Dragon Age: Inquisition Companion Ranking and Review Part 2

Hello Everyone! At long last here is the second part of my Dragon Age: Inquisition (DAI) character ranking. I had a lot of fun thinking about each DAI companion wholistically in tandem with my personal opinions. I really do think the companions of DAI are some of the strongest characters in the entirety of the series. So, enjoy this ranking of my top five DAI companions!~

If you missed Part 1 and want to read it~

Excerpt from Part 1: In Case You Skipped the First Part and Went Straight to the Top 5~

The companions in the Dragon Age series are one of the more memorable portions of the game. Each character has a distinct personality, backstory, and general characterization. Over time I have realized that I have some differing opinions for certain companions than those of the more vocal (and somewhat obsessive or lovestruck) fans on the internet. Some people dismiss characters quite readily and put more personal emphasis on why a character is liked opposed to how the character wholistically supports the story and the game.

Anyone who listens to the podcast Split the Veil with Catie and Jordan may have listened to their multiple installations of their rankings/reviews of the characters from Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Needless to say, I appreciated their relative objectiveness and candidness when they did their rankings. They did a spreadsheet for their rankings, and I too can appreciate the art of a good spreadsheet.

So, I also went above and beyond and created my own spreadsheet with various criteria to rank the DAI companions. I divided it into categories I deemed appropriate and could counter my personal opinions of a character and force me to think wholistically and in relation to the entirety of the game. In doing so I have created Five categories for me to rank and think about when ranking a companion. I have done this for all three Dragon Age games. This will be a seven-part series with each game having a post and then a cross comparison in the end.

The Five Categories

Personal

This section is essentially what it sounds like. My personal feelings about the character that encompass many aspects. It may address the overall potential of the character and possibly look past certain elements that are questionable or illogical in regard to the character’s execution. These are my personal opinions and questioning whether or not I actually liked the character. Sometimes I can understand how the character serves a purpose but I simply don’t like the personality or premise. This section is to simply just focus on my personal feelings towards a character.

Purpose

This section is a combination of thinking about the companion’s overall purpose and reasons for being part of the story. Essentially the following questions: How is the companion involved with the core plot? Does the companion provide new insight and furthers the plot? Does it make sense for this character to be involved with the Inquisition or in the higher rankings of the Inquisition? All in all, I just want to think of the overall purpose of the companion and whether or not it makes sense.

Story (Companion Quest and Romance)

This is where I will single out the companion quests (and to some degree the romantic related quests/sequences) into account. In Dragon Age the companion quests are very important and it is the time for the companions to shine in personality, backstory, and general intentions. I question if the companion quests make sense in relation to the larger plot, if the quest was engaging, if the quests felt out of place, and how they contributed to perceptions of the companion. Sometimes dialogue will be considered in this section.

Characterization

Does the voice acting enhance the character? Are the visuals reasonable for the premise of the character? Is the premise of the character reasonable? Is it an awful/disliked character but executed in a way that makes these traits believable? All these questions take a wholistic view of how the character is executed/portrayed. In-game dialogues may be considered in this section as well.

This part may be somewhat subjective, but the characterization is taking into account the general demeanor of the companion. Some companions have a deep level of characterization where it makes the character feel like a fully fleshed out character. The characterization makes a companion not feel one-note or bland. If the companion features a reasonable amount of character and sensibilities this makes him/her more dynamic.

Playability

The most straightforward category. How are the companions’ gameplay? Are there some stellar companions that make fights more bearable? Do some last forever? Do some die instantly? After allocating skills, does the gameplay improve? Do I bring them on missions for their skill sets or personality?

The Rankings

These are my opinions so be respectful and cordial if you disagree. I have read and heard many arguments of pretty much all the characters so I know there are some vastly different opinions surrounding the companions of DAI. Please be nice~ this is just one blog with some musings about the DAI companions.

After the spreadsheet these were my top five characters. Taking all categories into account the order in which I would place the characters on a personal basis would be slightly different. Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Let the rankings commence!~

😈😈😈 There are spoilers below. You have been warned! 😈😈😈

Number 5: Vivienne

So, placing Vivienne this high is probably a shocker for some readers. Vivienne is one of those characters that so many people simply hate. I think she is probably in the same rank of hatred as Sera if not more. Here’s the thing, from what I’ve seen most people tend to hate her simply because of her position on the issue of mages and the circle. While you may not agree with her in my opinion that doesn’t justify her of being one of the more hated characters.

People may not like her personality either because it can be a bit pretentious, again, that is no reason to completely cast aside the merits and unique perspectives she brings to the game. In my opinion it is nice and important to not have every single companion not blindly agree with the main character. It brings variety and potential drama and dissidence to the story~

Personal 9/10

If you couldn’t tell I really like Vivienne as a companion. I remember the first time we met her in the game she came off as a woman with power and control. I respect Vivienne for her different opinions and her confident attitude. I think we get a lot of characters coming from the lower ranks of society but not many characters who live and breathe in the noble circles. I really like her personality too because its so condescending but also as a grain of truth in everything she says. I just really love Vivienne as a character! Anyone can admit she is definitely different from majority of our companions not only in DAI but the entirety of the series.

Purpose 8/10

Her purpose isn’t the strongest but it does make sense. She’s a woman with power and influence but sees the currently nobility not being willing to take action. She simply takes things into her own hands and decides to go where the action is. She is not from opposing forces but part of the Orlesian noble circles so her presence in the Inquisition would be important enough to get nobility intrigued with the Inquisition.

The beginning of the story the Inquisition sides with neither mage nor Templar so it makes sense why Vivienne would want to join to help bring order to an otherwise chaotic time in Thedas. Even though she had not lived in the circle for a while, part of her life was in the circle. To have all that structure ripped away quite quickly it is quite the shakeup in terms of Thedas’ societal structure and Vivienne knows this. The Inquisition is a means to bring about some semblance of order. Hence of her interest and participation in the Inquisition. Overall, in terms of allies having one that is an active member of society is an asset. In fact, she always comes with me when it’s time to go to the Orlesian palace because it just simply makes sense.

Story 7/10

Her story is somewhat hazy for me. I think she doesn’t quite know what to think of the Inquisitor regardless of race or being a mage. This makes her personal quest less personal than that of the other companions. She doesn’t tell you what she needs this potion for and won’t give you an answer if you ask. I think she’s a stoic woman and that reflects her general lack of personability and closeness to the Inquisitor. I think it’s appropriate that if you don’t give her the snowy wyvern heart that she suffers the consequences. If you are going to have someone help you out don’t dismiss all the questions. I think it’s good that her distance and coldness has the potential bring her down.

I think the ending of her story is quite charming. I think it is a huge deal that she introduces her surrogate family so to speak to the Inquisitor. I think that is a sign of respect and a notion of friendship with the Inquisitor. I think her personal story does give insight to both her character and how nobility operates. I know it is subtle, and some may not understand nor like it, but I think the story does give quite a bit of context to her character.

My only gripe is that I wish her story would have been a bit more transparent on why she’s so adamant about keeping the circle afloat. It is mentioned briefly about her becoming nearly possessed by a demon and I really wish we could’ve gotten a bit more to bring more context of her fear of demons and wanting to regulate magic. I think this was a huge, missed opportunity to remind of all the horrors that demons and blood magic are capable of that were fully present in DA2. I wonder if this would have changed the masses opinion of Vivienne.

One potential addition to Vivenne’s story is if you decide to choose her to become the next divine. I personally don’t really see Vivienne as divine material but if you’re going for an interesting playthrough there’s the option. I think her becoming divine showcases her ambitions and how she is a power-driven individual. Tbh I haven’t met many that actively like making Vivenne divine. It seems like an odd choice to throw in there as a whole 🥴

Characterization 9.5/10

I think the characterization of Vivienne is well done. The voice acting for Vivienne exemplifies her overall personality and really comes across as an arrogant and opinionated noble. I think most people can agree that her quick wittedness as some of the greatest comebacks and insults in the game. While many people hate her you cannot deny that the overall execution of her character is good. She is a realistic character of nobility and comes across as such. Her core design is one of, if not the best design in the game. The moment we meet her with her Orlesian headpiece on you simply know she has power and influence.

Playability 9.5/10

For me, once you allocate all her skill sets she’s one of the more powerful mages out of our companions. She dies the least frequent on me and her special skills allow for a mage to become effect not only at a distance but at close range. I think many people make her primary element ice which is what I tend to do as well. To me she’s the epitome of a mage warrior and thus in many ways is my personal favorite for many combat situations.


Number 4:Varric

Varric makes a return in DAI as a fully-fledged companion. He is probably one of the most beloved and respected characters out of the entire series. I have heard rumblings that people like his character in DA2 more than in DAI. I think we have to remember that time changes people and the circumstances of DAI are quite different than that of DA2. I think it would’ve been a lazy execution on Bioware’s part if Varric was the same aloof guy he was in DA2. I actually like how Varric did mature and has evolved both in perspective and emotionally due to all his life experiences.

Varric as a whole has become the narrator of the series which is a natural transition and is really appropriate given the current progression of the Dragon Age series as a whole. FYI I would be really annoyed if they brought him back as a companion again, he should not be at the forefront of yet another large-scale event. He can stay in his narrator position and in charge of Kirkwall for the remainder of the series.

Personal 8/10

I personally think that Varric’s character in DAI is in many ways better than his DA2 self. I like that he’s essentially been to hell and back with Kirkwall’s events and he has been changed by them. I think rather than being a dude who sits at the bar and tells stories he has a newfound sense of responsibility. He wants to help the Inquisition to help fix “blondy’s mess” which is admirable.

I simply like Varric as a character. I like the premise of him being an author but also dabbling in other business ventures is believable and perfect for his character. While he is a somewhat stereotypical dwarf in terms of being ivolved in business and trading. Most of the time the dwarves we meet always have some direct connection to Orzamar. Varric gives a perspective of the Dwarves that never grew up in Orzamar and have no strong cultural connection to dwarven society. All of his backdrop and overall character make for a memorable and staple persona of the Dragon Age series.

Purpose 9.5/10

I mean he’s one of the first companions we get so it makes sense that his purpose makes sense in the game. While yes he’s a prisoner of Cassandra at the time, however after the conclave blows up that is but a trifle of a matter and Cassandra and Varric continue as friendly rivals throughout the game. Varric has seen the destruction of the conclave, knows that part of these tensions is caused by the events of Kirkwall, and thus feels as if he should be part of the solution to stop the chaos that stemmed from the events in Kirkwall. Since they brought Varric back, they made sure to make it make sense and to me he remains a highly memorable character in both DAI and DA2.

Story 9/10

Varric’s story in the grand scheme of things has many connections the current situation while giving us some insight to his past. A major part of Varric’s story has to do with Bianca and unearthing the origins of the red lyrium that’s in circulation across southern Thedas. This story is a combination of both Varric’s past and the ongoing situation. I really liked how the lyrium and the infamous Bianca were combined in his personal quest.

This personal quest ties so many things together on the context of DAI. While it’s not as long or even as memorable as some of the other personal quests, it really adds some new baseline knowledge for new and veteran players. I like that we finally get to meet the real Bianca and how she and Varric basically or at odds with one another the entirety of the time.

Varric is also tied into the main story especially the portions revolving around Hawke. So, we get some bonus scenes and story that directly affect him. In many of my playthroughs I do end up sacrificing my Hawke 😱 😭 and the scene with Varric afterwards is very touching and tragic. Man, the poor guy has been through so much! Varric is very much connected to the events of Inquisition and that level of connection is strongly apparent throughout the entire game.

Characterization 9/10

Varric has evolved into being the figure head of Dragon Age and I believe his overall characterization contributed greatly to his current recognizability. In DAI he is a bit older than in DA2 and as I have said before time clearly changed him. In DAI he has evolved into being a slightly wearier and simply tired of all the craziness in Thedas. After the events of DA2 I’m glad they made Varric a bit more cynical yet still willing to still help when crisis is present. These subtleties allowed for character growth both for newcomers to the series or people who played DA2.

Varric has always been a very personable guy in DA2 and DAI. He truly is a man of the people. The dialogue Varric has focusses on a variety of things and general opinions about the situation. Since Varric is much more of an established character, we get to witness his thoughts and opinions rather than some tragic backstory or problems that many of our other companions have. I think the voice acting for Varric enhances his character greatly. He sounds believable and his consistent throughout two games. The voice acting coupled with his general looks really encapsulates the “seen some things and have insight” vibes Varric lives up to.

Playability 8/10

I really like Varric’s branching skill as a rogue. In fact, it is what I use for my rogue inquisitor’s specialization because of the traps and various bombs you can set up for enemies. I think what’s annoying in Varric’s case is that upgrading Bianca is a pain. The parts are scattered throughout stores and honestly Bianca is a lesser weapon until you finally can upgrade it to the proper specs. There is a period after the first few opening missions where Varric is not as strong simply because his weapon specs are terrible. He’s the only character who has these weapon mechanics which is just a bit odd. Wished they could have had one other character with a specific weapon. Since I usually play as a rogue character, I don’t often have two rogues in the party. Once Bianca is fully upgraded Varric can hold his own in battle, I just usually bring him to important story missions/quests and not for casual strolls.


Number 3: Dorian

Dorian is one of my favorite characters of DAI. I really like that we got someone from Tevinter that was from nobility and thus quite informed of Thedas’ politics. Dorian is like Vivienne in terms of knowledge of nobility and has still retains some of the noble flare despite him wanting to reject it. Being a mage that is from Tevinter also gives some really valuable insight on how mages in Tevinter truly have different experiences than those in the south.

I really like Dorian’s insights on both magic and Tevinter. He is a very different premise and character than that of the other games, especially in the knowledge front. At this point it’s pretty much pseudo confirmed that he’ll be somewhat present in the next game so it will be exciting to see how his evolution of character and story will progress.

Personal 10/10

Dorian is one of the smarter characters of our companions. He is well versed in many of Thedas’ current events but also Tevinter history. While he fled to the south, he still seeks knowledge. Which how can I not respect a character like that? I really like that we got a vastly different perspective of Tevinter than our former companion from DA2, Fenris, who brought a considerably different outlook and experience to the table. I really respect how Dorian comes to terms with his nation’s history and legitimately wants to make things better. It would’ve been easy to write a Tevinter character that hates everything about Tevinter but they chose to make him highly nuanced concerning his opinions of his homeland. I think this is one of the reasons why he’s such a standout character in comparison to some of our other companions.

Purpose 8/10

Dorian’s purpose in DAI is one that I believe could be contested amongst fans. On one hand many people love Dorian as a character while others might find it a bit sketchy that we would allow someone blatantly from Tevinter in the Inquisition without having a high degree of suspicion. I think the mage storyline does give Dorian a strong reason for his presence and participation in the Inquisition. If you side with the Templars Dorian’s foundation and purpose can start out on the sketchier side. This can also be said for Cole since he is in the same situation as Dorian. The reason why I rank Dorian’s purpose higher than Cole’s is that Dorian still can provide valuable insight and connections to Tevinter and the Imperium. Dorian is much like other companions in that he shows his worth and skill sets and becomes an asset to the inquisition.

Story 7.5/10

Dorian’s story is not one that I’m particularly opinionated about. It’s simple there? It’s basically a family disagreement on how nobility in Tevinter is supposed to act. Now I don’t hate this being the bulk of his storyline but I wished we would’ve gotten a bit more involving the Venatori or Tevinter operatives since we have only gotten one other character (Fenris) as someone who is connected to Tevinter. That’s why I say I don’t hate the story by any means but wished Dorian’s story would have somehow brought more insight onto the whole situation.

Now Dorian and Cole are the only two characters where you loose out on some of the story related to the character. Since I HATE time travel storylines I adamantly refuse to side with the mages. A lot of the things I wish were part of Dorian’s storyline are somewhat presented when siding with the mages. We get to see some of Dorian’s personal connections to people in the Venatori and general Tevinter. That being said it’s a shame that much of this story line is locked in a diverging plot choice. That being said I think when he comes to warn us about the “elder one” it is much more impactful than Cole appearing. So win win I guess??

Dorian’s romance is essentially a continuation of not ever being in an actual romantic relationship that has any possibility of longevity. As he puts it, in Tevinter two men in a relationship is about pleasure not commitment. I think Dorian is the kind of person to hide a lot of his insecurities and put on a show of confidence and bravado. The juxtaposition in his romance is very telling of this. I think all in all there is more discussion and mutual trust with the Inquisitor and Dorian which I thought was healthy and balanced. I think Dorian is one, if not the only(?) romantic interest to actually say something along the lines of how there is a public eye on the Inquisitor and that any romantic interest would be scrutinized. I really liked this component because playing as the Inquisitor it seems no one really addresses the power let alone the consequences or fear of starting a relationship with the Inquisitor. I like that touch of concern and realization of the Inquisitor’s influence and power.

Characterization 9.5/10

I love the way Dorian’s voice acting was executed. Of all the voices in DAI Dorian is definitely one of my favorites. The voice actor gives a correct air of pompousness and the characteristic condescension that comes with noble/aristocratic types. Dorian’s character premise could have easily been executed as over the top and near cringeworthy but the voice acting combined with the nuanced dialogue allows Dorian to have the pompousness while also having the capability to be perfectly normal human.

I have come to realize that Dorian has two character archetypes that I personally enjoy. He has the nobility status and flare which for some reason I am always curious about and drawn to. The other archetype is simply being smart. I really like smart characters that are aware of the situations and bring forth much needed knowledge and smarts. I think this was a perfect combination because far too often nobility types aren’t exactly portrayed as the smartest people and are simply ignorant. Through Dorian’s dialogues we can see while he can be flippant about certain issues, he doesn’t simply dismiss things that he may not agree with and can take the time to mull over the issue. All in all, Dorian comes off as a realistic character which given his overall premise was not an easy task.

Playability 9/10

Dorian has some interesting skill sets as a mage. The skills I find useful are really useful while others are not for my playing style. The necromancer specialization is one that I wouldn’t choose for a mage character myself simply because general debuffs aren’t my style in Dragon Age. In my opinion enemies are fairly easy to kill so that debuffs like panic and whatnot are not helpful with minor enemies and debuffs are usually not applicable to bosses so it feels like wasted skills. I usually give Dorian a focus on lightening and fire. I think many fans choose to do a lightening skill focus because it simply makes sense and a lot of his art. I think Dorian as a whole is quite capable in battle. Mages typically die easier than other classes because of the lighter armor. Dorian without the proper specs can die easily, especially early on in the game.


Number 2: Solas

Well, here is everyone’s favorite elven mage. Honestly the number of fangirls for Solas is quite frightening ngl. I think most people can agree that he is set up to a perfect henchman of a villain or the villain himself. Putting aside the hordes of Solas fangirls I have heard some criticisms of Solas being condescending and his overall personality is that of superiority. Let’s just say I think many peoples’ feelings about Solas will change depending on what the next game brings. I’d say overall he is one of the more talked about companions and characters.

Personal 8.5/10

I like Solas as a character. I actually thought the whole premise of him being someone who was a wandering vagabond in search of ancient history was really cool. It almost saddens me that he had this alter ego and is one of the evanuris and villain of elven lore. I almost think it cheapens his character so a certain degree. I think how BioWare executes his character will be a determining factor in his overall character and if I will continue to question their motives of making Solas Fen’Harel. In the bulk of the game, I really like the philosophical banter and the number of questions we can ask Solas. I tend to really like intellectual characters and Solas is probably the closest you can get for ancient wisdom and knowledge. I think if you play as an inquisitive Inquisitor (especially an elf) the conversations with Solas are the best out of all the companions. He isn’t my personal favorite character but is clearly one I respect to a high degree.

Purpose 9.5/10

The purpose of Solas in my opinion can be split in two ways. In retrospect we know why he is there and why it makes perfect sense. In the beginning though it is slightly suspicious that there is a lone traveler who is a mage and an elf. Given Thedas’ overall perception of both mages and elves I just cannot see there being a degree of suspicion over Solas just happening to be there when the conclave explodes. I think his character is secretive in nature so to just welcome people with open arms can at sometimes feel like a bit of a stretch. Maybe if the Inquisitor didn’t have the whole green hand thing going on there would have been more suspicion for other people and that’s what allowed him to easily slip on by into being a part of the crew. I guess it’s one of those instances where we will never know, human reactionary responses are always unpredictable so maybe luck just favored him on being so easily accepted.

All else being said, he proves by action to put both his skills and knowledge towards the goals of the Inquisition, so he never warranted much suspicion. The reason why I cannot fully give him a 10/10 is because I just wonder if logically given his mysterious nature and being a mage that there was not more suspicion. In the grand picture, his purpose makes sense with him being set up as the villain or something to do with “the other side” in the next game.

Story 9/10

I like his story because it gives us practical first-hand experience and insight into many of the hypothetical conversations you potentially have had with Solas. The whole notion of spirits, their intrinsic nature, and how they are suspectable to human interference comes into great play when his spirit friend gets captured. This was a great teaching moment in terms of how corruptible spirits can become when taken away by force from the veil. The fact that this is one of the only moments where Solas loses his cool and completely disappears for a period of time after the quest really showcases his love towards spirits.

Some might find the personal quest somewhat weak especially since it doesn’t have much to do with any of the plot or anything that drastically changes Solas afterwards. The dialogues you can have with Solas really supplement his personal quest. The philosophical questions when done correctly can add to the overall importance of his mission. If you play as an Inquisitor who does not take the more educational and question-oriented dialogue options with Solas this quest might seem rather out of place and unnecessary. I think his quest is much more dependent on how you perceive and interact with his character.

The romance is our quintessential “tragic romance” of DAI. While there is no illness or impending death the fact is that Solas is the one to leave the Inquisitor behind no matter what the Inquisitor says or does. I think the romance has the same subtlety as his quest in that the bulk of connection is through conversation and questions. As one of the last romance options added in the game it really has a pull for the people that want to experience heartache and rejection. While this sounds like a terrible ending to a romance, I think it is done in a way that is quite poetic and really comes full circle in the events of Trespasser. Let’s say I can see the appeal of the romance, especially the ones that don’t want pure fluff and happiness.

Characterization 10/10

Where do I start with Solas? His character is simply really well executed from the looks, voice acting, and believability of his character. Even before you know that Solas is essentially a villain (misguided soul indeed) before that truth bomb, I find the notion of a vagabond travelling Thedas in search of lost stories and history is compelling.

The dialogues and how he speaks to the inquisitor are quite natural and genuine. I really enjoy the banter between him and the Inquisitor and think it’s highly thought provoking. If you are playing as an elf his conversations are amplified because it showcases how little history the modern-day elves of Thedas know. I think in general if you play the more inquisitive Inquisitor Solas conversations are stellar. He is the only character where simply by asking follow-up questions gains loyalty points.

On the flipside, some people find Solas to be condescending or boring. I find this really hard to imagine because I think Solas is one of the best executed characters in DAI. I guess one of the reasons people may think this is because Solas rarely backs down in his opinions. While that is valid to some degree, Solas is an ancient god trapped in a plebian society with no knowledge or regard to the past. I think anyone with that knowledge would probably be irritated at the overall simplistic nature of this new society knowing all that was lost (I mean Solas… stop being so judgmental… you are responsible for this outcome… own up to the consequences! 😤 ).

The overall craftsmanship of his character simply seems to be beyond many of the other characters in DAI. I really like the overall looks they chose for Solas. From the baldness, the tunic, and the weird charm it simply just fits the vagabond theme. The fact that they made a bald elf vagabond the character that ended up being the canon romance of many and so many people lust over him is rather amusing to me.

Playability 9/10

I have ranked Solas in the same playability category as Dorian simply because they both historically have died quicker than Vivienne. Once you level him up, he is quite strong and can be a formidable foe. Some of his specializations are quite handy. I typically give him a combination of healing powers in combination with his specialization. Honestly, I think mages in DAI are a bit overpowered. All the mages are decent in playability, especially once you allocate the proper skill sets. Just in the beginning they tend to die quicker than other classes.


Number 1: Cassandra

The scores have been totaled and Cassandra is the top ranked companion! She is a deserving winner out of all our illustrious companions. If I were to pick one companion that encompasses the essence of DAI it would be Cassandra. She is with us from the beginning, helped found the Inquisition, and has the potential to become Divine of the chantry. She also is one of the characters that threads the lines between DA2 and DAI with her minor presence in DA2 and a presumable continuation of those events.

Personal 8/10

I really liked Cassandra as a character. While she is not my personal favorite, she in her own right is an interesting and well thought out character. I think the fact that she is a fan of Varric’s books is a fun addition to her character. If you don’t romance her, it gives you insight that she is not just a completely heartless or a simple stoic warrior. I also really like her thoughts on religion and how she goes on a journey combining her won viewpoints and the new events that occurred in DAI. It’s simply a nice progression that I think is unique from other character throughout the series.

Purpose 10/10

Cassandra simply makes sense as a companion in the grand sense of the story. She’s the one you first meet, the one who essentially lays the foundation of the inquisition and is involved in a specialized militant portion of the chantry. We also meet her briefly in DA2 during the interrogation scenes with Varric. I mean she’s essentially made to be the core companion of the entirety of the game and it simply makes sense. I don’t think most people have to justify her presence in the game, she simply is a core character of DAI.

Story 8.5/10

Cassandra’s story has two main themes. One is her dislike towards Varric while simultaneously being a fan of his book series. The other is her figuring out more about the whereabouts and history of the Seekers, the religious Chantry sub-group she’s a part of. Many people love her story involving Varric and his books because it shows her softer side because let’s face it, she’s a rather intimidating individual in many respects. That part is fun and makes her less of a stoic character.

The other half concerning the whereabouts of the Seekers is interesting but equally as sad/disturbing. The fact that Cassandra learns more of the whole unadulterated truth of the Seekers and the whole practice of people being made tranquil is something that both Cassandra and Dragon Age fans were not expecting.

Cassandra is one of the characters who can be made divine. Honestly in my canon game I choose Cassandra because she wants balance and that’s what Thedas needs at that very moment. She is balanced and wants to find a way to be a guiding force of the religion. Having her become divine just adds to her overall character progression and compliments the sincerity and dedication of her faith.

Cassandra’s romance really isn’t my favorite. I think the overall tone with her wanting to feel like the romance novels she reads is very endearing. It showcases that she in fact has a variety of wants and desires and isn’t type-casted into simply being the stoic woman who never knows love. I think the part that bothers me just a bit is that at her very core she is a highly religious and faith-oriented person. And let’s just say she is one of the romances with the raunchier scenes 😶 (as much as Dragon Age is). I just question if that was a choice based on what the developers thought her character would do or if they simply wanted a raunchier romance and the other characters made less sense. I just think that it really changes the tone of her character and the progression of the romance. Idk not my thing… To each one’s own in the romance department.

Characterization 10/10

Cassandra is one of the most memorable characters in DAI. She’s with us from the beginning and is simply a well-rounded character. Her accent seemingly a combination of many European accents is consistent throughout the game and it feels believable. She’s really solidified what the Nevarran accent should sound like to many fans’ ears so it will be interesting how that will potentially influence the next game. Her overall demeanor is a no nonsense kind of woman and everything from her character design, voice acting, and dialogue support that personality.

While I think her characterization is one of the top three strongest in DAI there is one particular dialogue that irritates me. So, lore wise (or what it has evolved to be in DAI) woman hold some of the major positions of power and influence in Thedas. If you play as a woman, she has this one line where she states something along the lines of, she’s glad a woman has led the inquisition so greatly.

This one line is irksome because I think it injects modern day notions of feminism in an established society that does not have the same social implications or history. By the time DAI comes round the presence of women are everywhere so it really just feels out of place. Even in my first playthrough of the game when I knew the basics of Dragon Age lore, I found this line weird and offputting. Honestly this one line is sometimes enough to make me want to play as a guy 😤 That being said this one clumsy line is only present if you play as a woman so people may not even encounter this if you play as a dude. Even though I ranted about this one dialogue point it isn’t enough to make me feel like her characterization is less because of it. Because it’s a somewhat conditional dialogue I won’t take off points from this section.

Playability 10/10

Cassandra is the other tank of the group. She will not die and has some really advantageous skill sets in battle. She is similar to Blackwall in many aspects: strong, doesn’t die, and a good tank. For these reasons she’s the warrior I bring along in most situations. Other than these points I don’t have much to say other than she’s really useful in combat situations.


The Spreadsheet

Here is my spreadsheet containing the scores from all the characters of DAI. For now, please just focus on the numbers. I have listed the totals without some of the categories such as playability and personal because they are directly linked to my personal opinions and playstyle.

Wrap-Up

I am honestly surprised that Cassandra actually got my top slot out of the companions. While it makes sense logically with all of her high level scores, she is not my personal favorite character. She is a favorite character of many and it is completely obvious as to why. She is highly connected to the plot, appeared briefly in DA2, had a whole animated series about her earlier life, and simply has a personality that many people adore. I also think people simply like her ongoing rivalry with Varric as well 🤣

The only character that is a-typical in contrast to many people’s rankings of DAI characters is Vivienne. I personally really liked her character and all the snobbery and prestige that took place in her interactions. I think many people simply don’t like her attitude or have really strong opinions about the mage situation and don’t want to bother hearing her out or respecting her opinions. Just because you don’t agree with a character’s views it doesn’t equal instant hatred towards the character, just saying.

All in all, of these top five companions in any order make sense to me because they are usually the ones I bring on most missions and enjoy their overall character and stories. I really appreciate the stories, personalities, and character concepts of all five of these companions. As I have said before, DAI has some of the stronger and compelling characters of the entirety of the Dragon Age series. I cannot imagine a player to not want to at least complete a few personal quests because of the variety of additional stories we can partake in. They are all truly are an integral part of the DAI experience and are a major reason why so many people fall in love with the Dragon Age series.

Thank you for Reading!

I hope you have enjoyed hearing my ramblings about the DAI companions! I know everyone who has played the series has varying opinions concerning all the characters. I really enjoyed creating my own spreadsheet to compare various aspects of the companions simply not relying on my personal opinions of the characters.

I am usually a silent onlooker of many things Dragon Age, so it was fun to write about my opinions of the companions. I hope if you decided to read my post and made it all the way to the end that you enjoyed my ramblings! Perhaps even started to cross compare opinions and ideas! Thank you so much for reading and spending the time to appreciate all the fine companions of Dragon Age: Inquisition!

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