Just as in the first, your party will be limited to four; you, and three companions. So, once more, the party members you choose to travel with will affect the strategies and tactics that will work best for you. The developers have announced that there will be at least two companions of each class type available to you (Mage, Rogue, and Warrior). Your party composition will affect dialogue options and party banter throughout your travels again, and now Hawke, your main character, will sometimes join in the banter himself. As well, party members will have their own quests and be romanceable once more. Quests and romance options will even be available from party members if their friendship rating with you is low. The events will just happen differently. Some companions have already been announced, and more will continue to be as the release date draws closer and more and more Dragon Age 2 news is announced.
Varric Tethras: Varric, in addition to being a companion, is the narrator of the story. He's a natural story-teller, and loves to spin the truth and tell his own version of things. His family are former nobility and are now part of the merchant's guild, but they also operate a spy network that his older brother Bertrand is the head of. He is a dwarf rogue, and carries a crossbow that he's named Bianca.
Bethany Hawke and Carver Hawke: Hawke's little sister Bethany is an apostate mage, and his little brother Carver is a warrior. They're twins, and both are potential companions. The class you choose to play will determine which of them travels with you, and may even result in the death of the other.
Aveline Vallen: While fleeing Lothering, Hawke meets an injured Templar named Wesley, and his wife Aveline. She is a human warrior, and the daughter of a Chevalier.
Fenris: Fenris is a former slave to a Tevinter Magister, who burned Lyrium into his flesh in an attempt to make him a living weapon. This caused his memory to be erased, and altered him in many ways. He is an Elf. His Class is still unconfirmed, though it's been announced he is definitely not a mage. The heaviest speculation so far places him as a warrior.
Isabela: Players may remember her as the pirate from Origins who can teach rogues the dueling specialty in Denerim. She is a human rogue from Rivain, and is shipwrecked at the beginning of the game, leaving her stranded in Kirkwall. Isabela is not her real name; her real name, and her surname, are unknown, at least for now.
Merrill: Rounding out the familiar faces from Dragon Age: Origins is Merrill, the elf mage from the first game's Dalish Elf prologue. She returns as a companion in Dragon Age 2.
Sebastien Vael: Sebastien is the Exiled Prince, from the DLC of the same name. His DLC will be available at time of release, and came free with the signature edition for those who pre-ordered the game prior to January 11th. He is a Human rogue, seeking revenge for the murder of his noble family.