The Vanguard (Dragon Age)
DA Vanguard
The ultimate hero-killer.
Vital statistics
Title Hurlock Leader of the horde
Origin Dragon Age: Origins
Voice Actors None
Activities Commanding Darkspawn troops.
Weapons and Powers Numerous Darkspawn blades, bows and axes.
You are a Hurlock Vanguard, born to lead and eager for blood!
— The Archdemon

The Vanguard was a cruel and violent Darkspawn Hurlock during the Fifth Blight. He was a deadly force on the battlefield, and compelled his fellow Darkspawn to fight harder and smarter. The Vanguard was one of the top generals serving The Archdemon, and was one of the leaders on the field during the Siege of Denerim.

While a minor and unnamed character in the original Dragon Age: Origins, he was promoted to playable character in the downloadable content Bonus Campaign, the Darkspawn Chronicles. Outside the standard array of Warrior abilities, the Vanguard had the unique ability to "Enthrall" nearby Darkspawn, making them more powerful. When his enthralled minions failed to live up to his expectations, or if they no longer served his needs, he would not hesitate to execute them, and replace them with a different thrall.


Dragon Age: OriginsEdit

Bred from a Broodmother somewhere in the Deep Roads, the Vanguard was trained in combat, fighting through battalions of Dwarves. He rose through the ranks, eventually reaching the place he is now named for. When the Archdemon was created, it began the Fifth Blight, and the Darkspawn were compelled to the surface once more, including the Vanguard. He lead some Darkspawn, eventually leading to the Siege of Denerim, where he was one of the main Generals on the field. His sword, Blightblood, took many lives, and the city fell quickly. Before the Vanguard could savor his victory, the Grey Warden and his allies arrived to reinforce the city. After they fought into the city, they hunted down the Vanguard to the Market District. Despite putting up a fight, the Warden killed him, and his fellow General, a mage in the Elven Alienage.

Non-Canon HistoryEdit

Dragon Age Origins: The Darkspawn ChroniclesEdit

In an alternate universe where the Grey Warden died during the Joining Ritual, King Alistair was forced to lead the party himself. The Vanguard lead the attack on the City of Denerim, and quickly burst through the front gates of the city. Hearing the call of the Archdemon itself, the Vanguard enthralled a Genlock and a Hurlock to battle off a counterattack by Humans and Mabari Warhounds. Sensing one of the few massive Ogres on the battlefield is in trouble, the Vanguard lead an attack to rescue and enthrall the beast, allowing him to continue past the barricades of men. Once past, the Vanguard cornered Arl Rendon Howe and his bodyguard Ser Cauthrien. The Vanguard and his thralls killed Howe's bodyguards, before murdering the Arl himself, looting his famed Saw Sword as a trophy.

With Howe and his men dead, the Vanguard pushed on into the Denerim Market District, where he enthralled a Shriek. The Darkspawn quickly crushed the local opposition, and began to slaughter the civilians in the streets. Bann Teagan and the forces of Redcliffe to lead a charge against the overwhelming forces of the Vanguard. He fought through the men and killed Teagan, looting the Bann's shield. Continuing the Massacre, the Vanguard attacked the shop of the famed smith Wade, and his partner Herrin. Herrin transformed into a Desire Demon, and teleported his lover and himself to safety. This distraction gave the Dwarf Warrior Oghren time to rally his fellow drunkards at the tavern to a fight. While the sloppy and drunk men served no challenge against the trained Darkspawn, the Dwarf Beserker killed many of Vanguard's troops before falling, and losing his hammer as a Darkspawn Trophy. On the way to the Elven Alienage, the Circle Mage Wynne, the Templar Knight-Commander Greagoir and Cullen, along with their Templar warriors, attempted to hold off the Vanguard, only to be met with death.

DA Vanguard 2

The Vanguard delivers the final blow.

Gathering a stock of Fire Bombs, the Vanguard burned his way past the gates of the Alienage, and began to slaughter the Elves there as they desperately tried to protect their sacred tree, Vhenadahl. After killing a number of Elves, the Vanguard fought Elder Valendrian and killed him. Before he could continue his razing of the Alienage, the Elf rogue Zevran lead a counter-attack, which was swiftly put down when the Vanguard killed the assassin, taking his dagger and boots for a trophy. With the few elven defenders dead, nothing stopped the Vanguard from setting fire to Vhenadahl and marching to the palace district.

Marching on the Palace, the Vanguard rescued another Ogre from Dwarven warriors, and began to climb past the city's defenses, where he encountered the leader of the Legion of the Dead, Kardol. The Vanguard ripped the Dwarf apart and looted his shield. After fighting through more Legion Dwarves and Steel Golems, the Vanguard encountered the city guard Sergeant Kylon, who he quickly killed and stole the Deadhead Charge amulet from. Rampaging through Fort Drakon, the Vanguard eventually encountered the Qunari Warrior Sten. Sten and his troops put up a challenging fight, but were overpowered by the Vanguard. He looted Sten's armor and sword.

Reaching the roof of Fort Drakon, the Vanguard spotted the Archdemon under attack from the Warden-King Alistair and his companions- Morrigan the Witch, Leliana the Bard and the Mabari Warhound Barkspawn. Seeing his leader inspired a new strength in the Vanguard, who charged the Warden. The Darkspawn overpowered and killed Leliana, crushed Morrigan, and impaled Barkspawn on a spear. Alistair collapsed on the ground, bleeding and with death near. The Vanguard stood over the Warden, savoring the victory only for a moment, before raising his axe, bringing it down on Alistair, killing him, as the Archdemon flew through the air, engulfing Denerim in flame.


  • The Vanguard's appearance in Origins is part of an optional side-quest at the end of the game- while players can choose to avoid the mini-boss altogether, it is recommended to weaken the overall strength of the Darkspawn forces.
  • It is heavily believed that the Vanguard was the Darkspawn present at the battle of Ostagar, and was the one who personally decapitated Duncan, though there is no official word one way or the other on this.


  • Dragon Age: Origins
    • Dragon Age Origins: The Darkspawn Chronicles