Hey! Hallie here!
In my last post of this series I essentially said I was going to save the best for last. Meaning, this final post is going to cover the big Solas vs Cullen debate. These two and their dateability have been a hot topic among ‘Dragon Age’ fans, and some have even called into question whether these characters would be likable at all if they were real. But we still have a few other characters to critique, including the bonus character I promised. Please note that everything in this post is just my opinion and I don’t think anyone is wrong if they have a different opinion from me. So without any further delay, SPOILERS AHEAD, and let’s get into this!
Josephine: She’s genuinely the sweetest bean. Just like Dorian, I don’t have much to critique here. While Josephine can come across as a bit too uptight, getting to know her reveals that she’s not actually closed-minded or stiff. She simply has a lot of anxiety and desires to put 110% into every job she takes on. In a relationship she’s very much a romantic, but not in the way Cassandra is. Instead of grand gestures and obsessing over romantic books, Josephine simply loves the idea of love and is content cuddling with the Inquisitor in front of a fire to demonstrate her devotion. She has respect for all different ideologies and cultures, so there’s no worries about her there, regardless of which kind of Inquisitor you’re playing. And throughout a romance with her she’s supportive, sweet, and she shows clear care and concern for you. While her romance might not have the most depth of the game’s options, it certainly doesn’t mean her route is a bad one. And it also doesn’t mean she would be a bad partner to have in real life. While she’d need someone who could help balance her anxiety, she’d undoubtedly be an absolutely amazing partner.
Cullen: There’s a lot of nuance to trying to figure out if Cullen is dateable. First off, he’s a nice guy. Much like characters like Cassandra or Blackwall, he has a lot of respect for the Inquisitor, whether or not he agrees with your decisions. Cullen’s also just pleasant. He’s very polite, offers frequent compliments to the Inquisitor, and is the quickest to lend a hand whenever he feels he can be of use. The issue with Cullen is his stance on mages. Unlike Cassandra, Cullen’s view on mages is still borderline “lock them up”. He hates the Chantry, but past trauma has made him feel like the Circle is still important to ensure society survives, rather than allowing mages personal rights and freedoms. It’s pretty irritating to hear, especially because Cullen is so adamant throughout the game that he’s changed and has come to respect mages more. But Cullen proves time and time again that that’s not really the case. Maybe it’s worse because, mechanically, you need one of your advisors to talk up the templar route to you and Cullen is the most obvious choice. But it all makes him look a bit like a hypocrite when, in a completely different conversation, he talks about how he regrets the way he treated mages in the past. Here’s the thing with Cullen, though. An Inquisitor who sides with mages can, at least mostly, change his mind. There’s also the fact that, as a mage, he’s not discriminatory at all. He trusts the Inquisitor regardless of who you’re playing as. And his romance with every Inquisitor is probably full of the most active trust building of any romance in the game. The Cullen romance feels the most like a real life romance, where roadblocks cause both of the people in the relationship to learn how to lean on each other. Overall, I think he’d be a good partner. I just don’t think that anyone would be wrong to refuse waiting around to correct his twisted views.
Solas: What to say about the egg head? I’m a Solas romancer myself, so you might be surprised to hear me say that, right off the bat, Solas is very much not dateable. His ideals aren’t the problem. Solas is an advocate for the rights of everyone. He especially advocates for elves, no surprise seeing as he’s an elf, but he also stands up for spirits, the poor, and mages. I also disagree with the people who outright think he’s a jerk. Solas isn’t. Solas is polite and kind first and foremost, only ever treating his peers with appreciation. He’ll even throw random compliments towards party members he isn’t a fan of. He’s also open minded and loves encountering people who are just as curious about the world as he is. Solas’ big problem first comes to light when you try to discuss the Dalish with him. While in some situations he’ll admit that he admires the resilience of the Dalish people, he mostly just bashes them and really dislikes it whenever you mention them. His reasoning is that he attempted to share his knowledge with them and they rejected him, but the real reason is pride. And his pride is exactly why he wouldn’t be a good partner. It makes sense why he’s so prideful. He’s thousands of years older than everyone else. But the fact that he believes his past way of life and his ideas are more valuable than everyone else’s, makes him both a bad person and a bad partner. That’s the entire reason why he can sound so snooty, and it’s why he plans to destroy everything and bring back the time of the elves. He thinks he’s the smartest, that he knows best, and I don’t know about you but I know enough guys like that in my life to know he would suck as a partner. But I’d also argue that’s kind of the point. He’s a villain and he’s supposed to have a deplorable, fatal flaw.
Krem: And here’s the mystery character! I had to add Krem in here because, if I could date anyone from this game, it would be Krem. It actually kills me that he isn’t romanceable. Just like Iron Bull, he treats the Inquisitor with courtesy and consideration. He also takes on Iron Bull’s tendency to address the Inquisitor as an employer, which is one of the things I listed as a negative while talking about Iron Bull. But with Krem, he seems to treat the whole “employer” thing as more of a formality. He’s farther removed from the Inquisitor, working as one of your outside forces rather than as a personal bodyguard. And Bull is the only one Krem views as an actual superior. Krem is also really casual and sweet. After you get past his explanations surrounding Bull’s Chargers, he’ll move on to anecdotes from their adventures he thinks you’ll find funny or important, and even, eventually, has a heartfelt conversation with you about his queer journey. He’s really open, but not in a too trusting kind of way. He can definitely keep a secret, he’s just an open book who likes connecting with people. That’s an excellent start to a relationship, and his general good humor and attentiveness make him seem like a great partner to have. Plus, he’s unbearably sweet in the storyline where Cole pairs him up with the bard. I just want to romance him. Is that too much to ask?
And that’s it! As you can see, all of these characters have their pros and cons. But that’s what makes them so interesting. Just like in real life, all of the characters in this game are flawed. It’s simply up to the player to decide which flaws are deal breakers. But still, each of the romances in these games has their really excellent, heartwarming sides as well. I even thought of a few more I didn’t expect as I was writing about each character. So don’t let anyone make you feel bad over who you like to romance in ‘Dragon Age’ games. It’s your decision and there are plenty of valid decisions to make in each BioWare title.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!