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Also, it's 'THE Iron Bull.' I like having an article at the front. It makes it sound like I'm not even a person, just a mindless weapon, an implement of destruction... That really works for me.


The Iron Bull is a one-eyed Qunari mercenary, companion and a pansexual[2] romance option for the Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Background

Before he became known as the Iron Bull, he worked as an agent of the Ben-Hassrath on the Qunari-held island of Seheron. According to him, the island was "a sack of cats". Incursions from Tevinter, marauding Tal-Vashoth, and native rebels fighting both sides made life chaotic. He took down plenty of spies, rebels and deserters, but burned out by 9:40 Dragon. The Ben-Hassrath reassigned him to Orlais, ostensibly as a Tal-Vashoth, to work undercover, where he founded the Bull's Chargers mercenary company. Bull uses his mercenaries to gather information on Orlesian nobles, feeding the intelligence to the Ben-Hassrath.[3] Though he still reports to his old masters, time in Orlais led to something of an identity crisis for him.[4]

He remains in command of the Bull's Chargers, though spends much of his time drinking, lazing about and overindulging - all clear violations of the Qun. Despite his unusually friendly demeanor and lax attitude to his philosophy, Iron Bull still has a loyalty to the Qun which dies hard. He doesn't proselytize, but neither does he apologize for his way of life.[3]

Involvement

Dragon Age: Inquisition


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.


Iron Bull tarot

Iron Bull tarot card

Just as The Iron Bull and his troops emerge victorious from a skirmish with the Venatori, The Breach occurs. Spotting the disturbance, Bull sets off to investigate.[5]

The Iron Bull can be recruited upon speaking to a member of his mercenary group who tells the Inquisitor that The Iron Bull is interested in being hired on to the Inquisition. Should the Inquisitor choose to meet up with The Chargers, they will find them at the Storm Coast in Ferelden. It is here where The Iron Bull will admit to working with the Ben-Hassrath, and he will explain that he will be relaying information about the Breach and Inquisition to them at certain points. However he will also relay information to the Inquisitor as well.

Like most of the companions it is only optional to hire The Iron Bull (and the Chargers) on at this point. Should the Inquisitor decide to hire him on, he can be found outside of Haven by the stables, and later in the main courtyard in Skyhold near Cassandra, before he eventually winds up in the tavern.

Bull later informs the Inquisitor that the Ben-Hassrath recognize the threat Corypheus and his Venatori pose and willing to offer an alliance. To that end, they set up a joint effort to attack a Venatori red lyrium smuggling operation on the Storm Coast. Upon arrival, the party meets with Bull's contact, Gatt, a former elven slave whom Bull recruited on Seheron, who details the plan for a Qunari dreadnaught to ambush the smuggling vessel before it reaches open waters. In the meantime, the Inquisitor, Bull and the Chargers would separately takes two hills where the Venatori are stationed so their mages can't sink the dreadnaught. Bull assigns the Chargers what he believed to be "the easy job", but a large Venatori force began advancing on their position. Gatt insisted that the Chargers hold the hill, otherwise the dreadnaught would be destroyed. If Bull is persuaded to call retreat and thus sacrifice the Qunari dreadnought for the lives of the Chargers, he is cast out and becomes Tal-Vashoth. If Bull is persuaded to sacrifice the Chargers, he is deeply affected by their loss and later collects their remains to give a Qunari rite.

Trespasser


This section contains spoilers for:
Trespasser.


Iron Bull returns during the events of the 'Trespasser' DLC, at the Exalted Council set two years after Corypheus' defeat.

If the Chargers survived: The Iron Bull is enjoying drinks with his company at the tavern. The Chargers want to surprise him with a dragon skull as a birthday present. The Inquisitor can help them in this by occupying Bull with dialogue (requires the four 'Knowledge' Inquisition perks), or give up the charade to which Bull reveals he heard them dragging the skull all along.

If brought to the final confrontation at the Darvaarad, the Viddasala will plead with Bull to rejoin them and orders him to kill the Inquisitor. However Bull will refuse, adamantly stating "Not a chance, ma'am," and remains loyal to the Inquisition and his companions.

At the end of the events of the DLC, he and the Chargers return to taking jobs across Orlais and Ferelden, doing their part to maintain the order that the Inquisition fought for.

If the Chargers were sacrificed: Bull has fully re-committed to the Ben-Hassrath once again and operates, unbeknownst to the Inquisitor, as a spy for the Viddasala. If he is brought to the final confrontation at the Darvaarad, the Viddasala orders him to kill the Inquisitor, which he follows without question, betraying the party and declaring, "No hard feelings, bas." If he was not brought, he will appear through a side door and join the Ben-Hassrath during the fight, saying it was smart of the Inquisitor not to bring him. Neither romance nor high approval will prevent his betrayal, and Cole will even note that his heart held no regrets over the decision. He is slain by his former companions, and during the final talk with Solas, he will remark upon his betrayal as evidence of the Inquisition's eventual fate.

Approval

Main article: Iron Bull/Approval

Iron Bull's approval can most easily be gained by taking him along on battles. Fighting groups of Venatori enemies will grant slight approval, so keeping him in your party in areas heavy with Venatori will earn you a fair amount of approval quickly. After killing a High dragon, a cutscene will occur after you return to Skyhold where the Inquisitor has a few drinks with Iron Bull in celebration—approval can be gained there by agreeing with him about dragons and drinking when he prompts you to. Furthermore, killing High Dragons with him in the active party gains great approval.

Iron Bull generally approves of the Inquisition's actions, so many choices you make won't have a big effect on his approval. However, there are a few major choices that he will greatly approve of. These include:


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.



Romance

Iron Bull romance tarot

Iron Bull Romance tarot card

Iron Bull is a pansexual romance option for both male and female Inquisitors.

Unlike many of the game's romance options, the Inquisitor's relationship with Bull begins as a physical one instead of a romantic one. After having flirted with Bull enough and having completed his personal quest involving the possible Qunari alliance, speaking to him will trigger a cut scene where the Inquisitor walks into their quarters to find the Bull sitting on their bed. He then tells the Inquisitor that he "got the hints" and knows the Inquisitor wants to "ride the Bull". If the Inquisitor admits this and does not reject him, Bull will proceed with a sexual encounter. The next time the Inquisitor speaks to Bull on the topic of their relationship they can either choose not to pursue further romance with Bull or agree to Bull's ground rules for something similar to a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

In a dialogue option where you ask Bull how "serious" your relationship is, he says that it’s up to you and that he’s fine keeping things casual and light if that’s what the Inquisitor wants. When asked how Qunari show they’re serious about a relationship, Bull explains that Qunari don’t have sex for love but that to show their commitment to an individual they craft matching necklaces out of a dragon’s tooth broken in half, each party wearing half the tooth. “Then, no matter how far apart life takes them, they’re always together.” You’re given a requisition for the necklace, called the “Necklace of Kadan”, and once you have it you can give it to Bull. Before Bull will let you give him the necklace, he will initiate another sexual encounter. After you're finished (but before Bull has dressed), Cullen, Josephine and Cassandra will walk in on you. At that point you can either denounce your relationship with Bull (calling it “just a fling” to save face and ending the relationship), or you can tell the three that you intend to continue relations with Bull. If the latter is chosen your advisors leave you be and you can give the necklace to Bull – in exchange, he calls you “Kadan” (Qunlat: "my heart") From then on, he addresses you primarily as Kadan in conversation.

Bug icon Bug! If the Inquisitor denies Iron Bull sex the first time it's offered and chooses to break up with him, the game disregards that choice and the romance continues. In the next romance conversation Iron Bull and the Inquisitor talk about the sex they had, regardless of the choice taken.

Initial statistics

Ability trees Initially selected abilities
Weapon and Shield tree icon Weapon and Shield
Two-Handed weapon ability tree icon Two-Handed Weapon
Battlemaster ability icon Battlemaster
Vanguard ability icon Vanguard
Reaver icon (Inquisition) Reaver (specialization)

Equipment

Weapons Bulls edge icon Bull's Edge
Armor Defender Mail Icon Reinforced Defender Armor

Quotes

Iron Bull alt tarot

Iron Bull Alternate tarot card (tal-vashoth)

Main article: Iron Bull/Dialogue
  • "You don't need blood magic or demons to change someone's mind. We're a lot more fragile than we'd like to believe."
  • "How many personal freedoms do you figure that baker in Val Royeaux has? Life isn't about freedom."
  • (Regarding living by the Qun) "It's like being a block of stone with a sculptor working on you. One day, the last of the crap gets knocked off, and you can see your real shape, what you're supposed to be."
  • "Whenever you need an ass kicked, The Iron Bull is with you."
  • "I know every soldier under my command. You don't have that option... but a few faces might help."
  • "People don't always tell the truth when you're polite. You've gotta poke them a bit."
  • "Dragons are the embodiment of raw power. But it's all uncontrolled, savage... So they need to be destroyed. Taming the wild. Order out of chaos. Have another drink."
  • "My people don't pick leaders from the strongest, or the smartest, or even the most talented. We pick the ones willing to make the hard decisions... and live with the consequences."
  • "Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you're careful and all, but I like my nipples uncauterized, thanks."
  • "It's a good thing we brought all these nobles with us. Perhaps the Templars are attracted to shiny objects."
  • Cole: "I like your horns The Iron Bull. But they're dragon horns, not bull horns. You could have named yourself The Iron Dragon."

Bull: "Oh... Shit. That would have been better."

Trivia

Ironbullc2

Iron Bull Alternate tarot card (Qunari)

  • In official promotional material, Iron Bull is described as "The Muscle".[6]
  • When comparing Iron Bull to food, Patrick Weekes describes him as "either rump roast for size or chili dog for delicious bad decisions." [7]
  • It was revealed that the Iron Bull was meant to be a race-specific romance due to technical limitations related to him being extremely large and tall. He also originally had dialog that explained why he couldn't romance the Inquisitor. However the animation team and cinematic designer John Epler was able to fix the issue.[8]
  • He is the first Qunari companion who is a romance option for a protagonist in the Dragon Age series.
  • According to the characters' voice actor, Freddie Prinze Jr. , Iron Bull does have a fear of demons, due to their ability to possess people, including Qunari.
  • Iron Bull is described as humorous, dismissive, and a natural charismatic leader, but he’s struggling with being a fish out of water.[9]
  • Bull's greatest fear is madness.
  • During the scene when the player and Bull have sex before giving him the Dragon's tooth as a gift, Bull can be seen with two patterns on his shoulders. It is not currently known if these are tattoos or some kind of Qunari body paint. How he got them also remains a mystery.
  • If the Inquisitor doesn't romance Iron Bull or Dorian, the two will have party banter indicating a sexual relationship. If your friendship is high enough with either of them (or both), you can ask them about their relationship.
  • Iron Bull lost his eye saving Krem from a flail blow meant for him when the two first met. He also has a brace on his left ankle and is missing several finger joints on his left hand.
  • Iron Bull's name under the Qun, Hissrad, literally means "liar".
  • If Iron Bull becomes Tal-Vashoth, he can admit that he is not sure which frightens him more: going mad, or confirming that many of the Tal-Vashoth he has killed in the past could have been fully sane.
  • Iron Bull was written by Patrick Weekes.[10]

Codex entries

Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Iron Bull
Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Iron Bull and the Last Few Years

Gallery

References

  1. Iron Bull profile
  2. https://twitter.com/PatrickWeekes/status/488379341718298624
  3. 3.0 3.1 Patrick Weekes Q & A
  4. Official profile
  5. Iron Bull Character Trailer
  6. Twitter
  7. Patrick Weekes' twitter
  8. Lady Insanity's Blog
  9. Lazygamer.net - a UK issue of PC Gamer
  10. The Sound and the Fury: What we listened to while writing Dragon Age: Inquisition
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