|Fandom:||Dragon Age: Inquisition|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Iron Bull is written by Patrick Weekes, and voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.
In an interview, Patrick Weekes stated that Iron Bull "will hop into bed with anyone he’s reasonably sure he won’t break."  This led fans to believe that Iron Bull might be a bisexual, but race-gated, romance option for human and qunari Inquisitors. (Party banter between Morrigan and Sten in Dragon Age: Origins suggested that sex with Qunari is not pleasant, although there is debate between fans as to whether or not Sten was trolling Morrigan. ) During the GaymerX convention, it was revealed that all Inquisitors would have the opportunity to #ridethebull.
If romanced, the Iron Bull and Inquisitor's relationship will have a BDSM focus. The BDSM aspect of this romance and the issues of consent spurred some controversy among fans. It was criticized by some for its appearance in the game, and by others for how it was implemented and carried out.
"Shouldn't they have established these rules before doing the deed for the first time? In the first romance scene with Bull I saw he was just giving a few vague warnings about how Inquisitor didn't know what it entailed to "ride the bull".
"I think that this is my biggest and only gripe with his romance path. Unless you're fresh off the forums, the player and by that extension the Inquisitor, has absolutely no idea what they're getting into and Bull isn't exactly forthcoming with information. The fact that the game afterwards insists that this is something the Inquisitor needs because leadership is too much of a burden for them, is just icing on the cake some players didn't want - namely those who very much enjoy the role of the leader."
"I don't think it was a bad romance. It obviously has something that resonates with a group of players or else they wouldn’t have found Bull to be their favorite. I just think that it did a poor job of introducing/easing up the player/Inquisitor into the kind of relationship they might have never faced with before - granted, it's just a game and it isn't the best place to put the encyclopedia of all the kinks in the world…"
"I think it shows really poor judgment on their part to let game restrictions make consent be so muddled. If they couldn't have it during the scene, then it should have happened before hand. IB easily could have just asked inquisitors opinion on all of this before, and the only thing he would have lost by doing that is the potential of getting laid. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth."
Other fans disagreed, believing the portrayal to be a positive one.
"Bull is giving the Inquisitor the greatest gift he can imagine receiving. That’s his idea of love, which might have more thorns than roses, but it’s what he can offer the Inquisitor, take it or leave it. He is, in a way, making himself vulnerable to the Inquisitor, showing them a side of himself he keeps separate from the partners who ‘bounce on top of him.’ He’s asking the Inquisitor to trust him, when Bull barely trusts himself without the Qun to contain his blood rage. To see firsthand the dark and violent parts of his sexual landscape and respond with the same love and care that he offers them, to accept that energy and give it back to him in turn. That’s a scary thing, to let someone see the depths of your depravity. It’s one thing to fantasize about being forced against your will, because as the passive party you’re allowed some level of emotional plausible deniability, but it’s another thing to imagine being the monster who does terrible fucked-up things to people they love and likes it. Bull will accept nothing less than the Inquisitor’s absolute trust, and nothing less than to rise to the occasion that trust affords. And if you don’t think that’s romantic, then you have no fucking soul."
"I just wanted to add something, that i’m not sure you touched on because you said you only watched the Iron Bull videos on youtube (i’m having attention issues tonight and could only skim your post, i’m sorry 😩).
There is party banter if you have Bull and Cole in your party, where Cole talks about the dominance aspect and describes their relationship, that really the Quiz has the control even if Bull is the “dominant” one in the relationship, and you’re given a chance to affirm your consent publicly in the game while running about, which I thought was an interesting and nice touch that kinda addresses some doubts that may arise with the fades to black with the actual romance plot.This doesn’t make it the best ever, or make up for some of the shortcomings, but it was an interesting way for them to illustrate that the Iron Bull DOES actually take care of the Quiz and continue checking in on them, and doesn’t go from adoring, dutiful Iron Bull to hellbeast, abusive Christien Grey as soon as the “camera” is off."
- Iron Bull is pansexual, although Patrick Weekes explains that "we say bi for simplicity." GaymerX 2014 Discussion Thread 2.0: SUNDAY Freaking Out The Neighbors (Accessed July 13, 2014)
- Character Profile: The Iron Bull (Accessed July 13, 2014)
- Sten/Dialogue at Dragon Age Wiki. Accessed July 13, 2014.
- http://forum.bioware.com/topic/525899-iron-bull-and-bdsm-sex/ (Thread begun Nov 25 2014. Thread accessed Jan. 3, 2015)
- http://adamnrayofsunshine.tumblr.com/post/106670710625/not-a-prompt-but-i-was-hoping-at-some-point-to (Posted Dec. 30, 2014. Accessed Feb. 2, 2015.))
- http://inqueersitortrevelyan.tumblr.com/post/106676925462/not-a-prompt-but-i-was-hoping-at-some-point-to (Posted Dec. 30, 2014. Accessed Feb. 2, 2015.))