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Paragons are the elite of the dwarven culture, the pinnacle of dwarven excellence, and the one exception to the rigid caste structure as they can be drawn from any caste, even the casteless.

Background[]

They are the noble warriors, politicians, smiths and even children that all others seek to emulate, and they function as essential role models to their race. The dwarves have no gods, instead they venerate their Ancestors. To them a living Paragon is considered a "living Ancestor", whose actions and words carry the wisdom and will of their Ancestors. The word of a Paragon surpasses in weight even the word of a king—even if the former's title does not grant official power.[1]

Dwarven cities are decorated by monolithic lifelike statues of Paragons from days past. The most impressive is Orzammar's Hall of Heroes beneath the surface gates in the Frostback Mountains where the giant statues appear to hold up the ceiling. This is meant to impress—and perhaps intimidate—visitors to Orzammar and to convey upon dwarves heading to the surface all that they are leaving behind.

King Endrin Stonehammer is known as the First Paragon of the dwarves.[2]

Election of Paragons[]

There are few living Paragons as many dwarves are named Paragon only after their death.[3][4] The act by which one becomes a Paragon can vary. Typically it is a feat of bravery in warfare or an incredible invention, but it can also be something as simple as embodying the ideals and tasks of one's caste to an unprecedented perfection.[3][4] However some have earned the rank for less important pursuits such as writing particularly good rhymes or brewing stronger ales.[5] A Paragon is elected by the Assembly, which is no easy feat and often involves long debate considering the political consequences; a Paragon creates a noble house with a deshyr representative which may upset the political balance as well as the society in general since dwarves from every caste can be invited to join the new house and be uplifted to the privileged noble caste. This new house bears the name of the Paragon and is recorded in the Memories, the records of the dwarves.

In ancient times, the best warriors of Grand Provings were named Paragons and many statues were constructed in their honor.[6]


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.


In 9:41 Dragon, Bianca Davri is under consideration for Paragon status for her invention of a steam powered mechanical thresher and seeder. If successful, she will be the first surface dwarf ever to be nominated as Paragon.[7] However the Assembly is split on the matter with Houses which have strong financial motives with the surface trade are pushing and backing the motion like House Dace while rivals and traditionalists are siding against it.[8]


Known Paragons[]

  • Aeducan – he lived at the beginning of the First Blight and led the armies of Orzammar against the darkspawn at a time when they had almost completely destroyed the dwarven empire; it is said that his election to Paragon had but one dissenting vote; the one who cast that vote was savagely hacked to death by his fellow deshyrs[9], allowing the election to pass unanimously; founder of House Aeducan
  • Astyth the Grey – she is the first female Paragon of the Warrior caste; the Silent Sisters were founded in honor of Astyth, and members of that order cut out their tongue in emulation of her; Astyth posthumously became a Paragon when she sacrificed her life to save Orzammar's king in 1:95 Divine[10][11]
  • Bemot – was born as a commoner and became a Paragon and king in one move during the Fourth Blight; founder of House Bemot; Bemot's statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes
  • Branka – an ill-tempered smith who became a Paragon in 9:10 Dragon by inventing a smokeless coal[12] (the only to be elected in four generations); founder and head of House Branka; Branka went into the Deep Roads on a secret mission in 9:28 Dragon, taking her entire household except her husband Oghren; her statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes
  • Child Paragon – the deeds and name are unknown, the memorial in Caridin's Cross has been worn away by time or vandalized by darkspawn
  • Caridin – created the Anvil of the Void; he originally descended from House Ortan but after his elevation to the Paragon status he created his own house; when Caridin vanished, the secret of how to create golems vanished with him
  • Ebryanwrote the book Songs That Only Nugs Can Hear in 5:84 Exalted;[13][14][15] he is attributed for being the author of How the Deepstalker Came to Be, a popular dwarven tale for children[16]
  • Garal, Orseck – he is an ancient king of the dwarven empire; after his death, he was succeeded by his friend and ally Endrin Stonehammer who named Orseck a Paragon on his deathbed[20]
  • Garen, Orrick[21][22][23] – he lived in the early Exalted Age and he is the only king who became a Paragon during his reign; Orrick sentenced his son Tethras to be exile into the Deep Roads for the murder of his sister Unaria; Orrick eventually found out that the Carta were responsible for the murder and was so overcome with guilt, that for ten years he continuously sent Legionnaire units into the Deep Roads in an effort to find his son; as a tribute to his son, he changed the name of his house from Garen to Tethras as well as his own name;[24] this though is disputed by Varric Tethras who stated that as a tribute to his son, the heirs of House Garen took the name Tethras and eventually one of them became a Paragon on his own right and then founded House Tethras[25]

The tomb of Paragon Heidrun the Deep

  • Gherlen the Blood-Risen[26][27] – was born casteless and ventured to the surface; after gaining enough prestige from his adventures and acts of bravery, he returned to Orzammar and became a Paragon and king by overthrowing the ruler, his tale is still honored by dwarven adventurers
  • Heidrun the Deep – a Paragon whose deeds are unknown; however, he can be found buried in a grandiose tomb in the Heidrun Thaig which was named after him[28]
  • Hekkat – discovered the means that allowed dwarves to build structures of massive height and breadth[29]

Paragon Hirol's sarcophagus

  • Hrildan – a female Paragon who is featured in the Hall of Heroes; there are several carvings depicted of her
  • Lantena – a female Paragon featured in the Hall of Heroes
  • Lynchcar – a Paragon who lived during the Steel Age; Lynchcar's deeds are not known but he is mentioned in a book of poetry
  • Ortan – the founder of House Ortan; Ortan composed a grand epic of the Seven Brothers and the Ortanic Symphony; his statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes and a known ancient thaig was named after him[33]
  • Tethras – formerly known as Orrick Garen, he is the Paragon and founder of House Tethras after he changed his house's name as well as his own as a tribute to his son;[24] this however, is disputed by Varric Tethras who states that their founding Paragon was a heir of House Garen and a descendant from Paragon Orrick Garen[25], in any case Paragon Tethras' noble house was banished to the surface in 8:98 Blessed for fixing Proving matches
  • Vollney – founder of House Vollney; he is known for becoming a Paragon by the narrowest margin in the history of the dwarves–one single vote[35]
  • Wintersbreath, Egon – one of the greatest known dwarven warriors; Egon mounted the defense of the Kingdom of Hormak against the darkspawn until it fell in -35 Ancient; he left for the surface after High King Threestone decreed that the Deep Roads–leading to Orzammar–be sealed, Egon claimed that he would "rather die under an alien sky than be buried in the Stone that betrayed [them]"[37]
BioWare canon.png
The following characters, lore and events in this section are non-canon in Dragon Age and exist only within the Dragon Age tabletop RPG.

  • Moroc the Maul – a legendary warrior; Moroc was present at the Grey Wardens founding in -305 Ancient (890 TE); his contributions led to the standardization of not losing one's caste when becoming a Warden[39]
  • Zadol, Heldane – also known as "Weaponsfather", is a Paragon who lived in Hormak and pioneered the art of folding steel–whose blades are still coveted til this day[39][40]

Paragon-Elect[]

After the rediscovery of Kal-Sharok, it is revealed that in a time after the kingdom was completely isolated in -15 Ancient and considered lost to the darkspawn horde[41] the dwarves of that city changed the way Paragons are worshipped and nominated as well as the type of their power. Paragon Elect is the highest elected government office. Furthermore, the practice of nominating Paragons changed from recognition of past deeds into recognition of promised deeds. In Kal-Sharok Paragons are not rendered as giant statues like Orzammar, but as massive posthumous wall carvings that span lengths of the Deep Roads.[1] The dwarves of Kal-Sharok do not recognize the Paragons of Orzammar and likewise, Orzammar does not recognize their Paragons.[42]

Known Paragon-Elects[]

  • Sturhald-Sharok[43]
  • Trajan the Quick[44]

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: The Paragons Codex entry: The Paragons
Codex entry: Paragons Known and Lesser Known Codex entry: Paragons Known and Lesser Known

Notes[]

BioWare canon.png
The following characters, lore and events in this section are non-canon in Dragon Age and exist only within the Dragon Age tabletop RPG.

  • The election of a new Paragon may have such major political consequences that can cause even bloodshed between feuding dwarven clans.[4]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 127
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne p. 355
  3. 3.0 3.1 Codex entry: Life in Orzammar
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 12
  5. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 126
  6. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 20
  7. Mentioned by Varric Tethras after meeting with Bianca Davri in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  8. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 258
  9. According to Scholar Gertek if asked about Paragon Aeducan.
  10. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 71
  11. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, pp. 26-27
  12. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 137
  13. Codex entry: Nug (Origins)
  14. Codex entry: The Nug King
  15. Codex entry: The Wellspring
  16. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 209
  17. Mentioned on a Road Marker
  18. Codex entry: A Journal on Dwarven Ruins
  19. Codex entry: Dwarven Inscriptions: Hissing Wastes
  20. 20.0 20.1 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 26
  21. Codex entry: First Legionnaire's Journal
  22. Codex entry: Second Legionnaire's Journal
  23. Codex entry: Third Legionnaire's Journal
  24. 24.0 24.1 Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, pp. 158-159
  25. 25.0 25.1 See these four images: [1], [2], [3], [4].
  26. Dragon Age: Origins Prima Guide Collector's Edition, Traveler's Guide.
  27. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 24
  28. Monument to Heidrun the Deep
  29. Note: The Lost Outpost Plaque
  30. Codex entry: Amgeforn the Lonely Vigil
  31. Codex entry: Ivo Family Crest
  32. Codex entry: Blood Ring
  33. Mentioned by Orta
  34. Codex entry: In Praise of the Humble Nug
  35. As mentioned by Scholar Gertek to the Dwarf Noble.
  36. As mentioned in the epilogue.
  37. Wintersbreath (Inquisition)
  38. Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne, p. 363
  39. 39.0 39.1 Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 10
  40. Dragon Age (tabletop RPG), Player's Guide, set 2, p. 64
  41. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 52
  42. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 40
  43. Paragon-Elect Sturhald-Sharok Carving
  44. Codex entry: The Gem of Keroshek