Sorry Cullen, Dr Wheel's got you beat - Tactical Ninja
Jan. 13th, 2015
10:10 am - Sorry Cullen, Dr Wheel's got you beat
So the Cullen romance didn't really float my boat.
I mean yes, there were moments. I liked the way the first kiss happened, and I enjoyed that you actually got to spend time talking with him about stuff in various scenarios, even after you shag. That's new. And I liked the smirk.
But other than that I thought it was all a bit meh.
Thinking about it, and seeing how a lot of my friends responded to Cullen, I wonder if it's because my real life romance is actually quite a lot better. Including the surprises, the smirk, and the adorkableness. It's like, I can see why people think Cullen is sweet and lovely and compared with the tragic messes that were the male romances (and female ones if you're me) in DA2, definitely a much more positive experience. Cullen is *normal* and well-adjusted, and respects you and lets you know that you're important to him..
.. and that is all part of my day to day life, so having a fantasy romance that is like that is kind of like a 2-dimensional version of the same thing, without any for-real skintime.
To which I respond "Bring on the tragic fuckedupness."
Never thought I'd say that, given my history, but I realise that the thing about fantasy romances is that they allow you to explore things like tragic fuckedupness in relative safety. Sure, you have to choose whether or not to execute Anders after he engages in a major piece of insanity that forces you into a war, but it doesn't have any real life consequences. I spent a lot of time thinking and angsting and exploring my feelings over Anders and what happened there, but I didn't end up with PTSD from it, you know? And despite the hot mess it all turned into, it was a *surface* hot mess, designed for maximum drama, something I could keep external.
Essentially, the tragic romances in DA focus beautifully on the interesting feels, and manage to avoid the horrible realities that go with actually loving someone who's that messed up. So when I cried over Anders it felt good, and an enjoyable part of an exploratory experience. A real life romance even half as fucked up would tear out your soul and change its shape forever, and would be anything but enjoyable. I know that, and this knowledge makes it all the sweeter when I dive as deeply as I can into the maelstrom that is Anders/Justice/Hawke.
And a real life romance with someone who's beautiful, respectful and adorkable makes a fantasy one with Cullen seem, well.. very tame, is all.
I think Cullen's character development was really well done, and I appreciated his story and his role in the game and in my Inquisitor's life, but I spent the whole game lusting after Cassandra who I couldn't romance because she only likes men, and wishing Cole were an option because his weirdness is right up my fantasy romance alley.
But I'm contrary like that.