The Warden is the player-controlled protagonist of Dragon Age: Origins. Prior to the game's start, the player chooses the Warden's gender, race, and origin. The origin determines the character's backstory, and the game proper begins with the player character living his or her life prior to and during the events that eventually lead to becoming a Grey Warden. The character's origin continues to affect minor and sometimes major events in the ongoing storyline, though the crux of the Warden's quest, to end the Blight, remains the same.
The following origins can be chosen during character creation:
- Human Noble
- City Elf
- Dalish Elf
- Mage (Available to both Humans and Elves)
- Dwarf Noble
- Dwarf Commoner
- Orlesian (An origin only available in the expansion Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening.)
The Warden's personality is shaped entirely by the player's interactions with other characters. Depending how the player chooses to approach any given conversation, the Warden may be noble or self-serving, level-headed or violent. Such choices affect how others view the Warden, including the other party members, who may show open approval or disapproval of the choices that the Warden makes. Such choices affect the outcome of events up through the end of the game.
The ultimate fate of the Warden is determined by choices the player must make at the end of the game. The night before the final battle, the witch Morrigan will offer the Warden a bargain. She will perform a ritual that will prevent the Warden that slays the Archdemon from dying in return for being impregnated by a Grey Warden. The player may then choose to accept Morrigan's offer and sleep with her or convince either Alistair or Loghain to fulfill Morrigan's request. If the player's character is female, one of the other party members must be convinced to participate in the plan. At the conclusion of the final battle, the player has the option to either deliver the killing blow to the Archdemon, or give the honor to Alistair/Loghain. If the ritual was not performed, whoever kills the Archdemon will die.
Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening
The Warden is the central figure of Awakening, the disc-based expansion to Dragon Age: Origins. The player can either import a Warden from the main Dragon Age: Origins game and continue on, or create a new character. Set after the events of Origins, Awakening can introduce a continuity error into the storyline as it is possible to import and play a Warden that died upon killing the Archdemon.
Dragon Age II
The Warden does not appear in Dragon Age II, but it is stated that the Warden of the Human Mage origin is a distant relative of Hawke.