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Astarion’s Enigmatic Charm in Baldur’s Gate 3: The Real Inspiration Behind the Character

Baldur’s Gate 3, developed by Larian Studios, has taken the gaming world by storm with its captivating characters and intricate storylines. Astarion, the High Elf Rogue, stands out as one of the game’s most intriguing figures. But what’s the story behind this enigmatic character?

Key Highlights:

  • Neil Newbon, the actor behind Astarion, delves into the inspiration for his portrayal.
  • Astarion’s character draws from Italian comedy, particularly the amoral harlequin jester, Arlecchino.
  • Real-life influences, including a stray cat’s demeanor, played a significant role in shaping Astarion’s character.

A Dive into Astarion’s Creation:

Neil Newbon, the talent behind Astarion, recently shared insights into the character’s creation during an interview with The Escapist. Baldur’s Gate 3 boasts a cast that has left an indelible mark on pop culture. From the fiery Karlach to the formidable Laezel, the game is replete with memorable characters. Astarion, with his unique demeanor, quickly became a fan favorite, and much of this can be attributed to Newbon’s portrayal.

Drawing from Italian Comedy:

Newbon revealed that a significant part of Astarion’s character was inspired by his background in ‘commedia dell’arte’, often referred to as Italian comedy. Specifically, he drew from the character of Arlecchino, an amoral harlequin jester. This theatrical form provided a rich tapestry from which Newbon could craft Astarion’s multifaceted personality.

Real-life Inspirations:

Beyond theatrical influences, Newbon also turned to real-life inspirations. He mentioned borrowing certain mannerisms from individuals he holds dear, stating, “I stole things from people I love dearly.” But perhaps the most intriguing inspiration came from an unexpected source: a stray cat that frequents Newbon’s garden. This feline’s unpredictable behavior, from its aloofness to sudden bouts of aggression, found its way into Astarion’s character. Newbon remarked on the cat’s demeanor, noting how it would allow closeness only to lash out when it had had enough, drawing parallels to Astarion’s own unpredictable nature.


Astarion, the High Elf Rogue in Baldur’s Gate 3, is not just a product of imaginative storytelling but is a character deeply rooted in various inspirations. From the theatrical nuances of Italian comedy to the unpredictable nature of a stray cat, Neil Newbon has woven a rich tapestry of influences to bring Astarion to life. As players navigate the world of Baldur’s Gate 3, they now have a deeper understanding of the enigmatic elf that has captured so many hearts.