Dragon Age II Companions, Ranking from Worst to Best


Picture: BioWare / Dragon Age Wiki

There is probably no character in BioWare’s entire catalog with more emotional range than Merrill, the Dalish blood mage. When Hawke first meets her, she seems juvenile and innocent, but it becomes clear that her elven clan disregards her. It doesn’t take long before it becomes clear that she is working with a demon and uses the widely reviled blood magic. Even when she casts spells that would be taboo anywhere else in the world, she is still one of the most carefree and fun characters in the entire series. Merrill is the sweetest character in Hawke’s crew, even when she is criticized by almost everyone for her “crimes” of using blood magic. While it would be straightforward to make her come off as a battered puppy, she is steadfast in her decisions because she believes that she can employ this magic for the good of the Dalish people, restoring a part of their history.

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Merrill’s conviction leads her and those around her down a destructive path, and her story is one of the most frustratingly complicated situations Hawke has faced in her story, as every decision and outcome is painful for everyone involved. Ultimately, there is no content ending for someone who consorts with demons, nor for the people who distrusted her so much that they couldn’t let her face the consequences. But Merrill is subversive, tragic, and somehow still gleeful.

Dragon Age 2 was always the most controversial game in BioWare’s fantasy series, but Guardian of the Veil seems to get quite a lot out of it. He has an action-oriented approach, restoring DA2dialogue system with three paths and thins out the party. Overall, it seems like it’s learning some of the right lessons from the 2011 RPG. We’ll see if its characters live up to this merry band of misfits when Guardian of the Veil starts this fall.

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