Warrior Rook stands with Emmrich and Harding in Dragon Age: The Veilguard.
Image via EA

Steamy Romance Scenes Might Save Dragon Age: The Veilguard

The game's success rests on fans thinking about the companions long after the credits have rolled.

To say that the Dragon Age: The Veilguard CG trailer provoked a response from the Dragon Age community is an understatement. After waiting a decade to continue the solemn tale of Solas and battle with bloodcurdling darkspawn, fans were put off by the lighthearted, comical trailer presented during the 2024 Xbox Showcase. While CG trailers may not represent actual gameplay, they do introduce the game and its overall tone.

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Companion Storylines Are Where The Veilguard’s Writing Will Shine

Dragon Age: The Veilguard companions gathered at Lighthouse.
Image via EA

After the initial impression of the trailer, which has been likened to a League of Legends announcement, some fans are reluctant to embrace The Veilguard’s new animation style. Its deviation from a grittier, more realistic appearance caused concerns that the upcoming game won’t deliver on the adult themes weaved throughout the other three Dragon Age titles — however, game director Corinne Busche reassures fans that The Veilguard will live up to its Mature rating. 

In an interview with IGN, Busche confirmed that all seven companions in The Veilguard are canonically pansexual and thus romanceable no matter what your Rook’s gender or sexuality happens to be. She also added that while you can flirt with characters from an early stage, romance — particularly spicy interactions — will factor in much later in the game, with each character’s unique personality affecting how they view, express, and navigate intimacy. 

According to Busche, each romance scene is tailored to the companions’ individual personalities. “Some of them are more physical, more aggressive, and some of them are more… we have a gentleman necromancer, for instance, that is more intimate and sensual,” she hinted about Emmrich.

The Veilguard Promises the Most Compelling Cast of Characters Yet

Qunari mage Rook with Davrin and Bellara in Dragon Age: The Veilguard
Image via EA

The significance of the game’s companions and their personal stories has been repeatedly emphasized, including in the decision to change the game’s name change from Dreadwolf to The Veilguard to shift the spotlight onto the new characters. Additionally, Creative Director John Epler has announced that The Veilguard features “some of the deepest companion storylines in Dragon Age history.” The bar has been set remarkably high for The Veilguard’s crew.

Each of the three previous Dragon Age games established a lore-rich fantasy world in which the characters felt fully alive. Each companion had their own specific brand of humor, and that humor, evoked through party banter and intimate dialogue, was all the more apparent in a country increasingly devoured by the Blight or under threat by an immortal magister and his dark dragon. Almost 15 years after Origins’ release, I still find myself quoting iconic character lines like Zevran’s “I wish to cry” request to Wynne or Sandal’s catchy variations of “Enchantment!

Dragon Age 2 introduced a rivalry system in which you could stand in opposition to a companion’s viewpoints while still being able to get closer to them emotionally, offering various new ways of learning about and bonding with the game’s characters. And while Inquisition’s focus was broadened to capitalize on its new open-world mechanics, we still delighted in moments like the discovery of Cassandra’s guilty love of smutty romance novels, the advisors’ reactions to finding the Inquisitor and Iron Bull in bed, and of course, everything that is Dorian.

This is all just to say that The Veilguard has quite a tall order to fill when it comes to crafting the most in-depth companions so far.

How Dragon Age Romances Subvert Expectations

Advisor and romance option Josephine in Dragon Age: Inquisition
Image via EA

Human beings are full of contradictions, so our fictional characters should be, too. We need to witness personal evolution in characters with tightly guarded secrets, fears, or insecurities as they begin to develop bonds with others and grow into stronger and more open versions of themselves.

Romances in Dragon Age integrate this idea well, allowing us to explore the minds of our favorite characters on a much deeper, more intimate level. These characters feel so alive not because of their witty jokes or heroic gestures but in large part due to their contradictory natures. Take Origins’ Morrigan, for example. Although she’s coded as a seductive femme-fatale, her total lack of social experience leaves her simply… awkward at times. Morrigan’s haughty attitude actually hides her repressed longing to be cared for, and her stiff pragmatism disguises her childlike yearning for romance, such as when she admits, “I find myself at times wondering what might have become of the girl with the beautiful, golden mirror.”

Another great example of an intriguing romanceable character is Iron Bull from Inquisition. A different writing team might have set Bull and the player character up as a classic “Beauty and the Beast” type of dynamic, in which it’s up to the player to “tame” the wild beast and prove he’s just a big softy underneath all the muscle. Instead, Bull turns out to be the most restrained character of the entire bunch. He’s thoughtful and surprisingly reserved, and his band of misfit Chargers adore him for reasons beyond his role as a leader — they genuinely just really like him.

Bull’s behavior is at odds with what stereotypes might come into play due to his appearance, and it’s easy to become discouraged when he continuously meets your attempts at flirting with cool, detached responses. Until, of course, he surprises you in your bedroom one day with an offer to start a BDSM relationship. Although Bull initially treats sex as just a pastime (albeit one performed with clinical precision and great care), a head-over-heels Inquisitor can help draw the Iron Bull out to deeper waters and into a committed romantic relationship.

The Veilguard needs to continue the tradition of intriguing romance storylines, and so far, it seems like it intends to deliver on that promise. Furthermore, well-written, skillfully animated sex scenes might help combat concerns about the game’s modern makeover and “toony” look — so long as these scenes are handled with the same maturity and attention to detail as found in previous Dragon Age titles.

I Sure Hope Bellara is a Dominatrix

Bellara uses magic bow in Dragon Age: The Veilguard.
Image via EA

More than anything, I want to be surprised by the characters in The Veilguard. Similar to the way I felt as a teen playing Origins when a naive decision caused Alistair to angrily leave my Warden’s side forever, I want to be mystified, frustrated in all the right ways, and ultimately in love with the upcoming companions who will shape our story.

Bellara is an easy target to project these expectations onto. When I see Bellara’s bright and beaming face, I can’t help but hope she has some kind of sinister trick up her sleeve — maybe even a switch or crop up there to use on her partner of choice. This obviously isn’t a character requirement, but she should possess some interesting trait that doesn’t render her as simply the resident Ray of Sunshine. Besides, she’s a Veil Jumper, and we all know how disorienting (or downright terrifying) the Fade can be. Her official character profile hints that she’s romantic and creative but also incredibly focused.

Whether it’s musing about Lucanis’ demonic imagery or what talking to Taash will be like, fans are having fun spinning companion theories before The Veilguard‘s release sets personalities (and kinks) into canon stone.

The Veilguard Will Only Be as Good as Its Characters

Ultimately, it’s the characters who make a story memorable — not the other way around. Characters who feel alive, with dreams, secrets, and unique love languages, elevate the narrative and create a world worth spending time in. With so much teasing about The Veilguard’s companions (not to mention the new faction system available in character customization), this upcoming game needs to deliver on creating interesting, fully realized characters who tug at our heartstrings and make us roll our eyes fondly. Although I’m still on the fence about The Veilguard’s general tone in handling the angst-ridden plotline it’s meant to conclude, I have hope that our new companions will be able to capture our hearts with thoughtfully constructed personalities, backstories, and pearl-clutching spicy romance scenes.

While waiting for Dragon Age: The Veilguard‘s Fall 2024 release, check out our other Dragon Age articles.


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Image of Sierra Windham
Sierra Windham
Sierra is a freelance writer at GameSkinny with a focus on the site's emerging romance niche. In the past, she provided ProGameGuides with extensive coverage on Genshin Impact and other titles, and wrote zodiac-inspired Skyrim lists for TheGamer. She can be found playing Baldur's Gate 3, sampling new teas, or daydreaming about Mass Effect's Garrus.