Poppy is the author of A Bard's Lament and the Black Diamond series. She lives in Enoshima with her husband and young son.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is the latest in the epic fantasy role-playing video game series, Dragon Age. As in previous games, it is possible to enter romantic relationships with certain characters, providing that your own character meets certain criteria.
This article is a step-by-step guide on how to romance Cullen, your war counselor and one of your advisors. Although he is not a playable character, he is there from beginning to end and available to complete War Table quests.
You can only romance Cullen as a female elf or a female human.
Meeting and Flirting With Cullen
Cullen is with you from the start, right after you've sealed some Fade Rifts with Solas and Cassandra. However, you can't speak to him beyond generic cutscenes until you have traveled to the Hinterlands to meet with Mother Giselle.
As soon as you can speak privately with him in Haven, approach him. He'll rant a bit about the state of things, then apologize for going on too much. Select the romance option "I like your enthusiasm." He gets very flustered, which is cute.
Keep chatting to him whenever you can. Ask about his life as a Templar, but avoid conversations about Lyrium, as it makes him uncomfortable. When he talks about his Templar vows, choose the flirt option "What about vows against celibacy?"
Unlike most of the other characters, Cullen does not have an official approval rating. However, it boosts your chances of gaining his friendship and trust if you ally with the Templars, by selecting the Champions of the Just quest and suggesting they become your allies. Choosing to ally with them also gains positive approval rating from Cassandra, Iron Bull, Varric, Blackwall and Vivienne.
There isn't much more you can do with romancing Cullen until after you have completed the quest "In Your Heart Shall Burn." Approach Cullen in Skyhold, where he is having a conversation with his soldiers. Ask him if he's okay. When he talks about what happened in the previous quest, select the romance option "I'm glad we made it." You'll see a sweet moment between your character and Cullen.
When you have accepted Dorian into your party (if you hadn't already), approach Cullen again in Skyhold. You will see him and Dorian playing a game of chess, with an amusing cutscene (if this isn't working, work on your friendship with Dorian). Accept to play a game with him, and select "play fair".
Afterwards, Cullen will say he enjoyed the game. Flirt by saying "we should do this more often."
Ask to talk with him alone. There, you can choose to enter a relationship with him (If you're an elf, your character will ask if Cullen has a problem with you being Dalish, but this has no effect on the romance).
After the main quest storyline "Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts" (where Cullen will dance with you in a touching scene), go find Cullen. He won't be there, as his assistant says he's talking with Cassandra. Despite Cassandra being in the same place she usually is (near the inn), she will be talking to Cullen when you find him in a building near the sparring area, which is north-east of the inn where Sera and Iron Bull hang out.
Watch the cutscene with Cassandra and Cullen, then go find him yourself. Select the romance option "I care about what you want."
This is very important: do not encourage Cullen to continue taking Lyrium. Instead, encourage him to fight through the pain. If you tell him to take the drug, he may cut off the romance with you.
Cementing the Romance
Go and do some more sidequests while Cullen takes some time to cool down. Not long after, Cullen will ask if you will travel to Ferelden with him. Accept by saying "let's go," which leads to a sweet scene. Accept the gift he offers to you.
This cements the romantic relationship, making it impossible to enter a relationship with someone else (unless you end things with Cullen, but, why would you want to?)
After the quest "Here Lies the Abyss", you will have a chance to enter an exclusive relationship with him, prompting a steamy love scene. Cue the screaming fangirls!
Compared to some other characters such as Cassandra, it is fairly easy to enter a romance with Cullen. He is very shy and gets flustered at first, but once you have won his heart, he is passionate, making fangirls around the world squeal with delight. Do you love Cullen as much as we do?
Questions & Answers
Question: In Dragon Age: Inquisition, can I still romance Cullen when I chose the Mages and not the Templars? Does my decision affect and/or minimize my chances?
Answer: Cullen doesn’t have an approval rating, so it’s still possible to romance him.
Question: I got past Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Can I still romance Cullen?
Answer: That depends. Did he dance with you? What does he say when you talk to him? I think it is possible if you ask him if he’s seeing anyone.
Question: What if I missed everything? Can I start a romance with him now?
Answer: It depends which point of the game you are at. If you’ve finished the entire story then yes, it’s too late.
Question: Why can't I play chess with Cullen in Dragon Age: Inquisition? He's, holed up in his quarters at Skyhold. Did I do something wrong or is it still not time for that scene yet? (since I chose the Mages, I already accepted Dorian)
Answer: Your relationship with Dorian has to be decent as well. Try doing more quests, because if you only just reached Skyhold then most of the fortress is still under construction. If you do both these things and it’s still not working, talk to Cullen and ask him everything you possibly can by selecting all of the dialogue options. If it’s still not working, save the game and then advance the story by doing a main story quest. It might work after that (but it depends how far you are now).
Question: How do I romance him again after I broke up with him?
Answer: You can’t. Once you’ve broken up with any character in DA:I it’s impossible to get back together with them.
Question: In Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’m romancing Solas and I plan to break up with him at the waterfall and then go to Cullen. Cullen asked me if I would rather spend time with Solas instead; what do I say?
Answer: It's always risky going through cutscenes with Cullen without selecting the proper romance options because there might not be enough options left to flirt after you break up with Solas. However, if you break up properly it's still possible to ask Cullen if he's seeing anyone, so long as you haven't already finished the main story. I'd create an extra save file just in case.
Question: If I didn’t choose the “I like your enthusiasm” comment in "Dragon Age: Inquisition," can I still romance Cullen?
Answer: Yes, you can. You can romance him just by asking “are you with anyone?” in Skyhold even if you’ve barely flirted before (as long as you’re not in a relationship with anyone else).
© 2016 Poppy
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on April 08, 2020:
Check your map. He should be in his office.
Elya on April 08, 2020:
How do I talk to Cullen alone? Whenever i come back to haven after talking with Mother Giselle i can never find him.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on April 02, 2020:
No, it doesn't matter. You have to do both to finish the game anyway.
Latha Smith on April 02, 2020:
Does it matter what order you do here lies the abyss and wicked eyes and wicked hearts
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on February 22, 2020:
Yes, you can still romance him no matter your character's race or class, as long as you're a female human or female elf.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on February 22, 2020:
All of the romanceable characters have polls, not just the males!
Creature on February 22, 2020:
Can you still romance Cullen if you ally with the mages? I was thinking of playing an elf mage in my next game and romancing him. Starr-cross’d lovers, you know?
Li on February 22, 2020:
I really hate the poll, brings down the character and his backstiry to sexism. Awful.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on February 19, 2020:
Hey Joey, yes you do have to finish Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts!
Joey on February 19, 2020:
Question if you don't mind. I've done the Here Lies The Abyss quest but not the Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts cause I'm busy levelling up my mage. Do I have to complete the other main quest to get the steamy love scene?
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on February 09, 2020:
Hi Larissa, thank you for your comment! You should definitely accept Cullen's gift in Fereldan to cement the romance. Reload an old save file if you want Cullen to be yours!
Larissa on February 09, 2020:
I have a small question, is it bad that I didn't accept his gift in Ferelden?
Btw thank you so much for writing this!
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on January 26, 2020:
Thanks, Lauren! For me, it was always Dorian. I'm still finding out more about this game years later.
Lauren on January 26, 2020:
I think there are multiple people who can be found playing chess with Cullen depending on your previous choices. I walked up to a game being played between Cullen and Leliana...thought she was trying to steal my man.
Reya on July 29, 2019:
Ive gotten to the part at skyhold but i havent seen them play chess yet
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on February 20, 2019:
Weird. It's always Dorian with me. I think it's possible to romance Cullen either way, so don't worry!
Ashley on February 20, 2019:
Approval with Dorian has nothing to do with the chess scene. Cassandra showed up instead.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on November 20, 2018:
Hi, Taylor. There are two possibilities. 1, you need to develop further in the story or 2, the romance has been cut off because you didn't stop him taking lyrium.
Taylor on November 20, 2018:
HELP please, i didnt agree that he should stop taking lyrium and he isnt asking me to ferelden it looks like our romance stopped even though i an still kiss him.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on November 02, 2018:
Oh, Kelly... I agree. I agree so much.
Kelly on November 02, 2018:
Cullen is adorable, but Blackwall is still the hottest of them all.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on January 11, 2018:
Haha that’s what fan art is for I guess :)
Tina Stout on January 11, 2018:
I love Cullen but wish there was more love scenes with him. Wish they would do an update and put more in or make a different world to play.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 21, 2017:
You're welcome! You can still romance Cullen if you haven't flirted with him in Haven. You haven't lost your chance or anything :)
Saoilori on December 21, 2017:
Thanks for your reply, i think i might not have choosen flirt option in first dialogue by mistake and thats why, yes im still in haven
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 20, 2017:
Are you still in Haven? You have to ask him every possible dialogue option, and I think it's AFTER you flirt for the first time. If you didn't get the "vows against celibacy" dialogue option, you can still easily romance him, so don't worry about it too much.
Saoilori on December 20, 2017:
Can anyone tell me why option about templars vows didnt appear for me? :(
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 19, 2017:
That’s adorable. Cullen’s romance is definitely the sweetest.
Sarah on December 19, 2017:
Having seen Cullen since DAO and his crush on my mage girl at the beginning I knew when I played DAI this time he needed to have a dalish mage. It just cemented it ever since that one play through in DAO. Felt like Cullen finally got his happiness in the storyline :)
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 17, 2017:
Complete all the dialogue options, speak to everybody else, or go off and do other missions because sometimes a little time needs to pass by before you can move on with the relationship.
Olivia on December 17, 2017:
Yes, and I accepted the gift he gave me what do I do now?
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on December 16, 2017:
Have you been with him to the lake yet?
Olivia on December 16, 2017:
I finished the "Here Lies the Abyss" quest but nothing happened
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on October 20, 2017:
Go and do some other quests then come back and talk to him :)
jenn on October 19, 2017:
Ok ive done the lake scene. No how do i get to the steamy love bits lol
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on September 26, 2017:
Hmm.. maybe you need to give him time. Go and do some other quests and then come back.
V Magee on September 25, 2017:
I did not get the Cut scene Cut scene where you go to the lake? I think I went to here lies the abyss to fast. I still got to romance him though.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on August 16, 2017:
You have to be in Skyhold and Dorian has to be in your party. How's your approval rating with Dorian? You may (I'm not 100% sure) have to have a certain amount of approval points with him before you can trigger the chess cutscene.
FemquisTrevelyan on August 16, 2017:
I still don't completely understand how you get the chess cutscene. Do you have to look for Cullen straight after recruiting Dorian or what?
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on July 21, 2017:
Thanks for your comment, Cassie, and I'm so happy the guide helped you! He is really cute, isn't he? :D
Cassie on July 21, 2017:
Cullen is the best! I already played through the game twice (on my third playthrough) and I have your post to thank for helping me romance him. I have romanced him every time through because I am weak and he is precious.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on June 17, 2017:
Oh wow haha, show me your modded version!
Auriela on June 17, 2017:
Oh no, haha. Seeing his picture made me forget that in my modded game isn't actually how he looks. Oops.
Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on March 03, 2017:
Same, he's adorable!
Kayla on March 02, 2017:
I love Cullen's character.