You are called upon to submit yourself to the taint for the greater good. From this moment forth, you are a Grey Warden.Duncan

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)

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

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.

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

Even though the archdemon is now dead, the darkspawn have not departed (as was natural following prior Blights) and there are reports of a new, highly intelligent breed of darkspawn. Through investigation, the Warden discovers that the darkspawn have broken into two warring factions, one led by the Mother and the other led by the Architect, and it is their conflict which is behind the ongoing troubles. The Warden has no choice but to destroy the Mother, but has the option to either kill the Architect or allow him to live and continue his work.

Witch Hunt

This section contains spoilers for:
Witch Hunt.

While searching for former companion Morrigan, the Warden-Commander also seeks clues regarding an Eluvian - a mirror with the power of transportation to a dimension beyond both Thedas and the Fade.

The Warden finds the Eluvian and Morrigan in The Nest beneath the Dragonbone Wastes. The possible outcomes are:

  • 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

This section contains spoilers for:
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.

This section contains spoilers for:
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, the Inquisitor set out to locate Hawke to offer the same role to them, failing to locate them as well.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Hero of Ferelden tarot card

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 can also contact the Inquisitor should they send their agent on the mission Contact Hero of Ferelden. The Warden will send the Inquisitor a letter which reads:

To His/Her Worship, Inquisitor [surname]:

If non-romanced Leliana or Morrigan provides the information to find the Warden:

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's romance provides the information to find the Warden:

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.

Note: If the operation is obtained from Leliana before Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts, the note for Morrigan and Kieran will not be included in the Hero's letter.

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.


Warden-Commander [surname] of Ferelden
—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.[2] 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.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

The Descent

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."


If the Warden is in a romance with Leliana, they are mentioned in the epilogue to ocassionally reunite at Leliana's home on the Waking Sea.

Character creation

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.

First name

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

Last name

While the player can select the first name of the character freely, each origin imposes a fixed surname:

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.

Starting abilities

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.

Class Origin Starting Skills Starting Talent/Spell
Warrior Dalish Elf Combat Training Survival Pinning Shot
City Elf Coercion Dual-Weapon Sweep
Dwarf Commoner Stealing
Dwarf Noble Improved
Combat Training
Shield Bash
Human Noble
Rogue Dalish Elf Poison-Making Survival Dirty Fighting
City Elf Coercion
Dwarf Commoner Stealing
Dwarf Noble Combat Training
Human Noble
Mage Magi Herbalism Combat Tactics Arcane Bolt


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:

  • 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.

Warden-restricted items

Dragon Age: Origins

Archivist's Sash Archivist's Sash

Warden's Oath Warden's Oath

Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening

Commission Commission

The Dragon's Call The Dragon's Call

Grey Warden plate armor set Grey Warden plate armor set

Robes of the Orlesian Magister Robes of the Orlesian Magister

Twinblade Twinblade

Warden's Companion Warden's Companion

Warden's Reach Warden's Reach

Large Grey Warden Shield Large Grey Warden Shield

See also


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."


This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Origins.

Origin specific titles

Possible titles

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.[3]
  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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.[6]
  • 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.[7]
  • 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.[8]

Alternate endings for other origins

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: 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 also

Codex entry: The Hero of Ferelden Codex entry: The Hero of Ferelden

Codex entry: 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. One

Codex entry: A Study of the Fifth Blight, Vol. Two Codex entry: A Study of the Fifth Blight, Vol. Two

Codex entry: A Letter from the Hero of Ferelden Codex entry: A Letter from the Hero of Ferelden


  1. The Bioware Forum-Not sure if I should cry or be hopeful.. DAO warden in DAI
  2. According to the gossiping dwarves at the Winter Palace during the Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts.
  3. - Lead Writer David Gaider forum post
  4. David Gaider Forum Post, Bioware Social Network [1]
  5. Bioware Social Network. Female Qunari Fighters.
  6. See this image.
  7. Dragon Age logo - new.png Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 2, pp. pg. 117.
  8. PC Gamer magazine, June 2015.
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