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Primary Name
Zevran Arainai
Alternate Names
Painted Elf
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ObjectID: 17585
Description Edit | History

User Summary

Zevran Arainai, ‘Zev’ to his friends, and ‘painted elf’ to Shale is a libidinous elf assassin from Antiva. His mother was a Dalish elf who fell in love with an elven wood cutter. When the wood cutter passed away she turned to prostitution to pay off his debts until she died in childbirth. Zevran was raised by the other prostitutes until the age of seven when he was sold to an elite guild of assassins called the ‘Crows of Antiva’. He attempted to resist their training but eventually gave in and excelled in his position.

The last job he performed in Antiva was to be carried out with the assistance of his fellow assassins, Taliesen and Rinna. Zevran became smitten with Rinna to such a degree that it directly conflicted with his assassin training. They received information that led them to believe Rinna had betrayed them and Zevran watched as Taliesen slit her throat, callously mocking her pleas of innocence and dying declarations of her love for him. The two men then carried out the mission on their own only to latter discover Rinna was innocent. Heartbroken and disgusted by his actions Zevran returned to the Crows and took up what many believed was a suicide mission: to kill two Grey Wardens in Ferelden. He took the job expecting to die only to have his would-be killers show him the mercy he had not given Rinna. This is brought up by the Guardian, who gets Zevran to admit it is the only murder he feels remorse for.

The contract was set up by Loghain and Arl Howe to assassinate the Warden who is lured into an ambush on The Long Road. Once defeated he can be killed or spared, offering to serve the Warden saying if he were to return to the Crows they’d kill him for failing anyway. Zevran is easygoing by nature and although many of the party members doubt he is trustworthy Zevran takes their suspicions in stride and deflects their accusations with wit. He has no guilt about what he does for a living and freely acknowledges that he is a killer.

Zevran once joined the Dalish but it was not a lifestyle he enjoyed and so gave it up. He claims to feel no collective kinship to other elves, those in alienages least of all but approves of decisions that benefit eleven kind. If the Warden sides with the Werewolves in ‘Nature of the Beast’ he will beg them to spare the Dalish and when brought up at camp will angrily claim "it is a ghoulish thing to bring up after everything that has transpired".

While in the Fade at the Circle of Magi in Zevran’s nightmare he is being pulled on the rack apparently reliving an old experience of being tortured by the Crows to prove that he could endure pain. While in Denerim Taliesen approaches the party and offers to take Zevran back to Antiva. If his approval rating is low Zevran (regardless if he's in the active party) will betray the team and permanently die in the following confrontation. If he has high approval he will deny the Crows and continue to assist the Warden in the fight against the Blight and possibly ask for his freedom.

Zevran will blatantly flirt with the Warden in addition to some of the companions and is undeterred by any declining of his advances. Almost immediately after being recruited into the team he will reveal his attraction to the Warden. If the Warden is concurrently romancing Alistair, Leliana, or Morrigan, Zevran will ask if that relationship is going anywhere and offer to step aside to avoid complications down the road, stating they have "had their fun" although there is some indication that his feelings run quite a bit deeper than he is letting on. After the death of Taliesen he offers the Warden an earring (it is hinted that it represents a proposal) and refuses sexual encounters explaining that he is confused about his feelings. After the Warden defeats the Archdemon and elects to rebuild the Grey Wardens Zevran will accompany them to rebuild the order, assisting with recruitment and training but he never joins himself. If the Warden makes the ultimate sacrifice in the final battle Zevran, despite frequent offers of bed partners never loves again.

He appears again in Dragon Age II still being hunted by the Crows and is encountered in a cave near a Dalish elf camp. He can be brought back to an Antivan named Nuncio, let go or fight him. If allowed to go and the Crows hunting him are killed he will appear during the final battle with Meredith to help Hawke. If Zevran was in a relationship with the Warden and the Crows are fought, Nuncio will comment that "the Warden is not there to protect Zevran this time."

Character Versions
Pg. 1
Zevran Arainai
Zevran Arainai
Party Member
Player Character
Appears in
Dragon Age: Origins
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Zevran Arainai
Zevran Arainai
Helpful NPC
Appears in
Dragon Age II
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More Information Edit | History

Character Quotes:

"(Sighs) And here I thought the Wonders of Thedas would be a whore house. Pity." -Zevran

"Now that we have mentioned tying me up in that context, do we have any extra rope about?" -Zevran

"You tend to get up to interesting things. You meet interesting people and then you kill them. I'm game to tag along, if you are." -Zevran

"Now when was the last time I put my hand into a dark hole, ah, long story" -Zevran

"I got the impression it involved sex, but then, I get that about most things." -Zevran

"Just once I'd like to walk into one of these places and discover a lively dance, or a drinking festival. Or an orgy. But alas, no." -Zevran

"By your side I would willingly storm the gates of the Dark City itself. Never doubt it!" -Zevran

"Arg! Pirate Zevran reporting for duty! Prepare to be boarded!" -Zevran

"No dinner? Flowers? Gifts of lethal poison? (Chuckles) You spoil me." -Zevran

"Yes, it's terrible and it makes me sad. May I rest my head in your bosom? I wish to cry." -Zevran


Writer Sheryl Chee has said that when going out for a drink Zevran would "insist on garnishing his with an orange slice and an umbrella."

Lead Writer, David Gaider described Zevran as "deceptively spicy salsa."

One of David Gaider's influences for Zevran was Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Lord Rochester from Plunkett & Macleane.

It has been suggested that some of Zevran's demeanor came from a 1970's-80s tv commercial. However many aspects of his character and behaviour emulate Puss-in-Boots from the Dreamworks animated film Shrek 2, such as his accent, his love of leather boots, the fact he is an assassin sent by the King, how he offers his life in service after being allowed to live, and Puss is even called a "sleazy hit man" which is how Zevran is seen by others.

The quote during one of the possible endgames "You meet interesting people and then you kill them" is a nod to the movie Full Metal Jacket in which the lead character mentions that he wanted "to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture... and kill them."

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Pg. 1
Rank 960
Num Ratings 194
Average Rating 6.81
Average Weight 3.00
Num Owned 466
Prev. Owned 24
For Trade 7
Want in Trade 1
Wishlist 15
Comments 41
Release Date 2011-03-08
Rank 75
Num Ratings 778
Average Rating 7.89
Average Weight 2.88
Num Owned 1263
Prev. Owned 65
For Trade 19
Want in Trade 2
Wishlist 20
Comments 101
Release Date 2009-11-03
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