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30 Days of DA: Favorite Love Interest

And now we come to what is probably my easiest decision for the whole meme.

Day 4: Favorite Love Interest

If you didn't know that my answer was going to be Alistair, then this is probably the first time you've ever come to this journal, and you've probably never looked at my Tumblr, either. I have not exactly been shy about discussing my love of Alistair and his romance; I think it is, in fact, fair to say that Alistair is fully to blame for my initial entry into Dragon Age fandom (although many other things have helped keep me here). I am an Alistair fangirl, and I make no explanation or apology.

Well, I suppose I ought to explain, since that's kind of the entire point of this meme. ;) Like many other DA players, I was taken with Alistair immediately upon meeting him: he was cute, he was funny, he was sarcastic, with a sweet naiveté beneath -- unlike your average stoic, Alistair is free with his emotions and his affections: he openly mourns Duncan and the other Grey Wardens and is not shy about telling you what he thinks of your companions or the situation, even though he ultimately leaves all the decisions up to you. The rose gift dialogue is the most adorably awkward thing ever, the first kiss melted me, and I love his proposition scene so much that, the second time I played his romance through, and he accepted my offer to spend the night, I backed out to an earlier save so that I could experience it again.

But of course there is more to Alistair than just his romance -- otherwise I woudn't find him so compelling, as a love interest or as a character. The reveal of his secret isn't such a surprise, really -- the bastard prince, cast out into the priesthood, then brought back into his rightful place by circumstances, is a classic fantasy trope. But I do like the way it's handled: far from being resentful, Alistair doesn't want to be a leader, doesn't want to be king, is grateful to Eamon for even the small kindnesses he was shown. Alistair's defining characteristic is loyalty: loyalty to Arl Eamon and Redcliffe, to his duty to serve, to the Grey Wardens and Duncan, to the Warden if they earn it. But that loyalty has a dark side, too, revealed if the Warden tries to recruit Loghain. Alistair knows what is right, and I love him for his convictions, even if they're sometimes misguided ones. I find Alistair's longing for family, for love, for a place to belong, to be compelling, especially when he finds that connection he's been seeking with the Warden. That's a powerful role for a romantic lead to play, and ultimately I find it impossible to resist.

I could say a lot more about the Alistair romance, but I'll save the rest of my thoughts for the OTP question. For now, I'll leave you with this: my third time playing DA:O, I chose to play a male Warden so that I could experience some of the other romances. I knew, if I picked a female again, I would never be able to resist him.

As for Dragon Age 2, so far, I've completed the Anders friend-mance and the Fenris rivalmance, and I adored them both. Neither took me quite as thoroughly as Alistair, but they are both very appealing love interests. The first kiss with Anders is quite possibly the hottest thing that has ever been on my television screen; with Fenris, he had my heart when he looked at Hawke with a world of sadness in his eyes at the end of Alone. Anders finds in Hawke the support he didn't think could possibly exist; Fenris allows himself to trust another person for the first time that he can remember. I don't know that I'll ever be able to pick between them, and that's really okay with me. I think it's fine to love them both.

(Edited to expand the section beneath the cut.)

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