“You are called upon to submit yourself to the taint for the greater good. From this moment forth, you are a Grey Warden.”―Duncan
This character will start with one of six origin stories the player can choose from when creating the character. These origins each correspond to the six combinations of race and class permitted by the game. After going through one of these origin stories, the protagonist will join the Grey Wardens at Ostagar to fight the Fifth Blight. At the start of Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, the Warden is promoted to Warden-Commander and is made arl of the arling of Amaranthine.
Dragon Age: Origins
- Main article: Storyline for Dragon Age: Origins
As the Origin story is played out, the protagonist is recruited by Duncan, the current Warden-Commander of Ferelden's, to aid King Cailan Theirin and his troops against an incoming army of darkspawn at Ostagar. This is where the main plot of Dragon Age: Origins begins. The Warden's primary mission is to gather an army and defeat the Fifth Blight; however, political tensions, disruptions and numerous other distractions (and inspirations) are bound to cross our hero's path.
The actions and words of the Warden are always chosen by the player, and have a wide range of outcomes (both for the story's end and for the fates of the Warden's allies, enemies and rivals). Unlike many other RPGs, the cumulative result of these choices is not tracked by a single meter or bar; rather, each companion has a meter reflecting that individual's reactions to the Warden's decisions.
Before the final battle against the Archdemon, the Warden learns that the only way to permanently kill the beast is the sacrifice of a Grey Warden. The Warden then faces a dilemma: sacrifice their own life or that of their Warden companion, or accept Morrigan's Ritual.
If the Hero of Ferelden died killing Urthemiel and is not a dwarf:
The Grey Wardens recovered the Warden's body after the battle, and interred them at Weisshaupt in a magnificent tomb next to Garahel's.
If the Dwarf Noble dies at the end of the Fifth Blight:
After defeating Archdemon Urthemiel and ending the Fifth Blight the Assembly after months of deliberation declares posthumously the Dwarf Noble as Paragon. Unlike non-dwarven Origins, the body is not cremated but returns to Orzammar and is buried next to their father, King Endrin Aeducan, instead of going to Weisshaupt. If Harrowmont was made King of Orzammar he posthumously reinstates the Dwarf Noble back to House Aeducan.
If the Dwarf Noble survives the events of the Fifth Blight:
The Assembly unanimously declares the Dwarf Noble as Paragon and a statue is erected in the Commons. If Harrowmont was made King of Orzammar he reinstates the Dwarf Noble back to House Aeducan and is named the heir of the House.
If the Dwarf Commoner dies at the end of the Fifth Blight:
Unlike non-dwarven Origins, the body is not cremated but returns to Orzammar to buried in the Stone as the dwarven religion dictates, instead of going to Weisshaupt. After months of deliberation, the Assembly posthumously names the Dwarf Commoner a Paragon and House Brosca becomes nobility. So many casteless flock to join the new House that it becomes the largest in Orzammar.
If the Dwarf Commoner survives the events of the Fifth Blight:
The Assembly elevates the Dwarf Commoner into warrior caste and after months of deliberation the Dwarf Commoner is unanimously declared Paragon and a statue is erected in the Commons. House Brosca becomes nobility drawing dwarves from every caste.
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
If the Hero of Ferelden survived the Fifth Blight:
Six months after the conclusion of the Fifth Blight, the Warden succeeds Duncan by being promoted to Commander of the Grey and Ferelden's new Warden-Commander.
The new Warden-Commander has been tasked to rebuild the Grey Warden Order's presence there. The Wardens have been given the fortress of Vigil's Keep - formerly the seat of Arl Rendon Howe - as a home base as well as rule over the Arling of Amaranthine.
Even though the archdemon is now dead, the darkspawn have not retreated back to the Deep Roads (as was natural following prior Blights) and there are reports of a new, highly intelligent breed of darkspawn. This new darkspawn identify themselves as the Disciples. Through investigation, the Warden discovers that the darkspawn have broken into two warring factions, led by two unique darkspawn: the Mother and the other led by the Architect. Both amass darkspawn armies and their civil war threaten the safety of Amaranthine.The Warden tries to stem the darkspawns' destructive capabilities until the Mother eventually sends her legions to simultaneously attack both the City of Amaranthine and Vigil's Keep, thus dividing the Commander's forces. Eventually, the Commander chooses to save one of these bases, integral to Amaranthine's survival, and repels the Mother's offensive. The Architect then offers an alliance with the Warden in exchange for allowing him and his followers to continue their work in peace. The Warden-Commander can either accept the alliance or refuse and have their forces kill the Architect. The Mother was slain by the Grey Wardens and peace was restored to Amaranthine but at great cost.
The Golems of Amgarrak
Sometime after the defeat of the Mother, Jerrik Dace of Orzammar asks the Warden-Commander to accompany him to Amgarrak Thaig where his house led an expedition, in order to find his missing brother, Brogan, and to recover whatever information the expedition had found of the research to make golems without the Anvil of the Void.Though the Warden-Commander is able to rescue Brogan, a Harvester attacks the party while they are investigating the thaig. After discovering the truth behind the Harvester's origins, the trio resolve to destroy the creature and bury this branch of golem research forever.
- The Warden-Commander stabs Morrigan. Although the attack looks deadly, Morrigan falls into the portal, and it is deliberately unclear whether she survives. The Warden recovers some items from her camp, and departs.
- The Warden-Commander allows Morrigan to enter the portal unharmed. After her departure, the Warden recovers the items from her camp and leaves with Ariane, Finn, and Dog.
- The Warden-Commander travels through the portal with Morrigan. This ending is only possible with a male Warden who completed Morrigan's romance and/or the Dark Ritual.
Dragon Age II
The Warden is first mentioned when Varric Tethras tells Cassandra Pentaghast how Flemeth helped Hawke's family travel safely to Gwaren in order to escape the Fifth Blight. The Seeker expresses incredulity at the involvement of the Witch of the Wilds, but Varric reminds her of Flemeth's role in the Warden's story and she concedes the point.
When Hawke first meets Bodahn Feddic, they can inquire with him about the fact that he is personally acquainted with the Warden. Bodahn's comments about the Warden will vary depending on the details of the imported save of Origins or the pre-set background being used.
When fighting through the streets of Kirkwall to reach the Arishok, Hawke will run into a band of Grey Wardens. Depending on previous save-file decisions, and Hawke's decisions, Alistair (if he chose to remain a Warden in Origins) will be there accompanied by (depending on Hawke's Deep Roads decisions) either Bethany or Carver. After various dialogue options Alistair will give Hawke an amulet called The Sacred Heart, and will respond with dialogue depending on his relationship with/or status of The Warden. Then he and his Grey Wardens will leave Kirkwall on some mysterious quest. (If Alistair died, was exiled, or was made King in Origins, the Wardens encountered at this juncture will instead be led by Stroud, who gives Hawke the Warden's Promise ring. In this case, no mention will be made of the Warden.)
Alternatively, Alistair is encountered at the Viscount's Keep during the quest "King Alistair," if the player imported a save or selected the pre-set background in which Alistair was made King of Ferelden. Towards the conclusion of this minor quest, the Warden may be mentioned in dialogue between Alistair and Bann Teagan. Exactly how the Warden comes up in conversation varies depending on the circumstances of the saved file or pre-set background; if the Warden is female and was romantically involved with or married to Alistair at the end of Origins, the dialogue will indicate as much.If the Warden is alive by 9:40 Dragon, it is revealed that they have disappeared without a trace.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
When Divine Justinia V made the decision to restore Inquisition, Leliana and Cassandra Pentaghast sought out the Warden to name them the Inquisitor. Failing to find the Warden, however, they set out to locate Hawke to offer the same role to them, failing to locate them as well.
If the Warden is alive, it can be revealed in conversation with a romanced Morrigan, Leliana, or a Grey Warden Alistair that the Hero of Ferelden is currently searching for a way to prevent the Calling. The Warden's lover remarks that Fiona was able to remove the taint from herself through means unknown to her, and that Avernus was able to prolong his life to unnatural lengths through experimentation. The Hero of Ferelden is currently following leads that may allow them to prevent the effects of the Calling, and grant them a longer life.
The Warden also receives mentions from other members of the Inquisitor's team. Solas mentions that he had a dream about the actions of The Warden during the Battle of Ostagar, specifically the lighting of the signal fire, and Blackwall mentions he knew Duncan, the Hero Of Ferelden's mentor. Cullen asks about the Warden as well, specifically a female Mage Warden, with Leliana interjecting her own view of the matter. Several codex entries also mention The Warden, referred to in these entries as The Hero Of Ferelden, and change accordingly depending on the actions taken.
Renn and Valta will discuss the Hero of Ferelden's journey into the Deep Roads during the Fifth Blight. Renn will note that he never had the pleasure of personally meeting the Warden, but that the Legion of the Dead commander Kardol did, and that the Grey Wardens are fearless, tough in a fight, and "a good bunch".
Events taking place before 9:41 Dragon, the Dwarf Noble is alive and Bhelen is the king:
He builds a grandiose statue in the Hall of Heroes sparing no expense to honor his sibling who is the second Paragon coming from his House. After the Dwarf Noble's disappearance Bhelen refuses to declare them dead and vows to search for their Paragon.
Events taking place before 9:41 Dragon, the Dwarf Noble is alive and Harrowmont is the king:
In the Hall of Heroes he builds a statue for the new Paragon which is smaller than expected prompting deshyrs to accuse the King of cutting costs. After the Dwarf Noble's disappearance Harrowmont declares their Paragon dead, at the will of the Assembly.
King Harrowmont proudly builds a statue for Paragon Brosca in the Hall of Heroes. If Bhelen is the king instead, Rica Brosca is no longer his concubine but his official wife. He erects the statue of Paragon Brosca in front of the Royal Palace instead of the more traditional Hall of Heroes as a statement of how much he wishes Orzammar to venerate the noble House of his wife.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Inquisition
- Contact Hero of Ferelden (war table)
The player begins by selecting a gender, race (human, elf or dwarf), and class (warrior, rogue or mage); the mage class is unavailable to dwarves. The next step is to select the character's background; depending on the chosen race/class combination, only one or two of the six backgrounds will be available. These are Human Noble for human warriors and rogues, Dalish Elf or City Elf for elven warriors and rogues, and Dwarf Commoner or Dwarf Noble for all dwarves; elven and human mages invariably share the same origin.
Then comes the option to customize name, physical features (only above the shoulders) and portrait, and choose a voice set. Attributes and skills are selected next. If playing as a warrior or rogue, talents are selected; mages select spells instead. Finally, the player selects his or her preferred difficulty level and the story begins.
The first name is determined by the player but a preset name is offered according to the origin and gender (with a limitation of 10 characters in length).
- Human Noble: Aedan
- Human Mage: Daylen
- Elf Mage: Alim
- City Elf: Darrian
- Dalish Elf: Theron
- Dwarf Noble: Duran
- Dwarf Commoner: Faren
- Human Noble: Elissa
- Human Mage: Solona
- Elf Mage: Neria
- City Elf: Kallian
- Dalish Elf: Lyna
- Dwarf Noble: Sereda
- Dwarf Commoner: Natia
While the player can select the first name of the character freely, each origin imposes a fixed surname:
- Human Noble: Cousland
- Human Mage: Amell
- Elf Mage: Surana
- City Elf: Tabris
- Dalish Elf: Mahariel
- Dwarf Noble: Aeducan
- Dwarf Commoner: Brosca
Note that six origins have been mentioned, but seven names are listed; this is because both human and elf mages follow the same origin story in the Circle Tower.
Each character has automatically 'spent' two skill points and one spell or talent point. During character creation the player spends one more skill point and two more spell/talent points. The automatic levels depend on class and origin. On the Xbox 360, the Warden gets one additional rank in Combat Training.
As is typical for role-playing games, a character's level indicates the progress of the character's career and personal power. When the character "levels up", certain things are automatically increased (health and stamina/mana), while other things (talents and attributes) must be manually increased, unless Autolevel is activated. There is a "hard" level cap of 25 in Origins. Since enemies do not re-spawn, there is only enough content in the game (including DLC) to complete it between levels 17 and 24 (depending on how many side quests and codex entries are completed). A well-used rogue can gain the party significant experience over the course of their adventures by picking locks and disarming traps. In any case, level 25 can be reached by donating profusely to the Allied Supply Crates in the Camp.
In Awakening, the level cap is raised to 35; this increase also affects The Golems of Amgarrak and Witch Hunt DLC.
Origin specific titles
- Prince/Princess of Orzammar – (Dwarf Noble Origin)
- Lord/Lady of Highever – (Human Noble Origin)
- Mage from the Circle of Magi – (Magi Origin)
- Warden-Commander of Ferelden
- Arl/Arlessa of Amaranthine – (ex-officio)
- Teyrn/Teyrna of Gwaren – (If selected as reward)
- Chancellor of Ferelden – (If selected as reward)
- Dark Wolf – (after completing the fourth mark of Crime Wave)
Conditional origin specific titles
Alternative Endings for other Origins
It is implied that most, if not all, Origins take place simultaneously, with the only difference being Duncan's intervention and lack of player control. Several of the playable origin characters not chosen by the player are mentioned in the game in some form or another.
- Human Noble: No mention is made of the Human Noble.
- Dwarven Noble: The second son of King Endrin is exiled to the Deep Roads and never heard from again. According to Lord Harrowmont, Endrin on his deathbed regrets his child's fate. During the Dwarf Commoner Origin, it is mentioned by an NPC that the unchosen Dwarf Noble is male. Nerav Helmi also confirms this.
- Dwarven Commoner: According to Leske, his friend (a corpse in an adjacent cell) stopped eating "for a stupid bet" and starved to death in the Carta Hideout.
- Dalish Elf: According to Ariane, they become deathly ill from coming into contact with an arcane mirror. Without Duncan's aid and the Joining ritual, they die soon after of the darkspawn taint. This is also hinted at in Dragon Age II by Merrill.
- City Elf: No mention is made of the City Elf.
- Circle Mage: No mention is made of the Circle Mage.
Player characters have the following equipment slots:
Main Hand Weapon
Off-hand Weapon / Shield
- For special occasions, the Warden carries the Murder Knife (this is seen only during cut-scenes involving the more ruthless strain of Warden, and has no inventory presence).
- Additionally, there is a toggle to switch between two weapon sets.
- With the exceptions of Dog and Shale, the companions have the same equipment slots.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
- See also: The Warden/Voice Sets
- Morrigan: "Tis cold in my tent, all alone..."
- Warden: "Then get a thicker blanket."
- Sten: "Interesting strategy. Tell me: Do you intend to keep going north until it becomes south, and attack the archdemon from the rear?"
- Warden: "It'll never see this coming."
- Warden: "They will bow before my might."
- Guard: "Eh, then it's good to have you sir."
- Colbert: "Looking for some company, honey-pie? I'm always available for riveting conversations with fine women."
- Warden: "I'll rivet you to the floor if you call me that again"
- Codex entry: The Hero of Ferelden
- Codex entry: Hero of Ferelden
- Codex entry: A Study of the Fifth Blight, Vol. One
- Codex entry: A Study of the Fifth Blight, Vol. Two
- Codex entry: A Letter from the Hero of Ferelden
- According to the series' writers and developers, the difficulty involved in bringing the Warden physically into future Dragon Age games includes giving a voice to a voiceless character as well as the sense that the Hero of Ferelden is in fact "too important" to the series for justice to be done to them at present.
- A male Dwarf Noble Warden is the only Warden that can have a second child. He can have a son with Mardy, a Noble hunter.
- According to certain Circle apprentices in Witch Hunt, the Warden once bedded a lady pirate and three greased nugs. Whether this is true or not depends entirely on player actions.
- Hawke is related to the human Warden (actual or 'potential') from the Magi Origin through their mothers, who are both from the Amell family. This Warden's mother's name is Revka, according to Leandra in Dragon Age II, and she and Revka are cousins, making Hawke and the (possible) Warden second-cousins.
- The nobles (human and dwarf) are the only Wardens to have their surnames (or indeed, any name) spoken by Origins NPCs; the rest are addressed at the most (as "Grey Warden", "Warden" and/or "my Lord/Lady"). However a Dalish Warden imported into Dragon Age II will be referred to by Merrill and her clan as "Mahariel".
- Dialogue in Dragon Age II implies that the Human Mage Warden has at least one sibling, as Leandra says that they are only "one of [her] cousin Revka's children." In Dragon Age: The World of Thedas Volume 2 it is explicitly noted that Revka had five children. The Amell Family codex entry from Dragon Age II further notes that all of Revka's children were mages and were taken by the Circle eventually.
- The default Warden of Dragon Age Keep is a female Dalish elf warrior who made the ultimate sacrifice.
- According to Mary Kirby, no matter the Warden's race, class, or gender, Sten views him or her as a fluke like "some sort of ambulatory pair of pants or talking horse," since a competent and honorable person outside of the Qun appears impossible to him.
- The elven Wardens are the only Wardens that do not have siblings, excluding the Magi Origin elf, as there is no evidence either way. The Elf Mage is also the only origin who is completely lacking in familial information.
- When importing the Warden into Witch Hunt, the world map will note that Miriam and the village council have returned to the area and dedicated a shrine outside of the Chantry to the Hero of Ferelden and those lost during the Fifth Blight.
- The City Elf Warden's fiance's (either Nesiara or Nelaros) family is respected in Highever, even among some humans.
- According to the epilogue.
- Mentioned by the dwarven emissaries at the Winter Palace during Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts.
- See this image.
- PC Gamer magazine, June 2015.
- - Lead Writer David Gaider forum post
- David Gaider Forum Post, Bioware Social Network 
- Bioware Social Network. Female Qunari Fighters.
- Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, p. 117