The companions of Dragon Age 2 are not just quiet stereotypes who assist you in battle. They have strong personalities, with their own goals and motivations. This can lead to a rivalry or friendship with your Hawke, even while they work together or fall in love.
Romance is possible with most of the companions. Whether you’re on a rivalry path or a friendship path with that companion will not prevent romance, but will influence its tone and events.
Here’s what you need to know:
How do I give a gift to a companion?
While in Origins gift giving was a matter dragging-and-dropping the item in the inventory screen, in DA 2 each of the gifts are their own little quest with a cutscene and dialogue options. After you find a gift item, go to the homebase of the companion to talk to them to give them the gift. If you have other conversation mini-quests with that companion queued up as well, say from relationship milestones or companion quests, you may have to talk to them more than once to work through the queue and finally start the gift-giving conversation.
I thought my Love Interest moved in. Why can’t I find him in Hawke’s mansion?
For whatever reason, the romances who can and will agree to move in with Hawke during Act 2 don’t actually take up a position at Hawke’s estate until Act 3. Even when they have finally “moved in”, you can also still find them at their original homebase.
Did my Love Interest’s armor change?
Yes, their armor changes at some point late in their storyline or when your romance gets serious, depending on the love interest. Some changes are dramatic, others are more subtle.
Is there any way to keep both Bethany and Carver through the entire game?
Sadly, no. What happens to your siblings depends on which class you decide to play, for party balance in the earliest stages of the game. There is only one point past the initial choice of class at which you can truly determine what happens to Hawke’s siblings, and that is during the quest Deep Roads Expedition. Take Anders as well as the sibling into the Deep Roads on that quest if you want your sibling to become a Grey Warden.
Is it possible to romance more than one companion at a time?
Yes, and you may not even realize you’re doing so, with the sparseness of the romantic interactions in DA 2. Nor do love interests get jealous and confront you, the way they did in Origins. However, spending the night with Anders or Merrill ends other romances, so, don’t, say, rebound with Anders at a certain key crisis point in the romance with Fenris during Act 2 if Fenris is the one you want beside your character at the end. Just for fun, there is a party banter between Fenris, Anders, and Isabella after that crisis point, which differs slightly depending on how many of the three your character has flirted or spent the night with.
As of Patch 1.02 these should no longer be happening:
* Taking Isabela up on her offer to sleep with your character, even with no strings or romance planned, would improperly set your romance flag to her, causing the real romance flag not to set, messing up the ending narration.
* Isabela and Sebastian’s friendly approval passive ability bugged your player character. The bug stacked the more you remove them from the party, which could ultimately slow down your character to the point of ruining your game. While the patch fixed the bug so that it no longer occurs, player characters who are already slowed down by it are not retroactively fixed. PC users can modify the save file to remove the penalty themselves, however, and it will not reoccur. Here’s a step-by-step how-to: Permanent Solution for the Animation Slowdown Bug.
Recruitment: Complete the Tranquility quest by talking to Lirene in her Ferelden Imports shop in Lowtown, then visiting the healer in Darktown, agreeing to his request, and seeing that task through to unlock him.
Gift: Tevinter Chantry Amulet, found during the quest A Bitter Pill in Act 2.
Armor Upgrades: In Act 2, you can find three of Anders’ armor upgrades: Armor Struts, at Lirene’s Fereldan Imports in Lowtown, Lyrium Weave at Mage Goods in the Gallows Courtyard, and Spirit Essence, picked up during the Dissent quest. His fourth armor upgrade is Sigil of the Mage, and is acquired during the quest Best Served Cold.
Armor Change: Anders’ robe will become a darker, crisper version when you complete the quest Justice.
Personality: Anders is deeply and personally invested in the plight of Circle Mages in general and particularly the oppressive events in Kirkwall; actions that help and protect mages earn his favor. However, he is staunchly against consorting with demons and using blood magic.
Romance: On either a friendship or rivalry path, if you reach and complete his mid-way Questioning Beliefs stage, flirting with him before or during that conversation, you can spark a romance. When he suggests he will visit that night, meet him at Hawke’s estate to move the romance to the next phase. He can be invited to move in during the conversation that follows but will not actually be seen there until Act 3.
To reach completion of the romance finish his quests, deliver his gift, get him to maximum friendship or rivalry, side with the mages during The Last Straw, and speak with him at the Gallows during that quest.
Recruitment: Unmissable, on the way out of Lothering in the prologue.
Gift: The Shield of the Knight Herself, found in a crate near the exit during the quest Offered and Lost in Act 2.
Armor Upgrades: The first upgrade is available in Act 1: Underpadding can be found at the Armor Stand in Lowtown. Two more are available during Act 2: Impact Plating is also at the Armor Stand in Lowtown, while Flex-Chain is collected during the quest Raiders on the Cliffs. The final upgrade is Deflecting Joints, acquired from the quest Favor and Fault during Act 3.
Armor Changes: Aveline’s armor changes twice during the course of the storyline, once for Act 1, and again when you finish The Way it Should Be.
Personality: Aveline was raised by her father to be an honorable knightly type and fits easily into her role as Captain of the Guard. As such, she is on the side of law and order, though not without mercy or an appreciation for wiping out real baddies who deserve it. She generally doesn’t approve of greedy or law-breaking behaviours.
While you can flirt with Aveline, she is not a potential romance.
Recruitment: With Hawke as the game begins.
Gifts: Portrait of Your Mother, found during the Birthright quest.
Armor Upgrades: Heirloom Amell Protective Sigils, found during Birthright.
Armor Changes: Bethany’s robes may change depending on which of the three potential Act 1 outcomes you reach for her. Taking her and Anders on the Deep Roads Expedition will result in her undergoing one armor change, not taking her results in the other.
Companion Quest: Birthright
Personality: Hawke’s kind-hearted apostate mage little sister responds well to helpful, diplomatic dialogue choices and helping other mages.
Recruitment: With Hawke as the game begins.
Gift: Tobrius’s Documents, found during the Birthright quest and then activated by speaking with Tobrius at the Gallows.
Armor Upgrades: Ferelden Girded Plating, found during Birthright.
Armor Change: Carver may finally get some real armor depending on which of the three potential Act 1 outcomes you achieve for him. Taking him and Anders on the Deep Roads Expedition will result in one armor change, not taking him results in the other.
Companion Quest: Birthright
Personality: Carver is tired of being in the shadow of the mages in his family and having their apostate status keep him in constant danger, unable to build any sort of normal life. He begins the game with a massive chip on his shoulder toward Hawke in particular and mages in general, pre-disposed to the Rivalry path. He favors the templar position, but is not without heart.
Recruitment: Complete the quest Bait and Switch.
Specialization: Tevinter Fugitive
Gifts: The Book of Shartan, found in a sack in the Lowtown Alienage at night during Act 2, and Blade of Mercy, found during the quest Best Served Cold in Act 3.
Armor Upgrades: Three pieces are available during Act 2: Lyrium Scales from the Shady Merchandise dealer on the Docks, Tevinter Spirit Symbol from Robes by Jean Luc in Hightown, and Reinforced Straps found during A Bitter Pill. The fourth piece is Enchanted Resin, found at the Mine Massacre during Act 3.
Armor Change: Fenris makes some romance-influenced changes to his armor if the romance is taken far enough to be considered serious during Act 2. He ties a red cloth around his wrist, in a nod to chivalrous signs of favor, and adds the Amell crest on his armor at his hip.
Personality: Fenris is generally antagonistic toward mages, but can be won over even by a mage Hawke. Defending his freedom earns his respect. He favors the Templar position in the main events of the plot, so is best left out of mage-related quests where the character plans to take a mage-friendly stance. He will stand by a Hawke who supports the mages in the final act if max friendship has been gained. Pro-Templar play-throughs should find him little trouble to befriend.
Romance: At the mid-point along either the Friendship or Rivalry paths, flirting before or during his Questioning Beliefs conversation will set things in motion. When he visits Hawke’s estate at night, choose the flirty/romance options to move to the next phase. When Fenris is leaving, do not choose the “So you’re ending it.” dialogue option – this appears to end the romance, even though the romance ending icon does not display on the wheel.
To continue the romance, do *not* rebound with another companion. Give him any gifts you haven’t yet and keep completing his quests and conversations. He’ll be back. To complete the romance get him to maximum on either path and speak to him at the Gallows during The Last Straw.
Recruitment: Find her at the Hanged Man, then finish her Fools Rush In quest.
Gifts: Ship in a Bottle, found in Act 2 during the quest Black Powder Courtesy, and Rivaini Talisman, found during Act 3 in the Disused Passage located on the Docks at night.
Armor Upgrades: Three pieces are available in Act 2: Rigid Boning in the Apparel Shop in Lowtown, Supportive Corselet from Robes by Jean Luc in Hightown, and Lambswool Insoles found during the quest To Catch a Thief. In Act 3 you can pick up Full Bodied Leather Plates for her during the quest A Murder of Crows.
Armor Change: A romanced Isabela changes her armor if the romance is taken far enough to be considered serious during Act 2. Her white corset is swapped for a black one, and, like Fenris, she ties on a red cloth, as well as other, more subtle, changes.
Personality: Isabela loves a sense of humor and a Hawke who does not judge her for what some might perceive as personal failings and questionable morals.
Tips: Take her into the Fade and joke with her about her temptation to betray you, then be forgiving with her about it afterward for a hefty boost in friendship points.
Act on her request first when she and Aveline vie for Hawke’s aid just after the quest Following the Qun. You must have her at 50% or better along either path and have finished her Questioning Beliefs conversation to keep her as a companion past this point in the game.
Romance: Isabela will sleep with Hawke easily, but if a more long term relationship is desired, that’s trickier to achieve. You must be on a Friendship track and flirt with her during her Ongoing Search quest to set things in motion. Then, during her visit to Hawke’s estate during Act 2, flirt again and use all the investigate options available in the conversation afterward to discover why she’s reluctant to fall in love.
Take care that she returns after To Catch a Thief in order to continue the romance to completion, and, when she invites Hawke to join her on her pirate adventures, select the line “I’d like that.” Then finish the romance as normal, giving her both gifts, increasing her friendship to max, completing her final Questioning Beliefs conversation, and speaking with her at the Gallows during The Last Straw.
Recruitment: Found during Hawke’s delivery of the Amulet to Sundermount, during the Long Way Home quest.
Specialization: Dalish Pariah
Gifts: Wooden Halla Carving from Ilen’s Crafts shop during Act 2, and Sylvanwood Ring, found by looting the Thief Leader just outside the Dalish camp or during the quest A Murder of Crows during Act 3.
Armor Upgrades: Three are found during Act 2: Carved Ironwood Buttons from Ilen’s Crafts, Silver-Threaded Dalish Embroidery found at the top of Sundermount, and Samite Lining from Robes by Jean Luc in Hightown, The fourth, Halla Horn Buckles, is found during the quest A New Path in Act 3.
Armor Change: A romanced Merrill changes her armor if the romance is taken far enough to be considered serious during Act 2, trading in her greens for a finer armor of white and gold with a red cloth tied around one arm.
Personality: Merrill is a gentle soul who doesn’t respond well to being teased or a joking tone, but flourishes under kind and diplomatic interactions. Lost lore is very important to her.
Tip: The Forbidden Knowledge quest gives you rivalry points with Merrill if you destroy the book, or friendship points if you use it. If you plan to follow the recommended path of destroying all but the last book while pursuing a friendship path with her, don’t take her along until the last step.
Romance: Flirt before or during the mid-way Questioning Beliefs quest, and again when she visits Hawke’s estate to initiate a romance. You can invite her to move in. To complete the romance, give all gifts and complete all her quests and conversations, then talk to her at the Gallows.
Recruitment: Met during the quest Duty, and acquired on its follow-up quest, Repentance. As this is DLC, if you install it during a play-through in progress that misses starting Duty (my chanter’s board bugged, preventing my taking his initial quest), you can alternatively pick him up during the quest Faith.
Specialization: Royal Archer
Gifts: Starkhaven Longbow, from the quest Repentance in Act 2.
Armor Upgrades: Three upgrades can be found in Act 2: Enhanced Articulation, from the Armor Shop found in the Gallows Courtyard, Mail Undertunic, from the quest Repentance, and Reinforced Bracers, found at Olaf’s Armory in Hightown.
Personality: Pious, devoted to the Chantry and the Grand Cleric. Sebastian enjoys doing good works, but has no sympathy for the mages. He clashes with Anders, naturally.
Romance: Only available to a female Hawke, and only under strict conditions: She must never have flirted with any other love interest. Even then, he offers only chaste romance due to his vows and religious devotion.
To pursue him, bring him to maximum friendship and flirt with him during his Questioning Beliefs conversations. Take care, because events in the end game can cause Sebastian to leave. Only vengeance against one who harms what Sebastian holds dear, in that final stage of the game, will keep him at your side to finish the romance. To wrap things up talk to Sebastian at the Gallows.
* Note: the game doesn’t treat Sebastian as a real romance. Regardless of the outcome you achieve with him personally, the epilogue won’t mention it or say he stayed with you as it does the other love interests. It also doesn’t count him toward the core game romantic achievements.*
BioWare’s Short Story about Sebastian – Look for the pdf linked under “Lore” on the lower right.
Recruitment: Unmissable, joins Hawke in the opening cutscenes of Act 1.
Gifts: Tethras Signet Ring, found at the Trinkets Emporium in Lowtown during Act 2.
Armor Upgrades: In Act 1 you can find his Inscribed Leather Harness at the Apparel Shop in Lowtown. In Act 2, Coat Lining with Concealed Pockets can be bought from the Shady Merchant on the Docks, and Silverite-Reinforced Buckles can be acquired during the quest Family Matter. The fourth piece is Drakeskin Leg Straps, found during the quest Finding Nathaniel in Act 3.
Personality: Good-hearted and easy going, with a love of a good story, Varric gets along with nearly everyone and takes a sort of advisor-protector role to Hawke and his/her companions, though he tries to keep the extent of his kindness and generosity quiet. He appreciates a sense of humor and just about any Hawke personality that isn’t excessively rude.
(Text Copyright 02-01-2011, Kimberly Napper. This guide was originally posted on Squidoo.com. Now that Squidoo has closed, I’ve moved it here. No other site has permission to display this text. Dragon Age 2 and its characters are copyright Bioware.)