Baldur’s Gate 3 offers a range of romance options for players wanting to get loved up with its main companions (and various other NPCs). However, based on the noise coming from social media, one stands a cut above the rest when it comes to the sheer level of thirst and adoration they’ve inspired: the high-elf rogue, Astarion. And, honestly – fans are so real for that, and here’s why.
While being sassed and making morally questionable choices in pursuit of approval might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s certainly right up the alley of enough players that he’s spawned a devoted following hanging off every quip and back-handed compliment that rolls off his silver tongue. If you’ve not delved deep into Baldur’s Gate 3, or just haven’t spent quality time with the pale elf just yet – you’re missing out. Astarion brings a level of chaos to any playthrough that many Dungeons & Dragons players only dream of – doing things for the bit only? Perfection.
Faerun’s favourite vampire spawn is the perfect addition to your party of otherwise very good-leaning companions (excluding Shadowheart, or ‘Shart’ as she’s affectionately and unfortunately known by the fandom). While in a real-world companion or romantic partner, a proclivity for crime and bedlam is not particularly desirable, in the much more fun world of Baldur’s Gate 3 inside my little computer it’s a nice reprieve from feeling compelled to always be the hero in order to please my travel buddies. While the other companions might bemoan having to kill to continue on our quest, Astarion practically jumps for joy – and the TikTok girlies (myself included) are eating up his unbridled joy, even if it is for a less-than-chill reason.
While personally, Astarion’s flamboyant displays or cutting remarks (levelled at both you and other characters) are part of his overall charm – if you’re more of a fan of the deeper level story and lore aspects of a character when it comes to choosing which cluster of pixels to form a strange emotional attachment to, there’s plenty of that to go around as well.
Astarion has one of the most compelling stories throughout Baldur’s Gate 3, in particular his complex relationship with the Illithid tadpole in his brain. What serves as a ticking time bomb for yourself and your companions has given him a level of freedom from Cazador, and from all the ills of being a vampire spawn (namely, the inability to daywalk). This direct contrast and internal struggle adds yet another layer to a character that could have easily become a two-dimensional sneaky half-elf serving cunt aesthetically and personality-wise – and this is before delving into the options in late-game when it comes to whether to assist him into ascending or not and all that entails, and his overall character development throughout the whole story.
Of course, Astarion is just one of many well-written characters in Baldur’s Gate 3 that you can form a deeper bond with, but given your initial meeting involves being held at knife point and working your way through an unhinged exterior (to an equally unhinged, but in a romantic way, interior), seeking and achieving a romance with him feels all the more satisfying in a way I’d previously only experienced after being spurned by Shadowheart multiple times over during the game’s early access.
Whether or not you end up romancing Astarion and find yourself deep in brain-rot territory, watching thirst edits on TikTok for a fictional edgy half-elf vampire spawn man from a video game or not and telling yourself “I could fix him” (couldn’t be me), his story from start to end including all of the varying ways it can play out is well worth exploring at least once over. If you’re not quite sold on skirting the edges of morality to gain his affection and approval, there’s certainly other fantastic options in Baldur’s Gate 3 – take Karlach, for example – but it’s simply not Dungeons & Dragons without inviting pure chaos and low-key criminal behaviour into your game, so I’ll be sticking to the best boy for the time being.
And to all the TikTok Astarion thirst edit creators out there; you’re doing the gods’ work, brave soldiers.
Lead Image Credit: Larian Studios
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