Some people play the Dragon Age games for the detailed worldbuilding or the apocalyptic and political plots. They're engrossing, casting you as the hero being pulled at by many different currents and interests. But every good hero needs some support. Other players are more interested in the relationship-building part of the games.
The games allow players to assemble a team of allies and confidants to face the oncoming end of all things. They each have special skills to aid you, and also unique personalities that you'll either love or hate. And a chosen few of your allies might be willing to become something a little more than friends, if you vibe well enough. Now, whether or not this next step of the relationship is worth it is up to some debate. We're looking at some of the best and worst romances in the series.
10 Worst: Sera
This comes with the caveat that this relationship is only particularly bad if you're playing through Inquisition as an elf. Sera is dealing with a lot of internalized prejudice against elves, despite being one herself, and react negatively to any mention of the Inquisitor's Dalish heritage.
If the Inquisitor expresses that she believes in the Dalish's pantheon of gods, Sera disparages her religion at every turn. It eventually culminates in an encounter after the mission What Pride Had Wrought, where Sera will straight up leave the Inquisitor if she sticks to her culture and beliefs. That just isn't a healthy dynamic.
9 Best: Dorian
Dorian's inclusion as the first male companion romanceable only by a male Inquisitor earned many positive reactions from fans. But his romance is also one of the better ones in the Dragon Age series. Dorian starts off their friendship in a friendly, flippant way that makes him instantly endearing.
But it isn't until you start to learn more about his difficult backstory that it becomes clear how much Dorian comes to trust a romanced Inquisitor. He's initially irreverent because he's keeping you at a distance until the Inquisitor's finally able to convince him he actually wants to be with him.
8 Worst: Merrill
Merrill's character arc wasn't the strongest example of writing in the Dragon Age franchise, or even in Dragon Age 2, which would already negatively impact the quality of her romance. But even considering that, both her friendmance and rivalmance come off as uncomfortably problematic.
Her rivalmance casts Hawke as controlling and even abusive as Hawke tries to stop her from experimenting with forces beyond her control. But her friendmance isn't any better, since Hawke is unable to discourage Merrill from taking any dangerous actions and must only agree with her at every turn.
7 Best: Morrigan
Your very first suspicious apostate witch (a series favorite) actually has one of the better romances in the series. Perhaps this isn't surprising, with Morrigan being a fan-favorite character and almost the face of the franchise.
The relationship is rewarding because of Morrigan's contempt for sentimentality of any kind; you really have to work for it. She initially comes off as aloof and sarcastic, but as the Warden slowly builds a relationship with her, she reveals more and more of true self—which isn't any less sarcastic but is certainly warmer. The only reason this isn't ranked higher is that there's no happy ended for a Warden/Morrigan romance. No matter what else happens, she leaves the party after the final battle.
6 Worst: Blackwall
Blackwall's romance is just plain boring. It probably should be interesting, with his whole stolen identity character arc to add dramatic tension. But it isn't. Even though he's one of the companions with a lot to hide (though not the most to hide) you never really find out anything new or interesting about him over the course of pursuing the relationship.
It's just more of the same, even after the Thom Rainier reveal. There's no real reason to invest time in this relationship when there are much better options, unless you want to protect poor Josephine from his advances.
5 Best: Cassandra
On the flip side, a romance with Cassandra is so much more rewarding because of how her character and relationship with the Inquisitor develops and changes over time. When you first meet her, she's a cold, hard-nosed soldier with little time for you or your offers of friendship. Even just becoming friends with her—the only option available for poor female Inquisitors—is an enjoyable experience as you watch her loosen up.
But the revelation that Cassandra is actually a hopeless romantic yearning to be properly courted is so perfect and unexpected that it's hard not to love it. Romance arcs should reveal something special about the character, and Cassandra's does exactly that.
4 Worst: Solas
This accursed egg is probably the most frustrating and even heartbreaking romance on the list. Solas' betrayal is probably the most iconic example of the Dragon Age series' favorite trope of "don't trust the apostate mage."
Not only is he lying about his real identity and plotting to work against the interests of the Inquisition, but the fulfillment of his romance arc is him breaking up with you! How dare he? Does he know who you are? And this is leaving aside his constant condescension about your cultural and religious beliefs as a Dalish elf. What a waste of all our time.
3 Best: Alistair
Alistair's romance is almost the opposite of Morrigan's. He's friendly and playful from the get-go and hates being mocked about matters of friendship or intimacy. He wants to feel valued by the Warden, and certainly doesn't reciprocate any "contempt for love" expressions by players. Alistair is the quintessential sweet love story.
He even makes the Warden a gift of a rose when his approval rating is high enough. There is the minor concern that you can ask him to knock up Morrigan in the end game, but hey, you can also become Queen of Ferelden beside him, so you win some, you lose some.
2 Worst: Sebastian
DLC companion Sebastian Vael is widely regarded as the worst companion romance ever implemented in any of the games. Romancing him doesn't even fulfill the in-game romance achievements; the game itself knows it's that bad. And it isn't just that Sebastian is chaste and refuses to sleep with Hawke.
It's that the romance is poorly integrated and simply not worth a player's time. You learn little to nothing interesting about him (assuming he even has hidden depths to plumb) and get no real payoff for completing the arc.
1 1: Best: Zevran
Who can resist a good rivals-to-lovers romance arc? Rivals usually don't get any more clear cut than them trying to kill you at your first meeting. Luckily, Zevran fails and from them on joins your merry band of outcasts. He's another that appears funny and easygoing at first and is even one of the easiest companions to get to join the Warden in their tent. But when the Warden expresses the possibility of deeper feelings, Zevran balks.
He reveals that he never considered his life would allow for the possibility of real romance and even considered himself incapable of love. After the two are forced to be honest about their feelings and the future of their relationship, Zevran is the only companion that gives his heart to the Warden completely. If the Warden perishes in the final battle, it's even noted that Zevran never loved again.