Matthew Mercer Confirms Another Critical Role Player Character Is Ace

The following contains spoilers for Critical Role Campaign 3, Episode 93, “Bittersweet Reunions.”

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The latest episode of Critical Role’s 4-Sided Dive was chock-full of juicy behind-the-scenes tidbits, from Liam O’Brien’s romantic confession regarding the newly reinstated Dorian Storm to Matthew Mercer’s revelation that his Crown Keepers player character, Dariax Zaveon, falls under the umbrella of asexuality.

When guest Dungeon Master Aabria Iyengar unsurprisingly flexed her expansive knowledge of Critical Role’s fanfiction catalog on 4-Sided Dive, she provoked a conversation about Dariax’s outlook on romance. “He doesn’t think about romance very often,” Mercer reflected on the player character he recently had a chance to revisit. “I put him a little bit on probably the asexual scale.” While Mercer prescribed Dariax’s relationship with Robbie Daymond’s Dorian Storm as one of brotherly admiration, he wasn’t necessarily closed off to the possibility of that blossoming into a romance or reconnecting with former flame Deni$e down the line.

Mercer’s declaration officially introduced Dariax into the (ideally growing) canon of asexual Exandrians, which includes Taliesin Jaffe’s Firbolg Caduceus Clay and “Hot Boi” nonplayer character Essek Thelyss. Much like with Dariax, Mercer first commented on Essek’s sexuality above the table through a thread on social media. The demisexual Essek, aro-ace Caduceus, and nonspecifically labeled Dariax each represent different positions within the spectrum of asexuality and thus serve as an outlet in which members of the Critical Role audience may see themselves uniquely represented.

Critical Role and the actual play community at large often attract LGBTQIA+ audiences thanks to their exploration of queer stories, particularly within a genre setting. With cancellations of beloved shows such as Our Flag Means Death and the perpetuation of harmful tropes and rhetoric across the industry, queer audiences can sometimes grow exhausted of fighting tooth and nail for significant and lasting representation in traditional media spaces. Though these battles are thankfully growing less uphill – at least, in certain arenas – it’s worth noting that the ace community continues to lack a substantial presence within film and television narratives. In this sense, Dariax is not just a welcome addition to Critical Role‘s existing canon of ace characters but to the few-and-far-between examples of ace representation in the overarching media landscape.

In addition to opening up about Dariax’s asexuality on 4-Sided Dive, Mercer also discussed his brief plans to convert his player character to a Bells Hells NPC. Before Dorian Storm ghosted Dariax at a tavern outside of Zephrah, Mercer saw a potential for the pair to regroup with Bells Hells as a duo. However, Daymond’s roleplaying choices instead left the dwarf subject to the whims of the wind (and perhaps Deni$e) on his own.


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Tara McCauley
Nerd at large, Tara McCauley's happiest playing or writing about tabletop role playing games. Tara joined The Escapist in October 2023 as a freelance contributor. She covers such TV shows as Fargo and games/fandoms like Dungeons & Dragons. In addition to The Escapist, Tara has gushed about her favorite pop culture topics at CBR, MXDWN, and Monstrous Femme. When she's not writing or rolling dice, Tara can be found catching up on her favorite sitcoms, curled up with a horror comic, or waxing poetic about the WNBA.