Though it can be controversial among hardcore fans, in many ways Dragon Age: Inquisition represents a high point for the developers at Bioware. The game is one of their best selling titles ever, and it even managed to win Game of the Year in 2014. In the years since, BioWare has had trouble attaining those same heights, with both Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem disappointing many of their longtime fans.
Dragon Age 4 is confirmed to be on the way, but it's also likely years off given the retooling it's had to undergo. For now, this list looks back at Dragon Age: Inquisition, and some of the fantastic characters that won our hearts when it released.
Solas is an elven mage who joins up with your Inquisitor in the hopes of using his expertise with the Fade to stop the rift. He’s definitely a favorite of some players…but they’re all either bad people or terrible judges of character.
Eventually, you realize he’s actually an elven god and he wants to destroy the Fade to restore ancient elven society, which is why no matter how much you tick him off he’ll never actually leave your party; you’re playing into his plan too much. But even before that, he’s a racist jerk who only responds to romantic advances from other elves.
Sera’s “Friends of Red Jenny” group is pretty useful to the Inquisition as a massive spy network made up of the serving class in a world full of aristocrats and nobles. Knowing that about her, it’s difficult to place her at the back of the line on this list. But…she’s also a royal pain in the backside. Her attitude causes more problems than it solves, and her character, in general, isn’t especially likable. All that and she doesn’t even have the combat skills to back up the trouble she causes, which means she was easy to leave at Skyhold when it was time to take care of Inquisitor work.
Cole is like Sera if she were likable. He’s still kinda spacy, rarely ever makes any sense in conversation, and most of the time people don’t know what to make of him, but he’s a good kid. Most of the game his origin is shrouded in mystery, but what we do know about him is his ability to shift things around without people noticing, and make people forget he was ever there at all.
This makes him great for work as an assassin, and in general, he fits in with the Inquisition: a group of misfits trying to make the world better. Plus his actual origin story is pretty neat and makes the player feel like they left their mark on the world in a good way.
Blackwall’s another companion with a story that players will have to work to learn about completely. For much of the game, he’s just a quiet dude who tags along to help the player defeat Corypheus. But eventually, the game reveals why he’s so distant as a character and spends so much time trying to be the perfect Grey Warden. A former criminal who took the place of the real Blackwall, this character spends much of the game attempting to atone for his crimes. And while what he did before the Inquisition was heinous, during his time with them he does his part in helping save the world.
Josephine Montilyet isn’t actually a companion, but she plays as important a role as any of them by serving as the Inquisitor’s diplomat. Though it’s not often mentioned in the main game, the Inquisition rapidly becomes a major power that can contend with the Chantry and the Templars, and their military might makes the nobles uncomfortable.
Things could have easily gotten rough if she weren’t around to smooth over some of the more unacceptable and non-traditional parts of the Inquisition. Though Skyhold is filled with characters who work with the Inquisitor but don’t fight with him, none accomplish nearly as much as Josephine.
Vivienne isn’t always likable, but she always commands everyone’s respect. Vivienne joins the Inquisition as a representative of the Orlesian Circle of mages…though she sometimes seems to be the only mage from their group that seems to care about the world breaking in half. With Vivienne at the player’s side, they’re allowed a brief window into the life and mindset of the royal society. Despite this, she’s surprisingly useful as a mage willing to get her hands dirty and do close combat if your team is lacking a bit in muscle. The only real unfortunate side to her for most players is she isn’t romanceable.
4 VARRIC TETHRAS
A holdover from Dragon Age II alongside Cassandra, Varric is probably the most likable character in the game. He spends most of his time spinning funny stories based on his adventures, and generally is more down to Earth than some of the more extreme personalities traveling with the Inquisition.
In combat, he relies on making traps and his crossbow to give enemies trouble, which is useful but isn’t as dangerous as others can be. The only thing keeping him from being the best is his personal story here simply isn’t as compelling as some of the others.
3 IRON BULL
This is actually pretty tough as towards the top of the list all the characters are great. He’s supposed to be a double agent for the Qunari…but he’s so honest he doesn’t even bother with the pretense and tells everyone immediately. This turns the “a member of your group is a traitor” trope on its head, and sets the tone for much of life in the Inquisition. Most of his dialogue is great, but he’s especially a treat whenever he’s taken into battle against one of the game’s ten optional dragon bosses. It’s almost worth starting another playthrough for those that haven’t to see his reactions to those epic encounters.
2 CASSANDRA PENTAGHAST
The hard-edged Cassandra is the first character players meet in the game, with her taking on a role as a member of the Chantry questioning the Inquisitor for his role in the chaos at the game’s outset. But Cassandra quickly shows herself as someone that’s interested in doing the right thing, both by the people around her and for the world in general.
A deeper look into her background reveals much about her: a love of poetry and weary exhaustion at being the last line of defense between the world and its destruction. Ultimately Cassandra displays too much character and growth not to love.
1 DORIAN PAVUS
Tevinter is the subject of much of the background talk happening in the game, due to its questionable relationship both with the Qunari and with the world at large. Dorian stands as the Tevinter representative for the Inquisition but he quickly becomes so much more than that.
He stands against the injustice and corruption of Tevinter society and refuses to bow to the rules of royal society and his family, abandoning them so he can remain true to himself. He’s quick-witted, willing to risk his life for others, and a great mage to have on the battlefield: what’s not to like?