Dragon Age is a rich world with a complicated and diverse cast of characters that started with a video game and has now expanded into comics, novels, and web series. We had a chance to ask lead writer David Gaider a few questions about the World of Thedas.
only two games that have come out in the Dragon Age universe, the graphic
novels have been one of the few places fans can go and get their Dragon Age
fix. How did you first decide which characters to further explore? Were any
decisions made due to fan demand versus an inkling of an idea for a branching
story that was already there?
David Gaider: I think it would have been difficult to base
the decision on which characters were going to appear in the graphic novels
based on fan demand alone. Dragon Age is a pretty character-driven series. No
matter which characters you name, there are people out there who are intensely
passionate about them. We knew the moment we picked any characters
there would be fans of those who weren’t included who’d immediately wonder why
not. So ultimately it was down to which characters I personally thought it
would be fun for me to explore a bit further. There was a hanging plot thread
regarding what became of Alistair’s father, and it was something I always
wanted to explore… so I came up with several scenarios in which that plot could
be explored, and the ramifications the search would mean both to him as well as
that these stories have become such a big part of the lore, will the story in
DA: Inquisition be affected at all by what’s happened/happening in the graphic
DG: Not directly. If we bring any plots that occur
in the comics back into the game, we need to introduce it in such a way that
you wouldn’t need to know anything about the comics in order to enjoy it. So we
can, but the reward is limited because the people who would be most looking
forward to that introduction—those who read the comics—are re-learning what
they already know. We have to take into account that the stories in the novel
only might have happened in your personal game timeline. What
if Alistair died in your game, for instance? So this was always intended as a
side tale, but that doesn’t mean the extra lore I’ve dropped into the comics
won’t become very relevant.
you have a favorite character from the Dragon Age universe? Is there a
character that you grew to like more as you fleshed out his/her story?
DG: Picking a favorite among the characters I
wrote would be difficult. Alistair, obviously, since I use him so often. I find
him very fun to write, and every time I do his voice comes back to me very
quickly. If I were to pick a character that I specifically liked the more I
wrote him, I’d say that would be Loghain—the antagonist from the first Dragon
Age game. He developed a lot of complexity in my mind, and by the time I wrote
the first novel he’d transitioned into something pretty complex that I was
quite happy with. I have to admit, I adore doomed characters.
Amazon.com: The various nations
and races are so integral to the overall world that’s been built. Do you have a
favorite race/nation and which do you hope to explore more?
DG: If I got to go anywhere at all in a Dragon Age
game, it’d be the Tevinter Imperium. Decadent, decaying, and with a topsy-turvy
power structure compared to the rest of the world we’ve presented—mages rule, with
all the implications that go along with it. I think it’d be a real challenge to
scratch beneath the surface of the “evil slaver empire” which we’ve always
shown and turn it into something more nuanced.
Amazon.com: Is there one graphic
novel you would suggest someone check out if they’ve never read any of the
books but are fans of the games?
DG: A Dragon Age graphic novel, you mean? There
are only the three, and the story progresses between them, so I’d suggest they
start with the first one: The Silent Grove.