Vampire Ascendant Astarion speaking
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Withers’ Party Proves That Letting Astarion Ascend is the Wrong Choice in Baldur’s Gate 3

Denying Astarion the power of a Vampire Ascendant is better for his future.

BG3 Patch 5 added a new epilogue that gives us closure to storylines and lets us see what our companions are up to six months after the Brain’s end. Not everybody has a happy ending depending on your choices. So, here’s why Withers’ party proves that letting Astarion Ascend is the wrong choice in Baldur’s Gate 3.

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How Withers’ Party Proves that Astarion Ascending is a Bad Choice

Withers hosts a party as an epilogue, and we speak with our companions to learn about their lives after saving Baldur’s Gate. If Astarion Ascends, his dialogue at the party shows the extent of his loneliness as Vampire Lord. Compared to the Astarion’s non-Ascended dialogue, it’s clear that Astarion resents his life after Ascending.

It’s hardly the only bad choice you can make in BG3. Similar situations include letting Shadowheart kill the Nightsong or Gale use his orb to defeat the Brain. While those options come with their own consequences, they don’t hit as hard as this eternal fate that you inflict on our beloved Astarion. And I can prove it, only using Neil Newbon’s stellar vocal performance and the developers’ attention to detail in dialogue and animation.

Vampire Spawn Astarion Epilogue Dialog

Non-Ascended Astarion shares his life at the party, explaining that he gained freedom, strength, and a new life, even if he no longer has protection from the sun. That comes as a surprise, since the last time we saw him, he ran away to avoid turning into ashes. He discovered that he’s good at killing people who needed to be taken off the streets. He’s even taken on the moniker of hero — even if he hates admitting it. He embraces living in the shadows and comments that he’s now more himself than he’s ever been. I hear the difference in his voice, too, with a lighter and joyous tone in his words.

Astarion stopped from attacking Cazador
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Astarion here has more laughter between his lines. You can compare his demeanor to when he learns that he could potentially take Cazador’s spot in the ritual, claiming the power for himself. And in a way, that helps fool you into believing this could be the right choice for Astarion, given how excited he is about the mere possibility.

Ascended Astarion in the Epilogue

Ascended Astarion talks with a more subdued voice and fewer hand gestures. He claims he’s rediscovering what it means to be alive, and Cazador’s mansion is his palace. But his expressions are neutral, and I don’t see the image of someone enjoying their life as much as they want those around them to believe. He admits that power brings loneliness, and he sounds distant when talking about the future.

However, his unhappiness might not be noticeable at first. The change in demeanor happens when he first Ascends. Meaning you miss how much happier he is as a spawn, since you can’t see that version of him in the epilogue if he Ascends. As such, you need to look at the conversations one after another to see how striking this difference is.

Withers’ party proves that letting Astarion Ascend is the wrong choice in Baldur’s Gate 3, with the help of Neil Newbon’s ability to infuse emotion into Astarion’s words. It’s clear when talking with both versions that he’s genuinely happy as a Vampire Spawn. As a Vampire Lord, he deals with loneliness and a long life without fulfillment. From here, see why Ascended Astarion makes you a Vorlog, or check our BG3 guides hub for more content, like how to get the best rings or the best amulets.

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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.