So welcome to the one page shrine dedicated to the relationship between THE Iron Bull and Dorian Pavus from Dragon Age: Inquisition.
This shrine was not planed, but while I (Saya) was playing the game, with dragoneyes sitting near, and we love various dialogues, we got stuck on this thing, so here is our shrine dedicated to one of the best relationships (aside mine with Cullen) in the whole Thedas.
Anyway, if you didn’t play or finish Dragon Age Inquisition, do not read
this shrine, because this one is full of spoilers. If you did finish or you
aren't actually going to play or you want spoilers, then go ahead, and have
The Game (Inquisition)
The inquisition is the third installment of the Dragon Age series, where you have to protect the world from a maniac that wants to destroy it, remake it and then rule it.
Again you are back in Theads, which is the same setting as in previous two games, while in the Origins you were in Ferelden and in Dragon Age 2 you have seen Kirkwall, in the Inquisition, you travel between Ferelden and Orlais.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is an action role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts.It is a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, making it the third major game in the Dragon Age franchise.
Dragon Age: Inquisition received critical acclaim. It was nominated for multiple year-end accolades, including Game of the Year and Best Role-playing awards from several gaming publications. - Wikipedia
Theadas is the continent, of which you came to know a part in Origins (Ferelden) and also the second installment (Kirkwall). The inquisition game introduces also the parts of Orlais and you also travel in Dales (where Dailish Elves are stationed).
As it's happening ten years after the 5th Blight (Ending of Origins), we come to know some other things that happen on the continent, like the civil war in Orlais where the loyalists (those who are loyal to the Empress) and the rebels (lead by the empresses cousin) battle for the "right" heir to the throne of Orlais. And the second thing that is happening during this time is that the revolt of the Circle of Magi (thanks to what happened in Dragon Age 2) started, so there is also the war between mages and the templars.
Tevinter VS Quinari
Tevinter Imperium is the oldest country on the continent and it's ruled by the magocracy. It is said that this country is based on the Roman Empire (the Byzantine times) and is also the one where the blood magic started.
They lost lot of their land to Quinari, but during various marches and wars they were able to re-conquer them.
The Quinari on the other side, had a colony in the south of Kockari wilds, but they vanished during First Blight (it's said that that's how the darkspawn got their ogre warriors). It was also documented that for 1000 years this race was not seen, till they reappeared on their battleships from somewhere east of the Thedas. They again threatened to conquer the continent but were stopped between various Exalted Marches during the Quinari wars. While peace was made, the Quinari and Tevinter still are at war at the north of the Imperium.
So, side note, because of this for a moment there was idea to give the title to the shrine: Star-crossed Lovers. (or Romeo and Romeo - just kidding for this one.)
As this is a shrine dedicated to the relationship, we'll just give some sort of summary about both characters and what we think about them, some basic information to identify them. As they are both romancable characters by you;
If the Inquisitor doesn't romance Iron Bull or Dorian, the two will have party banter indicating a sexual relationship. Later in the game, conversations indicate that their relationship has become romantic. - Dragon Age Wikia (both Iron Bull and Dorian's profiles)
THE Iron Bull
“Also, it's 'THE Iron Bull.' I like having an article at the front. It makes it sound like I'm not even a person, just a mindless weapon, an implement of destruction... That really works for me.” - THE Iron Bull
The most basic thing about Bull, is the fact that he is a Quinari mercenary, and you can get him quite early in the game as your companion. The first information we got on him, before the game come out was that he is a romancable character and he is pansexual (you can romance him as female or male of any race).
The background goes somehow about like this, the fact is that Bull is an awesome member of Ben-Hassarth (they are considered by Qunari as priests) agents. In 9:40 he gets reassigned to Orlais, and founds his mercenary group by name Bull's Chargers, under the orders of Ben-Hassarth. The company is used for gathering information on Orlesian nobels, and then those info is sent to the boss.
While in command of his company, he spends a lot of time drinking, sleeping around and overindulging, this is quite a violation of the Qun (honor based code). <7p>
(Regarding living by the Qun) "It's like being a block of stone with a sculptor working on you. One day, the last of the crap gets knocked off, and you can see your real shape, what you're supposed to be."
You meet him at Storm Coast, where he is when the breach appears in the sky, after he just beaten some Venatori, and so he sets off to investigate. You can recruit him, after speaking to him, and he directly tells you that he is a spy, and offers to work with you and give you information as well.
During his personal quest, he does tell you that the Ben-Hassarth recognizes the threat of Corypheus and Venatori, and that he offered an alliance. Depending on a choice during this quest, we see the chargers die, but Bull staying a Quinari, or saving the Chargers and Bull becoming a Tal-Vashoth (a Quinari who abandoned the Qun).
"If I truly believed my homeland was beyond all hope, I wouldn't miss it so much." - Dorian
The thing we know about Dorian is that he comes from Tevinter Imperium, he is an Altus mage, and also he is romancable during the game if you have a male character.
Dorian comes from a prestigious Tevinter family, and from young age he already has demonstrated that he has a really good grasp of magic, which made him the envy in the eyes of others. While he did study in a circle under a magister by the name of Feregon Alexius, he also came to become disillusioned about the illusions of supremacy, lies and scheming when it comes to the people of the Imperium.
With how good at magic he is, he would come quite far in his homeland, if he wouldn't oppose everything his country stands for and thus became a pariah, of which he is really proud off, because he feels that his homeland will only change, if people like him make a difference.
You can meet Dorian in two different ways, depending on your choice, if you take the templars in your ranks, this will lead Dorian coming to Heaven, to warn you about the rebel mages under the control of Venatori and that they are attacking Heaven.
On the other side if you go to Redcliffe, you meet Dorian there. After you get a note from Felix, to meet in secrecy, the one you meet is Dorian, who asks if they could help him seal a rift. He introduces himself after, and tells them that Alexius is in allegiance with the Venatori, and that they are interested in the mark the Inquisitor has on the hand.
His personal quest is given by Mother Giselle in Skyhold, and it's where you lead Dorian to meet his father again, where we come to find out that Dorian is homosexual and that his father had tried to use blood magic, to change his sexuality. Here is where you get his ultimate loyalty.
"I prefer the company of men." - Dorian to the Inquisitor,
while explaning about his rift with the father.
We saw it, we loved it
This is possibly the only time in the history of shrining that a shrine was born due to the exact words "bound and leashed".
No, seriously, imagine Saya playing DA:I as usual while I (dragoneyes) was playing Divinity II on my laptop, and then suddenly she gets that one conversation between Bull and Dorian. She then stops, stares at the screen with her mouth open, and goes "SIST, DID YOU HEAR THAT?!?!". Suffices to say it prompted a very heated research to make sure that, indeed, those two idiots had just flirted with each other about Dorian being "bound and leashed" and Bull commenting that he would buy him dinner first.
This is, basically, how everything started.
(It doesn't help that their other flirting attempts and the conversations with the other companions about their relationship are even more ridiculous!)
-- We saw, we loved it –
The bottom line is: they are two idiots.
It is possible
If you are not inclined to romance either Dorian or Iron Bull (I have an urge to romance them, but on my second run of Inquisition I am again romancing Cullen, because there were things lost on the way that I needed to see (like Cullen and Inquisitor dancing).
It's fairly easy, you have to take Iron Bull and Dorian with you as much as you can (right now those two are permanent members of my mission groups LOL).
While you do this, always listen to the dialogues that happen between the characters, because at some point you will get the jackpot, and after the one where the romance is ongoing, you will be able to actually talk about the romance between the two.
As I started to late playing matchmaker the first run, now on the second run,
I'm hoping to get to the part where I can talk to both about their romance.
So let's start with the dialogues between the two, this are not all of them, but just some, including naturally the ones which are featured only if neither is in the romance with the Inquisitor
1. This first one, is the one that started all this hype in the house of Saya, while dragoneyes was bunking in. I thought I haven't heard it right, and told so to dragoneyes, and she hasn’t heard it, sooo, we went and searched for the dialogues online. THIS happened.
Dorian: I hope it doesn't bother you to travel alongside a "Vint,"
Iron Bull: That what you are? You people all kind of look the same to me.
Dorian: I'm also a mage. Would you prefer me bound and leashed?
Iron Bull: I'd buy you dinner first.
Dorian: Hopefully before you sewed my mouth shut.
Iron Bull: Depends how much you keep yapping.
2. And then the flirting starts, they are both really bad at it, because every time they come out with something like this both of us are cracking like crazy.
Iron Bull: That staff's in pretty good shape, Dorian.
Iron Bull: Do you spend a lot of time polishing it?
Dorian: Watch where you're pointing that thing!
Iron Bull: Dirty.
Dorian: Vishante kaffas! I meant your weapon!
3. These following dialogues are when Inquisitor is in relationship with another character, and they are both free.
Quite the stink-eye you've got going, Dorian.
Dorian: You stand there, flexing your muscles, huffing like some beast of burden with no thought save conquest.
Iron Bull: That's right. These big muscled hands could tear those robes off while you struggled, helpless in my grip.
Iron Bull: I'd pin you down, and as you gripped my horns; I. Would. Conquer. You.
Dorian: Uh. What?
Iron Bull: Oh. Is that not where we're going?
Dorian: No. It was very much not.
Iron Bull: So, Dorian, about last night...
Dorian: (Sighs) Discretion isn't your thing, is it?
Iron Bull: Three times! Also, your silky underthings, do you want them back, or did you leave those like a token? Or...wait, did you "forget" them so you'd have an excuse to come back? You sly dog!
Dorian: If you choose to leave your door unlocked like a savage, I may or may not come.
Iron Bull: Speak for yourself.
4. No depending on whom you have in your group aside Iron Bull and Dorian, their relationship is a trigger for certain dialogues.
Varric: So Bull, you and Dorian?
Iron Bull: Mm-hmm.
Varric: Two worlds tearing them apart, Tevinter and Qunari, with only love to keep them together.
Dorian: I don't see how this is even remotely your business, Varric.
Iron Bull: Could you make it sound angrier? Love is a bit soft.
Dorian: Please stop helping the dwarf.
Varric: How about passion?
Iron Bull: Yeah, that's better. Love is all starlight and gentle blushes. Passion leaves your fingers sore from clawing the sheets.
Dorian: You could at least have had the courtesy to use the bedposts.
Iron Bull: Hey, don't top from the bottom.
Varric: (Laughs.) Passion it is, then.
Cassandra: So, Bull, about Dorian...
Iron Bull: Yes, it's true.
Dorian: By all means let us discuss this together.
Cassandra: If... you're both pleased...
Dorian: I'm happy, he's happy, everyone's happy.
Iron Bull: Oh... you're happy...
Iron Bull: Jealous, Seeker?
Cassandra: Jealous? Of Dorian?
Iron Bull: Who wouldn't be. Look at these horns.
Cassandra: I... see them.
Iron Bull: Yes, I know, right? Feel the envy.
Dorian: Something particularly funny?
Sera: You. And Bull. (laughs)
Dorian: I-I'm glad it amuses you, but what I get from my affairs is my affair.
Sera: I know what you get.
Sera: It's like falling through a tree into custard.
Sera: Too high! Wham! Too fast! Wham! Leaves! Wham! Splat!
Dorian: I'm not sure which is worse, the mockery or the accuracy.
Iron Bull: (if in party) Eh, depends how much rest the trees had.
Cole: (if in party)Leaves.
Varric: (if in party) Leaves?
Chitichat with inquisitor
After there you hear the dialogue where Bull talks about three times and something about Dorian leaving his panties in Bull’s room, new conversation with both of them opens for your character. This two are just simply the best. I love how Bull tells directly what he thinks, while Dorian would love to hide it, because unused to being open to stuff he likes.
Inquisitor: So… Dorian…
Iron Bull: Yep! (laughs; clears throat) Yes, we’ve been spending time together.
Inquisitor: (If you choose: Whatever keeps the peace) I suppose that’s one way to improve relationship between Tevniter and The Quinari.
Iron Bull: You know me boss. I’m a peacemaker. Whatever differences Dorian and I have. This is a way for us to come together. You get it? ‘Cause… Yeah. Dorian’s a sweet guy. He’s gentle. And he cares under all that bluster. I’m hoping we’re good for each other. Plus, I’ve never done it with a mage before. One time, he got so excited he set the curtains on fire! (laughs)
What is going on between you and Iron Bull. Exactly?
Dorian: (sighs) If only there were a single discreet bone in that lummox. Err… do you truly want to know? Is this official concern, or…?
Inquisitor: (choosing I’m your friend) I’m asking as your friend. How did I not know about this?
Dorian: I wouldn’t want anyone to know about this, just like I wouldn’t want anyone to know I fancy Ferledan beer.
Inquisitor: Oh, the shame, Dorian.
Dorian: Well, it’s something. A whole lot of something. At first, it was an ill-considered night after drinking. Then there was a second time, and then… I don’t know what’s “going on”, to be honest. I suspect neither does The Bull. Now that I’ve said it out loud, my ancestors are officially turning over in their graves. Ah, well.
There is also another discussion with Dorian about this relationship, after you beat the game, and you talk with him
Inquisitor: Will you be returning to Tevinter now?
Dorian: No, actually. I was thinking of sticking around… for a while.
Inquisitor: Would that have anything to do with Iron Bull?
Dorian: It might. You know how it is.
The birth of an OTP
There was time when I didn’t know about these two, and now there is time I can’t imagine not knowing these two. Now let’s write something about this otp, because, in the end it’s what it is.
While we bask in the sunshine of these two fantastic characters, let’s
talk about this relationship and what makes us think it’s something worth
it. We would never say this relationship is perfect, because com’on, as
how much issues the two idiots have, it’s far less than perfect, which
makes it perfect…
This relationship doesn't start on the right foot at all and if it weren't for the fact that they're both working for the Inquisition they would have probably jumped at each other's throat since they first met: not only they're from rival countries, but they also have a lot of differences personality-wise.
They bicker and bicker and bicker, until they aren't bickering anymore and you witness blatant flirting while doing your own business with your party in the middle of the Emerald Graves.
One thing that actually irks us, is that lot of people think that it’s an abusive relationship, which IF YOU listen and follow the various dialogues between the two and also between the others you will see, that it NOT an abusive relationship, just because there is reference to BDSM, it means it’s consensual, and for maker’s shake, people, Iron Bull is the first to talk about watchwords and how important they are. While the lead writer of the game said that their relationship MAY be unhealthy, this does not translate into: IT’S abusive. – This translates into; the guys have issues huge like Mount Everest and means that it probably starts as unhealthy relationship. But both are consensual adults, who actually do talk about it, and if it was abusive Dorian would left at the end to Tevinter and not stayed there admitting he is staying because of the Bull.
This is not an easy relationship, given the characters it would be impossible
for it to be even without talking about BDSM: they both have so much baggage
from how they grew up that it would be completely unrealistic for them to suddenly
"full in luuurv".
There is no doubt that it started as just sex (it's plainly stated by Dorian that it just kind of happened), but what we like is the possibilities that come with with later dialogues, when it's hinted that it can and is becoming something different.
It's never explicitly said that they love each other or anything like that, but it's implied they're going to get there sometimes after the end of the game.
We normally play this kind of games for content, which means, that we follow every freaking dialogue that is chattered, and not only between the two, even the ones with your character. There are two mayor things you come to find out about Bull and Dorian. While Bull does love BDSM, he also respects everyone and he back offs if told to do so. He is shown to have a really big heart, and ignoring the image that he shows when you first see him, he is straight forward and a big teddy bear. On the other side from the beginning we noticed that Dorian is quite the opposite, he never says things straight, he prefers using twenty words, even if one would suffice. He has been abused so he does know what that means, and behind that image he tries to present of an arrogant prick, is actually a young boy who wants to be accepted and loved for who he is. And if you check on the dialogue section, there is one, where between the lines… Dorian admits he is happy, and pleasantly surprises the Bull.
So now we got out the rant about the theory of abusive unhealthy relationship, or at least our point of view on it.
The perfection of these two guys and the relationship they form is the fact that they look past the thing them being a quinari and a tevinter mage. The accept each other the way they are, they banter and in that banter actually is shown that they care for each other. Because Bull manages to show even thru the dialogues that he cares what Dorian thinks, and Dorian shows that he actually don't mind the fact that people know about the relationship he has with the Bull. While it seems how Bull brags about it, and Dorian tries to hide it, it also shows that Bull actually brags about it, only when he is sure that Dorian doesn't mind, and in all the dialogues you can see that he puts Bull's mind at ease, when he joins the conversation, with his pessimistic views but at the same time showing he doesn't mind about it.
Additionally there is a kind of balance to their interaction: Bull is lewd and straightforward with words, but he lets his partner set up the pace they're more comfortable with; Dorian is roundabout and vitriolic when bantering, but he's much more active individual and once decided to do something, he WILL do it, no blow barred.
In conclusion, we think that while they don't have a perfect relationship by
the end of the game (but then again, who does?), there is a lot of potential
for it to grow into something that suits them perfectly.
Also, as you can see, we're completely gone and likely never getting out of this one, ever.
(Thank you, Saya. It's all your fault! nddragoneyes *crackles evilly like a Tevinter magister* ndSaya)
- it is Passion (c) Saya and dragoneyes 2015
- Dragon Age (Inquisition): THE Iron Bull and Dorian Pavus (c) BioWare and Eletronic Arts
- fonts from DaFont
- Image from Dragonage Wikia
- Information and some images for shrine content found at Dragon Age Wikia, Wikipedia, playing tru game, Offical Dragon Age Page
- Part of Soulless and Bloody Network and Dragonic Network
it is Passion is (c) Saya and dragoneyes 2015. THE Iron Bull and Dorian Pavus (Dragon Age: Inquisition) is (c) BioWare and Eletronic Arts. No copyright infringement is intended.