In a life decision that I would call both “self-care” and “diving headfirst into a state of degeneracy,” I have decided to play Larian Studios’ Baldur’s Gate 3.
This might not come as a surprise, because the title is already known for being a landmark achievement in role-playing games. But I’m not playing the game just for its story-rich and complicated world, or thoughtfully crafted co-op elements. Oh, no, no, no. I am playing because of one silver-haired elf. I saw so many thirst traps of Astarion on TikTok that I was left with no choice but to dip my toes in the pool of Baldur’s Gate 3’s sultry romance.
In Baldur’s Gate 3, players meet a variety of party members who can be romanced. Among the options is Astarion, a high-elf Rogue with gently tousled waves and a sharp look in his eyes. For the most part, he uses deceit and trickery to resolve challenges. The first time he appears in the game, Astarion tricks you by asking for help and then pulls a knife on you. He’s elusive, shady, and sometimes a flat-out liar, but he also has a softer side. Seemingly everyone on the internet is so obsessed with him that social media platforms like TikTok are filled to the brim with clips.
[Ed. note: Some of these clips contain spoilers for scenes with Astarion.]
In the story of the game, Astarion uses his charms to get his way. This is no different in real life, where players have fallen in love with the sometimes cocky character. I started with seeing simple compilation videos showing off some of his more charming moments, like when he says, “Now just tell me I’m beautiful and we can call it a day.”
However, as it goes with TikTok, you like one video and it can unearth an entire flood. Suddenly I found myself
being subjected to relishing in the cat-and-mouse chase of Astarion’s romance. I especially appreciated this moment where the player character makes him beg and in response, Astarion calls them a “cheeky little pup.” Just the basic clip of him saying this has over 725,000 views on TikTok.
We don’t learn until later that Astarion is actually a vampire. Cue all the sexy bloodsucking scenes.
Here are some additional clips that persuaded me to play the game.
This game supposedly has 174 hours of cutscenes, and judging by my social media feeds, every single one of them features Astarion. At the time of publication, the Astarion tag alone already has over 56 million views. The stream of clips goes on, and many of these videos trickled directly onto my For You Page. After a certain point, a girl has no choice but to give in to the temptation and drink the tantalizing blood that is Baldur’s Gate 3.