s not from an alienage either. He grew up an apostate in a small village. He spent most of his time alone in the wilderness, and that is where he prefers to be. He’s self taught, and has spent a lot of time in the fade, coming to understand it as few mages do. Because of that, he can use magic in ways that most other mages wouldn’t even think of.

Solas found the Fade on his own, he went in without preconceptions, letting him explore the area and befriend spirits without the black-and-white mentality that holds back mages trained in the Circle.

Solas is a new kind of character to appear in the Dragon Age universe. We have had several kinds of mages, and several kinds of elves, all of them breaking the rules to some effect. All of them have viewed the Fade with the same sort of caution. The Keeper even has taught Merrill repeatedly that she cannot trust anything inside the Fade. Yet, Solas will explore the land of dreams, and even befriend spirits he meets there. To him, it’s not a black and white issue at all. This is good, this is bad, this versus that, us and them – to Solas, there’s always a bigger story. There is always more to it. As Solas would put it, “It’s more complicated than that.”

I am, at this point, 100% convinced that Solas is a romance option for the Inquisitor. And I really do intend on taking it. As a side bar – I can always tell who my favorite characters will be (Cole, Solas) and, so far, my favorite romance has always been the elf (Zevran, Fenris). I have a problem, you see.

Anyway. As for the rest of the Inquisition, Solas does not get along with Vivienne. She is cold toward him as only Vivienne is capable. She is very much pro-circle, and holds all the same views as the circle in regards to the fade. So, naturally, he thinks she’s close minded and she thinks he doesn’t know what he talking about. While I think he’ll generally get along with Bull, they will also get into disagreements over the freedom of thought and other things about Qunari beliefs. I have complete certainty that Solas and Cole will get along swimmingly. Solas being a lover of the fade, and Cole being a type of spirit demon guy. I’m looking forward to that.

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I am extremely excited to see get to know Solas. How about you? What do you think of the newest (and final) companion of the Inquisitor? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Cole – The Spirit

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Cole is voiced by James Norton. Like several actors lending their voices to Dragon Age, he briefly appeared (and subsequently died) in an episode of Doctor Who.

All Cole knows for certain is that the world is full of pain and he must find his place within it. Those who wish to restore order and help the helpless will find him a strange but unwavering ally. Those who use their power for selfish reasons may never see Cole again—if they remember that he was there to begin with.

The most recent companion confirmed for DA:I, and so far he seems to be the cause of the most confusion. Cole is not new to the lore of Dragon Age, having appeared alongside Leliana, Shale, and Wynn in the novel Dragon Age: Asunder. If you haven’t read the book (and you aren’t planning to), check out this page for a rundown of the events. If that’s simply too much reading, allow me to tell you a bit about Cole’s involvement. You can also look at Cole’s page on Dragon Age Wiki.

Cole was a ghost in the White Spire (a circle tower in Orlais) who had been killing mages who were about to be made tranquil. These were basically mercy killings for people who were begging for death. No one could see or remember him, save for Rhys, Wynn’s son and an expert in spirit magic. Rhys befriended Cole over the course of about a year, prompting Cole to follow him when he leaves the Spire with Wynn, Evengeline (a templar), and several others to investigate the possible cure for tranquility at the adamant fortress. Rhys is eventually imrpisoned for a murder he did not commit. They think it was Cole, and when they find out it wasn’t (because it really wasn’t), Leliana and Cole free the mages imprisoned in the Spire, and eventually find and free Rhys. When they attempt to escape, they are found by Lord Seeker Lambert. Lambert uses the Litany of Andralla on Cole, making him visible – this is where the wiki page gets it wrong.

It says that Cole is a spirit using blood magic, but this is untrue. The Litany of Andralla only works on blood mages and demons. And Cole is not a blood mage.

When he realizes what he is, he fades away. But he comes back later to kill Lord Seeker Lambert, because lord Seeker Lambert is a slightly terrible person.

Basically, there was once a mage in the white Spire named Cole. This mage was raised poor with an abusive father. After he killed his father, he was found and taken to the Spire. There, he was brutally murdered. His pain was so acute that he called straight into the fade and brought up a spirit (or something) and they kind of sort of became one. Cole is a demon, but he generally acts like (and is trying very hard to be) a spirit. His character will explore that grey area between demons and spirits – something that was touched on in DA2 with Justice/Vengeance.

Cole wants to help people who are hurting. He may not always get it right, but he never stops caring. He will walk into the most painful moment of someone’s life and offer them comfort without hesitation or judgment. And then he will disappear from their mind and walk away, because it’s not about getting thanked, or even remembered. It’s about helping.

I can always tell who my favorite character will be one look at Wynn, Zevran, Fenris – now it’s Cole. I loved Cole in Asunder, and I know I’ll keep loving him in Inquisition. Aside from all that touching stuff, he is a very useful companion. He’s a skilled rogue with pretty rad mage/spirit/demons powers, as he isn’t quite constrained by human limitations. And he’s not just willing to defend innocent people, that’s the entire reason he’s here.

While I don’t quite get the divide, since there are so many fans who basically said, to quote the writer, Patrick Weekes, “Demon? LOL NOPE” – Cole is an optional companion. You’ll just find him somewhere, and he’ll want to help. You can turn him away or let him help. And, as in previous games, your companions will definitely have something to say about it. So far, their reactions seem mainly negative. Vivienne thinks he should be banished, and Sera refuses to even talk to him, calling him ‘it’. However, despite his thing about demons, The Iron Bull does try to help him out as he’s part of the team and kinda seems like a sad kid he’s very willing to try and take under his wing. So that’s a plus. I also imagine Leliana’s reaction to him will be at least somewhat positive, considering their interactions in Asunder.

As for his relationship with the Inquisitor. Some people are hoping for a romance, I can live without it. Nothing’s been said as of yet.

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As you can probably tell, I am 100% excited to see Cole in inquisition. We have a similar outlook, you see. And I’ve been wanting a demon-like companion for a while now. And I like his floppy hat. What do you think about Cole? Will he join your team? Are you holding out for some kind of romance scenario? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Iron Bull – The Muscle

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Bull is voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., the voice behind James Vega in Mass Effect 3.

Years of living outside Qunari rules have him wondering which identity is really him. Whoever he is, he’s more than happy to join the Inquisition and get paid to kill demons.

I am perhaps most excited to get to know The Iron Bull. Second most excited, at least. Unlike every other Qunari that has appeared in the Dragon Age universe, Bull is described as laid back and friendly. As made clear from listening to Under the Horns – a preview of some of his dialogue and character. Bull is a Ben-Hassrath – a group of Qunari spies and secret police. He was the best, and he did it until the harsh battle became too much. He was then sent to Orlais to observe and report. Years later, he still sends the reports. But years outside the Qun have definitely changed him, and he’s not quite how yet. But he knows he loves to eat too much, drink too much, and have sex with whoever he thinks can handle it. He’s been described as the James Bond of Dragon Age.

What he does need are people he can trust to watch his back and friends he can laugh with. After surviving years of ugly, nasty fighting, The Iron Bull has learned not to take anything too seriously. Unless it involves demons.

The Iron Bull is scared of perhaps one thing: demons. Well, so far it’s been described as more of a ‘they freak him out’ because they’re weird and creepy and they possess people. That  being said, he gets along with just about everyone in the Inquisition, Cole included. They’re all part of the team, and if you’re on the team, you’re on the team. The only person he may be at odds with from time to time is Varric – and we all remember Varric’s experience with the Qunari. And, if you’re new to Dragon Age, let’s just say he saw them at their absolute worst.

Bull has been confirmed as a romance option for a male or female Inquisitor of any race. Let us come together and squee.

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So far, I’m loving what I’m seeing here. Bull seems both interesting and awesome as a character, and I’m about that life. What do you think about Bull so far? Yay or Nay to a romance? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Blackwall – The Resolve

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 Blackwall is one of the rare few Wardens who chose, of his own accord, to pick up the shield. He believes so wholeheartedly in the noble ideal of the Grey Wardens that he would rather have this life than any other.

Grey Wardens are defenders of the people. This is Blackwall’s believe and his general disposition toward the idea of choosing a side to fight on. He is driven by morality. He doesn’t necessarily have to act, there is not circumstance that has forced his hand, so to speak, but he is going to do something regardless. It’s not because there’s no one else to do it. It’s because it’s his job and it’s the life that he chose.

He’s aware that in wars, the people who call the shots are often safe in their fortresses. It’s the soldiers who die. He’s seen people with power abuse it and use it to manipulate others, and he absolutely hates that.

Blackwall is described as generally guarded, but will loosen up around certain people. His propensity for sharing war stories over a nice drink may make him get along with those like Bull. However, his driven moral stances may put him at odds with some of those very same people. I’m interested to see how that turns out. Whether or not he is a romacne option for the Inquisitor is still up in the air.

In Blackwall’s character profile, they hint at the possibility his relationships to other characters evolving over time. Which gives that idea that the members of the Inquisition will have relationships have dynamic with each other as with the Inquisitor. This is something that I really like about DA2 (and Mass Effect) that I felt was actually lacking in Origins. Your companions talk to each other, their relationships changed over time. For example, Isabella and Aveline’s arguing evolves into friendly bickering. They hang out with each other when they aren’t following Hawke around. If Hawke does not romance Fenris or Isabella, the two start doing that sex thing. They talk to each other, they have preferences, and their relationships to change over time. I have to see this to a greater extent in Inquisition – as in, characters react not only to the decisions the Inquisitors make, but to the decisions other characters make.

Blackwall’s presence also brings to question the presence of the Wardens in the game. There are several clips in the trailers hinting at conflict with the Wardens. I wonder if they were able to remain neutral as, technically, the wardens aren’t supposed to get involved in the war. Their only job would be to figure out the deal with the hole in the sky. But the wardens were definitely up to something in the second act of DA2 (perhaps pursuing whatever it is Morrigan gives the Hero?). It gives question as to whether we’ll see Carver/Bethany in any sort of cameo, or any of the prominent Wardens of games past. Like Oghren, Nathaniel, and, of course, the Hero of Ferelden (assuming he/she survived the events of DA:O). At least, any of these are subject to be mentioned in passing. There aren’t so many Grey Wardens that they never would have met.

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So far, I like what I’ve seen from Blackwall. He sounds like a good companion to have, and a good friend to have. Because he fights for the cause, Blackwall seems like one of those that will be fighting whether or not he joins the Inquisition. I’m very interested to learn more about him. What are your thoughts on Blackwall so far? Yay or Nay to a romance? Do you think his presence will have any bearing on the overall presence of Wardens within the game? Let me know in the comments below.

Vivienne, “Lady of Iron” – The Ambition

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A leader among the mages and official enchanter to the Imperial court, she is renowned as a fearsome woman who achieved her position through guile and deft political maneuvering.

One of the earliest companions announces, Vivienne is new to the mainstream lore of Dragon Age. Based on her character descriptions – ambitious, unwavering – I would imagine  Vivienne will end up in the Inquisition regardless of what the Inquisitor has to say about it.

Like Varric, Vivienne can get just as much (if not then more so) done simply by using her words. She worked for Empress Celene as the official enchanter of the court in Orlais. She was set to become the first enchanter at one of the circle towers of Orlais, but then the sky tore open and monsters started coming out.  She does not believe that mages should be separate from the circle, and this will likely paint many of her reactions with her fellow members of the Inquisition.

She takes great pride in her work, and her interactions with a certain unnamed Inquisition mage can be a little… explosive. In a good way. Mostly.

Between Dorian and Solus, I really hope it’s Dorian. So far, the only Inquisition member we know she does not get along with is Cole. As for a relationship with the Inquisitor, a romance has not been confirmed. Due to the fact that there will be more romance options than in any previous Dragon Age game, I would consider a romance option here likely.

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I’m very interested in exploring Vivienne’s character. She seems like a very powerful woman, and I’m about that life. What do you think of Vivienne so far? Let me know in the comments below!

Varric Tethras – The Storyteller

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As always, he will be voiced by Brian Bloom.

Varric Tethras is one part adventurous rogue, one part dashing storyteller, and three parts trouble.

(And Bianca – never forget Bianca). Unless you’re new to DA, you met Varric as a required companion for Dragon Age 2. For Dragon Age: Inquisition, it still looks like he’s required, but may not necessarily have the Inquisitor’s back quite in the way he had Hawke’s back.

His character profile is very clear that nothing at all has gotten better for Varric. He’s, obviously, still finding himself thrust into the center of these conflicts. However, this time he doesn’t have a friend in sight. At least not at the start of it. But he remains, more or less, the storyteller we know and love.

He tells stories to rewrite events he’s lived through and make them less senseless, the people in them more inspirational, and to drag some meaning out of the mess that surrounds people he cares about.

True to character, he makes an effort to get along with every member of the inquisition. Save for Cassandra, of course. And, as seen in the 30 minutes of gameplay leaked a couple months ago, Varric wants to help people. A decision the Inquisitor (or any character, for that matter) makes that goes against this will almost definitely have a negative bearing on Varric. Whether or not he is a romance option for any version of the inquisitor is still up in the air.

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I am definitely excited to see Varric. With a 50 hour story arc and 100 hours of content, I’m very excited to see where the story takes him. What are your thoughts on Varric? Yay or Nay to a possible romance? Let me know in the comments below!