They are the noble warriors, politicians, smiths and even children that all others seek to emulate, and they function as essential role models to all dwarves. While dwarves have no gods, a Paragon is like a god in the eyes of dwarves which is attributed to the fact that the dwarves venerate their Ancestors, so a living Paragon is considered as a living Ancestor. 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.
Dwarven cities are decorated by monolithic lifelike statues of Paragons from days past. They are most prominent in the Hall of Heroes inside the surface gates 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.
Election of Paragons
There are few living Paragons as many dwarves are named Paragon only after their death. 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. However some have earned the rank for less important pursuits such as writing particularly good rhymes or brewing stronger ales. A Paragon is elected by the Assembly, which is no easy feat and often involves long debate and even bloodshed. When a Paragon is chosen a house is immediately created in the name of the Paragon, and their name is recorded in the Memories, the records of the dwarves.
- 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, allowing the election to pass unanimously. He is the 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. At 1:95 Divine, Astyth posthumously became a Paragon when she sacrificed her life to save the king of Orzammar.
- Bemot: He is the founder of House Bemot and became a Paragon and king in one move during the Fourth Blight. He was born as a commoner. His statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes.
- Branka: She became a Paragon in 9:10 Dragon and the only to be elected in four generations. She is also the founder and head of House Branka and the wife of Oghren. She's an ill-tempered smith who invented a smokeless coal. She went into the Deep Roads on a secret mission in 9:28 Dragon, taking her entire household with her except 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: He is the Paragon who 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 he vanished, the secret of how to make war golems vanished with him.
- Ebryan: A Paragon who wrote the book Songs That Only Nugs Can Hear in 5:84 Exalted. He is also attributed for being the author of How the Deepstalker Came to Be, a popular dwarven tale for children.
- Egon Wintersbreath: One of the greatest dwarven warriors, he is known for mounting the defense of the Kingdom of Hormak against the darkspawn until it fell in -35 Ancient. He later left for the surface after learning about the decree of High King Threestone who ordered the Deep Roads leading to Orzammar to be sealed, claiming that he would "rather die under an alien sky than be buried in the Stone that betrayed [them]."
- Fairel: An ancient master smith who became Paragon and is well-known for his runework. He along with his two sons and his House as well as several more, escaped the war waged underground, and built Kal Repartha on the surface in the Hissing Wastes of western Orlais.
- Orseck Garal: 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 Garal as Paragon on his deathbed.
- Orrick Garen: He lived in the early Exalted Age and he is the only king who became a Paragon during his reign. He sentenced his son Tethras to exile into the Deep Roads for the murder of his sister Unaria. Eventually he found out that the Carta was responsible for the murder and he was so overcome with guilt that he was constantly sending Legionnaire units for ten years into the Deep Roads in an effort to find him and bring him back. As a tribute to his son, he changed the name of his house from Garen to Tethras as well as his own name. This is disputed by Varric Tethras who says 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 founded House Tethras.
- Gherlen the Blood-Risen: He was born casteless. However, he ventured to the surface and after he gained enough prestige from his adventures and acts of bravery, he returned to Orzammar and became a Paragon and king by overthrowing the previous ruler. His tale is still honored by dwarven adventurers.
- Heidrun the Deep: His deeds are unknown. The Paragon is buried in a grandiose tomb in the Heidrun Thaig which is named after him.
- Hekkat: A Paragon who discovered the means that allowed dwarves to build structures of massive height and breadth.
- Hirol: He is a Paragon who considered himself outside of the caste system and made several improvements on Caridin's original golem designs. He is also the founder of the noble House Hirol. His tomb can be found in the Trade Quarter of Kal'Hirol.
- Hrildan: A female Paragon who is featured in the Hall of Heroes. There are also carvings made out of her.
- Ilona: A Paragon whose deeds are unknown, but ordered the sealing of Malvernis in the Vimmark Mountains.
- Ivo: A Paragon and founder of House Ivo. He must have lived during or before the Blessed Age.
- Lantena: A female Paragon who is featured in the Hall of Heroes.
- Lynchcar: A Paragon who lived during the Steel Age. His deeds are not known but he is mentioned in a book of poetry.
- Moroc the Maul: A legendary warrior, Moroc was present at the Grey Wardens founding in -305 Ancient (890 TE). His contributions are a key reason that here is no loss of caste associated with becoming a Warden.
- Ortan: A Paragon and founder of House Ortan who composed a grand epic of the Seven Brothers and the Ortanic Symphony. The Ortan Thaig is named after him. His statue can be found in the Hall of Heroes.
- Endrin Stonehammer: He succeeded Orseck Garal as the king of the dwarven empire. Stonehammer was named Paragon on his deathbed.
- 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. This is disputed by Varric Tethras who says that their founding Paragon was a heir of House Garen and a descendant from Paragon Orrick Garen. In any case Paragon Tethras' noble house was banished to the surface in 8:98 Blessed for fixing Proving matches.
- Varen: A former Legionnaire who became a Paragon after discovering that the nugs are edible. There are also carvings made out of him.
- Vollney: A Paragon and founder of House Vollney whose deeds are not yet known, but it is known for becoming a Paragon by the narrowest margin in the history of the dwarves; one single vote.
- Heldane Zadol: Also known as the "Weaponsfather", he is a Paragon who lived in Hormak and pioneered the art of folding steel, and whose blades are still coveted.
- Unnamed: One of the dwarves who assisted the Imperium in the Siege of Marnas Pell during the Fourth Blight.
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 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. The dwarves of Kal-Sharok do not recognize the Paragons of Orzammar and likewise, Orzammar does not recognize their Paragons.
- Rica Brosca erroneously calls Paragon Gherlen as Gherlon in the beginning of the Dwarf Commoner Origin. This is either a developer mistake or can be attributed to her lack of proper education.