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Main Character Index > Dragon Age: Origins > The Warden | Companions | Non-Playable Characters (Grey Wardens | Fereldan Nobles | Orzammar) | Awakening | DLC Characters

The Warden
Some of the Warden's possible faces.

Voiced by:

Human Male - Mark Hildreth (Wise), Ken Lally (Cocky), Robin Sachs (Experienced), Gideon Emery (Mystical), Desmond Askew (Suave), Timothy Watson (Violent)

Human Female - Hellena Taylor (Wise), Colette Whitaker (Experienced), Erica Luttrell (Mystical), Kath Soucie (Sultry), Mika Simmons (Violent)


Elven Male - Michael J. Gough (Wise), Dwight Schultz (Cocky), Mark Meer (Experienced), Keith Ferguson (Mystical), Jesse Gervais (Suave), Yuri Lowenthal (Violent)

Elven Female - April Stewart (Wise), Corri English (Cocky), April Banigan (Experienced), Kathryn Cressida (Mystical), Kath Soucie (Sultry), Cree Summer (Violent)

Dwarf Male - Fred Tatasciore (Wise), Peter Jessop (Cocky), Keith Ferguson (Experienced), Keith Szarabajka (Smart), Zach Hanks (Suave), John Rubinow (Violent)

Dwarf Female - Kim Mai Guest (Wise), Courtenay Taylor (Cocky), Seana Kofoed (Experienced), Shannon Blanchet (Smart), Wendy Braun (Sultry), Julianne Buescher (Violent)

"I am a Grey Warden. Together we will make our stand. Together we will save this world."

The main protagonist of the game. You become a Grey Warden after going through a unique origin story tailored to your race and background. Afterwards, you go to Ostagar in order to join King Cailan in a supposedly final battle against the Darkspawn. You also need to undergo The Joining, a ceremony in which you are initiated into the Grey Wardens.


Things in Ostagar don't go exactly as planned, so the Warden, along with Alistair, Morrigan, and others who join you along the way, goes off into Ferelden in order to gather armies against the Blight.

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  • 10-Minute Retirement: Between Origins and Awakening.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: You can achieve this with any member of your party - it helps a lot when you're trying to romance one of them. You can even achieve it with every single one of them at the same time, though most of them will be a strictly platonic adoration.
  • Abusive Parents: Kalah, the mother of the Dwarf Commoner, is a verbally abusive drunk. Their father abandoned his family to go to the surface, after Kalah refused to come with him to seek a better life from Orzammar.
  • Accidental Pornomancer: On numerous occasions, you can actually use sex or marriage as a bargaining tool.
    • In particular, you can use it to persuade Isabela to teach you to be a Duelist without playing her game. If female, you can invite a hardened Alistair to participate. Or, if you romanced and hardened Leliana, she will automatically invite herself along, and you can then invite Zevran.
    • A mage Warden who enters the Fade to confront the Desire Demon controlling Connor but then converses with her can be rewarded with sex, in exchange for the Demon being allowed to (or pretending to) leave.
    • This is what Morrigan's Dark Ritual consists of. You can accept yourself (as a male), convince Alistair/Loghain to do so, or refuse and sacrifice a Warden's life.
    • A Human Noble is able to marry Queen Anora (if male) or soon-to-be-King Alistair (if female) during the Landsmeet.
    • More literally, it's incredibly easy to accidentally start a romance with one of your eligible party members, as every romanceable party member has multiple dialogue options to start the romance, and many of them (such as "Are you feeling better about what happened to Marjolaine?" for Leliana) seem quite innocent on the surface.
  • The Ace: Evolves into this over the course of the game.
  • Affectionate Nickname: If his friendship is high enough, Sten refers to the Warden as "kadan," meaning something akin to 'close to the heart.'
    • The Warden's chosen Love Interest will often have a nickname; Alistair will often call his lady love "my dear" or "my love," and Zevran calls a Warden of either gender "mi amor". If not romanced, Alistair sometimes also calls the Warden "my friend." These are most often heard when cycling through the active characters.
    • The Human Noble, being the youngest, is frequently called "Pup" by their father.
    • A romanced Morrigan in Inquisition refers to the Male Warden as "my love" or "my Warden." A romanced Leliana will also refer to the Warden (of either gender) as "my love."
  • Ambiguously Brown: Canonically, the City Elf Warden is the child of a pale father and a dark skinned mother. The ambiguous part comes up as their appearance is ultimately up to the player.
  • Anti-Hero: Without a Karma meter, it's very easy to play the Warden as one. You can inflict crimes ranging from petty theft to mass genocide to child killing.
  • Anything That Moves: The Warden can definitely be played this way. Some of the origins offer the opportunity to hit on/sleep with someone; you have four potential romances among your companions; female Wardens can flirt with Arl Teagan, who seems interested; male wardens can kiss Bella, the waitress of Redcliff's tavern; you can hire employees at the Pearl in Denerim, and there's even a chance to sleep with certain members of the Dalish clan you meet in the Brecilian Forest. You can also claim after finding out Shale was once a dwarven woman that suddenly, she's very cute.
    • In a Bioware first, a Male Dwarf Noble has the potential to have fathered two children with two separate women over the course of the game with at least one, if not both, being accidents.
  • The Archmage: The Mage Warden, despite their youth, clearly shows signs of becoming this, being the apprentice and star pupil of the First Enchanter and setting an unprecedented record for the "quickest, cleanest Harrowing ever seen" in the Circle. This also may apply if they choose to specialize as an Arcane Warrior. Arguably, they have reached this status by endgame when they battle the Archdemon. Archmage is even the name of the achievement for getting to level 20 as a mage character.
  • Arranged Marriage: The City Elf Origin opens with one. It doesn't end well. If playing a Human Noble, the Warden can make one of these for themselves with Anora if male or Alistair if female.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: If choosing to follow Morrigan through the Eluvian at the end of Witch Hunt, departing to parts unknown (until Inquisition reveals where they went).
  • Ass Kicking Equals Authority: If the Warden manages to survive the Blight, they will become Warden-Commander of all the Grey Wardens in Ferelden, which also effectively makes them the Arl/Arlessa of Amaranthine. In addition, they receive a special title linked to their origin and actions in-game:
    • A Dwarf Warden will become a Paragon, which is not only an honor equal to or higher than that of a king, but also grants them their own house and followers.
    • A City Elf Warden has the option of representing their people as the first Elven Bann of the Alienage in Denerim.
    • A Human Noble can marry Alistair if female, Anora if male and become Prince/Queen-Consort of Ferelden.
    • Depending on your chosen origin and your actions in-game, you can also add a Teyrnir (Dukedom), another Arling (Denerim), the Kingdom of Ferelden (as a Prince or Queen-Consort), and a Lord Chancellorship (Prime Ministership) into the bargain, although the latter titles are mostly derived by forcibly removing their incumbents from the position.
    • If the quest "Secret Rendezvous" and Alistair's appearance as king during Dragon Age II are any indication, the Warden ruled Amaranthine for six years, and was competent enough to quickly turn Arl Howe's den of provincial aristocratic corruption into a powerful rival of Kirkwall itself, so apparently Asskicking Equals Competent Authority.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning:
    • In Awakening, a Dwarf Commoner Warden will discover that they, a Casteless, has been named a Paragon.
      • The Dwarf Noble will find out the same from Gorim, your childhood friend and Second, who was forced to leave Orzammar after your exile. After telling you that it is all but certain you will be named a Paragon, he offers to resume his position as your Second, reuniting the two of you at last.
    • A female Human Noble romancing Alistair can become Queen of Ferelden.
      • Likewise, a male Human Noble can marry Anora and become her Prince-Consort.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • The Mage Warden in particular, having been the apprentice and star-pupil of First Enchanter Irving. Dialogue implies that Irving often praised the Warden's talents to his colleagues, as both Wynne and Duncan immediately recognise the Warden on sight. Even Uldred, someone who is mentioned to never have worked with any Mages in the Circle, knows of the Warden and mocks them for having been a teacher's pet.
    • During their origins, the Human Noble mentions that they spent a lot of time in their grandfather's library, while the Dwarf Noble mentions greatly enjoying a scholar's book about their ancestor, implying each is very well read about Fereldan and Dwarven history, respectively.
  • Badass Family: It'd be easier to list the Wardens who don't come from one note .
    • If a Human Noble, the Couslands have served as a Big Good in Ferelden for centuries. The World Of Thedas vol. 2 reveals that both your parents fought Orlesian forces in the Ferelden Revolution (Bryce fought beside the King, while Eleanor led her father's armada), which was how they met. At the start of the game, Teyrn Cousland and his heir-apparent Jumped at the Call to fight alongside the King against darkspawn forces in Ostagar. While a Retired Badass, Teyrna Cousland is still no slouch with her bow and arrows.
    • The City Elf had an Action Mom, Adaia, whom Duncan wanted to recruit into the Grey Wardens; but he was talked out of it by Elder Valendrian, seeing as there wasn't an urgent need for recruits back then. Their cousins Shianni and Soris are both pretty awesome as well.
    • The Dwarf Noble is a member of the Aeducan royal family, descended from the Paragon Aeducan who united Orzammar, had relatives who served in the Grey Wardens in generations previously, and whose current generation's members don't hide their predisposition towards badassery either.
    • The Dalish Elf's father was a powerful Keeper, and their mother was a gifted hunter and archer.
    • Dragon Age II adds the Human Mage, as some Amells and their relatives in the Hawke family are incredibly gifted fighters. It also includes the revelation that the Human Mage has other siblings who are mages.
    • The Warden also begins one if playing as a male Warden who performs the Dark Ritual and later followed Morrigan through the Eluvian, having sired a child who has two of the most powerful people in Thedas for parents as well as the soul of an untainted Old God.
  • Badass Normal: Every non-mage Warden is clearly this before they undergo the Joining.
    • The Dalish Warden in particular survives being infected with the Taint through a mixture of their Keeper's magic and their own sheer willpower. They aren't even cured of actively having the Taint until after they've fought darkspawn in the Brecilian Forest, traveled all the way to Ostagar, and battled more darkspawn in the Korcari Wilds. Even Duncan is amazed the Dalish Warden survives so long.
    • The Dwarf Noble is no slouch either. With no armor and just a cruddy sword and shield (unless you've been a good boy... in which case the sword is decent), they chop through a couple dozen darkspawn and track Duncan down in the Deep Roads. Alone. Hell, given how the tunnels the Wardens were in connected to the outside (otherwise they'd never have been able to get the Dwarf Noble to the surface for plot reasons), the DN could conceivably have massacred their way to the surface, since most darkspawn were gone due to the Blight.
    • The Dwarf Commoner in some ways tops the Noble one. While the entire Proving Arena erupts in a furious uproar when your true identity is discovered, we cut to Duncan stroking his beard in quiet contemplation that a casteless, penniless sellsword with no formal weapons training whatsoever has nonetheless somehow managed to beat the most seasoned Warriors in Orzammar and veterans of countless Darkspawn campaigns. Later when he invokes the Right of Conscription, he states that he recognizes they have untapped potential that with Warden training would make them even greater.
      Proving Master: This wo/man is not a Warrior! They are Casteless! Rejected by the Ancestors! His/her very footsteps pollute the stone! S/he has no place here!
      Duncan: Except as your Champion...
    • The City Elf leaves Bann Vaughan lying dead in "a river of blood" that runs throughout the Arl of Denerim's Estate, during their Roaring Rampage of Revenge over the abduction and rape of countless elven women (including their cousin Shianni) at his hands. And, like the Dwarf Commoner, the City Elf has no formal combat trainingnote  unlike the Human and Dwarf Noble. The sheer scale of the destruction wrought is lampshaded by Elder Valendrian and the Guard Captain who comes to arrest the City Elf.
      Guard-Captain: Do you expect me to believe that one wo/man did all of that?
      Valendrian: We are not all so helpless, Captain.
    • The Human Noble essentially mows through a large crowd of Arl Howe's personal soldiers in order to safely escort their mother through the family castle in the dark of night.
  • Bad Boss: The Human and Dwarf Nobles can be assholes towards their servants during their origins.
  • Bad Powers, Good People:
    • A Mage Warden learning Blood Magic is the most obvious example, but on a larger scale, any Warden can use Avernus' research to unlock the true potential of their tainted blood, resulting in Cast from Hit Points blood-based abilities, and still act genuinely heroic. A Reaver Warden is a more ambiguous case, as you technically have to Kick the Dog to unlock the specialization (whereas it's not required for Blood Mage as long as you have a sufficient speech level).
    • All Grey Wardens fall under this to a minor degree, due to the Joining Ritual being a form of Blood Magic meant to grant the Wardens the power of the Darkspawn taint by imbibing their blood.
  • Battle Couple: With their love interest.
  • The Beastmaster: The Ranger specialization for Rogues.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: If you make the effort to befriend the members of your party, you learn that you are one of the only real friends (if not the only one) that most of them have ever had. This is particularly true of Morrigan (who has never known anyone that she even liked before meeting you), Zevran (whose closest friend is willing to kill him), and Shale (who has never before known a person who didn't exploit it).
  • Benevolent Boss: The Human Noble and Dwarf Noble can both choose dialogue options to be a reasonable lord toward their servants and other characters during the origin story.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Arl Rendon Howe becomes one to the Human Noble.
      Human Noble: I want Howe dead NOW!
    • A Scout who turns on the Dwarf Noble even if they were framed for Trian's murder can be rewarded with a stab to the gut and death for impugning the Noble's honor.
    • Fantastic Racism against elves can be one for an Elven Warden; particularly a City Elf. Overtly or unintentionally racist comments from other characters can always lead to at least one option to respond with sudden anger/hostility.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Warden can be played as the most shining paragon of virtue to ever exist... just don't get in their way!
  • Big Brother Instinct: While technically the younger of the two, a Dwarf Commoner can display this towards their sister, Rica. Waking up in a cell, killing the crime boss you used to work for, joining the Grey Wardens... In all these scenes, you can show that you care about your sister's well-being first.
  • Big Eater: It's a Grey Warden thing, apparently.
  • Big Good: Can be played this way. If playing as the Human Noble, the Warden is a member of the Cousland family, who have for centuries been the Big Good of all Ferelden.
  • Blade Enthusiast: The PC always uses the same knife to murder people in dialogue scenes. Examples include some off-duty guards in the City Elf Origin, the hungry deserter in Ostagar, the Elven Messenger, Brother Genitivi, Avernus.
  • Blatant Lies: A female Warden can claim to be “Winnifred” from “just outside Highever” no matter their actual name and origin, while conversing with the Mad Hermit.
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: Congratulations! You've been selected as a Grey Warden recruit — the highest honor to which you could ever aspire! It means any birthright or title you had is now forfeit. But wait, you have yet to become a Grey Warden - first you have to drink darkspawn blood, which will often kill you right away. If it doesn't, congratulations on becoming a Grey Warden! You can now sense the darkspawn and destroy archdemons at the low cost of obliterating your soul if you try the latter. Of course, they can sense you just as easily as you sense them. Oh, and you have about thirty years to live until the taint starts turning you into a darkspawn, at which point the Grey Warden instruction troubleshooting manual tells you to go on a suicide run against the darkspawn hordes. Oh, and good luck ever having children, especially if the other parent is also a Grey Warden.
  • Blood Knight: The Violent voice set.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: A female City Elf who fights in her wedding dress.
  • Blue Blood: If of the Human or Dwarf Noble origin; in fact, the Human Noble's origin icon even depicts a drop of blue blood. The Human Mage comes from a wealthy family which is part of the nobility of Kirkwall, in the Free Marches, but this has no effect on the origin story and they are probably not even aware of the fact; it doesn't get mentioned until the sequel game.
  • Book Ends: For a City Elf, the game begins and ends in Denerim.
  • Boxed Crook: In five of the six origins, no less.
    • At the end of their respective origins, the City Elf and the Dwarf Commoner are each facing long-term imprisonment (if not worse), but Duncan steps in to recruit them into the Grey Wardens. Many see that as an honor, but it ultimately is a death sentence, especially now that there is a Blight knocking on Ferelden's doors and you'll be on the front lines fighting it.
    • The Mage is facing either the Rite of Tranquility or a sentence in Aeonar (a Chantry prison on a distant island) for helping Jowan. However, the Mage can subvert this by reporting Jowan's intentions to Irving instead of just going along, meaning that they were following orders and they will not be facing punishment by the end of their origin.
    • The Dwarf Noble Warden faces punishment for the murder of their oldest brother, regardless of whether they actually committed the crime. They are exiled to the Deep Roads, where they will surely be killed by Darkspawn eventually - unless, as their only loyal friend advises, they find Duncan.
    • At the end of the Human Noble Origin, they are the last known surviving member of their family, the rest of whom were massacred on trumped-up charges of treason, and there's most certainly a bounty on their head if they ever come anywhere near their home region again.
  • Brutal Honesty: Every background has a brutally honest response option for when you meet King Cailan. For example, when meeting a City Elf, Cailan apparently thinks of the Alienages as a somewhat poor but fair chance for the elves to rebuild themselves after an age of slavery. A City Elf PC has the option to exercise this trope to correct him:
    King Cailan: Do you come from the Alienage? Tell me, how is it there? My guards all but forbid me from going there.
    City Elf Warden: I killed an Arl's son for raping my friend.
    King Cailan: You... what?
  • But Now I Must Go: If they survive Origins, the Warden abandons his or her life and party members in pursuit of a mysterious mission (or woman) at some point in the decade between the end of the first two games. We finally learn why in Inquisition.
  • But Thou Must!: If the protagonist doesn't join the Grey Wardens voluntarily during the origin story, they'll be conscripted.
  • Cain and Abel: Bhelen is Cain to the Dwarf Noble's Abel if he successfully frames them for Trian's murder. Vice versa if the Dwarf Noble committed the murder and then costs Bhelen the throne later.
  • The Cameo: If they're alive, the Inquisitor will write to the Hero of Ferelden for help. The Hero will apologize they can't help directly, but do send vital information about what's going on.
  • Canine Companion: Regardless of your origin story, you get a dog - specifically, a giant mabari warhound, whose loyalty to you is absolute. If playing as the Human Noble, the dog has been your pet since childhood; otherwise, there's a quest in Ostagar where you can save the poisoned dog's life, and he imprints on you and tracks you down when you first leave for Lothering.
  • Canon Name: Each Warden has a default namenote .
    • Human Noble: Aedan/Elissa Cousland
    • Human Mage: Daylen/Solona Amell
    • Elf Mage: Alim/Neria Surana
    • City Elf: Darrian/Kallian Tabris
    • Dalish Elf: Theron/Lyna Mahariel
    • Dwarf Noble: Duran/Sereda Aeducan
    • Dwarf Commoner: Faren/Natia Brosca
  • Celibate Hero and/or Really Gets Around: As with the hero/anti-hero status, the Warden can be anywhere in between these two. The Warden can have a foursome with Zevran, Leliana, and Pirate Queen Isabela. And then taking the edge off by sleeping with male hookers, female hookers, nugs, a transvestite dwarf, or having some rather unusual things done to you using some rather interesting tools. The tragic turn in the Human Noble's origin prologue can happen in the afterglow of a tryst with the son or servant girl of a visiting vassal noble.
  • The Chessmaster: At the Landsmeet, it's possible to manipulate every single lord but one into supporting you over Loghain, including Queen Anora, his own daughter. You can then execute Loghain in front of her, and she'll still go along with marrying Alistair and lending her support for the Warden. An even better show of mastery of Fereldan politics is to still turn the Landsmeet against Loghain even without the heavy support that his daughter the Queen curries.
    • Lampshaded by Loghain during the Landsmeet, who suggests that while Arl Eamon might believe that putting Alistair on the throne would guarantee him a Puppet King to control, in reality even his strings are being pulled by the Warden.
      Loghain: Ah! Here we have the Puppeteer!
    • This can also be a possible interpretation of the resolution of the Dwarf arc, particularly if they choose Bhelen, which leads to the dwarves becoming more united with the surface world.
    • The Dwarf Noble origin also features several opportunities to play the characters around them like fiddles, referring to it as "the game". In fact, the only reason they get exiled is because they were caught off-guard by a bigger chessmaster.
      • A Dwarf Noble who sides with Bhelen in the Orzammar arc can use their leverage with the Assembly to restore their title and membership within House Aeducan, which also extends to a son sired by a casteless noble-hunter. By the end of the game you can be declared a Paragon, revered as a living god. The Warden's popularity and Paragon status jeopardizes Bhelen's own line of succession, all while Bhelen takes the heat for actually reforming Orzammar.
  • Chick Magnet: Aside from various party members (male and female for both genders), serving girls and a few elves are smitten with the male PC, and Bann Teagan seems to be considering proposing to the female PC after a few days of knowing her, explicitly stating that it doesn't matter one bit that she's a dwarf, an elf and/or a mage. Oghren points this out in a conversation with Wynne.
  • The Chooser of the One: The Warden decides who ends up on the thrones of Orzammar and Ferelden. They can even choose themselves as a royal consort if they're Human Nobles (and the crowned is gender-compatible).
  • Chosen Conception Partner: Played with.
    • Discussed at the Landsmeet. If Alistair is romanced and becomes King, he'll express doubt over whether he and the Warden can be together. The whole point to this event was to prevent a Succession Crisis, but Wardens have extremely low fertility, and two have an extremely poor chance of conceiving together. If he becomes king, the female Warden would be a very poor choice for a mate because sooner or later, Ferelden will be back where they started. Of course, Inquisition shows that neither Alistair nor a Warden who marries Anora have much success at producing an heir with her either.
    • Invoked by Morrigan, who wants to give birth to a child with an Archdemon's soul and offers it as a way to avoid the inevitable Heroic Sacrifice. If the Warden is male, she'll come to him first, and depending on your Relationship Values, it'll either be out of love, respect on some level, or simply acknowledgement that he's in charge and makes the decisions. If you're female, you'll be the one doing the picking (if any). However, if Morrigan was romanced, she is very happy that you'll be the one to give her a child.
    • Also invoked by Mardy, a casteless woman whom the Dwarf Noble may have a child with. She and the other noble-hunters like Rica are specifically hoping to conceive sons with higher-caste men so that they can be raised out of Dust Town.
  • The Chosen One: Averted, as the Warden in each origin is merely the Right Man in the Wrong Place. Further averted with the Darkspawn Chronicles, which depicts a non-canonical Alternate History where the Warden died during the Joining and Alistair was forced to step up. It didn't end well.
    • Played straight with a Mage Warden who takes time to befriend Wynne, who comes to believe that they could help reform the Circle. Wynne notes that they have a unique worldview, having experienced life as a Circle Mage, a Grey Warden and (technically) an Apostate, allowing them to bring just the right new ideas and practices to the table. After slaying the Archdemon, the Mage Warden can even ask for the Circle's independence as their boon.
    • Ultimately averted, however, after the events of Dragon Age II. It's revealed that the Divine refused to grant the Boon declaring the Ferelden Circle's independence, the Warden mysteriously disappeared, and only seven years later, every single Circle rose up in open rebellion.
  • Clear My Name: All Wardens go through the entire game knowing that Loghain is doing his best to convince the entire country that their order betrayed the king to his death.
    • Subverted, if the Dwarf Noble was framed for the murder of Trian. While the Dwarf Noble has the option to discover evidence that they were framed and can use this to help Harrowmont take the throne, he does not rescind their exile for kinslaying. The only way for the Dwarf Noble to have their name and caste fully restored is to side with Bhelen, who grants you a royal pardon for your "crimes".
    • Subverted for the Human Noble as well, though for different reasons. While you can prove that the Cousland family is innocent of the crime of being Orlesian spies, which Howe used as an excuse to slaughter your family and usurp your lands, it's eventually revealed that almost none of the nobles believed him anyway - so there was really nothing to clear. One of the nobles, Bann Alfstanna, even urges you to call on her for help when you're ready to take back your family's lands.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: An honourable Mage Warden under the tutelage of Wynne. While their remarkable self-confidence is one of their greatest strengths, Wynne reminds them that mages should never indulge in pride because of their abilities, lest it corrupt them.
    • To a lesser extent, Wynne tries to impress this lesson to all Wardens. You are a hero, and heroes have to make hard choices, but as a hero, it's your duty to make the best choices you can. You serve the people, Wynne says, and must put their benefit before yours. Whether you take this lesson to heart or not is entirely up to you.
  • Commanding Coolness:
    • The Warden becomes "Warden-Commander of Ferelden" in Awakening. They also are called the "Commander of the Grey" by some characters.
    • The Dwarf Noble is stated to be a Commander in Orzammar's Army. Sadly, due to Bhelen's machinations, they hold the post less than a day.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • The conclusion of Dragon Age II has Leliana claiming that the Warden and Hawke's disappearances are no coincidence and Cassandra says in Inquisition they thought they were connected after they couldn't find either of them. This is all well and good unless a Warden who romanced Morrigan goes through the Eluvian with her eight years ago at the end of Witch Hunt. So why did Cassandra and Leliana expect (or even bother trying) to find someone who had been missing for almost a decade, and why would they think their disappearances were connected if they'd have been five to eight years apart from each other?
    • During a King Alistair's visit to Kirkwall in Act 3 on a side quest, Teagan will claim, "The Hero of Ferelden should be back in Denerim by now." But at that point, they should be five years missing.
    • Their codex in Inquisition if they survive the Fifth Blight is they served as commander for several years rebuilding the Order in Ferelden before disappearing, even though they pretty much left the Order and Ferelden altogether to be with Morrigan after holding the title for six months.
    • The after-mentioned also applies to a Warden who romances Zevran, as they left to reunite with him in Antiva and join him in his personal war against the Antivan Crows, taking them to places far outside of Ferelden. It is very unlikely the Warden would have had the time or means to be leading an organization in another country.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Some dialogue options, if they're not to be considered snarky, can come across as... loony:
    Chantry Priest: We are all sinners. The fire symbolizes our hope that forgiveness is possible. Thus, we all serve by feeding its flames.
    Warden: So if I sin, I should just set myself on fire?
  • Cool Uncle: Or Cool Aunt.
    • The Human Noble is very clearly seen as this by their nephew, Oren.
    • The Dwarf Noble and Dwarf Commoner respectively. Granted, we never actually see their mutual nephew (the child of Bhelen Aeducan and Rica Brosca); but as one of the legendary Grey Wardens and a Paragon of Orzammar, little Prince Endrin will most likely be hearing the incredible stories about his aunt/uncle for years to come.
  • Court Mage: A potential reward for a Mage Warden after the final battle.
  • The Creon: If you are a Human Noble, your entire family is this. Despite being the most powerful nobility in all of Ferelden beside the King, they have no desire for more power, and are rumored to have turned down the crown.
  • Crime of Self-Defense: The female City Elf faces execution for escaping her violent kidnapping by the spoiled son of the local lord.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Among all the Player Characters, the Warden is the more proclive to this and his/her reputation of The Dreaded is mainly for this reason. The best examples is the Mage Tower's one (Gregoir, the templar in charge here, mentions that the demons and abominations are all dead) and the Carta headquarters' one (this one is even mentioned in the codex from the sequels, saying that the Warden pretty much decimated the entire branch in Orzammar).
  • Cutting Off the Branches: A very minor example but if you do not play as the Dwarf Noble, Endrin's middle child is explicitly referred to as male.
  • Damsel out of Distress: The Female City Elf. After getting captured by Vaughan's guards, who announce their intention to rape and murder her (and not necessarily in that order), her cousin Soris breaks into the room. While they're distracted by his sudden appearance, he quickly slides a sword across the floor to the City Elf, who immediately picks it up and adopts a fighting stance. Cue two very terrified, soon-to-be-dead guards:
    Guard: Oh sod...
  • Dating Catwoman: Downplayed. It's perfectly possible to a heroic, morally good Warden to have a romance with the more amoral companions such as Morrigan or Zevran. While they will usually favor the more pragmatic, ruthless actions and disapprove of altruism, it can be circumvented by giving them gifts and being nice to them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The player character has 100% more snarky lines than in previous BioWare games. It's especially notable if the Warden is given the Violent voice; Suave (for males) and Sultry (for females) are also fairly snarky.
  • Death Seeker: A potential interpretation of the Dwarf Noble and Human Noble Wardens, particularly if these Wardens make the ultimate sacrifice at the end of the game.
  • Defiant to the End: The Warden can be played as this.
    • The Human Noble definitely is this, much to the chagrin of Arl Rendon Howe.
    • The Dwarf Commoner can be played as this in the face of being imprisoned and tortured to death, much to Bad Boss Beraht's annoyance.
    • The Female City Elf, when about to be bound and dragged by armed guards to Lord Vaughan's quarters to be raped and most likely killed afterwards, can be played as this in the face of her kidnappers.
      Guard: Now you heard the captain. Be a good little wench and do as you're told.
      Female Tabris: Go ahead, try it. See which parts you lose first.
  • Determinator: The Warden is forced to become this in order to unite Ferelden and defeat the Blight, even know the odds are impossibly against them at the start of the game in being one of the only Grey Wardens left in Ferelden.
    • Male Wardens who romanced Morrigan held out hope of finding her again for a year, and finally make it after the quest of Witch Hunt.
    • The reason the Warden isn't seen in Dragon Age: Inquisition? They're looking for a way to avoid the Calling. The tone of the letter they send suggests they see the impossibility of this as a mere inconvenience.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: There are a number of powerful horrors that The Warden can take down before, and after slaying the Archdemon and end of the game. Unless you disagree to Morrigan's Dark ritual, then The Warden will be dead. In Origins there are two Optional Boss Fights that take place before the Point of No Return, specifically Flemeth and Gaxkang the Unbound. In Awakening you take down the The Mother, (potentially) The Architect, and (again potentially) The Queen of the Blackmarsh. In Golems of Amgarrak there's the Harvester, and in Witch Hunt there's the Varterral.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • A male Dwarf Noble can be this to a child he conceives with one of the casteless Gold Diggers encountered during his origin story. He does come back later, of course, but his status being what it is, the mother of his child isn't exactly thrilled to see him. Additionally, by the time the Dwarf Noble (of either gender) returns to Orzammar, their father has died without ever seeing them again and may have been poisoned by little brother Bhelen.
    • Male Wardens who perform the Dark Ritual with Morrigan end up becoming this, due to Morrigan leaving with their unborn child after the final battle is over, with the intention of never seeing each other again. This is possibly averted at the end of Witch Hunt, however, since after reuniting with Morrigan, the Warden can elect to reaffirm their relationship and plan to meet their child, passing through the Eluvian to parts unknown.
    • The Dwarf Commoner's father left for the surface when they were young.
    • The Dalish elf's father was killed before they were even born, and their mother wandered away one night to die of grief.
    • The Mage, like most Circle mages, was taken from their parents as a child and possibly has no memory of either of them.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The Warden becomes this to Loghain and Arl Howe, the latter particularly if they're the Human Noble.
    • During "Unrest at the Alienage", when the Warden runs into a bunch of Tevinter slavers and tells them who they are:
      Guard: Oh no! I've heard of you!
    • In Awakening, simply informing a group of kidnappers that you're the Commander of the Grey is enough to reduce one into to a gibbering wreck that he's dealing with the one to slay an Archdemon. Further intimidation causes half of the bandits to run away, and one decides he'd rather jump off a cliff to his death rather than have to face the Warden.
    • In Awakening, many nobles dread the Human Noble Warden's retribution after Howe's treachery against the Cousland Family. Is especially lampshaded in how Lord Eddelbrek is quick in mentioning that he had nothing to do with Howe's actions.
  • The Drifter: For the Grey Wardens, it's practically their raison d'être.
  • The Dutiful Son:
    • The Couslands taught the Human Noble to always do their duty. King Aeducan similarly invokes this almost word-for-word when the Dwarf Noble is proclaimed Orzammar's newest Commander during their Origin.
    • The City Elf can be played this way too, if you choose respectful dialogue options when talking to your father, showing that you've taken his lessons about putting family and the well-being of other elves first.
    • The Dwarf Commoner can be played this way, but since your mom is an ungrateful abusive drunk, it doesn't do much good. If you choose not to be one, she unfavorably compares you to your older sister Rica, asking why you aren't more like her.

  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Dwarves and Dalish Elves can potentially be played this way regarding Ferelden in general, as you have technically no interest in the kingdom's problems and can play it as being only concerned with the darkspawn menace against your own people.
      Loghain: Pray our King is amenable to reason.
      Dalish/Dwarf: The Dalish have no Kings. / He's not my King.
    • It's also possible to pull this off if you play as an unlawful mage: refusing to sell out Jowan, rejecting the Circle's teachings and embracing Morrigan's philosophy of allowing the old magics to prosper. The Knight-Commander is not at all happy to see you again and the Circle pulls itself together again to fight the darkspawn less because they like you and more because the Blight will kill them all if they don't.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: As a warrior, you can gain access to the slightly mystical Templar and reaver specializations, and even more in the expansion. Avernus' blood draughts also give a warrior or rogue upgraded abilities.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: The women who love/lust after the PC are not limited to love interests or even her own race, which is somewhat uncommon in Ferelden nowadays.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: The men who love/lust after the PC are not limited to love interests or even his own race, which is somewhat uncommon in Ferelden nowadays.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Despite having established surnames for every origin, only two of these ever seem to get used: Cousland for the Human Noble and Aeducan for the Dwarf Noble, since both are tied to the main story. The other names - Amell for the Human Mage, Surana for the Elf Mage, Brosca for the Dwarf Commoner, Tabris for the City Elf, and Mahariel for the Dalish Elf - appear only in the character creation screen.
    • However, if you play Dragon Age II and import a save with a Dalish Warden, both Merrill and Marethari talk about Mahariel, since they are from the same clan, and were involved in the events of the Dalish Origin.
    • Similarly, if the Warden in an imported game was a Human Female Mage (an Amell, Hawke's second cousin), Cullen remembers her fondly. If the Inquisitor in the third game is a mage, Cullen may speak to them about Amell as well.
    • In Awakening, Sigrun is amazed to meet the Dwarf Commoner, as apparently Paragon Brosca has become a Folk Hero among the Dusters.
    • Lampshaded in the second game, if Teagan says that "the Hero of Ferelden" is back in Denerim, Alistair mutters, "S/he has a name, you know!"
  • The Exile: The Dwarf Noble is exiled from Orzammar at the end of their origin. Upon their return to Orzammar later in the game, the guards only grudgingly let them return due to their membership in the Wardens. The Human Noble is also effectively this, since returning to Highever would almost certainly be a death sentence while Howe is running the place.
  • Fantastic Racism: Mage and/or Elven Wardens are often on the receiving end of this, as are Dwarven Wardens (though more rarely). The Dalish and Dwarven Wardens can display this, though slightly more prevalent in the former given the rather complicated history between the races of Elves and Man. The City Elf can get in on thus too, being rude to any number of human authority figures. Could be that being a Warden finally gives the Elf license to backtalk the humans who've held them down for ages... or you can get just as belligerent with Duncan when you first meet him.
  • A Father to His Men: The Warden spends almost as much time guiding their followers through their personal demons as they do fighting actual demons.
  • The Fettered: Can be played this way.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Your class options via Warrior, Mage, and Rogue.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: The Dalish Warden can be granted the Hinterlands for their people to settle, as their boon for stopping the Fifth Blight.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: The Warden can be played as doing this with companions. Particularly noticeable with Alistair; if you convince him to take the throne, despite his reticence, he proves to be a great leader.
    • Also noticeable with a romanced Morrigan, where the Warden's dialogue implies that he has been aware of her feelings for a long time, but has patiently waited for Morrigan to notice the penny drop.
    • The Warden says this verbatim when Loghain openly asks why you didn't take him with you to kill the Archdemon, since he assumed this was the Warden's reason for making him go through the Joining.
  • Folk Hero: According to Sigrun in Awakening, the Dwarf Commoner apparently became one amongst the Casteless, being the lowly Duster who defeated Orzammar's finest warriors in a Proving, became a Warden, then was even made into a Paragon.
    • By the second game, the Warden is commonly referred to as "the Hero of Ferelden."
    • One of the epilogues reveals that Bevin, the little boy in Redcliffe, grows into a famous adventurer and often regales his companions with the tale of how the Warden came to Redcliffe, took up his grandfather's sword to fight off an army of undead, then returned it to him.
    • If Lloyd dies in the fight against the undead, Bella inherits his tavern and renames it "The Grey Warden's Rest," though in the years to come, travelers find it hard to believe the "tall tales" of the Warden's exploits recounted there.
    • In Awakening, you meet an individual calling themselves the "Dark Wolf" in Amaranthine. If you did the very quests in Origins, you get to call him out that he's not the real "Dark Wolf," because you are!
  • For Want of a Nail: The Warden surviving the Joining is a pretty crucial nail. If the Warden survives the Joining, the story plays out as normal. If the Warden doesn't survive the Joining, Ferelden loses to the Blight. This is illustrated by the DLC The Darkspawn Chronicles, in which the Warden does not survive the Joining and Alistair has to run the show.
  • Friend to All Children: Depending on the player, the Warden can be this. There are a few opportunities to do things like give money to orphaned children and protect a child from a demon who wants to possess her.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Warden can also be played this way. They have the opportunity to save the lives of several mabari warhounds during the battle at Ostagarnote , and in the Dalish camp they can resolve a life-threatening situation with one of the halla.
  • Friendly Enemy: The Mage Warden can invoke this several times towards Jowan. Despite making it clear that you haven't forgiven him and you're not really friends due to his Blood Magic, several dialogue options refer to him as "Old friend" and letting him go during Redcliffe leads to his successful Heel–Face Turn in the (sadly bugged) quest, "Jowan's Intention".
    • The Dwarf Commoner can similarly express this towards Leske upon their return to Orzammar, after learning that he's sold you out to the Carta and is now The Dragon to Jarvia.
    • Dwarf Nobles who side with Bhelen tend to veer between this and Enemy Mine.
  • Gaydar: The Warden's functions with 100% accuracy, ensuring that they will never hit on a member of the same gender unless such an individual would at least potentially be receptive.
  • The Ghost: What the Hero of Ferelden becomes if they survive the events of the first game.
  • Girly Bruiser: A female Warden who beats the snot out of darkspawn in hulking armor who then turns around and fawns over shoes and hairstyles with Leliana definitely counts.
  • Glory Seeker: A Dwarf Noble can be played as being very invested into personal glory and house glory in the prologue. The Human Noble, likewise, can be played as wanting to go to Ostagar with their father and brother, either because of misgivings about them being able to take care of themselves or finding it unfair that Bryce and Fergus get to ride off and fight for honor and glory beside the King while they're stuck home tending to the castle.
  • The Gloves Come Off: The Mage Warden, due to having lived for most of their life under the restrictions of the Templars. After becoming a Grey Warden, the Mage Warden is free to demonstrate just how truly powerful they really are.
  • Good Bad Girl: Can be played as such. One response to Alistair's "licked a lamppost in winter" query is quite vividly phrased in a manner to declare that she decidedly has, many times.
  • The Good Chancellor: Depending on who ends up on the throne, a particularly honorable Warden can become this to Alistair and/or Anora.
    • In Awakening, the Warden can become this as the new Arl of Amaranthine.
  • Good Is Not Soft: More Heroic Wardens, in particular, seem to excel at delivering Cruel Mercy to people.
    • A good example is Nathaniel Howe in the Awakening expansion. He tried to break into Vigil's Keep in order to kill the Warden. Moreover, if the Warden is the Human Noble, Nathaniel is the son of the man who massacred the Warden's entire family. The Warden can decide that the most fitting punishment of all for him is... to make him become a Grey Warden.
    • Also from Awakening, you are required to pass sentence on a man who stole in order to feed his starving family. The best result comes if you make him join the army.
  • Good Parents: If the male Warden romanced Morrigan and fathered Kieran, then (according to her commentary in Inquisition) he's an absolutely awesome dad.
    Morrigan: Kieran misses him greatly.
  • Guile Hero: You have to play the game to truly understand the freedom it gives you.
  • Handsome Lech: Potentially. A frightening amount of possible interactions with members of the opposite sex (and even a few of the same sex) allows the Warden to hit on them, if not outright sleep with them. Heck, a female Human Noble can even hit on Duncan, though he demurs.
  • Happily Married: Heavily abundant in the Human Noble origin story. Your parents are this, as well as your older brother Fergus and his wife Oriana. Unfortunately, the Origin doesn't end well for most of them.
    • This is the fate of a female Human Noble who romances Alistair and becomes Queen during the Landsmeet. An ending slide shows that the people of Ferelden are utterly charmed by their happy marriage.
    • Surprisingly, Awakening shows that Anora and male Cousland seem to have developed an amicable relationship, and the final epilogue slide states that when he returns to Denerim, even Anora is glad to have him back.
    • While not technically married, the Warden and a romanced Morrigan develop this kind of relationship, complete with the Warden receiving a ring from her, although at first both are quick to ruthlessly deny it. Lampshaded in Witch Hunt, when Ariane comments that the Warden often idly plays with the ring Morrigan gave him when he thinks no one is looking, before asking if her knowledge about couples in Thedas exchanging rings is accurate. By the time of Inquisition, if they reunited at the end of Witch Hunt, they've pretty much given up pretending.
  • The Heart: Can be played this way.
  • Heartbroken Badass: A male Warden who romanced Morrigan or a female Warden who romanced Alistair, if he dumped her or died for her may come across as this in the expansions and epilogue slides. Any of your companions if you romance them and then go die yourself.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Everyone wants the Warden. Seriously. No matter how long you spend beating your character with the Ugly Stick in Character Creation, he or she (especially she, and especially if she's a human) will constantly be referred to as drop-dead gorgeous.
  • The Hero: In the job description for a Grey Warden, and during a Blight that goes double. You'll one-up even the great accomplishments of the other Wardens, ending the Fifth Blight so quickly and so effectively people outside Ferelden doubt there even was a Fifth Blight! The most common epithet the Warden is known by in post-game content is "the Hero of Ferelden."
  • Heroic Seductress: If playing a female Warden, this is possible as the warden has the option to flirt with and seduce a surprising number of NPCs.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Played with. Despite Loghain's claim that the Grey Wardens are responsible for the King's death, the only people who really believe that, and subsequently antagonize you, are either Loghain's men or mercenaries/desperate refugees with their eye on your bounty. There are some people gossiping in various settlements, but their opinion seems to fluctuate from moment to moment.
    • Subverted for the Human Noble. Arl Howe also attempts to tarnish the Human Noble's family name by claiming the Couslands were killed in a failed rebellion to seize the throne for Orlais. However, if the Human Noble Warden speaks to other nobles prior to the Landsmeet, it becomes clear that almost no one actually believes this.
    • Played straight in Awakening if you start off fresh as an Orlesian Grey Warden. Everybody in Ferelden will hold your Orlesian heritage against you. It's understandable, since Ferelden just freed itself from a brutal occupation at the hands of the Orlesians a scant few decades ago, only for an Orlesian to become the new Arl of Amaranthine. Depending on how you play the game, their mistrust can be justified.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The Warden's actions had a very notable impact on Dragon Age II, and they will get brought up directly by Varric and Cassandra, indirectly by Flemeth, and by mention on the loading screen. Depending on your playthrough, they can also be mentioned by Anders, Merrill, Isabela, Bethany, Cullen, Nuncio, Bodahn Feddic, Zevran, Alistair, Leliana, Nathaniel Howe, Sophia Dryden, a letter found in the Wounded Coast, an ex-werewolf, several Codex entries, and Hawke themself. Despite this, the Warden never shows up in that game.
    • In Inquisition, the Warden is occasionally referenced and, if a certain sidequest is done (and the Warden is alive), even writes a letter to Leliana, but never actually shows up in person. They are on a quest to cure the Wardens of their Calling.
  • Hope Bringer: All you have to do is flash the Grey Warden credentials to get most people to listen to whatever you have to say. Of course, it's up to you whether or not you want to fulfill the spirit of this trope.
    • By the time of Dragon Age: Inquisition, it's quite possible for Dagna the Arcanist to describe the Warden in such a way.
      Dagna: It was a dark time. There was one light.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: More or less ends up as this at the end to either Alistair or Anora. They lead the kingdom and deliver the Rousing Speeches, the Warden leads the armies.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Ruthless but well-meaning Wardens will find themselves adopting this as their creed.
  • I Will Find You: At the end of Origins, a male Warden who romanced Morrigan can state his intention to set off in search of her, although this gets interrupted due to the events of Awakening. He finally succeeds in catching up with Morrigan during Witch Hunt.
    • If romanced, it adds an interesting subtext to the fact that one of his first acts as Warden-Commander was to send scouts to watch over the Korcari Wilds for a year. While officially it's because they were hunting down the last darkspawn stragglers on the surface, it's mentioned the scouts were also given Morrigan's description and told to closely watch Flemeth's hut on the off-chance she might return.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Even if you make a Warden that looks like the uglier cousin of The Phantom of the Opera that fell down in a vat of acid and has mismatched hair and eyebrows, everyone you ever meet will find them especially attractive.
  • In-Series Nickname: Nearly everyone refers to the PC as "the Warden." It's a logical enough nickname, but it comes off a little bit strangely given that they aren't the Warden - there are two.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Played straight with the Elf Mage Warden, who has grown up in the Circle raised and tutored by human and elf—though primarily human—mages while being an elf themself.
  • Interspecies Romance: A Dwarf Warden who enters a romance enters this by default since none of the other love interests are dwarves. An Elven Warden also enters this if they romance anyone but Zevran, since Alistair, Morrigan, and Leliana are all human. Or have at least one human parent, since Alistair is elf-blooded. A Human Warden likewise enters this if they romance Zevran.
  • It's All My Fault: Every origin has an event happen for which the Warden can blame themself. During the "Urn of Sacred Ashes", the Warden undergoes the Gauntlet, where they can confront these feelings of guilt or deny having them.
  • It's Personal:
    • The Human Noble vows revenge on Arl Howe for the brutal murder of their entire family.
    • The City Elf can bear a grudge against Arl Howe for leading a long and brutal purge against their alienage. They can even recognize him on first meeting as the one who's been slaughtering their people.
    • The City Elf Warden's Origin can have the Warden cut a bloody swath to and take revenge on Vaughan, for abducting the brides and bridesmaids in their wedding (including the Warden herself if female) to be beaten, raped, and (likely) killed, and then for successfully raping their cousin.
    • The Mage Warden can appear to display this towards Uldred for his atrocities in the Circle Tower.
    • An Aeducan Warden supporting Harrowmont against Bhelen can have this as the primary motivation.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: You can enter any dwelling and help yourself to anything that isn't nailed down, even if you need to pick locks in the process. Unlike pickpocketing, this never antagonizes the inhabitants, with very few exceptions (these being if the person who owns the place is afraid you will find the dead body they're hiding).
    • The Mage origin ends with your senior mage asking you if you took anything from the dungeon you were just in. Tell the truth, and he'll take away a staff you took.
    • Also, getting caught pickpocketing in Denerim will spawn an army (not an exaggeration) of angry guards while you travel from one point of the city to another.
    • There is at least one instance where there actually are consequences for looting, even though it's not pickpocketing. Taking Zathrian's songbook before "The Nature of The Beast" is completed will eventually trigger a random encounter with a very pissed off Dalish archer.
    • If you hesitate to accept Zevran's gift to you during his romance arc, he'll lampshade it, asking why there's a problem with it when you've picked up every other shiny object you've come across in their travels.
    • In Inquisition, Sera will offhandedly comment that "Wardens were an excuse for your stuff to go missing", implying they had a reputation for this trope (and the Red Jennies took advantage of that).
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Can be played like this. A natural fit in particular for an elf - even if you're a Dalish who regards the Grey Wardens and Ferelden as an Enemy Mine situation at best, every human assumes you care about their kingdom.
  • Lady and Knight: Can be on both ends of this.
    • If male and romancing Morrigan, he acts as either a White Knight or a Black Knight to her Dark Lady, vowing to protect her and even killing a dragonnote to save her. And then he spends a year looking for her.
    • If female and romancing Alistair, she's still technically a Knight, but Alistair acts like the White Knight to her Bright Lady. It's particularly pronounced if she's a Cousland or an Aeducan.
  • Lady of War: Again, the female PC.
    • The Female Dwarf Noble is noteworthy as the Origin begins with their being declared Commander of Orzammar's Army, a position that various dialogue shows is very much deserved.
    • The Female Human Noble first gets lightly scolded about this by her mother, who wants her to get married and thinks this might be getting in the way. She later gets this lampshaded, albeit mockingly, by Arl Howe:
      Howe: Well, well. Bryce Cousland's little spitfire. All grown up and still playing the man!
  • Large Ham: The Warden never outright chews the scenery, but there are some dialogue options that teeter on the edge. This is only exacerbated by some of the voice sets (such as Violent) whose lines can range from snarky to completely hammy.
  • Last of His Kind: While there are other Grey Wardens in the world, they and Alistair are the only ones left in Ferelden and thus the only ones close enough to end the Blight in a timely and decisive manner.
    • The Human Noble Warden becomes the last member of House Cousland. At least until their brother is revealed to be alive after the final battle, and may become it himself if his sibling performs the Ultimate Sacrifice.
    • The Dwarf Noble becomes the last Aeducan (aside from distant cousins and Bhelen's son by Rica Brosca) if they put Harrowmont on the throne, as Bhelen will attack and be killed by his sibling.
    • The Dalish Warden will become the last survivor of the Sabrae clan if they survive the events of Origins, and later in Dragon Age II, Hawke is both unable to talk the clan down and has to slaughter them all in self-defense and later kills Merrill (Hawke's companion and the only other survivor).
  • The Leader: Can run the entire gambit.
  • Like a God to Me:
    • Some of the bits of party banter show that with high enough approval rating, the other party members feel this way about the Warden. Zevran calls them "an object worthy of worship."
    • In Awakening, if Alistair is king and married to the human female noble, he fondly notes that "I married an indestructible goddess."
  • Like Brother and Sister:
    • The female mage PC and Jowan. He even mentions that he considers her his sister.
    • The relationship between any Warden and a non-romanced companion of the opposite sex can be played out this way.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: The Human Noble and Dwarf Noble are heavily implied to greatly take after their fathers. The City Elf is said to be very similar to their mother.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Various epilogues and the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC show that the group falls apart after the death of the Warden. They drift apart rather quickly even if the Warden survives to the end, but it's just because they each have things they want to do.
  • Living Legend: The Warden becomes one during Origins, and the extent of their fame can be seen as part of the landscape of Dragon Age II and Inquisition.
  • Love Hurts: Oh, does it ever.
    • If a female Warden romances Alistair, he will most likely dump her if he's made king. Whether he does or not, she then has to convince him to sleep with a woman he hates to conceive a child so they both can live; if she doesn't, one of them faces certain death. If she brings him with her to kill the Archdemon, he takes the choice out of her hands. And, as of Dragon Age: Inquisition, if Alistair is a Grey Warden, he may also die while she's off searching for a cure so they can be together.
    • A male Warden who romances Morrigan has to deal with knowing she was planning on just using him to rebirth an old god. Literally the day after they conceive the baby, she leaves and he has to spend a year not knowing what happened to her or their child. And again, thanks to Dragon Age: Inquisition, she may end up being eternally bound to Flemeth.
  • Loved I Not Honour More: Wynne lampshades this, reminding the Warden that they will have to put their duty as a Grey Warden ahead of their romance when it comes to saving the world.
    • If the female Warden is in a romance with Alistair, even Morrigan brings this up in party banter, pointing out to Alistair that "fraternization" between two Grey Wardens could be problematic if they ever have to choose between saving Ferelden or saving each other.
    • By Awakening, even if the Warden previously decided to travel with their chosen love interest at the end of Origins, they are back in the fray serving as Warden-Commander of Ferelden only six months later. Yes, even if she is the Queen!
    • Potentially subverted in Witch Hunt, where if romanced, the Warden can decide to leave with Morrigan and enter the Eluvian to meet their child. Of course, one could argue that since it's been a year since the end of the Blight and Ferelden is at peace, there is simply no need for the Warden anymore.
      • Another interpretation is that as a Warden, he is duty-bound to watch over the child and the Old God soul it carries. In this, he is taking full responsibility for having performed the Dark Ritual to save his own life and knows full well that if it shows signs of being malevolent, he may potentially have to slay his own child... not to mention the Old God inside of it again.
    • Also subverted if Zevran is romanced. The Warden pretty much runs off to Antiva to reunite with him not long after defeating The Mother and joins him in his effort to dismantle the Antivan Crows.
    • Further subverted if they're the queen, prince-consort or chancellor of Ferelden as they'll permanently return to court to resume their duties after Awakening.
  • Magic Knight: Mage Wardens can become Arcane Warriors.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A female Warden can come off as this if the player tends towards the more snarky and quirky dialogue choices and goes out of their way to do things like break Zevran and/or Alistair out of their shells.
  • Manipulative Bastard: You can be an utter douche, kicking dogs, desecrating holy artifacts and supporting crazy dwarves while still having all your most noble companions falling in love with your every word. Just make sure you have a good (and sometimes really good) coercion rank, a lot of gifts, and careful consideration of who you bring along with you and when.
  • Magnetic Hero: You can also be this.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The human mage Warden is one of five siblings. The other four are also mages and were sent to different Circles.
  • Meaningful Name: Quite a lot of the Warden's default names and they can be remarkably appropriate.
    • The Dwarf Noble's last name is Aeducan, deriving from the dwarven word Aeduc. While the precise translation hasn't been revealed, clues hint that it likely means either "Shield" or "Stone". Further, the male Dwarf Noble's default name is Duran, a Norman name which means "Enduring" - thus, the character's default name means "Enduring Shield" or "Enduring Stone," either of which is entirely appropriate for his position in society. The female's instead is Sereda, a variant of Zereda, a Hebrew name meaning "Fortress"; so her default name means either "Fortress Shield" or "Fortress Stone."
    • The default name for the male Dalish Warden is Theron, which means "Hunter". The surname is Mahariel, which some name definition sites indicate means "Swift;" if so, then Theron Mahariel means "Swift Hunter". The female Dalish Warden's name, Lyna, instead means "Tender", so she is "Tender Hunter".
    • The Male City Elf's default name is Darrian, a variant of the Persian name Dariush, meaning "Rich and Kingly" - quite fitting for a character who eventually becomes the overall leader of the Grey Wardens. The female's is Kallian, a variant of an Irish name meaning "slender and fair".
    • The Human Noble's last name is Cousland, which is derived from the Gaelic form of absolom, meaning "Peace." The Couslands have been the Big Good of Ferelden since before Ferelden actually existed. The female default name is Elissa, meaning "Oath," so her default name is "Oath of Peace"; alternately, Elissa can also mean "Wanderer", thus making her "Wanderer of Peace". Whether the name suits her is up to the player, of course. In a slightly darker sense, the default male name is Aedan, a variant of an Irish name meaning "born of fire", making his full name essentially "Born of Fire, Peace".
    • The default name of the male Human Mage is Daylen, an English name meaning "to divide, share"; the female's, Solona, instead is a Greek name meaning "Wisdom". The surname Amell may mean "Power of an Eagle", which is very fitting considering that they're not-too-distantly related to the Hawke family.
    • The default name for the male Elf Mage is Alim, meaning "learned", "expert", or "scholar" in Arabic, befitting the quality education mages receive and the general badassery of Wardens. The female's, Neria, means "Lamp of God" in Hebrew; this fitting since many characters mention in this game and later ones that the Warden was a light in the darkness.
    • The Male Dwarf Commoner's name, Faren, is a French name and variant of Ferrant, meaning "Iron-Grey", which leads to a dwarf essentially named "Grey" joins the Grey Wardens; the female's name, Natia, is a Georgian name meaning "Light, Bright".
  • The Mistress: One outcome of Alistair's romance - the non-Human Noble Warden can become this for him if he's hardened and king. (The Human Noble can, too, but she also has the option to marry him and become queen.)
  • Mistaken for Gay: Possibly for a female Warden. Gossips in Witch Hunt seem to think that the female Warden is gay/bisexual and something happened between her and Isabela, even if no such encounter took place and the Warden was played as completely straight or asexual.
  • Modest Royalty: The Dwarf Noble can be played like an amiable person who doesn't look down on people below them, and who only plays along with the dwarven caste system and all its restrictions because dwarven society expects it of them. Younger brother Bhelen is this way as well, having a surprising lack of disdain for the casteless. Older brother Trian, on the other hand...
    • The Cousland family counts as well, as seen with the Human Noble. While they are the most powerful and respected noble family under the actual royal family, they still frequently talk to each other and allies informally. The Human Noble often has the option to ask other Nobles to just use their given name in lieu of a title when they recognize you as being a Cousland.
  • Morality Chain: Jowan is implied to be this to a Mage Warden who acts like a remorseless jerkass to everyone (including him) but still willingly risks their life to free him. Notably, you can tell First Enchanter Irving and Knight-Commander Greagoir afterwards that you'd do it again even knowing Jowan's deception and abandonment, and later you have the chance to save Jowan in Redcliffe.
    • Rica can easily be played this way for a Dwarf Commoner Warden. The Dwarf Commoner Origin gives plenty of opportunities to "rub everyone's noses in how you're the meanest thing with a blade," yet show unconditional love to your older sister. If you're a complete bastard to everyone else but make it clear you're only obeying Beraht, joining the Wardens, and/or supporting Bhelen for her, Rica can easily come across as the only reason the Dwarf Commoner hasn't descended into complete self-serving thuggery.
  • Morality Pet: The Warden can be this for the more morally-dubious characters (like Morrigan and Zevran) should he or she befriend or romance them.
  • Mr. Exposition: In Witch Hunt, the Warden has several dialogue options that allude to their previous visits to various locations and allow them to explain important plot elements. Justified as Finn and Ariane weren't around to witness any of these things, while Dog, who was there for most or all of them, naturally isn't able to speak of them.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: The Dalish Warden, whose father is mentioned as having been the Keeper of the Sabrae Clan before Marethari.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Surana alone doesn't have a clearly defined past of all the Wardens (Amell didn't either, until their past was retconned in DA2), since they were brought to the Circle young. Surana can tell Eadric in the Circle library that they're from Highever, Denerim, Lothering, or else that they don't remember, but otherwise it's left to the player's imagination.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: The Joining allows all Grey Wardens to sense Darkspawn.
    Warden: Warden-senses tingling.
    • If the Warden has the Templar specialisation, a conversation with Ser Otto reveals the Warden also has the ability to sense demons.
  • Mythology Gag: In Awakening, you are now called Warden-Commander - similar to what they call that other guy from that other Bioware game. It also sounds similar to the Knight-Commander of Crossroad Keep.

  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: Except for the Dalish Elf, each Warden initially suffers this as a result of their respective Origin. The Human Noble's home was seized by Arl Howe, the Dwarf Noble was exiled from Orzammar, the City Elf and the Dwarf Commoner were wanted criminals in Denerim and Orzammar respectively, and Templars are not particularly thrilled to see the Mage Warden again.
    • Played for Laughs in Witch Hunt; while Finn recognises the Mage Warden immediately, he still launches into his lecture that just because they left the Circle to join the Wardens, defeated the Archdemon and saved the country, it doesn't give them the right to mishandle books in the Circle Library!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Depending on your options, this can definitely occur more than once.
  • Noble Fugitive: If of the Human Noble or the Dwarf Noble origin.
  • Noble Savage: Invoked about a heroic Dalish Warden by Leliana, who admits to being glad the stories of Dalish being savages aren't true and expresses her admiration of their people's closeness to the land. You can respond by pointing out the rather racist undertones to this, causing her to apologise for her rather sheltered worldview.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: The Dwarf Commoner can be this in their origin as a high-ranking member of the Carta, with sufficient persuasion. The Commoner can politely negotiate for a bribe and let an embezzling smuggler escape to the surface; then, when Beraht confronts them about people witnessing the smuggler leaving the tavern alone after an exchange, they persuade him that they shook the guy down, handing over a single piece of lyrium as proof, then allowed him to leave Tapster's in view of the public so that when they pushed him into the lava out of view, no one would know.
  • Not So Stoic: The Warden, who generally is given no expression in cutscenes, looks absolutely horrified after Duncan stabs Ser Jory, and will be visibly surprised at seeing Wynne collapse. In both cases, however, facial expressions are largely limited to the mouth, which can come off as Dull Surprise for the player.
    • A Human Noble Warden looks completely heartbroken upon finding the dead bodies of their sister-in-law and nephew during the origin story, and any Warden looks genuinely distraught when the party finds Cailan's body in the Return to Ostagar DLC. Both of these are done much more believably than the above examples.
  • Occult Detective: While the darkspawn are their primary concern, the Wardens do train themselves to be able to deal with any threat.
  • Odd Friendship: With everyone in the party, aside from your fellow Warden and your dog. When your closest friends include a Qunari Warrior, a Stone Golem, the daughter of Flemeth, a member of the Antivan Crows, an elderly Mage kept alive by a Fade Spirit, a Femme Fatale Spy who had a Heel–Faith Turn, a constantly drunk Dwarf, and potentially the Fallen Hero who left your King to die and blamed your fallen comrades for it, it's worth considering the possibility that you are the odd person in this friendship. The Warden can lampshade it when recruiting the dwarf:
    Warden: Don't I have enough armed lunatics following me around already?
  • Old Hero, New Pals: Imported Wardens in Awakening trade in one Ragtag Bunch of Misfits for another, with Oghren only staying due to his lack of screentime in the main game. It happens again in Witch Hunt as well, with just the Dog still around from the original group.
  • One Degree of Separation: The Warden to the other "potential" Wardens from the other Origins.
    • A good example can be found in the Dwarf Noble origin, where the first person encountered is Bhelen's secret concubine, Rica Brosca, the sister of the Dwarf Commoner. It's similarly implied that the Dwarf Commoner origin takes place a few days beforehand, with the Proving they won being voided after they were unmasked as a Casteless, leading to another being arranged in which the Dwarf Noble has the option to compete.
    • Additionally, every Warden has one degree of separation from every other "potential" Warden in the form of Dog. Canonically, Dog is/was the loyal companion of the Human Noble; however, in the other five origins, Dog imprints on the Warden in question after the Human Noble died during/after the trek to Ostagar with big brother Fergus. This is implied by the kennel master, who observes that Dog formerly belonged to a young noble who died.
  • Only Sane Employee: Given that the only other Warden in Ferelden is Alistair, the Warden frequently comes across as this. Or not, if you play your Warden just as snarky as Alistair.
  • One-Man Army: The tales of the First Blight say that every Grey Warden is able to fight ten or twenty darkspawn at once. The Warden is The Dreaded because of this. Duncan states, if you ask about the danger of the Joining, that he wouldn't have recruited you unless he thought you could handle it, implying good Warden recruiters look specifically for people who have the rare fortitude that affords them a chance at surviving the ritual. While this doesn't directly translate into combat prowess, it certainly would help. All the potential Wardens were superlative badasses before they were recruited.
  • Only Sane Man: Dialogue choices can have the PC repeatedly be the voice of reason amidst selfish political infighting and other craziness happening during a Blight.
  • The Paragon: The Warden can be played as one.
    • The Dwarf Noble or Dwarf Commoner Warden will be literally declared one by the Orzammar Assembly, becoming a "Living Ancestor."
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: The reaction of many in Orzammar when the Dwarf Noble gets exiled for committing fratricide. Played straight if they actually did kill Trian, but subverted if they were merely framed for the crime.
  • Parental Abandonment: With only a few exceptions, really bad things tend to happen to the Warden's parents in every origin, if they were even present at all:
    • The Human Noble origin is the only one that starts out with both of the player character's parents alive and well; they are both likable, genuinely good people who clearly love their children and each other very much. Naturally, they both end up being brutally murdered by Arl Howe's forces.
    • In either Mage origin, this is played completely straight, but is also well explained and justified. When a person is found to have magical ability, which they usually display at a very young age, then by law they must be shipped off to the Tower of Magi for the rest of their life; those of noble birth also automatically lose all rights to their parents' lands and titles. Very few mages will ever see or have any contact with their families again, and the player character is no exception. Some of the Mage Warden's dialogue can imply that Irving and/or Wynne have served as Parental Substitutes.
    • The Dwarf Commoner's mother is an angsty, abusive and emotionally distant alcoholic. The player's father is never seen, but it is implied that he simply abandoned the family and left for the surface when the player character and their sister were very young.
    • The Dwarf Noble's father plays a central role in the plot during the origin story, but after that he is never seen again, because when the player returns to Orzammar later on, they learn that he has already passed away. The player's mother is briefly mentioned in the past tense in a single line of dialogue with Lady Helmi, implying that she is dead - later confirmed when the subject comes up in a conversation with Morrigan; a Dwarf Noble player has the unique option of simply telling her that their mother died a long time ago.
    • The City Elf’s mother was murdered by humans some time prior to the beginning of the story. Their father is still alive and well, and actually doesn't end up dying, but after the prologue he isn't seen again until very near the end of the story, because the Alienage is closed off and inaccessible for most of the game. If the player chooses to abandon Shianni to be raped by Vaughn in the prologue, he will completely disown the PC and refuse to speak to them ever again.
    • The Dalish Elf's father was killed before they were born and their heartbroken mother disappeared sometime when they were small, leaving Ashalle as a Parental Substitute.
  • Parental Favoritism: Actually on the receiving end if playing the Dwarf Noble Origin. In this case, it turns out the PC is actually favored child of the king, which leads to its Cain and Abel plotline.
    • The Human Noble is also implied to be Bryce Cousland's favorite child; but unlike the Dwarf Noble's brothers, big brother Fergus doesn't seem to be remotely distressed by this fact.
    • The Dwarf Commoner's mother Kalah is implied to favor their older sister Rica. As she's a drunken abuser who beat you two as children, still verbally abuses you now, and spends all her time drinking under the table while your sister noble hunts and you crack skulls for a smuggler to make ends meet, the DC isn't too bothered.
  • Physical God: A dwarf Warden will always be unanimously proclaimed a Paragon at the end, essentially becoming the a living Ancestor - the closest thing dwarves have to gods.
  • Pragmatic Hero: The Warden can be played as such.
    • A good example of this is the "Trial of Crows" questline. While the Warden still has a price on their head and the Antivan Crows never abandon a contract, by agreeing to carry out assassinations on disreputable individuals for them, they will have earned enough favour that if the Guildmaster after them calls for aid in performing the hit, the other cells will be less inclined to agree.
    • In Awakening, if the Warden decides to ally with the Architect, a difficult speech check allows them to justify their decision as being this, depending on whether any of the companions present objected. The epilogue reveals that while many of the other senior Grey Wardens also question this decision, they do notice the mysterious drop in darkspawn activity all across the Deep Roads as a result.
  • Princess in Rags: The female Dwarf Noble and Human Noble origin. The Dwarf Noble is the exiled daughter of the King; the Human Noble's family is slaughtered and their lands and titles usurped.
  • Protagonist Without a Past: Inverted. Every origin has a clearly-defined past, complete with friends and relatives that have their own part in the story.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Dalish Elf and Dwarf Noble are given plenty of options to act like this.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Dwarf Commoner, having been forced to work for the crime lord Beraht.
  • The Quest: The Warden's quest is to end the Blight by destroying the Archdemon, and to unite Ferelden using the Grey Warden treaties so that there's an army to do it with. Along the way the player can complete this quest in whatever way, and with whatever kinds of companions, they choose.
  • Rags to Riches: A City Elf can become the Denerim Alienage's first-ever bann; a Dwarf Commoner will be named Paragon and their family will live in Orzammar's Royal Palace if Bhelen is king; and any origin can succeed Loghain as Teyrn of Gwaren. In the Human and Dwarf Noble's cases, it's riches to rags and back again. For the Human Noble, it's especially so you become queen by marrying Alistair or prince-consort by marrying Anora.
  • Refusal of the Second Call: Even if they survive, the Warden is never seen again after Dragon Age: Origins, despite the fact that the plot of Inquisition seems right up their alley. The Inquisitor can send them a letter asking for help, but they will reply that they are busy on their own unrelated mission.
  • Retired Badass:
    • Between Origins and Awakening, though it's only a Six Month Retirement.
    • In Witch Hunt, since Ferelden is at peace, Amaranthine is prospering and the Blight is over, a male Warden who romanced Morrigan can decide that he is no longer needed. He can then choose to depart through the Eluvian with Morrigan to see their child.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The Human Noble may invoke this numerous times when discussing Arl Howe.
  • Riches to Rags: The Human Noble and Dwarf Noble are former royalty/nobility who lost most of their family members and became exiled. The Human Mage (and, as revealed in the sequel, their siblings) is also revealed to be this in the sequel, as their magic caused the prominent Amell family to lose political favour in Kirkwall.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: All possible Wardens begin as well-trained but (mostly) unimportant figures, and rise to their station through skill and pure luck.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue:
    • The male City Elf Origin has your character going on one of these in order to rescue his betrothed and the other women taken. There's plenty of vengeance to be had against Vaughan and his men as well for killing Nola and raping Shianni, and in the case of the female City Elf.
    • The mission to rescue Anora is a big one of these for the Human Noble or City Elf, in no small part due to the main bad guy of the mission being none other than Arl Rendon Howe, the bastard responsible for massacring the Couslands in the Human Noble origin, and leading a violent purge against the alienage for the City Elf.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Becomes the leader of the Grey Wardens of Ferelden one day after joining. Granted, it's just because the only other surviving Warden doesn't want the responsibility of leading, but still.
  • Royal Brat: A Dwarf Noble can be this in spades. A Human Noble can be implied to be this too, but has fewer opportunities to show it.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • As a scion of House Cousland, second-highest in precedence among the noble houses of Ferelden, the Human Noble is just one step under being a prince(ss) (and can actually become royalty by marrying Alistair or Anora). The Dwarf Noble is royalty, the second child of King Endrin Aeducan of Orzammar and the exiled former-Commander of Orzammar's Army.
    • The Human Mage is also part of the Amell nobility of Kirkwall, but is unaware of this because mages are legally forbidden to hold titles.
    • Wardens imported into Awakening automatically become this, being declared Arl/Arlessa of Amaranthine as part of their role as Warden-Commander.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character:
    • Generally averted. No matter which of the origin stories you choose to play, you'll come across hints in the main storyline that the others played out, with only the fact that Duncan happened to be around during your chosen origin story determining which of the potential player characters became the protagonist. Probably the most obvious example of this is the existence of Dog - unless you are playing the Human Noble origin, the kennel master in Ostagar will say that Dog used to belong to a young noble who died.
    • The one time this is played straight is in the Magi origin. If the Warden is human, there is no indication that an elven mage from the Surana family is present, and if the Warden is an elf, there is no indication that a human mage from the Amell family is present.
  • Seen It All: In Awakening, when Anders and Nathaniel bring up the strangeness factor of getting into fights with dragons, demons and darkspawn on a semi-regular basis, the Warden's dialogue seems to suggest that they really have stopped being fazed by it at this point:
    Warden: Stick around, this happens all the time!
  • Sex God: Morrigan compliments the Warden for being such a... virile lover. Apparently it's a trait all Grey Wardens share, as she also mentions people telling stories about their "legendary stamina".
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The Human Noble's defiant response during their final confrontation with Arl Howe.
    Human Noble: You lie, Howe. To yourself most of all. I am a Grey Warden!
    Howe: There it is, right there. That damned look in the eye that marked every Cousland success that held me back! It seems you have made something of yourself after all. Your father would be proud. I, on the other hand, want you dead more than ever.
    • A City Elf Warden can calmly shut down his taunting over how he sees elves as animals by calling him a talking ass.
  • Silent Protagonist: Inconsistently played straight; you can select your PC's voice from a short list, and sometimes hear comments in battle and exploration. But in any cutscene where the player has dialogue choices, the lines go unvoiced.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Often can be seen as both this and Trickster Mentor in regards to Alistair, keeping him from falling apart after the loss of Duncan and the Wardens at Ostagar, as well as if they put him forward as King during the Landsmeet.
  • Spare to the Throne: The Human Noble in their origin. While Bryce doesn't come out in say it, the reason he leaves the Human Noble in charge of Castle Cousland is to leave an heir behind if the worst happens at the Battle of Ostagar. Both Bryce and older brother Fergus plan to fight in the battle. This would also explain why Bryce is reluctant to have his younger child join the Wardens before Ostagar, but is willing to entertain the notion after he comes home.
  • The Squadette: The female PC. Alistair even lampshades it by wondering why there never were very many female Grey Wardens.
    • The Warden herself lampshades this too at one point, when Daveth and Jory are fretting over the Joining.
      Female Warden: I swear, I'm the bravest one here and I'm a woman.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Rare heroic example; a male Warden who romances Morrigan can spend the next year searching for her.
  • The Stoic: Due to the lack of any facial animation, you will come off as this whenever the camera switches to you in conversation.
  • Super Powerful Genetics: The Human Mage Warden is revealed in Dragon Age II to have several siblings who were all mages, much to the heartbreak of their mother Revka, who was forced to watch all of her children get taken away by the Circle, one after another. The Amell family is so prone to creating mages that it's become considered something of a stain on their lineage and has frequently jeopardised their noble standing in Kirkwall.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: A male Warden can lapse into this frequently in Witch Hunt when Ariane asks about their relationship with Morrigan. Particularly interesting is the conversation when she asks if the Warden realises he unconsciously plays with the ring he was given by Morrigan, when he thinks no one is looking. Ariane proceeds to ask if her knowledge of the significance of two people sharing rings in human culture is accurate.
    Warden: We're not married, if that's what you're asking.
  • Teacher's Pet: As Irving's star pupil, the Mage Warden is mockingly accused of being this by Uldred.
  • Token Minority: Among the Fereldan nobility in Awakening if you play as an Elf, Dwarf, or Mage that becomes Arl/essa of Amaranthine.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Morrigan's ring for male Wardens, though she's not dead and you can throw it away if you like.
    • The Cousland family sword and shield can be this for a Human Noble.
    • Similarly, Gorim will present a Dwarf Noble with their ancestral family shield, which can be this.
    • A female City Elf can loot her wedding ring from her betrothed's corpse, and keep it as this if she chooses.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • Implied to be the case when the Human Noble Warden finally faces off with Arl Howe.
    • Also for a City Elf who finally meets Rendon Howe after Eamon calls the Landsmeet, calmly identifying him as the one who's been butchering their kin. Especially in the face of his racist taunting.
      Howe: When animals snap at their human masters, it is necessary to cull the herd.
      City Elf Warden: Oh look, the Teyrn has a talking ass. / I'm going to enjoy killing you.
  • Troll: Just like that other Bioware fantasy protagonist, the Warden gets some troll-ish dialogue of the nasty variety.
    Warden: Sounds like a deal. The treasure for your freedom.
    Treasure Hunter: Thank you! My life is worth more than this. Take the blasted thing!
    Warden: And now you die anyway. [pushes him into a lava pit]
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card:
    • If you are playing as the Human Noble, your full titles and styles could be, if you play your cards right:
      "His/Her Royal Majesty, King/Queen ______ Cousland/Theirin, King/Queen-Consort of Ferelden, Teryn/a of Gwaren, Arl/essa of Amaranthine, Arl/essa of Denerim, Warden-Commander of the Order of the Grey Wardens, Hero/ine of Ferelden."
    • You're also first in line to the Teyrnir of Highever. Though, as the heir presumptive of your elder brother, you may be pushed down by his issue if he remarries.
  • The Unchosen One: Went from random idiot who survived because Duncan and Flemeth happened to be around at the right times to Hero of Ferelden in about a year. If you complain that you don't have a choice in the matter, Morrigan and Wynne will be quick to point out that you could just sit on your ass and do nothing to stop the Blight - ultimately, you do choose.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Human Noble is from a family of ardent royalists, with Bryce Cousland being rumored to have turned down the throne when it was offered to him, in favor of the true heir to the throne. Their loyalty is such that the only time we ever see Bryce even get remotely angry is when Arl Howe insults their King. Historically, they've only ever turned on tyrants, but fought to the death to defend their true king and/or homeland.
  • Unequal Pairing: The Dwarf and Human Noble Origin can have you use your status to seduce people of much lower rank.
    • The Male Dwarf Noble can sleep with one or two "noble hunters" (casteless women who're so poor and desperate that they sleep with male nobles hoping to bear a son who inherits his caste so she can move up a caste), and then promptly abandon them.
    • The Human Noble can sleep with the son or handmaiden of a visiting noble. Iona the elven handmaiden is especially noticable because if you ask her if she resents how humans treat elves, she becomes very distressed and begs you not to ask further, since she can't lie to you but doesn't want to say anything that could get her in trouble.
  • The Unfettered:
    • The Grey Wardens encourage their members to be this, and you can choose to fully embrace this mantra.
    • One of the possible default histories for the Warden in Dragon Age II is appropriately titled "Ruthless".
  • Unscrupulous Hero: The Warden can fall into this, particularly if you're attempting for 100% completion. Doing every sidequest will mean having to engage in murder, blackmail, assassinations, coverups, bribery and petty larceny. On the other hand, most of the people to whom you do all those things had it coming.
  • The Unwanted Harem: Saying nice things to your party members can be enough to convince them that they are becoming your Love Interest. This can lead to awkwardness when one of the Betty and Veronica pair forces you to choose between them; sometimes, being forced into making that choice is the first time you'll even be aware of the situation.
  • Vague Age: None of six possible Origins give an age for the Warden, but all of them seem to agree that they are a young adult at the start of the game.
  • Villain Protagonist: The player can make the Warden into this, committing laughably evil acts and having materialistic motives for doing anything resembling a good deed. This is also an option for one of the optional backstories (for those without a prior save) in Dragon Age II in the form of Aeducan, the Dwarf Noble, who was utterly ruthless, exiled Alistair, and sent Loghain to his death against the Archdemon.
  • Walking the Earth:
    • The Grey Wardens go where they are most needed.
    • The Dalish Warden is from a culture that is forced to live a nomadic existence.
  • Warrior Prince: Or Princess; this applies to the Human and Dwarf Nobles. The Dwarf Noble is the daughter of the dwarven king, and thus rightfully a princess; the Human Noble's father rules what the codex states is actually a principality within Ferelden, though the Couslands don't refer to themselves by princely titles. And a female Warden from any background ends the game by becoming Warden-Commander of Ferelden, which also makes her Arlessa of Amaranthine.
  • Warrior Therapist: If you want your party at maximum effectiveness, the Warden will exemplify this trope.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Duncan recruits the Dwarf Commoner and City Elf Warden for precisely this reason.
    • According to the Dwarf Noble Origin, the potential Dwarf Commoner got the entire Warrior Caste into an uproar, wondering how a Casteless, with only second hand weapons available with which to train, could have ever learned to fight like that?!
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Particularly ruthless Wardens tend to exemplify this, seeking to end the Blight at any cost. Even a heroic Warden will fall into this in Awakening, if choosing to ally with the Architect at the end.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: Inverted in Awakening if you are Queen/Prince-Consort. You're walking up to any old commoner in Amaranthine like you normally did before the Player Character was royalty.
  • White Sheep: Between Trian, Bhelen and possibly Endrin, the Dwarf Noble can be played as the one good apple in the Aeducan bunch.
  • Widowed at the Wedding: The female City Elf's wedding is interrupted when she is kidnapped at the alter, and her betrothed dies in the rescue effort.
  • The Wise Prince: The Human and Dwarf Noble can be played as this.
    • Certain dialogue implies that this was one of the reasons why the Dwarf Noble was preferred by the Assembly to become the next ruler of Orzammar, instead of their elder brother Trian. In order to seize the throne for himself, Bhelen had to remove them both from the equation, since he knew he'd never win in a popularity contest.
    • It's also mentioned by an NPC during the Human Noble origin story that, although big brother Fergus is technically next in line to be Teyrn of Highever, many of the people would be pleased to see the PC in that role because of their popularity, intellect, and battle skill. This same NPC notes that many of the nobles wanted the PC's father, Bryce Cousland, to be named king - suggesting that it may well be In the Blood. Said NPC is an Optional Sexual Encounter, though, so their flattering words should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • World's Best Warrior: The Warden is legendary by the time of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Even as early as Awakening, several distressed characters immediately feel that their horribly bleak situations are going to be okay simply because the Warden has shown up. Because of this exalted reputation, s/he was Divine Justinia's first choice to lead the Inquisition. By that point, however, the Warden has disappeared to whereabouts unknown to try and achieve something most believe to be impossible (curing the inevitable corruption every Grey Warden will eventually endure). Every person who knows him/her shows absolutely no doubt that they will find a way to succeed at this seemingly insurmountable task.
  • You Can't Go Home Again:
    • All of the other origins will return to their home areas (Denerim, the Brecilian Forest, the Circle tower, or Orzammar) at least once during the game, but the Human Noble never returns to Castle Cousland once the origin story is completed.
    • Warden enrollment is a lifelong deal. Mages get this by default from their respective homes even before becoming Wardens. Several Wardens just don't have any home to go back to at all.
    • Mage Wardens are somewhat of a subversion, as the Witch Hunt expansion shows the Circle Tower rebuilt; the Warden may not be able to come back to live in the Tower, as they have the duty to rule Amaranthine, but they can visit anytime they want... That is, until it's abandoned shortly after their protégé Anders kickstarts the Mage Rebellion
    • Dalish Wardens can potentially have the option to go back completely nuked if their clan attacks Hawke in Dragon Age II.