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Cullen Rutherford

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No one ever listens, not until it's far too late.

Cullen Rutherford

Knight-Captain (As of 9:31 Dragon)
Knight-Commander (As of 9:37 Dragon, possibly[1])
Commander (As of 9:41 Dragon,)
Unknown (brother)[2]
Mia (sister)[3]
Unnamed sister[2]

Cullen Stanton Rutherford is a templar serving at the Circle Tower at Kinloch Hold in Ferelden.

Involvement Edit

Dragon Age: Origins Edit

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“We now have a dog and Alistair is still the dumbest one in the party.” — Morrigan
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Origins. Click here to reveal them.

During the Magi Origin, Cullen is the templar assigned to execute the Magi if they were to fail their Harrowing and become an abomination. It is later revealed that he had feelings for a female mage and hated the idea of having to be the one to kill her. If the Warden tries to pursue relations with Cullen, he ends up becoming extremely nervous and runs away with the excuse of attending other duties.


Cullen will be found once again as the last surviving templar in the upper levels of the Circle Tower during the Broken Circle quest. When the Warden meets him trapped inside a magical prison (conjured by Uldred), he tries to dismiss the Warden as another illusion which points out that is how Uldred saw fit to torture the templars he had captured. If the Warden is a female mage, Cullen will reveal his infatuation with her.

Once Cullen has calmed down, he will try to convince the Warden to kill all the mages in the Harrowing Chamber, not just Uldred and the abominations, as he fears they may be blood mages in hiding.

If the Warden does not side with him, then he will try one last ditch effort to get the mages killed by complaining to Knight-Commander Greagoir, however Greagoir values Irving's word more. When siding with Cullen, the Warden will have the chance to agree with Cullen's complaint to Greagoir, which in turn even leads Irving to agreeing as well. In this event, the mages are all put under the watch of Cullen until something can be decided to do with them.

There are several rumors about Cullen's fate after the Fifth Blight, which may be revealed if the Warden was a mage or if they sided with him during the outbreak of abominations in the Circle Tower. If the Warden sided with Cullen, or was a mage who did not grant the Circle Tower autonomy, then the rumors say that Cullen will eventually become Knight-Commander of the Circle Tower after Greagoir retires, watching over the magi with a much more strict and cruel regime than even Greagoir had. If the Warden was a mage and did not side with Cullen, and gives the tower autonomy, the templar endures festering mental scars from his experience in the tower. This leads to an eventual mental breakdown during which he kills three mage apprentices before fleeing. These rumors are later revealed to be fictional.

Witch HuntEdit

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“Phew! Am I bleeding? Oh look, a rip in my robe.” — Finn
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If the Warden was a female mage, Cullen can be mentioned by gossiping mages at the Tower. They say that, following the events of Broken Circle, he was sent by Greagoir to the chantry at Greenfell until he "leveled out."

The Darkspawn ChroniclesEdit

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“A human lord hunts us, Vanguard. Show him what we know of death.” — The Archdemon
This article contains spoilers for Darkspawn Chronicles. Click here to reveal them.
Cullen is encountered during the Slay the Healer quest where he will fight alongside Knight-Commander Greagoir, Wynne and a few templars in the Denerim Market District. He must be slain to gain access to the Denerim Alienage.

Dragon Age II Edit

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“There are men who embrace destiny; these are the ones that change the world forever.” — Flemeth
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age II. Click here to reveal them.

Cullen was sent by Knight-Commander Greagoir to the Circle in Kirkwall, where he was promoted to Knight-Captain and second-in-command to Knight-Commander Meredith. He eventually encountered and became a recurring associate of Hawke, the Champion of Kirkwall.


Cullen's view on mages and magic have developed since his service under Greagoir. As a templar, Cullen accepts his duty to monitor the Circle of Magi and bring apostates to the Circle. As the story progresses, Cullen will confess to Hawke that Meredith is leading the Kirkwall Templar Order down a path he does not support. Cullen maintains that the Templar Order's purpose is not only to protect the population from magic, but also to protect the mages that the templars are sworn to oversee. As a result he begins to have doubts about his loyalty to Meredith versus his loyalty to the Templar Order.

Hawke first meets Cullen while Cullen is on an investigation and is interrogating a templar recruit about other recruits who have been recently disappearing. Later, if a non-mage Hawke does not take Bethany to the Deep Roads, it is Cullen who takes Bethany to the Circle. After Hawke's encounter with Ser Alrik, Cullen will discuss the merits of the Rite of Tranquility, but will insist that he did not support Alrik's "Tranquil Solution" and give his opinion that the current system of the Harrowing and hunting down maleficarum is the best solution. Cullen alerts Hawke to the accusations against Aveline and participates in the resolution of the short-lived conspiracy to oust Knight-Commander Meredith.

Cullen and the other templars attack the Gallows after Meredith invokes the Right of Annulment. If Hawke sides with the templars, they will be asked to decide the fate of 3 mages who surrender. If Hawke asks Cullen for an opinion, Cullen questions the necessity of annulling the Kirkwall Circle. He says the situation in Ferelden was much more dire and even then they saved some of the mages. In response, Meredith asks Cullen if he will take responsibility if it is proven that their prisoners are blood mages, Cullen answers that he believes that is what being a templar is about.


Cullen challenges Meredith.

During the final confrontation with Meredith, Cullen orders her to step down when she orders Hawke to be executed, stating that they had agreed only to arrest the Champion. Meredith will accuse him and the surviving templars of being blood mage thralls and then attack. Cullen will fight alongside Hawke.

If Hawke sides with the mages, Cullen will stand down after Meredith's defeat and allow Hawke to leave the city peacefully. Should Hawke side with the templars however, Cullen and the surviving templars kneel before Hawke after Meredith's defeat, earning the respect of the templars, and winning Hawke the position of Viscount.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit

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“Whatever we were before, we are now the Inquisition.” — The Inquisitor
This article contains spoilers for Dragon Age: Inquisition. Click here to reveal them.
Cullen tarot

Cullen tarot card

Following the Kirkwall Rebellion, Cullen rallied what remained of the city's templars and restored order. Seeing his potential, Cassandra Pentaghast recruited him into the Inquisition, granting him the rank of Commander.[4] He now leads the military arm of the organization and serves as the tactical advisor to the Inquisitor.[5]

When asked about his feelings about mages, he states that he has seen the suffering that magic can inflict and has treated mages with distrust because of it in the past - sometimes without cause. He admits that it was unworthy of him and says that he will try not to do so in the future. However, he still thinks that mages should be checked with safeguards to protect people - including the mages. Though he disagrees with the Templar Order's actions, he sympathizes with the Order's frustrations of having their work taken for granted.

As the war council assembles, Cassandra and Leliana suggest approaching the rebel mages for help with the Breach. Cullen disagrees, suggesting recruiting the templars instead, fearing that pouring too much magic into the Inquisitor's mark may destroy them all.

After the Inquisitor seals the Breach with the aid of either the mages or templars, Haven comes under attack by Corypheus. Cullen leads the defense but ultimately they are slowly outmatched. Cullen suggests using the remaining trebuchets to cause an avalanche to bury Haven, and the Inquisition along with it, until Chancellor Roderick reveals a secret pathway for them to escape. Cullen organizes the evacuation while the Inquisitor distracts Corypheus and his dragon. Once everyone is clear, he sends up a signal via fire arrow to let the Inquisitor know that the others are safe, at which point the Inquisitor triggers the destruction of Haven. The Inquisitor escapes and regroups with the Inquisition. Once they set up camp, Cullen argues with the rest of the war council on what to do, but tempers are calmed as Mother Giselle sings a hymn for the faithful.

The Inquisitor soon leads the Inquisition to Skyhold to set up their base of operations. Cullen rallies the warriors and others present to accept the Inquisitor as the official leader of the Inquisition.

Cullen brandishing sword

Inquisitor recruits the Mages: Cullen will inform the Inquisitor that the Red Templars are being led by General Samson, a man he has personal history with. If the Inquisitor follows Cullen's advice to investigate Samson, the Inquisition will raid a quarry full of the Red Templars' red lyrium supplies and Cullen will personally aid in the raid over the Shrine of Dumat- Samson's headquarters. Cullen will be present when Samson is brought before the Inquisitor to be judged.

Cullen later struggles with lyrium withdrawal. He first reveals that he has an agreement with Cassandra to remove him from duty should he prove a liability, and he can later be found arguing with Cassandra to choose a replacement for him because he is doubting his ability to command. The Inquisitor then has the option to either encourage him to fight his addiction or to go back on lyrium.


Cullen is a potential romance option for a female Inquisitor in Dragon Age: Inquisition, although only for humans or elves. He is also one of the few romance options whose romance can be initiated before the completion of his personal quest.

His romance can be initiated shortly after the Inquisitor arrives at Skyhold. Provided one is playing as a female human or elf, a short conversation with Cullen in the courtyard can be had as he is attempting to martial his troops, during which he pledges to the Inquisitor that he will never let her attempt to sacrifice herself for the good of the people again. Later, the female Inquisitor can initiate a romance with Cullen by asking if he has "time to talk". They take a stroll out onto the battlements, during which the Inquisitor confesses her feelings towards him. Provided that the Inquisitor fits Cullen's specifications (female and human/elf), the feelings are mutual and they share their first kiss. Cullen says later that he'd been wanting to kiss the Inquisitor "longer than he should admit". Throughout the rest of the game, the Inquisitor will have several cutscenes and unique conversations with Cullen if the romance option was selected.

After a mage Inquisitor encourages Cullen to continue to refuse lyrium, he can express regret for his attitudes in the previous game and state that, "The way that I saw mages...I'm not sure I would have cared about you. And the thought of that sickens me."

As with all other romanceable characters, if the inquisitor romances Cullen, two Orlesian nobles in the throne room will comment on the romance at each progression.


Dragon Age: Origins Edit

Ico Quest A Mage of the Circle
Ico Quest Broken Circle
Ico Quest Slay the Healer

Dragon Age II Edit

Act 1

Quest icon DA2 Enemies Among Us

Act 3

Quest icon DA2 Favor and Fault
Quest icon DA2 Best Served Cold
Quest icon DA2 The Last Straw

Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit

Quest icon DAI Before the Dawn
Quest icon DAI Perseverance
Quest icon DAI Happier Times

Quotes Edit

Dragon Age: Origins Edit

  • "Maker turn his gaze on you. I hope your compassion hasn't doomed us all."

Dragon Age II Edit

  • (To Hawke, Enemies Among Us, Act I) "I was at the Circle Tower in Ferelden during the Blight. I saw firsthand how templars' trust and leniency can be rewarded. I still have nightmares of Uldred's depravities."
  • (To Hawke, Enemies Among Us, Act I) "Mages cannot be treated like people. They are not like you and me. They are weapons. They have the power to light a city on fire in a fit of pique."
  • (To Hawke, Enemies Among Us, Act I) "There is a vigil before templars take their arms, but the gravest danger they face is falling asleep."
  • (To Hawke, Act I) "The image of the poor, chained apprentice is a powerful one. And one the mages are more than willing to exploit."

Dragon Age: Inquisition Edit

  • "Kirkwall's Circle fell. Innocent people died in the streets. Can't you see why I want nothing to do with that life?"
  • "Inquisition! With the Herald! For your lives! For all of us!"

Trivia Edit

  • Cullen shared quarters with Samson when he was transferred to Kirkwall. He thought Samson was a "decent man" at the time.
  • His full name is revealed by the herald at Empress Celene's ball in Inquisition. (Ser Cullen Stanton Rutherford of Honnleath)
  • He tells the Inquisitor, if asked, that as a child he was fascinated by the templars and begged them to teach him. Eventually the local Knight-Commander spoke to Cullen's parents on his behalf and, with their blessing, he left home to join the order at the age of thirteen.
  • If the imported Origins story featured a Human Magi Origin Warden, Cullen will refer to them in the beginning of Dragon Age II Act 2, e.g. "I knew an Amell once. She was a special woman. Never met her like again." in the case of a female Warden and "There was an Amell in the Ferelden Circle, he left before Uldred attacked and came back to save us all." in the case of a male Warden.
  • If the imported Origins save is a female Mage Warden, his Dragon Age II Codex makes a reference to his feelings for the Warden while they were at the Circle Tower.
  • Originally, Cullen wasn't a romance option for Dragon Age: Inquisition, but according to Mike Laidlaw, BioWare changed his role as a love interest when they extended the game's development for a year.[6]
  • Cullen enjoys chess, and often played against his sister as a child.[2]
  • If the imported worldstate to Inquisition involved a female Mage Warden from Origins Cullen will refer to her, though the dialogue differs if he is romancing the Inquisitor. If Leliana romanced a female Mage Warden in Origins and Cullen is not being romanced by the Inquisitor, he will try to ask Leliana about the Warden during War Table banter.
  • If Hawke sided with the templars during the Kirkwall Rebellion, Cullen was promoted to Knight-Commander of Kirkwall. Otherwise, he remained Knight-Captain,[1] even though he was the de facto commander in Kirkwall. However, at the Winter Palace during Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts, the herald will announce Cullen as "former Knight-Commander of Kirkwall", regardless of who Hawke sided with during the rebellion.[7]

Bugs Edit

  • In Inquisition, an Inquisition agent in Cullen's office in Skyhold will tell the Inquisitor that Cullen has gone to speak with Cassandra. However, if the Inquisitor has completed Sera's unmarked "prank" quest prior to this conversation, the Inquisitor cannot interact with this agent. This will render it impossible to find Cullen (which is otherwise accomplished by clicking on Cassandra), and he will never return to his office. Any further interaction with him becomes impossible, as does the completion of his questline. (Problem still goes on.)

Gallery Edit

See also Edit

Codex icon DA2 Codex entry: Knight-Captain Cullen

Codex icon DAI Codex entry: Cullen

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Brianne Battye. Twitter.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Skyhold and Companion Twitch Feed.
  3. Codex entry: Cullen
  4. Cullen official profile
  5. Character Profile: Cullen
  7. Brianne Battye. Twitter.

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