BioWare has released a character profile for a new character in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including a Q&A with the game’s head writer, David Gaider. The profile details the powerful Tevinter Mage Dorian, the first fully homosexual male character in the Dragon Age series.
Dorian’s sexuality isn’t the only thing that set him apart from other characters. He’s also the first character from the Tevinter Imperium to join as a playable character, bringing an entirely new cultural background to the series. Unlike in Ferelden or Orlais, where magic users are closely monitored and arcane powers are feared and mistrusted, Mages in Tevinter make up the country’s ruling class, and proudly display their mystical abilities. This background gives Dorian a completely different perspective on magic than other mages from the series. Described as smart, jaded and sarcastic, Dorian’s personality was shaped not only by the traditions of the Tevinter Imperium, but also by his rejection of those traditions. Seeing the corruption that had infested the magocracy and Tevinter’s entire culture, Dorian tried to stand up for what he believed was right, and was made a pariah for his efforts.
Dorian’s sexual preference will affect the game’s romantic aspects directly, as he will only be available as a love interest for male protagonists, but it also affected his backstory. Part of Dorian’s rejection of the Tevinter way involves the culture’s obsession with perfection, and the way the society looks at those deemed not perfect. A man of conviction and principle, Dorian stood up to the authority in some unrevealed way, branding him a stubborn misanthrope too his family and friends.
Dorian will be joined in Dragon Age: Inquisition by Sera, a female Elven Archer who is also a gay character. Previous games in the series have featured bisexual characters that could be romanced by either gender, but this is the first time we’ll see characters who can only be wooed by members of the same sex. The description of Dorian paints a picture of a character that is not defined by his sexuality, but rather one who incorporates it into a fully-realized character with depth and nuance. BioWare is demonstrating a mature, sophisticated attitude toward sexuality with Dorian, presenting a gay character who isn’t just a gay character. He’s also got one seriously sweet mustache.