Dorian (Dragon Age)

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Character
Name: Dorian of House Pavus
Occupation:
Title/Rank:
Location: Tevinter, Redcliffe, Skyhold
Status: Alive
Relationships: Player, Iron Bull if both unromanced and brought on quests together
Fandom: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Other: Dragon Age, Dragon Age Wiki
Dai-dorian.jpg
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Dorian is a companion in the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition, and a possible love interest for male Inquisitors. Dorian is written by David Gaider, and voiced by Ramon Tikaram. [1]

Pre-Release

Before Dorian's name was officially revealed, fans referred to him as Dramatic Hands Moustache Guy (DHMG), a nickname that even Dragon Age: Inquisitions' developers used.

When it was revealed that characters in DAI would not be playersexual, there was speculation that Dorian would be the male-only romance. This was eventually confirmed in an interview with David Gaider:

[DG]: Dorian is gay—he is, in fact, the first fully gay character I've had the opportunity to write. It added an interesting dimension to his back story, considering he comes from a place where "perfection" is the face that every mage puts on and anything that smacks of deviancy is shameful and meant to be hidden. Dorian's refusal to play along with that façade is seen as stubborn and pointless by his family, which has contributed to his status as a pariah.
[DA]: Are you happy with how his character turned out?
[DG]: I suppose this aspect of Dorian will make him controversial in some corners, but I was glad to include it. It made writing Dorian a very personal experience for me, and I'm hopeful that will make him seem like a fully realized character to fans in the end. [2]

Gaider's use of "fully gay" to describe Dorian led to some controversy, as some fans felt that it implied that Dragon Age's bisexual characters weren't "gay enough." [3] [4]

Fans also debated whether Dorian was intended to be a PoC. [5]

Post-Release

There was some discussion as to whether Dorian's personal quest followed the "gay man not accepted by his family because of his sexuality" cliche. [6] [7]

If neither Dorian or Iron Bull are romanced by the Inquisitor, the two men begin a relationship. The Iron Bull/Dorian pairing is known as "Adoribull." As all previous companion relationships not involving the PC had been straight in previous BioWare games, there was some hope for an Iron Bull/Dorian relationship even before the game released. Some fans love the pairing, while others feel that it is unhealthy at best, emotionally abusive at worst. [8]

David Gaider addressed the "Adoribull" issue on his Tumblr:

Are there people who consider Dorian and Iron Bull’s potential relationship to be “cute”? Huh. That’s not a term I would use.
I’m not going to go into detail on what I think about it — most of their relationship is left undetailed, after all, and the player is only catching the very edge of it…thus I think it’s a matter best left to headcanon — but I’d say that it has a real potential to either be a very passionate affair or the kind of epic mistake that one or both of them regrets later. Maybe both. I’m uncertain when it was dictated that relationships depicted in game had to only be of the safe and positive kind, but in this case I don’t think that Adoribull (heh, I do love that moniker) is really either of those things…and that’s not necessarily bad, in my view. [9]

Fandom and Fanworks

As stated above, Iron Bull/Dorian is a popular pairing. So is the male inquisitor/Dorian -- in fact, on AO3 Dorian may be the most shipped male/male character.

Resources

References

  1. Dragon Age Video - The Phenomenal Cosmic Power of Ramon Tikaram (Accessed Sept. 12, 2014)
  2. Character Profile: Dorian (Accessed July 13, 2014)
  3. Tweet by user Anais to David Gaider: "@davidgaider 'fully gay'? i didn't realize bisexual people apparently just didn't level up yet. :/ why must you guys always be biphobic." (Posted June 27, 2014; Accessed July 13, 2014)
  4. Dragon Age Inquisition's Dorian Character is "Legitimately Gay," BioWare says (Posted July 1, 2014. Accessed July 13, 2014)
  5. Are Dorian and Josphine really POC? (Thread started July 16, 2014. Thread accessed July 16, 2014)
  6. Dorian's Personal Quest, And Why It Still Bothers Me (Thread started Jan. 11, 2015. Thread accessed Jan. 12, 2015)
  7. As much as I love Dorian... (Thread started Jan. 13, 2015. Thread accessed Jan. 16, 2015)
  8. Iron Bull & Dorian -- it's a problem (Spoilers) (Thread started Dec. 30, 2014. Thread accessed Dec. 31, 2014)
  9. http://dgaider.tumblr.com/post/106628581634/i-have-a-question-that-im-not-sure-youd-want-to