This series started as a way to get me comfortable illustrating different skin tones & to build up palettes for all the characters. But I’m finding myself really digging doing the quick portrait sketches.
You know something I really appreciate about Zevran? His repeated asking and checking that the warden consents to everything in their relationship. Even from the earliest stages, where he’s just admitting he finds the warden attractive:
[pictured: a quote from Dragon Age Origins from Zevran: “I fancy many things. I fancy things that are beautiful and things that are strong. I fancy things that are dangerous and exciting. Would you be offended if I said I fancied you?]
In asking if it offends, he gives the warden the opportunity to say “your flirting/advances make me uncomfortable” and willingly accepts it.
[pictured: several quotes from Dragon Age Origins from Zevran - 1. “But a beautiful woman like yourself? Why not? I am sure you draw many stares from men and even other women. Does this bother you? 2. “But you would prefer I desisted perhaps? It would be difficult […] but I am nothing if not a gentleman” 3. “But a handsome man like yourself? Why not? I am sure you are a man who draws many stares from women and other men alike. Does this bother you?” 4. “But if you would rather I desisted, I shall do so. I’ve no wish to make you uncomfortable”]
When you question him on why he stares/gazes at the warden on a frequent basis, he explains and then gives the warden the opportunity to say “yes, this makes me uncomfortable, please stop”
[pictured: a quote from Dragon Age Origins from Zevran - “A willing victim it is. And if I might ask, if the opportunity to proceed past the massage should present itself…?”]
And even when he’s obviously asking the warden to sleep with him, he still checks the warden is certain of what they’re getting into and what they want (and if the case may be they just want a massage, he accepts it).
Everyone dismisses Zevran as a casual romance, whose only in it for the sex and cares for little else, but its obvious that he has a great respect for everyone, and is willing to understand and accept boundaries, regardless of how he may feel about it and I really really appreciate that there is a character who so frequently checks on the warden’s feelings and consent.
Zevran Arainai was born in 9:04-9:05 Dragon, making him ~40 years old at the time of the Trespasser events in Inquisition in 9:44 Dragon, and I would love to see more art of middle-aged looking Zevran. Especially in DA4 speculative works. Beautiful older Zevran, please. Laugh lines, crows feet (teehee), threads of silver/grey hair.
the first night with zevran, the warden tries to cuddle up to him only to have zevran tell them that he is not comfortable with cuddling, he is used to not being able to trust his bed mate and to always be prepared for attacks
the warden can respect that, and every night afterwards, they sleep apart but always being comforted by the sheer presence of the other
and then zevran starts to realise that what the fuck, he is starting to feel something for the warden, something much more powerful and terrifying and wonderful than he ever expected and what is wrong with him? love is a luxury reserved for everyone else but never him, so why is he feeling everything he never deserved?
and then that day with taliesen in denerim, who tries to get zevran to kill the warden and go back with him and zevran can’t breathe at the mere thought of the warden actually dying and so he tells taliesen that no, he will never let that happen
and a few days later when the warden questions him about why he won’t sleep with them and he just feels this anxiety slowly crushing him bc he knows now what he feels but what if they don’t feel it back? what will he do then?
but the warden does. the warden loves him too and in that moment he can’t think he’s just so relieved and happy and amazed that someone like them would love someone like him
and then the following day, the warden wakes up to someone wrapped around them, and turns around to see zevran, sleeping with a peaceful expression for the first time
and so it continues, for every morning to come
zevran, after years and years of being starved of love and affection, can finally sleep in the arms of someone who loves him for who he is