Dragon Age: Absolution is an interesting mix of epic fantasy adventure and a heist story. However, it never really rises above being a decent story. The only thing that saves this adult animated series from mediocrity, in my opinion, is a combination of likable main cast and its good LGBTQ representation. Oh, and a cool dragon. You can’t have a Dragon Age story without a dragon in it, after all.

Dragon Age: Absolution ~ Details

"Dragon Age: Absolution" vertical key art.
The characters are really doing the carrying here.

Dragon Age: Absolution is a 6-episode-long (with each episode lasting the usual 25-30 minutes) adult animated fantasy series based on the RPG video game franchise by BioWare. In fact, BioWare is working together with South Korean animation studio Red Dog Culture House to produce this animated series. Mairghread Scott (Guardians of the Galaxy TV series, Transformers Prime) is the showrunner. Scott is an executive producer alongside Chris Bain, Matthew Goldman, John Epler; and is also a writer alongside Mae Catt and Tim Sheridan. Ki Yong Bae is the director for the animation. Lastly, Netflix is the company paying for everything.

Dragon Age: Absolution stars the voice talents of Kimberly Brooks as Miriam, Sumalee Montano as Hira, Matthew Mercer as Fairbanks, Phil LaMarr as Roland, Keston John as Lacklon, Ashly Burch as Qwydion, Josh Keaton as Rezaren, and Zehra Fazal as Tassia.

Dragon Age: Absolution makes its grand global debut on December 9, 2022. You can watch it only on Netflix. You know, because it’s a Netflix exclusive. Because of that, you will need to shell out cash for a paid Netflix subscription to watch this new animated series. It’s up to you if it’s worth the money.

Dragon Age: Absolution ~ Synopsis

Everyone just loves their MacGuffins now, don’t they?

Normally, this would be the part of the Dragon Age: Absolution review where I give a detailed summary of the story. However, this is the spoiler-free review version. Thus, I will only give you the official synopsis from Netflix as a teaser for the plot. You can check it out below:

WELCOME TO MIRIAM’S STORY: When a heist against the most powerful man in Tevinter goes south, an elven mercenary named Miriam (Kimberly Brooks) is forced into a desperate fight for survival. Now, to save herself and her friends, Miriam will have to confront the tragic past she’s spent a lifetime trying to escape.

Dragon Age: Absolution ~ Cast of Characters

Dragon Age: Absolution (L to R) Keston John as Lacklon, Phil Lamarr as Roland, Kimberly Brooks as Miriam and Ashly Burch as Qwydion in Dragon Age: Absolution. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022
I think Miriam understands being the point woman is a bad thing.

Oh, there is one more thing though. Netflix does have a cast of characters for Dragon Age: Absolution ready for us to basically gives us an idea of who the main characters are. You can check out the full list below:

  • MIRIAM – A pragmatic elven mercenary who escaped enslavement in Tevinter, Miriam is closed-off to many who know her. But her heroic nature shines through when she’s forced to confront the nation that destroyed her life, and the man at the heart of her misery.
  • FAIRBANKS – A veteran freedom fighter, Fairbanks leads our heroes with a warm-hearted sense of adventure, a pair of daggers, and a dashing smile to boot.
  • QWYDION – A bubbly Qunari mage with a penchant for explosions, Qwydion is an open-hearted, easily-distracted blabbermouth who can level a building or cure a hangover, depending on the situation.
  • HIRA – An idealistic mage, Hira hopes to rekindle her relationship with Miriam while advancing her relentless crusade against Tevinter. But a terrible secret will put both at risk.
  • ROLAND – Despite his effortless demeanor, the charming Roland possesses unmatched grit. When disaster looms and all seems lost, Roland is as sure as the blade he wields.
  • LACKLON – A dwarven Lord of Fortune, Lacklon is a gruff fighter, a born brawler, a complete glory hound, and just enough of a coward to make sure he stays alive.
  • REZAREN – Born to privilege and plagued by tragedy, Rezaren sees himself as a good man in a wicked world. Intelligent and charismatic, Rezaren is determined to build a better future for everyone in Tevinter, no matter the cost.
  • TASSIA – Dutiful and hardworking, Tassia turns a blind eye to everything that doesn’t meet her moral standards. But even she won’t be able to ignore the sins of Tevinter (or Rezaren) forever…

Dragon Age: Absolution ~ The Good

Dragon Age: Absolution (L to R) Matthew Mercer as Fairbanks, Phil Lamarr as Roland, Keston John as Lacklon and Ashly Burch as Qwydion in Dragon Age: Absolution. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022
Ah, happy days. Too bad they don’t last long.

The strongest part of Dragon Age: Absolution is the cast of characters. The main characters are a pretty likable bunch, and they play off of each other fairly well. The result is that the main characters are carrying what would otherwise be a fairly unremarkable fantasy story.

The next strongest part of Dragon Age: Absolution is actually related to the characters themselves. In particular: the LGBTQ representation. I mean, the official cast of characters outright tells you two of the female main characters (including the main protagonist) were a couple. The LGBTQ representation only increases from there as the show goes on. This LGBTQ representation is also part of what pushes an otherwise mediocre fantasy series into something decently good.

I also want to give a shout-out to the animation of Dragon Age: Absolution. Something about the traditional parts of the animation style reminds me of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It just appeals to me as an A:TLA fan. Even the CGI portions of the animation aren’t too bad. It feels about on par with the CGI of Dota: Dragon’s Blood, which itself has decently good CGI.

Dragon Age: Absolution ~ The Bad

Dragon Age: Absolution (L to R) Phil Lamarr as Roland, Keston John as Lacklon, Sumalee Montano as Hira and Ashly Burch as Qwydion in Dragon Age: Absolution. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022
Stop trying to look fierce, everyone. We all know you’re just a bunch of softies. Well…almost all of you, at any rate.

The biggest problem with Dragon Age: Absolution is the length. Or rather, the lack of length. As I mentioned before, this animated series is only 6 episodes long, with each episode being about 25-30 minutes long. At such a short length for a series, this puts a serious crimp on any kind of story the writers can tell. You can tell that the writers want to tell an epic fantasy heist story. The problem is that they have so little time to tell it, that the whole plot feels hyper-compressed and rushed. If only the writers just had a few more episodes to work with, then the story might’ve been better. As it is, it just feels like a budget Dota: Dragon’s Blood in terms of story.

The short length of Dragon Age: Absolution even negatively impacts the strongest part of it: the characters. Most of the main characters never receive any kind of backstory. We never learn where they came from or even why they joined this heist most of the time. Some of the main characters don’t even get any kind of character development, and are just static personalities for the whole adventure. I feel like, again, the characterization would’ve benefited from a longer series. As it is though, it feels like a shadow of its potential. If they do ever go through with a season 2, I hope they learn from this and make it longer.

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