The Warden, commonly known as the Hero of Ferelden, is the player-controlled protagonist of Dragon Age: Origins.
This character will hail from one of six social classes ranging from casteless dwarf or landless elf to Fereldan noble or even dwarven royalty. After playing through one of these origins, he or she will join the Grey Wardens during the events of Dragon Age: Origins and may even rise to the rank of Warden-Commander in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.
Dragon Age: Origins
- Main article: Storyline for Dragon Age: Origins
As the origin story is played out, the protagonist is recruited by Duncan, leader of Ferelden's Grey Wardens, 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 a 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.
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
- Main article: Amaranthine Conflict (9:31 Dragon)
If the Hero of Ferelden survived the Fifth Blight: Six months after the conclusion of the Fifth Blight, the Warden has been promoted to Commander of the Grey and assigned as Ferelden's new Warden-Commander succeeding Duncan.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.
- 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
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.
If the Warden did not stay with the Grey Wardens:
I wish that I had helpful information regarding Corypheus, but due to my own limited training during the Blight, I know less of ancient darkspawn lore than do most Wardens. I am engaged in a search of my own. All Grey Wardens who do not fall in battle eventually fall to something known as the Calling, a magic that preys upon our own connection to the Blight and the darkspawn. Rather than such foul magic eventually leading to my death, I have determined to find a way to negate this Calling and save all Wardens from its effects.
As I have little useful information to offer, please accept the accompanying gifts instead. If, in my quest, I find anything that may be of use to you in your fight against Corypheus, I will send it to you immediately
If the Warden stayed with the Grey Wardens:
I appreciate your warning regarding Corypheus. Fortunately, my own search has taken me out of the area where the supposed magister is operating, and while I have encountered challenges of my own, they have not involved any weakness related to my Grey Warden abilities.
As I have little useful information to offer, please accept the accompanying gifts instead. If, in my quest, I find anything that may be of use to you in your fight against Corypheus, I will send it to you immediately.
If the Warden became Queen of Ferelden:
Part of me wishes that I could help your Inquisition more personally because the danger of Corypheus and the Breach approaches the threat of even another Blight. Regardless, I have my own path to follow, and I must uncover a cure for the Calling if I wish to see my king ever again. I beg you, keep his kingdom safe until I can return to his side.
If Warden romanced Alistair and he stayed with the Grey Wardens:
I have also included a note of a personal nature for Warden Alistair.
Please take care of him. Like me, he was instrumental in ending the last Blight. I trust his compassion and his strength above any other's, and I would not go though such effort to overcome our Callings only to lose him to your Inquisition.
If the Warden romanced Leliana:
I have also included a note of a personal nature for Leliana.
I was not there for the death of Divine Justinia, but I know it will have hurt her terribly. While her wits and her skill are amazing, Leliana's greatest strength lies in her faith, and to have Justinia die strikes at her very core. I beg you, if she is faltering, help her find her way back into the light.
If the Warden romanced Morrigan and left with her at the end of Witch Hunt:
I have also included a note of a personal nature for Lady Morrigan and Kieran.
Please take care of my family. Morrigan is stronger and wiser than anyone else I have met, and I would not go through such effort to escape my own Calling to lose them to your Inquisition.
If the Warden romanced Zevran:
Part of me wishes that I could help your Inquisition more personally because the danger of Corypheus and the Breach approaches the threat of even another Blight. Regardless, Zevran and I have our own battles to fight, and I can only offer my confidence that you have matters well in hand.
If both the Warden and the Inquisitor are Dalish:
In closing, I wish you luck. This world of the shemlen is a difficult one for our kind, and I can only imagine the pressure of leading the Inquisition, an organization dedicated to the Chantry, while staying true to the Way of the Three Trees. May Mythal protect you in your quest, and Andruil bless your hunt.
If both the Warden and the Inquisitor are dwarves:
In closing, I wish you luck. I came from Orzammar, and not the Carta families, but I know well how easily the humans overlook our kind. Fight well, remember the Stone, and you will do our people proud.
—From Codex entry: A Letter from the Hero of Ferelden
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.If the Warden was a dwarf and made the ultimate sacrifice, in 9:41 Dragon a Paragon statue for them is erected in Orzammar. The statue is also built if a Dwarven Warden is still alive, although according to some dwarves, if Pyral Harrowmont is king, he declares the Warden dead, if Bhelen Aeducan is king, he refuses to declare the Warden dead and vows to find them.
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."Waking Sea.
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.
A default name is offered according to the origin and gender, but this can be changed to whatever the player chooses (with a limitation of 11 characters in length).
Note: No one will call the Warden by name, but it does show up in some dialogue choices.
- 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.
Player characters have the following equipment slots:
Dragon Age: OriginsArchivist's Sash
Cut from some satiny cloth, the entire surface of this belt is covered with embroidered text in the Tevinter language.
Increases experience from codex (+50%) Warden's Oath
All Grey Wardens receive these amulets after their joining. Containing just a trace of the darkspawn blood consumed in the initiate's ritual, these amulets serve as a constant reminder of the Warden's eternal vigil against the darkspawn hordes.
Dragon Age: Origins - AwakeningCommission
Dragonthorn (Tier 7)
Critical chance: 1.60%
Armor penetration: 8.80
Strength modifier: 1.00
+3% ranged critical chance
+4 attack The Dragon's Call
Dragonbone (Tier 7)
Requires: 36 magic
Damage: 6.40 (Fire)
Armor penetration: 40.00
+0.25 mana regeneration in combat
+5 spellpower Grey Warden plate armor set
Silverite (Tier 6)
5% chance to dodge attacks
+5 mental resistance
+5 physical resistance
Set: +2 strength
Set: +6 constitution Robes of the Orlesian Magister
Upon your departure for Amaranthine, the empress of Orlais herself presented you with these enchanted robes.
+10% cold resistance
+0.5 mana regeneration in combat
+3 armor Twinblade
Dragonbone (Tier 7)
Critical chance: 4.80 %
Armor penetration: 8.00
Strength modifier: 0.85
+1% melee critical chance
+0.5 armor penetration
+1 cold damage Warden's Companion
Dragonbone (Tier 7)
Requires: 31 strength
Critical chance: 3.20%
Armor penetration: 4.00
Strength modifier: 1.00
+0.5 armor penetration
+6 damage vs. darkspawn Warden's Reach
Dragonbone (Tier 7)
Requires: 38 strength
Critical chance: 2.40%
Armor penetration: 6.00
Strength modifier: 1.10
+15% critical/backstab damage
+3 cold damage Large Grey Warden Shield
Dragonthorn (Tier 7)
Strength modifier: 1.00
Chance to avoid missile attacks
- 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."
Origin specific titles
- Warden-Commander of Ferelden
- Arl/Arlessa of Amaranthine – (ex-officio)
- Teyrn/Teyrna of Gwaren
- Chancellor of Ferelden
Possible origin specific titles
- According to certain Circle apprentices, 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.
- 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 he/she is only "one of [her] cousin Revka's children."
- The Warden is a female Dalish elf Warrior in the default option of Dragon Age Keep.
- 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 Dwarf Noble is the only origin that, if not selected, will have his or her NPC incarnation's gender explicitly stated in conversation as male.
- 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 family name, Tabris, carries some weight and respect in Highever, even among some humans.
- 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.
Alternate endings for other origins
Some characters fitting the basic structure of origins not selected by the player - at least hypothetically exist in the game, filling less significant (and usually less fortunate) roles. Their existence is hinted at or made plain in dialogue.
- 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. Nerav Helmi also confirms that the unchosen Dwarf Noble was male.
- Dwarven Commoner: According to Leske, his friend (a corpse in an adjacent cell) stopped eating ("for a stupid bet") and starved to death in Beraht's prison.
- Dalish Elf: According to Ariane, he or she becomes deathly ill from coming into contact with an arcane mirror. Without Duncan's aid and the Joining ritual, he or she dies 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.
See alsoCodex 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
- ↑ The Bioware Forum-Not sure if I should cry or be hopeful.. DAO warden in DAI
- ↑ According to the gossiping dwarves at the Winter Palace during the Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts.
- ↑ - Lead Writer David Gaider forum post
- ↑ David Gaider Forum Post, Bioware Social Network 
- ↑ Bioware Social Network. Female Qunari Fighters.
- ↑ See this image.
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, pp. pg. 117.
- ↑ PC Gamer magazine, June 2015.