Astarion’s Name Holds a Tragic Secret in Baldur’s Gate 3

Astarion's name has a hidden meaning that makes his already tragic backstory even more heartbreaking.

by Drew Kopp
Image: Larian Studios

Astarion is one of the most compelling companions in Baldur’s Gate 3, thanks in no small part to his engaging and surprisingly sad backstory. While nearly every element of the Half-Elven Rogue’s personal history is tragic in some way, a BG3 fan has discovered that Astarion’s name carries with it a hidden meaning that makes his backstory even more heartbreaking. Keep reading if you want to know the depressing secret behind our favorite Vampire Spawn’s name.

Astarion’s Name Might be Proof That His Family Loved Him

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Like every other Companion in Baldur’s Gate 3, Astarion’s backstory is defined by tragedy. When Astarion was very young, he was forcibly transformed into a Vampire Spawn by Cazador, a powerful Vampire who is as sadistic as he is heliophobic. Astarion’s abduction and the years of constant torture and abuse that followed left him with no memories of his real family. Having developed a deep-rooted sense of cynicism and self-loathing during his time as Cazador’s servant, Astarion will tell anyone who asks that his family probably never cared about him.

“However, while most BG3 players quickly accepted Astarion’s assertion that he was an unwanted child, one fan has boldly claimed on Twitter that the Half-Elf’s name proves that his family did love him. The fan, who goes by the moniker of minnow, uploaded a post that breaks down the meaning of Astarion’s name, which is a real name of Greek origin. While the name can mean”ruler of the stars,” the suffix -ion is also used to denote small size and a sense of affection. If read this way, Astarion’s name translates to “little star.”

Image: Twitter

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While it is possible that Astarion’s parents weren’t aware of what his name meant when they christened him, there’s no evidence against the idea that they did. If that’s true, it means that Astarion’s parents probably weren’t the sort of people who would abandon their son to the non-existent mercy of someone like Cazador and may have spent the rest of their lives searching for him after he vanished. Sadly, the fact that Astarion is centuries old implies that his parents’ quest to recover him failed. Even if they did manage to learn that a Vampire had taken their son, Cazador isn’t one to leave loose ends hanging.

The hidden meaning of Astarion’s name adds yet another layer of tragedy to the already bleak past that transformed the Rogue into the deceptive and self-serving pragmatist he is today. Fortunately, with some help from the player, Astarion can be taught to see that life can be so much more than a never-ending power struggle and live up to the name his parents gave him.

- This article was updated on September 4th, 2023

About The Author

Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Baldur's Gate 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Ahsoka. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.