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Can't Talk | August 11, 2020

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Macklemance, Part One

Macklemance, Part One
  • On April 14, 2015

Welcome esteemed contributor Ness for a new series on romancing Cullen from Dragon Age: Inquisition! Please send all Cullen-supportive complaints her way, although one third of Can’t Talk Media tends to agree with her 😉


I am not what you’d call a Cullen fan.

That may be understating it a touch. I don’t like Cullen, not even a little bit. I haven’t since the first time I met him, way back in “Dragon Age: Origins,” and my impression of him has only gotten worse over time.

In Origins, I found him weak and overdramatic—especially after playing through as an Amell, the human mage origin. A templar lusting after a mage? It feels gross to me for power imbalance reasons, among others (that’s a whole other thing, though).

In “Dragon Age 2,” he was a blustering fool, apparently content to ignore the very real magical threats around him in favor of letting Knight-Commander Meredith commit atrocities on those in the Kirkwall Circle of Magi. By all means, turn a blind eye to the blood mages seeking to plant demons in the templar ranks in favor of making a mage Tranquil for sending love letters. Seems completely reasonable.

I didn’t expect to like him any more in Inquisition, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I’ve done seven full playthroughs of Dragon Age Inquisition and not even considered romancing him.

After the first couple, I talked to him only enough to get his plot quest if I side with the mages (or to force him to keep taking lyrium, natch). Otherwise, I avoid that section of Skyhold altogether.


I’ve talked my share of crap about him on Twitter, in meatspace, on the Can’t Talk podcast. I am, however, a fan of seeing things from all sides. There was only one way to get a fuller view of Cullen Rutherford.

“Try romancing him,” they said. “You’ll like him after you talk to him more,” they said. “The doinking is excellent,” they said.  

So, in the interest of fairness, I decided to give him a go when I rolled my newest Inquisitor because I apparently hate myself.  

I decided on a mage noble human, named her Seamus Trevelyan. I resisted—only just—the temptation to make her freakishly unattractive.

I set rules for myself: The goal was to romance him. So no doing anything that would actively destroy that. If there was a romantic dialogue option, I had to take it. And (worst of all) I had to be nice to him. I—or, rather, Seamus—had to act as if she liked him because, well, she does.  


I knew it was a good idea (or at least a hilarious one) when my husband starting laughing; evidently, I’d been sighing, disgruntled and overdramatic, whenever Cullen appeared on-screen.

There’s no way this could end badly.

(Oh, and why Macklemance? Isn’t it obvious?)

cullenmance_1(editor’s note: Incredible Cullen images courtesy of artist extraordinaire Glee. Find her work at

  • Like (7)


  1. Tasmen

    Cullen, aka Macklebore… You are romancing him so I do not have to. SOLIDARITY!

  2. Ness


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