Oh cruel developer, why doest thou teaseth me? You presented us with Varric in Dragon Age II, a shining example of all things dwarven and manly. He wittily delighted us throughout the game and, in truth, was one of the best things about it. (Fenris and Isabela were the others.) Yet, despite the cries of fangirls (and boys!) everywhere who wanted nothing more than to run their hands though his chest pelt, you have decided to deny us.
It's not fair. Really, it just isn't.
Cullen will be a romance option this time around, which is great. Fans will definitely all be very happy to finally be romancing an iconic Dragon Age character after two games of teasing. Especially after witnessing his Romeo & Juliet love affair with the female mage in the Dragon Age: Origins' Circle of Magi introduction. We love him, and that's good stuff, but you know what? BioWare fans want it all.
Because this is Varric we're talking about here. He was flirting and teasing players all throughout the previous game. I mean, did you see that eye candy? That's what he is - a sweet, dwarven treat. He wasn't the human equivalent of dwarf bread, like Oghren. No. We can all see Varric is tender and delicious.
Putting him in Dragon Age: Inquisition, but not letting us romance him, is like saying, "Here's a cake. You can't eat it." Well BioWare. Having a cake is all well and good, but we want to eat it too. This is a love that was meant to be.
Besides, and I hate to say this, but not making him a romance option is a prime example of speciesism. You read that right. The internet is onto BioWare. The message is clear. It's perfectly fine for people to romance humans, elves, and qunari, but dwarves are out. And this isn't just me grasping at straws because I'm personally upset that Varric won't accept my advances. Three games' worth of evidence is here to back that point up.
Not having Oghren as a possible love affair was understandable, given his complicated relationship issues in Dragon Age: Origins. Sigrun could have been fair game in Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, though! She didn't have anyone else. Granted, there weren't any full romances in that expansion, but there have been DLC issues where BioWare allowed for a romantic interlude with another character. And guess what? Varric is in play too. Which means you should have let us play with him.
Considering BioWare's open-mindedness towards relationships in games, it seems odd that one race is continually excluded. Look at the track record. Nearly every elven party member has had some sort of romance option. That includes the temporary party member Tallis in Dragon Age 2's Mark of the Assassin. Dragon Age: Inquisition will give us our first Qunari romance. Practically every human is willing to pair up in every game. Even having a spirit from the Fade trapped inside of them doesn't keep them from finding love!
Yet, when it comes to dwarves, the only way one could get some loving is if the player chooses to actually be one in Dragon Age: Origins. Though Oghren did have that little issue with his estranged wife in the first game, BioWare didn't have to send him off with Felsi between the ending of Origins and the beginning of the Awakening expansion. Something could have happened with the Warden. (It may even have made his inclusion in Awakening more poignant.) Though Sigrun was part of an expansion without romances, there could have been a flirtation like there was with Tallis. Given her status as a Legion of the Dead casteless, it would have been heartwarming moment for a character that definitely needed it.
And then there's Varric. He's a character who, by all accounts, seems like the perfect romance option. The personality is there, and he's given plenty of opportunities to get close first to Hawke, and later to the Inquisitor. While, in retrospect, it now makes sense of him to never have been more than a friend and confidant to Hawke, the lack of love for the Inquisitor is inexplicable.
That is, unless we circle back to the speciesism theory. The fan demand for a love affair is there, and as we've seen with characters like Cullen and Garrus, BioWare is willing to cater to fans' passionate pleas for the loving embraces of virtual characters. The developer is even willing to joke about the obsession every April Fools' Day with a chest hair toupee. Despite all that, there's still no chance for romance and one can only wonder if it has to do with what he is, rather than who he is.
Jenni really wanted to romance Varric. You can follow her on Twitter @JMariye.