Dragon Age Wiki
Dragon Age Wiki

“I will inspire the Wardens, and Arland will rue the day he spared my life.”

Sophia Dryden was a Warden-Commander of Ferelden who lived during the Storm Age.


Arlessa Sophia Dryden was the young Arland's cousin and rival for the throne of Ferelden after the old king left no successor in 7:5 Storm. Dryden was a strong and charismatic leader with much support from the Bannorn. When Arland finally won the crown, Dryden refused to relent. She pushed her claim, was imprisoned and accused of treason. Her sympathizers continued to support her, however. In order to appease them, Dryden was spared execution and forced to join the Grey Wardens instead.

Sophia survived the Joining and dazzled the Grey Wardens at Soldier's Peak with her leadership skills and charm. She eventually rose to the rank of Warden-Commander of Ferelden. Before Commander Dryden, the Grey Wardens were seen as a relic of an older time and an unnecessary drain on the nobles' coffers; Dryden, though, with her political connections, reinvigorated the Wardens and rapidly increased their numbers.

In the meantime, Arland proved himself a devious king, willing to go to brutal lengths to silence his opponents. Arland's reign of terror grew worse with each passing year, and some of the banns approached Commander Dryden in desperation, begging her to intercede. She agreed, and thus the rebellion was born. Arland learned of the rebellion through his spies and took steps to end it. He publicly suspended all tithing (funding) to the Grey Wardens and declared they were no longer welcome in Ferelden. Some of the Wardens, mindful that they were supposed to remain politically neutral, felt disgraced by Dryden's involvement in Fereldan politics and left her side even as the king's forces lay siege to Soldier's Peak (It is assumed many left to Orlais). The siege took months and ended with Sophia's death. King Arland had driven the Grey Wardens from Ferelden, and after the siege of Soldier's Peak, the base was abandoned. It was not until 200 years later, that King Maric Theirin would allow Grey Wardens back into Ferelden.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.


Tier progression of Sophia Dryden in Heroes of Dragon Age

When the Warden re-entered Soldier's Peak for the first time in centuries, it was discovered that Sophia Dryden was possessed by a demon. If the Warden makes a deal with the demon, who possesses all her former memories, it is revealed that Sophia knew about Avernus' use of blood magic to support the rebellion and had personally sanctioned Avernus' use of it. When the Wardens were being overwhelmed by the Fereldan soldiers at Soldier's Peak, Sophia even encouraged Avernus to summon demons to fight the king's men. The demon states Sophia saw herself as a hero, vowing to overthrow Arland and allot justice to those who betrayed her. When Sophia was abandoned by Avernus, Sophia stubbornly refused to die; the demon sensed her 'fierce pride' and 'lovely, delicious terror'. 'She would live, in a fashion', possessed by the demon.

It is unclear whether she in fact did make a deal with the demon, or if it possessed her body after she died, somehow reanimating the corpse without the 'usual', mindless results of demonic infestation of an already dead body.


Dragon Age: Origins[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

Possesed Sophia D

Possessed Sophia

While exploring Soldier's Peak, the Warden and their party will eventually come across the possessed corpse of Sophia Dryden. Sophia engages the Warden in conversation giving them several options:

  1. Attack Sophia Dryden immediately. This ends the conversation and any chance to learn more from the demon.
  2. Engage the possessed Sophia in conversation. The Warden can learn a bit about the events that occurred within Soldier's Peak and open up other conversation options.
  3. The demon's request: a prior room contains a deep tear in the Veil between the world of the living and the Fade, which demons have used to cross into Ferelden. The demon offers to seal the Veil, for a price: first, kill its nemesis on the other side of a magically sealed door, and second, let the demon walk free.
    • There are a few things to note with this option; you can persuade the demon with the following choices;
      1. (Persuade)Sweeten the deal. What do I get out of this personally? which, if successful, will prompt it to tell you the location of some treasure after you kill its nemesis.
      2. (Persuade)(lie)First seal the Veil, then I'll do my part. I promise., or lastly
      3. (Persuade)First seal the Veil, then I'll do my part. I promise. A final, very hard persuade option which convinces it to close the Veil, and then betray it without having to enter the door. Note that if you do convince it to close the Veil, you will have to fight four lesser Rage Demons, then four greater Shades, then two Ash Wraiths and two lesser Rage Demons, and then a (boss) Desire Demon without any time to heal in between.
Sophia Dryden Concept Art

Ghoul Sophia Concept Art

If you choose to fight Sophia, she will be joined by 4 Warden Skeletons.

Once the character makes their decision, the magical barrier into the the next area is opened. There they will find the demon's nemesis and can choose several paths. Kill him, and uphold your bargain with the demon or spare him and ally with him against the demon (in which case the nemesis will seal the Veil if it is not yet sealed).

Bug icon Bug! If you make the deal with Sophia and get her to seal the veil first, then end up talking with her by accident again while she is sealing the veil (and you are in the process of killing the demons), the entire dialogue with her may start over, and you can make different choices.

The possessed Sophia is wearing the unique massive Warden Commander Armor set, which can only be acquired by killing the demon. Note that it is possible to get this armor even if you take the demon's deal. When you are through killing the demon's nemesis and after the tear in the veil is sealed, the possessed Sophia will talk with the Warden. At this point you will need to remind it of the deal you may have made earlier (with a persuasion check, described above). The treasure promised turns out to be the Dryden cache of gold (8 sovereigns at Warden level 7) hidden behind a brick in the room in which you initially met the demon. The treasure will not be available unless you make the deal and remind the demon of it after the tear in the veil is sealed. Finally, you can either let the demon leave as you agreed to do, or be more aggressive, causing a battle with just your party facing the demon by itself. The latter course of action will yield the armor.

Sophia also has a chance to drop the Warden Tower Shield, as almost all NPCs have a small default chance to drop a piece of equipment that they have currently equipped (unless specifically overriden), even if it is not marked as a "droppable" piece. Players can expect to replay the battle countless times if they want to obtain it, due to the low random drop rate. However, this Warden Tower Shield seems to share the same description -- though not the same appearance -- as another shield obtained later in the game. This suggests that the developers never intended for the shield to be droppable.

As rumors of sightings of the events in Soldier's Peak and the fate of Sophia begin to surface after the Blight, the Grey Wardens chose to remain silent about the matter.[2]

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.

Woolsey will briefly bring up the conflict of the Wardens with Ferelden stemming from Sophia Dryden's actions. If the Warden participated in taking back Soldier's Peak, Woolsey will also mention the Warden's role in discovering the true story behind Sophia Dryden's invasion when the Warden retook Soldier's Peak.

Dragon Age II[]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age II.

Sophia Dryden(DAII)

Possessed Sophia Dryden in Dragon Age 2

If she was spared in Dragon Age: Origins, Sophia can be encountered in Act 1 leading a cult of Blood mages on the Wounded Coast. In retaliation for Hawke killing several of her "faithful", Sophia will order an attack on Hawke and is slain in the ensuing confrontation.


Dragon Age: Origins[]

Soldier's Peak Soldier's Peak

Dragon Age II[]

Terror on the Coast Terror on the Coast (conditional)

Notable loot[]


Warden Commander armor set Warden Commander armor set


Spirit Shard Spirit Shard
Health Poultice Health Poultice
Lyrium Potion Lyrium Potion
Flame Coating Flame Coating
Lesser Spirit Balm Lesser Spirit Balm
Lesser Elixir of Grounding Lesser Elixir of Grounding
Incense of Awareness Incense of Awareness
Amethyst Amethyst
Sapphire Sapphire
Topaz Topaz
Money Money
Gold Ring Gold Ring
Freeze Bomb Freeze Bomb
Note: You will always get one random item, in addition to the armor set.


Warden Tower Shield Warden Tower Shield
Warden's Longsword Warden's Longsword
Note: The Sword or Shield will drop in addition to the Warden Commander Armor Set. The Drop chance increases at higher levels and are nearly none when at level 10 or lower.


  • (During flashback) "Make them pay for every inch, men!"
  • "Treacherous Wardens, at every turn! This one will crush you!"
  • (To Leliana, when she interrupts, saying not to trust Sophia.) "Your fledgling should learn its place. Meek, subservient, quiet."

Codex entries[]

Codex entry: Sophia Dryden Codex entry: Sophia Dryden
Codex entry: Sophia Dryden's Journal Codex entry: Sophia Dryden's Journal
Codex entry: A Letter From Bann Mathuin Wulff Codex entry: A Letter From Bann Mathuin Wulff
Codex entry: The History of the Drydens Codex entry: The History of the Drydens


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

  • Sophia Dryden is the only encountered character that is a ghoul possessed by a demon.
  • Sophia is distantly related to Alistair; she is the cousin of Alistair's great-great-great-great-grandfather Arland Theirin.