Male or female
Hawke is the player-controlled protagonist of Dragon Age II. Hawke is fully voiced, can be either male or female and has a fully customizable appearance. Hawke can be a mage, warrior or rogue. The default given name for Hawke is Garrett for a male, and Marian for female.
Hawke's father Malcolm was an apostate mage who died three years before the beginning of the game, while his/her mother Leandra (of the Amell family) is a noble from Kirkwall. Hawke has two younger twin siblings - the mage Bethany and the warrior Carver - who are mutually exclusive potential companions.
- Main article: Storyline for Dragon Age II
Around the year 9:30 Dragon, the Fifth Blight has just begun and, following their victory at Ostagar, the darkspawn fell upon the village of Lothering. The Hawke family was among the last to escape alive. Hawke's mother Leandra suggests that they flee to Kirkwall, where her younger brother Gamlen holds the Amell estate. On the road they stumble into Aveline and her templar husband, Wesley, also survivors of the massacre. During their escape, they run into further bands of darkspawn. Though the party defeats many of these creatures, victory comes at a cruel price: Aveline's husband contracted the darkspawn taint and one of Hawke's siblings was slain by an Ogre. Surrounded by darkspawn and on the verge of death, Hawke's party was rescued by an attacking High dragon. The dragon turns out to be Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds. Flemeth offers them safe passage to Gwaren in exchange for a favor. Hawke has no choice but to agree.
Hawke's party boards a ship to Kirkwall but finds that the city is filled with an influx of Ferelden immigrants, all fleeing the Blight. The city guard has been turning the refugees away and banning them from the city. Worse, they discover that Gamlen has gambled away the Amell estate and fortune. Gamlen is able to get a contact to bribe Hawke's party into the city, but only if they agree to work off a tremendous debt. Hawke has no choice but to agree to be under the contact's employ.
One year later, Hawke has managed to work off the debt but still lacks the funds needed to properly care for the entire family. Hawke was persuaded by an associate, Varric, to become a business partner in his and Bartrand's Deep Roads Expedition. Though Bartrand betrayed both Hawke and Varric during the expedition, the treasures found within the Deep Roads have brought Hawke both fame and fortune. (However, if Hawke's surviving sibling accompanied Hawke into the Deep Roads, he/she was tainted by the Blight. If accompanied by Anders, the sibling can be offered a choice: death or join the Grey Wardens. If the sibling did not accompany Hawke into the Deep Roads then the surviving sibling will either be inducted into the Circle of Magi or the templars depending on the sibling's class.)
Three years later, Hawke's status in Kirkwall has improved substantially. Hawke was asked by the templar Emeric to investigate the mystery of the missing women in Kirkwall. Hawke's mother, Leandra, was abducted by the white-lily serial killer while on her way to visit Gamlen. Following the killer's trail, Hawke finds that Leandra has been murdered and pieced together with parts of other women. Her killer and the instigator of all the serial killings is a blood mage named Quentin. Keeping Leandra alive with his magic, Quentin aspires to recreate the image of his dead wife. Hawke battles Quentin and his demon and undead forces. After Quentin dies, Leandra also dies. Her last words were telling Hawke how proud she is of her eldest. Hawke mourns the loss of his/her mother while being comforted by friends.
Tensions between the Qunari (who have been stranded in Kirkwall for several years and refuses to leave without their missing relic) and the city's denizens have also been escalating. Things reach a boiling point when Aveline, now captain of the guard, enlists Hawke's aid in trying to arrest some criminal elves who have been granted religious sanctuary in the Qunari Compound. The Arishok takes offense to the attempted arrest of his new converts and counterattacks, marshaling his forces to conquer the city and convert it to the Qun. Hawke is able to rally the templars and mages and fight back the Qunari. They reach the Viscount's Keep where Hawke either defeats the Arishok or is able to bargain with him to leave the city peacefully. Having saved the city, Hawke is crowned the new Champion of Kirkwall.
Another three years pass. Knight-Commander Meredith has taken stewardship of the city at the request of the Chantry, but so far has prevented the election of a new viscount. Meredith's stance against the mages has become harsher. After several more mages escape the Circle, Meredith orders more raids, crackdowns, and unwarranted incarcerations. Meanwhile, tales of insurrection from the Mage Underground have been becoming more frequent but have steadily declined to the point of almost utter annihilation due to Meredith's harsh tactics. First Enchanter Orsino accuses Meredith of being a tyrant and urges the citizens of Kirkwall to revolt against her. The citizens of Kirkwall look to Hawke to keep the peace between the Templars and the Circle. Meanwhile, Hawke is also requested to protect the city from maleficarum apostates and foils a mage-templar conspiracy seeking to overthrow Meredith.
Things reach a boiling point when Anders blows up the Kirkwall Chantry in order to remove the chance of peaceful compromise. Meredith immediately orders the Rite of Annulment and demands that the Champion stand with her and her templars in executing every mage in the city. First Enchanter Orsino pleads with the Champion to defend them against the templars, citing that the Circle had nothing to do with the attack on the Chantry. Hawke will have to choose to support First Enchanter Orsino and the mage cause, or the knight-commander and her templars.
The final battle ends in the Gallows. Desperate to defeat the knight commander's forces, Orsino uses Blood Magic to become a harvester. Meredith, driven insane and paranoid by her red lyrium forged sword, also becomes an enemy of Hawke. Both are eventually defeated by Hawke to restore the peace.
Two possible endings occur depending on who Hawke supports in the final battle:
- Defend the Mages:
The Champion and Hawke's allies escape Kirkwall before templar reinforcements arrive. Hawke's name becomes a rallying cry for oppressed mages everywhere.
- Support the Templars:
The Champion supports templars in exterminating the mage threat. Gaining the respect of the Order, Hawke is appointed the new Viscount of Kirkwall. Hawke's name becomes a reminder of templar oppression for mages everywhere.Whatever path the player takes, Varric recalls that Hawke has mysteriously disappeared. Hawke's whereabouts are currently unknown, but Varric doubts that Hawke is dead.
Based on dialogue options the player chooses, Hawke can exhibit three distinct personalities.
- Diplomatic/Helpful: light green/light blue highlight (olive branch/angel wings and halo)
- Sarcastic/Charming: purple highlight (comedy mask/diamond)
- Aggressive/Direct: red highlight (fist/hammer/twin swords)
The first dialogue choice the player chooses sets Hawke's personality. If the player frequently chooses dialogue from the same type, that attitude will "stack". If the player decides to change Hawke's personality, one of the other two attitudes must be selected more than twice as many times as the current one has. The idea behind this system is to ensure a consistency in Hawke's delivery throughout each Act (though past a certain point, Hawke's personality is effectively crystallized as there will not be enough dialogue remaining to 'overcome' the dominant attitude). The current personality can be confirmed by having a companion right-click Hawke (if they say something funny, for example, they are sarcastic/charming). At the start of each Act, Hawke retains the established personality, but the "stack" of previous choices is reduced, making it easier to change Hawke's tone.
- Main article: Hawke/Dialogue
- (To Carver during Family History) "I'm sure someone thought far too long about my name."
- (During Raiders on the Cliffs) "Evet's Marauders, they're just men. Flesh and bone. Flesh can be torn. Bones can be broken. Alone, they will pick you off one by one; together, we are unstoppable! On me!"
- "Let's make Kirkwall a better place for everyone."
- "When in doubt, run away, and let me handle it."
- "Something else I can help with?"
- "Onward! There's much to be done."
- "Excuse me. Was I in your way?"
- "Oooh, cloak and dagger phrases! How about... the queasy crow... flies at midnight?"
- (During On the Loose) "Someday, I'd like to go one week without meeting an insane mage. Just one week."
- (In Mark of the Assassin)) "Next time, could we hunt something small and cuddly? Maybe vegetarian?"
- (In Legacy) "I'd like to know who this "Corypheus" is. With a name like that, he's bound to go "mwa-ha-ha" at some point. I just know it."
- (To Varric Tethras) "Is it brilliant or horrible that you play diamond back with my dog?"
- "Hawke this, Hawke that." Why does everything fall to me?
- "Where are we going? How should I know? Do I look like the leader of this merry band of misfits?"
- "We do a lot of walking, don't we?"
- "So what have you thought of the weather lately?"
- "What earth shattering matter requires my attention this time?"
- (During Finders Keepers) "They say your life flashes in front of your eyes before you die. Any helpful flashes yet?"
- (In Blackpowder Promise) "Seems to me, the last man standing gets final say on who is right or wrong."
- (In Raiders on the Cliffs) "Anyone who leaves, is a deserter. And we all know what happens to deserters..."
- "You better have a good reason for bothering me."
- "I don't like it when people interrupt my thoughts."
- "Why are you pestering me for?"
- "This is not the time for chatter."
- "What is it?"
- Hawke is the second cousin to the Human Mage Warden through Leandra (see Amell family).
- If played as a warrior or rogue, Hawke was part of King Cailan's army at Ostagar.
- It is worth noting that many of Hawke's companions are powerful figures within the world of Dragon Age; Sebastian is prince of Starkhaven, Aveline is Guard-Captain of Kirkwall, Varric commands a large spy network and Hawke's sibling is potentially a Grey Warden.
- Those who purchased and played Dragon Age II and logged on prior to March 15, 2011 were eligible for the BioWare Signature Pack for Dragon Age Legends, which added Hawke as a companion; his war cry is "Thanks for buying Dragon Age 2!", however with the release of the single-player version of Dragon Age Legends, his war cry was changed to "A Champion always strikes twice!".
- Hawke is roughly 24 or 25 at the start of Act 1. Gamlen states that Leandra left with Malcolm 25 years ago and Malcolm states that Leandra was pregnant when they left. This would mean that by the end of the game, Hawke is 30-31.
- An additional Act 1 plot for a mage Hawke was ultimately cut, since the story (which involved entering the Fade) was complicated and didn't work very well.