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[[foldercontrol]]

!The Crew of ''Serenity''

[[folder:Mal]]
!!Capt. Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reynolds_malcolm_4422.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"I aim to misbehave."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Creator/NathanFillion

->''"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty."''

[[TheCaptain Captain Reynolds]] is a [[LaResistance Browncoat]]--a veteran of the stellar civil war that precedes the events of the series by six years. He fought under the rank of Sergeant for [[TheAlliance the Independents]], the side that lost to [[TheEmpire the Alliance]]. He has been left [[ShellShockedSenior bitter]] by the Independents' loss; [[DespairEventHorizon he never quite recovered]] from seeing his ideals crumble around him. Ever since, he has been eking out a living on the wrong side of the law, at the helm of the Firefly-class ship ''Serenity'', defiantly named after the valley where the Alliance's victory was sealed.
----
* TheAntiNihilist: "We're still flying."
* {{Badass}}: Mal is a competent fighter and a determined man.
** BadassLongcoat: From his military days in the Browncoats, although a few times it gets him in trouble, as he gets spotted in it and exposed as a Browncoat a few times.
* BerserkButton: Threatening to harm [[{{Protectorate}} anyone under his protection]].
** The Alliance in general acts as his, to the point that he'll deck you if you accuse him of being in league with them.
** He's also a firm believer in honest pay for honest work, or fair trade. He'll do any job up to and including crime without batting an eye, and will trade something for more than it's worth if he needs it enough. But he expects his due. If you screw him over and try to keep everything and kill him he will wreck you. Doubly so if you suggest he'd have done so himself if possible. No, he would not.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Mal is, for the most part, a reasonably kind guy, but if you harm his friends or him, you're going to regret doing so.
* BigBrotherInstinct:
** Towards Kaylee, their relationship is pretty much summed up in the movie;
---> '''Kaylee''': Goin' on a year now, I ain't had nothing twixt my nethers weren't [[ADateWithRosiePalms run on batteries]]!\\
'''Mal''': Oh GOD! [[TooMuchInformation I can't]] ''[[BrainBleach know that]]''!
** He also calls Kaylee "Mei Mei" (little sister) in the pilot.
** On a good day, he has a bit of this towards Simon as well.
* BigDamnHeroes: Ain't he just?
* BornUnlucky: He even lampshades it. "It never goes smooth. Why don't it ever go ''smooth???"'' In the ''Serenity'' TabletopRPG as well, his character starts with the disadvantage "Things Don't Go Smooth".
* BrokenBird: As a result of being a ShellShockedVeteran.
* BrokenHero: In addition to his AFatherToHisMen tendencies, and considering what happened to his homeworld, he was ridiculously, recklessly cheerful during the war. It's hard to tell if he's an adrenaline junkie, genuinely considered it just a big adventure, was all an act, was a coping mechanism, or if he was completely unhinged. Or even all of the above. But despite all the stress, he somehow managed to stay pretty upbeat.
** After the war, he alternates between this, HurtingHero, and KnightInSourArmor.
* TheCaptain
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Often will get the crew into high risk no reward situations just because he thinks it's the right thing to do. Hell, it's practically his motivation for the second half of the film. He also tends to turn down really amoral jobs, or will give up on them when he finds out the whole story.
* CombatPragmatist: Mal has absolutely no problems with [[TheDogShotFirst shooting first]].
** To quote from "Heart of Gold": "Shoot the rider, not the horse. Dead horse is great cover, live horse is a great pile o' panic."
* DeadpanSnarker
* DespairEventHorizon: Serenity Valley. Also possibly within the same timeframe, the destruction of his homeworld.
* {{Determinator}}: Enough determination to prop up his crew when they're faltering, too.
* DeathGlare: ''Serenity'' doesn't need weapons. It has Mal's eyes!
* DisappearedDad: The one time Mal mentions his past ("Our Mrs. Reynolds"), he says that he was raised by his mother and "about forty hands", but makes no mention of his father.
* DoomedHometown: His homeworld, Shadow, was orbitally bombarded by the Alliance so heavily that it was rendered ''completely uninhabitable'' afterwards.
* DoubleTap: Mal does this to Dobson in the spin-off comic 'Those Left Behind' just to make sure he doesn't come back a second time.
* FarmBoy: Mal was raised by his mother and "forty hands" on a ranch back on his homeworld, Shadow.
* AFatherToHisMen: He may be sardonic, but his crew are his family. Trifle with them and you are in for a world of pain.
* FieldPromotion: Was breveted several times during the Battle of Serenity Valley, to replace his fallen superiors.
* FightMagnet: Mal gets into an unnecessary fight at least once every few episodes.
** {{Lampshaded}} by Zoe: why does he always manage to find himself looking for a quiet drink in an Alliance-friendly bar come Unification Day?
* GoodIsNotDumb: People often mistaken him for a fool when he does the (relatively) noble thing but he's definitely not stupid. He shows surprising savviness at times for when things go wrong or about to go wrong, especially with Jayne and his predictable siding with the highest bidder. When he tries to sell the Tams out to the Feds, Mal is the only one who figures out that the Feds got there a little ''too'' quick for Jayne's story to stick. People that ask WhyDontYouJustShootHim tend to mistaken his pragmatic nature (killing people off is a poor way to do repeat business) for having a soft heart.
* GoodIsNotSoft: He might not kill a downed opponent that tried to kill him a moment before, but don't expect him to pull punches or shoot non-lethally before that. Also don't expect him to be very kind to anyone he sees committing atrocities or hurting innocents.
* GuileHero: He likes to try to talk his way out of situations, with varying results.
* TheGunslinger: Type D. The QuickDraw.
** He even outdraws The Operative who's already holding a gun in his hand.
* HiddenDepths:
** "Yes, I've read [[Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner a poem]]. Try not to faint."
** According to supplemental material, he was the son of a wealthy rancher and his mother insisted on him having a classical education. He ''did'' know at least one of the fancy group dances in "Shindig".
* Homage: The idea of a hero persevering despite the absence of hope is the central thesis in Albert Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus".
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Casually [[BoomHeadshot shoots Dobson in the head]] from ten feet away in the pilot, while Dobson has a HumanShield, without breaking stride.
* JadeColoredGlasses: Ever since Serenity Valley. He's no longer religious and sees the 'verse as a harsh place that needs harshness to deal with it.
* JerkassFacade
-->'''Inara:''' I think she [Kaylee] looks adorable.\\
'''Mal:''' Yeah. But I didn't say it. ''[meaningful glance]''
* TheKirk
* KnightErrant: Occasionally he'll decide to champion people in need of one.
* KnightInSourArmour: Despite being a cranky, cynical bastard, he still has a strong moral sense and avoids jobs that are really dirty.
* TheLeader: Displays elements of all four types, at different times.
* LeeroyJenkins: Displays shades of this, as seen in the episode "The Message" in the flashback to his army days:
-->'''Mal''': WHOO-HOO! I'M RIGHT HERE! I'M RIGHT HERE! YOU WANT SOME OF ME?! YEAH YOU DO! COME ON! COME ON!
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Every person on Serenity for Mal.
* LovableRogue: Helped by the fact that he ''will'' renege on a deal if he learns that it's going to seriously hurt people, even though he doesn't try to be JustLikeRobinHood.
* MadeOfIron: Even torturing Mal ''to death'' [[MagicalDefibrillator isn't enough to keep him down]].
** Or getting shot or stabbed multiple times.
* MoralityPet: Anti-hero version. See LivingEmotionalCrutch.
* MrViceGuy: He's a fan of all seven sins. [[YouWouldntLikeMeWhenImAngry But right now, he's gonna have to go with wrath]].
* {{Naytheist}}: After the Battle of Serenity Valley.
-->'''Mal:''' You're welcome aboard my ship, Preacher. God ain't.
* NotSoDifferent: From Simon, which is something he vaguely acknowledges by the end of the series. Despite their different backgrounds, they both ran afoul of the Alliance and chose to resist in their own ways, protecting what was most important to them.
* OlderThanTheyLook: He's supposed to be about fifty, but he certainly doesn't look it.
** He's 50 years old in a 'verse where [[WeWillHavePerfectHealthInTheFuture the average lifespan is about 120]]. This puts Mal in the same age bracket that NathanFillion was in during the show's production (31 years old, when the average lifespan is about 80).
%%* OrganDodge
* PapaWolf: Don't mess with Mal's crew, as he takes it ''very'' personally. His reaction to putting his crew in danger is consistently decisive; whether or not it's ''terminal'' depends on how much immediate threat the enemy represents and how angry he is at the time.
* PlatonicLifePartners: With Zoe. [[CrazyJealousGuy Becomes an issue with Wash]] in "War Stories".
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: Hates {{God}} for letting the Browncoats lose the war.
* RebelLeader: Or at least the leader of his band of varyingly anti-Alliance misfits. As an Independent Sergeant, he didn't have much rank but still was this.
** At the Battle of Serenity Valley, he was field-promoted several times as the higher ranking officers were killed, rising from leading a relatively minor unit to over 5000 men at one point, which were whittled down to just 150 by the time of the ceasefire.
* RedOniBlueOni: Mal is the red to Simon or Zoe's blue.
* ShellShockedVeteran
* StillWearingTheOldColors: Even the coat!
* TeamDad: To the younger members of the crew especially.
* {{Troll}}: Tells Simon that Kaylee's dead as a prank.
* UndyingLoyalty:
** Best exemplified in this conversation with Simon in "Safe", after the trope-naming BigDamnHeroes moment:
---> '''Simon:''' Captain, why did you come back for us?\\
'''Mal:''' You're on my crew.\\
'''Simon:''' Yeah, but you don't even like me. Why'd you come back?\\
'''Mal:''' [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming You're on my crew]]. Why are we still talking about this?
** Also has a tendency to ''inspire'' this. Nowhere shown more clearly than in the movie ''Serenity,'' after his crew seems ready to mutiny at the prospect of flying through Reaver space [[spoiler: and [[DeadGuyOnDisplay what he intends to use]] to disguise ''Serenity'' as a Reaver ship]].
---> '''Mal''': I mean to confound these bungers. Take my shot at getting to Miranda. Maybe find something I can use to get clear of this. So I hear a word out of ''any'' of you that ain't helping me out or taking your leave, I will ''shoot you down''. Get to work.
** And every one of them gets to work.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Inara, of the [[BelligerentSexualTension constant-arguing]] kind.
** The trope is lampshaded and defied in "War Stories", when [[spoiler: Wash accuses Mal and Zoe of lusting after each other, and at the end of the show we see that they can't even keep a straight face long enough to share a kiss. They really are life partners, but not sexually interested in each other.]]
* WarriorPoet: Well, he's read at least one poem (try not to faint). That has to count for ''something'' doesn't it? [[AllThereInTheManual Supplementary materials]] reveal he was the son of wealthy ranch owner, so it would make sense for him to have an education.
* WhatTheHellHero: He's given one of these throughout the series by every character except River. In the movie, even ''[[TheLancer Zoe]]'' seems ready to mutiny after he states his intention to [[spoiler: mount the corpses of their friends from Haven on the hull of ''Serenity'', in order to make it look like a Reaver ship.]]
--> '''Zoe''': Sir, do you really mean to [[spoiler: turn our home into an ''abomination'']] so we can make a suicidal attempt at passing through Reaver space?
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Mal sure has a ''lot'' of fun kicking ass in a "pretty floral bonnet" and when he is disguised as a woman to infiltrate the Companion school at one point during the movie.
--> '''Mal''': I can be quite graceful when I want to be.
* WouldHitAGirl: At the end of "Our Mrs Reynolds", and the beginning of "Trash." Hard to feel sorry for the one receiving the fist, though.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: According to the RPG his homeworld was glassed by the Alliance during the Unification War.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Zoe]]
!!Zoe Alleyne Washburne
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/warren_zoe_9873.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"BigDamnHeroes, sir."'']]
->'''Played By''': Creator/GinaTorres

->''"I don't give a good gorram about relevant, Wash, or objective. And I ain't so afraid of losing something that I ain't gonna try to have it."''

Zoe is also a Browncoat. She was [[TheLancer a corporal serving under Mal]] during the war against the Alliance. [[PlatonicLifePartners She even now accompanies him]] on ''Serenity'' and still calls him "sir", 15 years later. [[HappilyMarried She is married to]] Wash, the [[PluckyComicRelief wacky]] pilot of the ship.
----
* ActionGirl: She could be TheBigGuy herself, honestly--she's a hardened soldier who routinely wears body armor.
* ActionMom: It's revealed in post-Serenity comics [[spoiler:that she's pregnant with Wash's daughter.]]
%%* {{Badass}}
%%* BadassLongcoat
* BerserkButton: Don't badmouth Mal or his leadership abilities in front of her, and do ''not'' mess with Wash.
* BigDamnHeroes: The TropeNamer.
* BrainyBrunette: Zoe is an expert on setting traps, organizing missions, and leading attacks, all of which were skills she picked up while serving in the military.
* TheComicallySerious: Her straight-faced response to ''everything'' is part of what makes her hilarious.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DeterminedHomesteadersWife: Fits the personality, though her "homestead" is an old transport in this case.
* DualWielding: Briefly during "War Stories", with two pistols.
* HappilyMarried: To Wash.
* HeartbrokenBadass: [[spoiler:After Wash's death in the film.]]
* JustFollowingOrders: A non-villainous, sometimes questioning, but very pragmatic version. Especially evident in a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFO-QaBjoc deleted scene]] from the pilot. (The "He" being mentioned is Mal).
-->'''Zoe:''' If you get Kaylee through this, I think he'll do right by you. He won't kill unless he has no other option.\\
'''Simon:''' What if he tells you to kill me--\\
'''Zoe:''' --I kill you.
* LadyOfWar
* TheLancer: Toward Mal. She hauls him back when he gets too wild--the dynamic was even more so during their soldiering days.
* MamaBear: For Kaylee.
* MilitaryBrat: Zoe's backstory is that she was born ship-side to parents who raised her to be Career Military. This definitely explains her habit of calling Mal "[[VerbalTic Sir]]."
* NervesOfSteel: No matter what the situation is, [[TheReliableOne you can count on Zoe staying calm and composed]], doing whatever needs to be done and doing it well.
* NumberTwo: Again, toward Mal.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: [[spoiler:The one and only time she ever [[RealWomenNeverWearDresses wears a dress]] is at her husband's funeral.]]
** Also, the only time she loses her cool is [[spoiler:in the aftermath of Wash's death.]]
* PlatonicLifePartners: Once again, with Mal. The series devoted an entire episode to establishing that they do not, and never have, had feelings for each other, but she's still his right-hand woman.
* TheReliableOne
* TheRemnant: According to the tie-in comic "Better Days," Zoe was a member of the "Dust Devils," which were a group of Browncoats who kept fighting after the Independents surrendered.
* SarcasticDevotee:
** And yet again, to Mal.
** From "The Train Job", upon Mal telling her the presence of a full platoon of Alliance troops on the train "makes it more fun":
--->'''Zoe:''' Sir, I think you may have a problem with your brain being missing.
** From the movie, on seeing a couple of stacks of bills in a small safe:
--->'''Zoe:''' At last. We can retire and give up this life of crime.
%%* ScaryBlackMan
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: She married a very cheerful, good-natured and loyal fellow.
* StillWearingTheOldColors: Like Mal, she continues to wear her brown coat.
* TheStoic: You'll rarely see her get visibly angry, even when her husband and captain are being tortured. You don't see her laugh much either.
* StraightMan: Usually to Mal and Jayne, although she can straightman any given crewmate.
* TranquilFury: A loyal second-in-command and a tough, deadly fighter, she was rational and calm in dangerous situations.
* UndyingLoyalty: Toward Mal due to their experience together on the battlefield.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Parodied -- there is just about no lust and even less romantic chemistry between her and Mal, but her husband fears what their long history might mean for such a relationship. They disprove this notion in an almost-kiss that's so awkward even Jayne is unsettled.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Wash]]
!!Hoban "Wash" Washburne
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/washburne_hoban_2577.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar."'']]
->'''Played By''': Creator/AlanTudyk

->''"We gotta go to the crappy town where '''I'm''' a hero!"''

Wash is [[AcePilot the pilot]] of Serenity. Most of the time he is [[PluckyComicRelief wacky, playful, excitable, and a bit on the immature side]], though when he needs to be, [[DangerDeadpan there is no one more focused, calm, and collected]] on the crew. He's a whiz at the controls of a vehicle, and has saved the lives of the rest of the crew many a time.
----
* AcePilot: In the first episode he pulls off a very difficult piloting maneuver to escape some Reavers--definitely the kind of guy you want piloting your not-quite-legal ship.
* {{Adorkable}}: The first time we see him, he's playing with plastic dinosaurs.
* AmazonChaser: From being interviewed by an Alliance officer in "Bushwhacked":
-->'''Wash:''' Have you ever ''been'' with a warrior woman?
* AuthorAvatar
* BunnyEarsLawyer: He's a total goofball and a little flighty (no pun intended...) and he definitely earns his keep aboard ship.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn:
** In early episodes, Wash is a calm, masterful pilot, all NervesOfSteel while the other characters are panicking. By "The Message", he's just as excitable as anyone else because Alan Tudyk bought himself an Xbox and discovered he's not the naturally-calm-pilot type, which TimMinear [[ThrowItIn threw in]] on grounds of RuleOfFunny. And, just to confuse things, Wash shows elements of both performances in the BigDamnMovie.
** Taken as a whole, his level of panic seems to be inversely proportional to the actual level of danger. When there's Reavers on their tail and they're running for their lives, he's oddly calm, while if it's something more mundane, he gets more excited.
--->'''Zoe''': Proximity alert. Must be coming up on something.\\
'''Wash''': ''Oh my god.'' '''What can it be?''' '''''We're all doomed!''''' '''''WHO'S FLYING THIS THING!?''''' ''[{{beat}}]'' [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Oh right, that would be me]]. Back to work!
* TheConscience: Frequently enough to be noticeable, though others fill this role as well. (Probably one of the things that draws him and Zoe together: they both try to keep things grounded.)
* DangerDeadpan: From the movie:
--> '''Wash:''' This landing's gonna get pretty interesting.\\
'''Mal:''' Define "interesting."\\
'''Wash:''' ''[emotionlessly]'' "Oh God, oh God, we're all gonna die"?
* DeadpanSnarker
* DramaticGunCock: Does this in "War Stories" to punctuate a BadassCreed -- with [[CrowningMomentOfFunny the smallest, girliest gun on the table]].
* HappilyMarried: To Zoe.
%%* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice
* ImprobablePilotingSkills: Did Wash just perfectly hit a skyplex docking seal with a powered down Firefly from 6000 miles away? Yes, that's exactly what he just did.
* InflationaryDialogue: Inverted in War Stories, when he tries to establish himself as a capable fighter to Mal:
--> '''Wash:''' Hey, I've been in a firefight before. [Pauses] Well, I was in a fire. [Pauses] Actually, I was fired, from a fry cook opportunity.
%%* KilledMidSentence
* TheMcCoy: Sometimes shares this role with Simon.
* NervesOfSteel: When he's piloting.
* NonActionGuy: Though he graduates a bit to "Semi-Action Guy" after "War Stories." He's no heavy hitter like Mal, Jayne, or Zoe, but he's apparently more apt to shoot than Kaylee or Simon after that ordeal.
** The comic series show Wash to be a surprisingly capable and resourceful fighter, but he's just too damn nice to ever be really effective in a gun battle.
** Even in the merchandise. Jayne's licensed toy looks like [[http://www.bashinginminds.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/01/figures_jayne.jpg this]] (Mal's is similar), while Wash's looks like [[http://www.entertainmentearth.com/prodinfo.asp?number=QMFFY0102 this.]]
* NonActionSnarker
* OneOfTheKids: Plays with dinosaur figurines on the job.
* PluckyComicRelief: "Everyone knows ''I'm'' the funny one."
%%* SurprisinglySuddenDeath
* SurvivalMantra: "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." [[spoiler: Not that it saves him from getting impaled, subverting this trope]].
** [[spoiler: However, his survival mantra did indeed keep him alive in the air. But on the ''ground''...]]
* UglyGuyHotWife: A variant, in that Wash ''himself'' seems surprised that [[RidiculouslyAverageGuy a guy like him]] could manage to marry someone like Zoe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Inara]]
!!Inara Serra
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/serra_inara_8341.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"Mal, if you're being a gentleman, I may die of shock."'']]
->'''Played By''': Creator/MorenaBaccarin

->''"Oh, one further addendum. That's the last time you get to call me "whore"."''

Not really a member of the crew, Inara rents a shuttle for her... services. Despite (or maybe because of) [[TheOldestProfession her profession]], she is well-versed in the ways of the universe ([[CaptainObvious and sex]]) and continually shows HiddenDepths--who'd expect a space tramp to be good at {{Sword Fight}}s? Plus, she ''is'' a HighClassCallGirl, which adds to ''Serenity'''s reputation: a woman who can go out in public on the arm of an aristocrat (and into his bedroom) wouldn't be shipping out with Mal and his crew unless they were at least somewhat respectable. Ironically, her profession is legal, which is more than Mal can say.
----
* {{Ambadassador}}: Not {{badass}} to the degree of the rest of the crew, but she has no qualms with holding people at gunpoint and holds her own in hand-to-hand combat.
* AdrenalineMakeover: In the comics she eventually exchanges her dresses for body armor and trousers.
* BandOfBrothels: She's a member of the Companions Guild.
* BelligerentSexualTension: With Mal. It's even [[LampshadeHanging a plot point]] in [[{{Film/Serenity}} the movie]].
* BiTheWay: Takes female clients as well as male.
* BrainyBrunette: Inara may make her living with her body, but her brain is no slouch either. She has a working knowledge of many subjects that a Courtesan would be expected to converse intelligently about. She's well-versed in human psychology and the physical arts, martial arts, swordplay, history, religion, etc.
* TheChick: She's certainly the most feminine woman on the ship, almost always in a dress, and she does a lot of the emotional legwork.
* CoolBigSis: To Kaylee.
* CulturedBadass: It is suggested that Companion training includes social and physical grace, at least some performing arts, and psychology. Inara appears to be at least somewhat adept at swordplay. In the movie Serenity, it is shown that she also may have been trained somewhat in the martial arts and is skilled with a bow and arrow, apparently preferring them over firearms.
* DeadpanSnarker: Usually towards Mal.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Inara is shown to be very in demand for both her male and female clientele.
* TheFace: Officially, her role on the ship is to use her social contacts to "open doors that would otherwise be closed" to a group like Captain Mal and the crew. Being that she's the only one with a legal job she's the only one that can show their face to polite company the crew might need help from.
* HighClassCallGirl: She is a Companion, a high-society courtesan licensed by the Union of Allied Planets (the "Alliance") to entertain the wealthy and powerful. As a registered Companion she brings a certain respectability to the ship that they can use.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Subverted. She does have a heart of gold, but she doesn't really want to be rescued from her career.
* IllGirl: WordOfGod and Morena Baccarin confirmed a subplot involving Inara with a terminal illness, hinted at in "Serenity," "Out Of Gas," and "Heart of Gold."
* InsistentTerminology: She's a Companion '''not''' a whore (those are people who aren't registered with the Guild), as she keeps telling Mal.
* LadyOfWar: Good in swordfighting and archery, and able to defend herself in hand-to-hand combat against skilled people such as Saffron or The Operative.
* MamaBear: Inara is the only one who will stand up to Mal whenever he threatens to boot Simon and River off the ship.
* NotSoAboveItAll: She really seems to enjoy participating in capers and double-crossing the villain of the week when she gets the chance.
* NotSoStoic: When she runs into Mal coming out of Nandi's room in "Heart of Gold", she appears not to care about Mal having slept with Nandi. A couple of scenes later, she's crying about it in her room.
* MsFanservice: First scene is her naked with a client.
* TheOjou: Companions aren't actually royalty, but they're sometimes treated like it.
* ProfessionalSexEd: In ''Jaynestown'' Inara is hired to bed the Magistrate's son and make him a man. She goes above what is expected of her by establishing a place of union, making it clear that she wanted to come to see him, and teaching him what makes a man.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: She is a companion, licensed to entertain the wealthy and powerful, who compliment her looks of dark curly hair and fair skin.
* RichesToRags: [[spoiler:Loses her license and is decommissioned as a companion after the events of the movie. Now just part of the crew.]]
* SexTourism: Inverted. Inara finds clients in the area they're in. "Trash" shows that it also depends on the jobs Mal takes on, much to her frustration.
* SilkHidingSteel
* TheStraightAndArrowPath: Inara's WeaponOfChoice is a hunting bow, contrasting with the guns the rest of the crew uses.
* TeamMom: Especially to Kaylee and River, although she's very nurturing to everyone else as well. Except Mal.
* {{Tsundere}}: Type B. She is unflappably courteous and kind to everyone she meets... except Mal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Kaylee]]
!!Kaywinnit Lee "Kaylee" Frye
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frye_kaywinnit_lee_9248.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"You like ships. You don't seem to be lookin' at the destinations. What you care about is the ships, and mine's the nicest."'']]
->'''Played By''': Creator/JewelStaite

->''"These girls have the most beautiful dresses. And so do I! How 'bout that?"''

Kaylee is the ship's [[WrenchWench mechanic]]. She's [[ThePollyanna perky and cheerful more often than not]], always optimistic, and innocent--though she does enjoy the simpler pleasures in life. She's the most laid-back and friendly person on the ship at any given time (if you insult the ship itself, though...). She's probably the worst in a fight among the crew, but she's extremely adept at keeping the ship in working order, and seemingly has a spiritual link to it.
----
* AbilityOverAppearance: The role was meant to be Asian before Jewel Staite nailed her audition.
%%* {{Adorkable}}
* BadassAdorable: Easily the most panicky in a fight and unwilling to actually hurt people, but when the ship is rigged with a booby trap and the slightest mistake can result in either depressurization or getting raped, eaten and sewn into clothing by rabid space zombies, [[NervesOfSteel she]]'s [[BombDisposal the best choice]]. By the movie ''Serenity'', at least, she's reached a point where she can shoot back, but only when cornered and being attacked by Reavers. And motivated, of course, by Simon finally admitting his feelings for her.
* BerserkButton:
** Not much can get Kaylee mad, but make one smart comment about her ship...
** Also, she ''is'' one for the rest of the crew. Hurt Kaylee, and no power in the verse will save you.
%%* BlitheSpirit
* BrainyBrunette: Behind her cheerful smile is a mechanical genius. She actually describes her understanding of machines as intuitive; in her own words, "Machines just talk to me." Though as numerous conversations show, she is still quite well-versed in technical details.
* CoolBigSis: To River.
%%* TheCutie
* DoggedNiceGirl: Towards Simon.
%%* TheEngineer
* GeekyTurnOn: In "Shindig", most of the men at the Ball are completely enthralled with Kaylee due to her friendly and down-to-earth personality, to the point they even shoo away potential suitors asking her to dance, simply because they want to continue discussing the finer aspects of current engine design in spacecraft with her.
** Kaylee herself demonstrates this, if her previous lover is to be believed, as the entire reason he claims they were [[NakedFirstImpression having sex in the engine room]] was because "engines make her hot". Seemingly confirmed in TheMovie, when she and Simon decide to consummate their relationship there as well.
%%* GenkiGirl
* GoodBadGirl: When Mal first met her, she was screwing the former mechanic in the engine room.
* TheHeart: Everyone on the ship loves her and gets along with her without any trouble because of her open, friendly personality. Probably why she's the one who sits outside to advertise the ship to passengers.
* HollywoodNerd: Notably averted, at least in part -- the cast is perfectly aware that Kaylee is attractive.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Well, at least infatuation at first sight.
* MachineEmpathy: "They just talk to me."
* MoralityPet: To Mal, Zoe, and Jayne. Things get ''ugly'' for you if you harm a hair on her head.
%%* MrFixit
* NakedFirstImpression: Was in the middle of having sex the first time she met Mal.
%%* NerdsAreSexy
%%* NiceGirl
* PinkMeansFeminine: Has a pink PimpedOutDress that she got in "Shindig", and quite a few of her clothes at least have some pink elements to them.
%%* PluckyGirl
* ThePollyanna
--> '''Mal:''' I don't believe there is a power in the 'verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful.
* PrincessForADay: In "Shindig", not that she was unattractive before.
%%* SheCleansUpNicely
* ShortTank: She is an amazing mechanic who happens to have a love for strawberries and frilly dresses.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: Kaylee adores Simon. Simon doesn't know what to do about it.
* SouthernFriedGenius: Well, she has the ''accent'', and she's from the space equivalent of the boonies.
* SunnySunflowerDisposition: No one is ever more cheerful than Kaylee. So much so that Mal comments "I don't believe there's a power in the 'verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful. Sometimes you just wanna tape her mouth shut and dump her in the hold for a month". To which she responds by kissing Mal's cheek and saying, "I love my Captain."
* TookALevelInBadass: A small one. During "War Stories" she can't bring herself to shoot a gun even when her life is in danger but by the time of ''Serenity'' she thinks that Simon is worth fighting for.
* TrademarkFavouriteFood: Strawberries. She accepts them as payment for travel, and during a fancy party she hones in on the strawberries at the buffet table like a homing missile.
* UnkemptBeauty: ''Especially'' when she's covered in engine grease. She shares this a bit with River, and it is a deliberate contrast between her and Zoe or Inara.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: The good doctor is stiff, awkward, and busy repairing the [[BreakTheCutie broken cutie]]. You have your work cut out for you, Kaylee.
%%* WrenchWench
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Simon]]
!!Dr. Simon Tam
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tam_simon_7581.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"I swear... when it's appropriate."'']]
->'''Played By''': Creator/SeanMaher

->''"No matter what you do, or say or plot, no matter how you come down on us I will never, ever harm you. You're on this table, you're safe. 'Cause I'm your medic, and however little we may like or trust each other, we're on the same crew. Got the same troubles, same enemies, and more than enough of both. Now, we could circle each other and growl, sleep with one eye open, but that thought wearies me. I don't care what you've done, I don't know what you're planning on doing, but I'm trusting you. I think you should do the same. 'Cause I don't see this working any other way."''

Simon is [[TheMedic the doctor]] aboard ''Serenity''. [[TheSmartGuy He's an extremely gifted surgeon and a cunning planner]], even though he's [[{{Adorkable}} socially awkward and not exactly streetsmart]]. [[BigBrotherInstinct He cares for his sister River more than anyone or anything else in the world]], and [[{{Determinator}} he is willing to go to extreme lengths]] for her well-being.
----
* ActionSurvivor: A classic -- he prefers being a NonActionGuy and is only a hero because his [[BilingualBonus Mei-Mei]] needed him.
* {{Adorkable}}: Mostly when he's around Kaylee, and helped along by his {{Fish Out of Water}} status - notable in that it's quite a change from the calm, collected demeanor he assumed when he first came on board ''Serenity''.
* ATeamFiring: In "War Stories":
--> '''Simon:''' I don't know [how I feel]. I've never killed anyone before.\\
'''Book:''' I was there, son. I'm fair sure you haven't killed anyone ''yet.''
* BadassBookworm: What he becomes when his BerserkButton is pushed. Jayne learned the hard way that, though Simon may not be the strongest guy around, you do ''not'' want to push this button. ''Ever''.
** Provoking the BigBrotherInstinct of someone who is obviously willing to die for it is something to be shy about.
* BerserkButton: Simon is ''very'' protective of River.
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
* BigBrotherInstinct: Hugely towards River, given that he's willing to become a death-marked fugitive for her.
%%* BrainyBrunette
* BreakTheCutie: He had to throw away his very comfortable life after the government he hadn't before questioned mutilated his sister and wound up on the lawless fringes of space with a crew of rogues. He doesn't regret it, but it's not easy.
* CannotSpitItOut: It's difficult for him to act on his feelings for Kaylee (and ends up butchering any conversation with her at least 50% of the time because of the way he words things).
** Mind you, by about three episodes into the show, they're both perfectly aware of his feelings towards her, and it is an ongoing discussion topic, he's just too danged shy and ''proper'' to ''do'' anything about it, even without being distracted by [[TheCaretaker caring for]] and [[TheChampion protecting]] River.
* CannotTellAJoke
* TheCaretaker: Toward River.
* CatchPhrase: Frequently calls River his ''meimei'' (妹妹), Chinese for "little sister".
* TheChampion: To River, obviously. [[DeclarationOfProtection And he will protect her]].
* CityMouse
* CitySlicker
* CluelessChickMagnet
* CloudcuckoolandersMinder: To River.
* ConsummateProfessional: When dealing in matters relating to medicine.
* CombatMedic: When pressed.
* CombatPragmatist: Over the course of his few fights, he beats up people while handcuffed, crushes a guy's windpipe with his knee just enough to knock him out rather than kill him, jumped off a high railing and gone for the gun rather than a punch.
* DeadpanSnarker: Frequently, but ''especially'' during "Jaynestown".
* DeathGlare: Anyone who threatens Mei-mei withers slowly before his eyes. As do incompetent surgeons. He must have been a terror to work under.
* {{Determinator}}: Will do whatever it takes to protect River.
* DoggedNiceGuy: To Kaylee sometimes, although she's usually the one pursuing him. Sometimes it looks like they're making progress, only for him to unintentionally offend her and spend the rest of the episode moping after her.
%%* DotingParent
* FishOutOfWater: The awkwardness disappears when he's in his element, as shown in the hospital on "Ariel" and also in "Heart of Gold" when Petaline goes into labor. Even though he's never acted as a primary in a delivery before. Medicine is his Forte.
* {{Foil}}: Simon reflects a younger version of Mal, one who [[DespairEventHorizon hasn't had his optimism shot off in the war]] yet. When a PowerTrio is called for, it tends to be [[TheDulcineaEffect Simon]] vs. [[ItsAllAboutMe Jayne]].
* GentlemanSnarker: In several places. "Objects in Space" was an awesome display of Gentlemanly Snarking.
* GoingNative
* GoodIsNotDumb: He makes it clear in the pilot that he's ''incredibly'' smart and high-ranking doctor for a man of his age, in order to illustrate how much smart''er'' River is.
* GoodIsNotSoft
* HeroicSacrifice:
-->'''River:''' You gave up everything you had...\\
'''Simon:''' Mei-Mei, everything I have is right here.
* HonorBeforeReason: Basically his whole storyline. He gave up a lucrative job, all his money and lifelong dream to help his sister (his hunch being based on some pretty thin logic), ruining his life and turning himself into a fugitive. Later he says he will never harm Jayne or break his oath as a physician, despite Jayne betraying him and threatening him on multiple occasions. And one gets the impression he'd do it all again in a minute.
* HospitalHottie
* IWillFindYou: Variation; he had already done this when the show opens (although how he does so is seen in the prologue to the BigDamnMovie). Now it is necessary to make sure ''they'' don't find her.
* KnightTemplarBigBrother: Don't mess with Simon's little sister.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: To River.
* TheMcCoy
* TheMedic: The initial reason Mal lets him stay on on board.
* MyFistForgivesYou: Punches Mal in the face for endangering River's life in the movie, [[CallBack although he was just returning the favor]].
* NaiveNewcomer
* NerdsAreSexy
* NervesOfSteel: Just watch him in "Ariel"! Or the opening of the BigDamnMovie, for that matter - it's the first time he's seen River in several years, she's currently strapped to a chair shrieking and whimpering, and he doesn't so much as twitch an eyebrow!
** Of course he has them. [[FridgeBrilliance He's a surgeon]].
* NobleFugitive
* OldSchoolChivalry: He is a well dressed doctor who doesn't swear or have casual sex. Needless to say he doesn't fit in with the thieves he lives with, but he says that he has to be proper because it's all he has.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: what usually happens in conversations he has with Kaylee.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: He's a brilliant doctor though River is supernaturally good at everything.
* PromotionToParent: And personal physician, and therapist, and bodyguard, and once even GentlemanThief.
* RedOniBlueOni: The blue to Mal and Jayne's red.
* SharpDressedMan: He's always dressed in very sharp suits, quite in contrast to everyone else on the ship.
* ShelteredAristocrat: He grew up in luxury on the capital planet of the Alliance. The rim is quite a shock to him.
* ShirtlessScene: Experiences one while having a conversation with a loony bounty hunter at gunpoint.
* SiblingYinYang: Simon is cooler, calmer, and more disciplined compared to his more sensitive and (for obvious reasons) erratic little sister.
* TheSmartGuy:
-->'''Simon:''' "Gifted" is the term.
* SouthernGentleman: He fits the archetype very well, despite living in space instead of Southern America.
* SugarAndIcePersonality
* TallDarkAndHandsome
* TheStrategist: Comes up with a complicated but solid plan for [[TheInfiltration infiltrating the hospital]] in "Ariel", which even Jayne admits is excellent.
* TookALevelInBadass: By the time of the film.
* UndyingLoyalty: To River. This is one of the most notable things about him as well as his reason for being on ''Serenity'' in the first place.
* WaistcoatOfStyle: Has worn them on occasion.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Kaylee. He is shy about this sort of thing and he is busy taking care of his ''Mei-Mei''. [[spoiler:They do at the end of the BigDamnMovie]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:River]]
!!River Tam
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tam_river_6960.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"No power in the 'verse can stop me."'']]
->'''Played By''': Creator/SummerGlau

River is the aforementioned precious cargo, and Simon's little sister. She's [[AxCrazy stone]] [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} cold]] [[InsaneEqualsViolent crazy]]. [[PlayingWithSyringes With]] [[SuperSoldier good]] [[PsychicPowers reason]], [[MindRape though]], and she [[CharacterDevelopment gets a bit better]]. She's also a [[TheProdigy prodigy]] [[GratuitousFrench par excellence]], taking to difficult subjects with ease (considering university-level physics to be a "challenge" when she was fourteen, for example). She's enough of an asset to the crew at critical times that it makes up for being TheLoad when she's freaking out.
----
%%* ActionGirl
* AfraidOfNeedles: But she'll tolerate them from Simon.
* TheAntiNihilist: As seen in the episode ''Objects in Space''.
* AxCrazy: She has slashed people up in the past, including Jayne, for wearing a [[MegaCorp Blue Sun]] t-shirt. In the R. Tam Sessions, she murdered her "counselor" with [[ThePenIsMightier a pen]].
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: River is so quick with math, she only needed to glance at Niska's men for a second before [[ImprobableAimingSkills killing all three of them while firing only three shots with her eyes closed]]. Kaylee remarks that she just "did the math."
%%* BadassAdorable
* BerserkButton: Do ''not'' mess with Simon.
%%* BewareTheNiceOnes
* BigBrotherWorship: It's not hard to see why, given to the lengths that Simon goes for her.
* BlessedWithSuck: She has psychic powers and is unstoppable in combat but it's definitely not worth the really screwed up process she went through and the lingering mental problems/complications she has after rescue.
* BrainCriticalMass
* BrainyBrunette: ''Gifted'' is the term.
-->'''Simon:''' She makes me look like an idiot child.
* BreakTheCutie: In a convenient pre-broken package. The R.Tam Sessions show the whole process from start to finish.
%%* {{Broken Hero}}ine
* CeilingCling: Leading to the "Ceiling River is watching you" [[MemeticMutation meme]].
* CheerfulChild: Not a child but is the mental age of one.
* ChildProdigy: Was one of these.
* ChildSoldier: One of the Academy's goals in "developing" her.
* CloudCuckoolander: Most of what she says is applicable to the situation at hand, but her language is slightly... perpendicular to reality. Judging by her {{flashback}}s and the R.Tam Sessions, she was this way ''before'' she was driven insane, too.
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight: Many of her incoherent ramblings turn out to be true, especially the repeated "Two by two, hands of blue..."
* TheCoatsAreOff: Just before River tears apart the Maidenhead bar.
* CombatClairvoyance: Implied (along with her WaifFu) to be the reason she is so successful in fights.
* CombatPragmatist: No part of your body is off-limits when she's in assassin-mode.
%%* CovertPervert
* CreepyChild: She has her moments.
* CursedWithAwesome: The way she sees her psychic powers.
* TheCutie: She wanted so badly to learn and it cost her dearly.
* CuteAndPsycho: She improves slightly.
%%* DanceBattler
* DarkShepherd: To Jayne, after Simon makes his pledge to let bygones be bygones. Just in case Simon's forgiveness isn't enough to keep Jayne in line, she reminds him that "I can kill you with my brain."
* DeadpanSnarker: From time to time, especially when in her more lucid moments.
-->'''Jayne''': Well, as a rule, I say girlfolk ain't to be trusted.\\
'''River''': Jayne is a girl's name.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of the whole "[[SuperSoldier manufactured super killer soldier/assassin]]" concept, showing just how mentally screwed-up said manufactured supersoldier would end up being.
* {{Deuteragonist}}: Though Mal is the central character of the series, River and what happened to her at the Academy forms a major part of the conflict over the series, and River is central to a significant number of episodes and her story serves as one of the series' dominant running background plots. Becomes especially apparent in ''Film/{{Serenity}}''.
* DirtyMindReading: Brushes with this in "Objects In Space," and implied in both the movie when [[spoiler:she spies on Simon and Kaylee]] and the comics.
* DistressedDamsel: For most of the series -- and even when she develops her impressive combat abilities, her insanity still renders her extremely vulnerable.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: She's barefoot at least half her screentime. Her feet are even referred to as the show's 11th character.
* DrivenToSuicide: Or at least, [[ICannotSelfTerminate driven to begging to be killed]] by her brother.
--> '''River:''' ''[sobbing]'' Put a bullet to me. Bullet to the brainpan, squish!
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette
* TheEmpath: The majority of her psychic abilities center around sensing others' thoughts and intentions.
* FetalPositionRebirth: [[BookEnds Both her first appearance in the series and her last appearance]] in TheMovie.
* GeniusBruiser: Smart enough to make [[TheSmartGuy Si]][[TheMedic mon]] look like an idiot savant and powerful enough to take on rooms full of Mooks by herself.
* GirlInABox: She currently provides the page image. This is how Simon transported her aboard the ship.
%%* GoingNative
* GoneHorriblyRight: The Academy wanted to make River into an assassin and spy. They ''succeeded'', much to the Alliance's eventual regret.
%%* HearingVoices
* HeKnowsTooMuch: One of many reasons why the Alliance is interested in her.
%%* HumanWeapon
* IJustWantToBeNormal: River does ''not'' want her {{psychic powers}}, especially because they make her friends and adoptive family terrified of her.
* IllGirl: Complete with the older protector in Simon.
* InsaneEqualsViolent: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], as the experiments that drove her insane were intended to make her a SuperSoldier, so violent tendencies are only to be expected.
* InstantExpert: According to Simon, she's able to grasp just about any subject as naturally as breathing, due to both her savant learning ability and latent psychic powers.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Shoots three guards without even looking in "War Stories", thanks to her PsychicPowers.
* KnightTemplarBigBrother: Inverted. Do not mess with River's big brother. Pity the poor Reavers.
* LetsGetDangerous: "You take care of me, Simon. You've always taken care of me. My turn. *ass-kicking ensues*"
* LivingLieDetector: Between her psychic abilities and extreme intellect, she can easily tell if someone is lying. She knows Jayne is up to something in "Ariel" right off the bat when she wakes up, she picks out Jubal Early's own self-deceptive lies in "Objects in Space," and one cut scene from "Our Mrs. Reynolds" indicates that she knew Saffron was up to no good the moment she got on the ship.
* LivingMacguffin: The reason why everyone wants to find her so badly [[spoiler:is that she's privy to the Alliance's darkest secrets thanks to her telepathy.]]
* LivingWeapon: Explicitly called such in the movie ''Serenity''.
* MamaBear: River develops into this toward a few of the later episodes and of course the movie.
* ManchurianAgent
* MeaningfulName: She's named after [[TheOphelia Ophelia's]] river.
* MessyHair: River apparently does not take good care of her hair immediately after being rescued, due to many more pressing issues like her batshit insanity. It gradually becomes a little bit better over the series; by the events of ''Serenity'' it is less messy and more curly.
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: She can't control when she hears other people's thoughts and really doesn't like the more unpleasant ones she hears.
* MindRape: What the Academy did to her.
* MsFanservice: River is a godsend to those who like barefoot girls.
* MysteriousWaif: GenreSavvy viewers know there's a lot more to her than just being Simon's little sister when she shows up in the box.
* MysticalWaif
* NightmareFuelStationAttendant:
** From "Out of Gas":
--->'''River:''' You think we're going to run out of air. That we're going to die gasping. [[HopeSpot But we're not...]] [[SpaceIsCold We'll freeze to death first]].
** In "Safe", after she's been yelling loud enough to spook the cattle in the cargo hold:
--->'''River:''' The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds, given adequate vacuuming systems.\\
'''Mal:''' See, morbid and creepifying I got no problem with, so long as she does it quiet-like.
* NobleFugitive
* TheOphelia: Heavily invoked; "River" is even a reference to the fact that Ophelia drowned in one.
* OneManArmy: In the movie.
* PhotographicMemory: One glance is all it takes!
* PintsizedPowerhouse: The most pint-sized and the most powerful on the show.
* PhlebotinumRebel: The decisions of the crew often have to factor in that there are [[ThePresidentsDaughter government and corporate goons after her]].
* PowerIncontinence: She can't completely control when she senses things or when she can read other people's thoughts, which she hates.
* ThePresidentsDaughter: The Alliance, Blue Sun, and Bounty Hunters all want to catch River.
* {{Protectorate}}: To Simon especially, to everyone by extension. Eventually inverted, with River protecting ''them''.
* PsychicPowers: She can kill you with her brain.
* RedOniBlueOni: In [[{{Film/Serenity}} the film]], she's the blue to [[spoiler: The Reavers']] red.
* ReluctantWarrior: She may be the most brutal killing machine in the 'Verse, but she sure as hell doesn't want to be.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Notably when rattling off a lot of TechnoBabble while editing Shepherd's bible.
* SiblingYinYang: She is more sensitive, physically powerful, and (for obvious reasons) more erratic than her disciplined and calmer big brother.
* SixthRanger
* SpaceshipGirl: "Objects in Space." [[spoiler:Subverted in that she's only pretending, to confuse the BountyHunter. The setup, despite how it tended to be [[MohsScaleOfScifiHardness hard science fiction]], sure had Jubal convinced!]]
--> '''Early:''' Am I talking to ''Serenity'' now?
* SpockSpeak
* SuperSoldier: Apparently what the Academy wanted from her. The precise purpose of her psychic abilities and combat programming is not made clear, as there's equal suggestion that she could have been intended to be an assassin, a sleeper agent, a bodyguard/police agent, or a spy.
* TalkativeLoon
* TookALevelInBadass: The series had one notable moment where she displays ImprobableAimingSkills ("War Stories"). In TheMovie, she's a full-blown LightningBruiser.
-->'''Wash:''' Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl, 'cause I don't think that's ever getting old!
* TranquilFury: Whenever River picks up a weapon she's so swift and quiet she can injure or kill before the opponent knows what happened.
* TykeBomb
* UndyingLoyalty: To her big brother in particular, but also to the whole crew.
* UnhappyMedium
* UnkemptBeauty: Deliberately designed this way: Summer Glau wore minimal makeup and her hair was a constant, tangled mess, to both represent her mental instability as well as create a stark contrast between River and the much more glamorous beauty of characters like Inara or Zoe.
* WaifFu: Especially during the movie.
* WaifProphet
* WeakButSkilled: In terms of raw physical power, River is on the lacking side. In terms of skill (aided with psychic ability) however, she's the most dangerous person on the ship.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Justified, it's pretty much impossible to turn a girl into a psychic SuperSoldier against her will without her ending up severely screwed up.
* YouShallNotPass: Against [[spoiler:the Reavers]] in ''Film/{{Serenity}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Book]]
!!Shepherd Derrial Book
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/book_derrial_2422.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"I don't care what you believe in, just believe in it."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Creator/RonGlass

->'''Mal''': Shouldn't you be off bringing religiosity to the fuzzy-wuzzies or some such?\\
'''Book''': Oh, I've got heathens aplenty right here.

TheVerse's equivalent of a Christian priest, Book also wandered onto ''Serenity'' in the pilot, just wanting to [[WalkingTheEarth walk the 'verse]] a while. Later he wonders if he's on the wrong ship, but then again, he does [[HiddenDepths seem to know]] [[BadassGrandpa a lot of things]] that one doesn't find in Literature/TheBible.
----
* AbusiveParents: [[spoiler:He left home in his youth to escape his abusive father.]]
* TheAtoner: It is implied very strongly that his DarkAndTroubledPast was rather sinister and that that was the reason he became a GoodShepherd.
* BadassPreacher: He's got a mean right hook.
* BecomingTheMask: [[spoiler: JossWhedon let it slip in an interview that Derrial Book was not Shepherd's real name, but rather he had taken the identity of a man he had killed.]]
* CompressedHair: Hilariously scary the one time it's let out.
* CoolOldGuy
* DarkAndTroubledPast
-->'''Book''': I wasn't born a shepherd, Mal.\\
'''Mal''': You have to tell me about that sometime.\\
'''Book''': [[YouDoNotWantToKnow No, I don't.]]
** WildMassGuessing was all over the place until JossWhedon finally [[{{Jossed}} settled it]] in A Shepherd's Tale by [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructing]] a DarkAndTroubledPast. [[spoiler: [[BadassPreacher Book]] was a feckless thug who tried to become TheUnfettered to escape from an [[AbusiveParents Abusive Father]].]] Then he became [[spoiler:an Independent [[TheMole Mole]] and an Alliance torturer]], but his inability to choose something to believe in [[spoiler:killed over 4,000 people]]. After finally hitting rock bottom, he found {{God}} and religion, dedicating himself to spreading a message of peace and love to compensate for his wasted life.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DeadPersonImpersonation: JossWhedon let slip years ago that Book got his name from someone he killed. Turns out [[spoiler:that's ''NotHyperbole''. He killed a random passer-by who looked like kinda like him and swapped wallets.]]
* DisapprovingLook: Practically his default expression whenever he's around Mal.
%%* ElectronicEyes
* {{Foreshadowing}}: That Book was [[HiddenBadass more than he seems]] was hinted as early as the pilot where in the moments after Dobson gets distracted after accidentally shooting Kaylee, Book manages to both disarm Dobson of his gun and knocks him out with a one-two punch.
** In ''Objects in Space'', Jubal Early notably goes after Book the exact same way he went after ''Mal'', hinting that the two were NotSoDifferent and that Early sensed that Book was ''far'' more dangerous than he appeared.
* FormerTeenRebel: [[spoiler:He eventually became a preacher, but he started out as a petty teenage criminal then became a spy during the war.]]
* GoodShepherd: The flock of ''Serenity'' could use some good news.
* HeelFaithTurn
* HiddenDepths: How does a preacher know so much about Alliance troop movements, anyhow?
* ImprobableAimingSkills: He's no River, but he can shoot a moving target in the kneecap. From the hip.
* JackOfAllTrades: Name a skill, and Book seems to have some experience with it. He's competent enough in the engine room, an excellent shot and close-combat fighter, appears to have some medical knowledge, and can operate heavy weaponry and prepare explosives when need be. Being [[spoiler: a Browncoat infiltrator/Alliance special forces officer]] gives him quite a bit of grounding in esoteric skills.
* TheMcCoy
* MeaningfulName: Shepherd Book. [[Literature/TheBible Quite obvious, really.]]
* MysteriousPast: Until it was finally revealed in ''A Shepard's Tale'', eight years after the series first aired.
* PrecisionFStrike: Book is usually the most well-mannered of the crew, but during "War Stories," he busts loose with one of the filthiest Chinese swears in the book (which translates to "filthy fornicators of livestock") upon seeing Zoe come back with Mal's severed ear.
* RetiredBadass
* ReluctantWarrior: But a conspicuously efficient one.
* TeamChef: As shown in the pilot.
* TechnicalPacifist: ''Really'' technically. He's okay with beating up goons as long as it's not lethal.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Though Literature/TheBible is [[RulesLawyer somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Jayne]]
!!Jayne Cobb
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cobb_jayne_6790.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"Let's be bad guys."'']]
->'''Played By''': Creator/AdamBaldwin

->''"You think there's someone just gonna drop money on ya?! Money they could use?! Well, there ain't people like that. There's just people like me."''

Jayne is a thuggish, misogynistic, crude JerkWithAHeartOfGold. He's not one to leave the back turned near, as he's a bit power-hungry and greedy. What he lacks in delicacy and loyalty, though, he makes up for in strength, cunning, and fighting prowess.
----
* AccidentalHero: "Jaynestown" is pretty much this in a nutshell.
* AfraidOfNeedles: PlayedForLaughs.
%%* AppealToForce
* ARealManIsAKiller: This is practically his religion.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Invoked with his "chain of command," but ultimately subverted.
* AudienceSurrogate: Subtly. One critic commented that "it's Jayne's job to say what the audience is thinking," particularly when they're thinking WhyDontYouJustShootHim.
* {{Badass}}
** Illustrated in an offhand BadassBoast: "Six men came to kill me once. The best of 'em carried this..." (gesticulates with 'Vera')
** BadassBaritone: Has a very deep voice.
** BadassBeard: A goatee.
* BerserkButton:
** He may not care for much of the rest of the crew, but touch a hair on [[GenkiGirl Kaylee's]] head...
** When Dobson shoots Kaylee, and Book moves to defend his unconscious body from Jayne.
--->'''Jayne''': Out of the way, preacher.\\
'''Book''': You're not going to kill this man.\\
'''Jayne''': [[ColdBloodedTorture Not right away.]]
* {{BFG}}: Vera, of course, but he has quite a few.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Consistently sends money home to treat his ill brother.
** Also thinks of Kaylee as something of a little sister and will murderize anyone who hurts her.
* TheBigGuy: His role on the ship is to look very intimidating.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: One of his primary beliefs, best exemplified when yelling at the Mudders in "Jaynestown":
-->'''Jayne''': All of you! You think someone's just gonna drop money on you? Money they could use? Well, there ain't people like that! There's just people like me.
%%* BoisterousBruiser
* BookDumb
--> '''Wash''': How did your brain even learn speech?!
* ButtMonkey: A decent portion of the show's humor is at his expense.
* CatchPhrase: "IllBeInMyBunk"
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Will switch sides as soon as he's made a better offer.
* ColdBloodedTorture: He doesn't get to, but he ''really'' wanted to. He was gonna get himself an ear, too.
* TheCorruptible: [[OnlyInItForTheMoney If money's involved.]]
* DumbMuscle[=/=]StreetSmart GeniusBruiser: While not refined or educated, Jayne is an impressive judge of character (reading Dobson's lies instantly, for example), a reasonably cunning planner, an expert tracker, and a capable pilot. Basically, so long as what he's doing is a practical skill and doesn't require a lot of Book Smarts, he can crack it.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: And write them letters. And send money to treat their brother Mattie for the damp lung [[note]]Consumption or pneumonia[[/note]]. And proudly wear their knitted "''cunning''" hats!
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Jayne may kill people at the drop of a hat, but even he finds the sheer brutality of the Reavers to be appalling. He also appears to be disgusted when he learns what the Academy did to River to make her so crazy.
* TheFace: His official job title on the ship, when asked by an outsider, is "Public Relations" (although this may have been [[DeadpanSnarker Mal]] being Mal), and considering the ''Serenity's'' relations with the public, this usually means hurting people.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: A lot of conversations between Mal and Zoe show that they think him to be the most expendable member of the crew.
* GenderBlenderName: His mother must have liked this trope, since his brother also has a traditionally female name, Mattie.
-->'''River:''' Jayne is a girl's name.\\
'''Jayne:''' Well, Jayne ain't a girl!
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Upon learning that Inara will be servicing a female client on board her shuttle, he has only this to say:
-->'''Jayne:''' [[CatchPhrase I'll be in my bunk.]]
* HiddenDepths: Jayne Cobb, who is just about the last person on Serenity's crew that you would expect to play guitar or send money to his momma. He's also the first one to join Book in saying grace. Dresses himself up to be presentable to Sex Workers, and brushes her hair.
* ICallItVera: The TropeNamer.
* IllBeInMyBunk: Also the TropeNamer.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Jayne thinks mostly about himself and is always happy to take the easy way out. Though he does care about his family and the crew, to some extent.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Eventually.
* KnifeNut: Carries one most of the time. Though he's even fonder of guns.
* LeaderWannabe: See the note for TheStarscream.
* LivingLieDetector: Not quite to [[LieToMe Cal Lightman]] levels, but in the pilot he can tell instantly that Dobson is bluffing him about what the Alliance knows.
* LovableTraitor: At least, he openly discusses betraying people, and even attempts it once, but can't quite bring himself to go through with it.
* MookFaceTurn: Mal and Zoe get themselves out of a sticky situation by Jayne to turn against his former employer.
* NiceHat: The orange hat his mother knitted for him. It's "''Cunning''".
--> '''Wash:''' A man walks down the street in that hat, you know he is not afraid of '''anything.'''
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Maybe.]] Notably, he doesn't seem to have reached [[{{Trigun}} Vash The Stampede]] levels of Obfuscating Stupidity, as he appears to overcorrect whenever he does something out of character, such as putting a transparently stupid, vacant grin on his face after saying that he knew the word "Pretentious" or adopting an almost exaggeratedly gruff tone of voice saying he wanted an ear after instantly, and surprisingly intelligently deducing that Dobson was lying.
* OddFriendship: He and Book seem to be getting along quite well in later episodes, and spot each other when weightlifting.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: At least he's honest about it. In the pilot, he is offered a bribe to turn on Mal. When [[GenreSavvy Mal matter of factly]] asks him why he decided not to, Jayne simply states that he wasn't offered enough money. Of course, Mal hired him off of his previous gang by making him a better offer.
* PlayedForLaughs: Jayne is a brutal thug with few interests outside women and money. But he's portrayed humorously (see ButtMonkey), and any time he behaves decently almost always becomes a heartwarming moment.
* PsychoForHire: Mal actually hired him off his previous crew, whom he promptly betrayed and shot.
%%* RealMenWearPink
* RedemptionEqualsLife: [[spoiler: After deciding to betray Simon and River to the Alliance behind everyone else's backs, he reneges on the whole thing after witnessing firsthand just what the Alliance did to screw River up so badly, both physically and mentally, and keep in mind he doesn't really like River ''at all.'' When Mal leaves him to be vented into outer space, ([[NightmareFuel which is tantamount to his greatest fear]]) Jayne stares him square in the eye and outright ''commands'' him to "make something up" about why he's dead. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone He would rather die a heinous and "unmanly" death than have his friends know of his betrayal.]] ''This'' is why Mal lets him live.]]
* TheRival: According to JossWhedon in the commentary of ''[[{{Film/Serenity}} Serenity]]'', Jayne has no long-term love interest beyond a [[UnresolvedSexualTension lingering crush]] on Kaylee. This is probably one of the reasons why he takes a [[GreenEyedMonster dislike for]] [[TheRival Simon]].
%%* SarcasticDevotee
* SentimentalDrunk: Very much so. Also has a tendency to hug people.
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: Thanks to his past as an unscrupulous bushwacker before joining the crew. It's the reason Mal hires him in the first place.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: [[spoiler:He betrays the Tams for money but he's so horrified at what the Alliance did to River that he tries to get the Tams out of there early.]] You know if something is screwed up if it makes [[OnlyInItForTheMoney Jayne]] turn down a hefty sum of money.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Thinks he could take over as captain if necessary. He's wrong, to say the least.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Shows flashes of intelligence and is savvy enough to know when someone is lying.
* SociopathicHero: Jayne's favorite things are money, scaring people, killing people, women, and... well, no, that's about it. Heroic, ain't he?
* SourSupporter: He never thinks much of Mal's plans, but he's always ready to join in.
* TheStarscream: Jayne definitely shows Starscream-like tendencies.
-->'''Mal:''' You wanna run this ship?!\\
'''Jayne:''' Yes!\\
'''Mal:''' ''[flustered]'' Well... you can't!
* ThrownOutTheAirlock: Mal almost does this to him after he [[spoiler:tries to betray Simon and River to the Alliance]].
* TokenEvilTeammate: And he's quite aware that he's not a great guy.
* TriggerHappy
* WallOfWeapons: Owns one and has by far the most weapons on the crew.
* TheWatson: Sometimes. One way the show gets across information is having others [[BookDumb explain it to him.]]
* WhatExactlyIsHisJob: "[[BlatantLies Public relations]]". Seeing how much of the dirty work he does and how expendable everyone treats him, he's probably something close to "security" or just plain "thug for hire".
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: After he betrayed Simon and River to the Alliance, Mal locked outside the cargo doors as the ship was exiting atmosphere. Mal was going to let him be sucked into space, but relented when Jayne went from begging for his life to begging him not to tell the others about what he did.
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Jayne's default solution to problems is fairly simple. [[TheWatson So the crew has to explain to him why, exactly, they don't.]]
* WouldHitAGirl: When River slashes his chest with a knife, he backhands her to the floor, although it may very well have been an instinctual self-defense mechanism.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:'''''Serenity''''']]
->'''Zoe''': It's a piece of fay-yoo.\\
'''Mal''': Fay-yoo? Ah... ah... OK, she won't be winning any beauty contests anytime soon, but she is solid. Ship like this, be with you till the day you die.

The ship. Including the bits that fall off.
----
%%* TheAllegedCar
* BilingualBonus: Serenity's name is written in both English and Chinese on the hull.
* BigDamnGunship:
** Parodied in the ColdOpen of "The Train Job", where they con some yokels into backing down by threatening to blow a new crater in their moon. ''Serenity'' doesn't actually possess ''any'' ship-mounted weaponry.
** In the film they temporarily mount an anti-aircraft weapon whilst disguise her as a Reaver ship, which they later remove.
* CoolStarship: She don't look like much, but she'll fool ya.
* GoodIsOldFashioned: There aren't many Fireflies still around, and it's largely considered a relic by other characters.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: The rotating thrusters that made the 'Crazy Ivan' from the pilot possible is a rare mechanical variation.
* MeaningfulName: After the turning point in Mal's life, the battle of Serenity Valley.
* ShinyLookingSpaceships: This is noticeably '''not''' in effect.
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Averted -- you don't say 'the ''Serenity''.' It's like a person's name. Which is a healthy bit of ShownTheirWork, since at least in English this is how you're ''supposed'' to refer to a ship's name.
* {{Thememobile}}: It's named Serenity pretty much because all the characters are after a bit of serenity, a bit of peace. And of course, the aforementioned Battle of Serenity Valley.
* UsedFuture: Literally -- Mal buys her at a used ship lot. The salesman tries to steer him towards a more suitable (read: expensive) vessel. Serenity was in such bad nick she couldn't get off the ground, let alone be space-worthy when Mal bought her.
* WhatAPieceOfJunk: Serenity may not look like much, but according to Kaylee, "she'll fool ya."
[[/folder]]

!The Alliance

[[folder:Parliament]]
!!Parliament
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alliance_flag-2_250.png]]
->'''Played By''': N/A

The ruling body of the Alliance. Presumably democratically elected, but no details are ever given.
----
* BiggerBad: They're the governing body of the Alliance, and are responsible for Miranda, the Academy River was sent to, the Blue Gloves, the Operative and even [[spoiler:the Reavers.]]
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The Alliance tends to favor shades of blue and grey.
* TheGovernment
* TheUnseen
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Their general philosophy.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[WordOfGod Whedon]] says they aren't evil or malevolent, just "meddlesome".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Blue Gloves]]
!!The Blue Gloves
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blue_gloves_1231.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"Two by two...Hands of Blue."'']]
->'''Played By''': Jeff Ricketts & Dennis Cockrum

A pair of mysterious men who wear suits and what appear to be blue gloves. They work for the Blue Sun Corporation, a contractor to the Alliance, and are in pursuit of River and Simon Tam. They will not hesitate to kill anyone who has had contact with River, even Alliance personnel, using a handheld device that induces fatal hemorrhaging to anyone near it (except themselves).
----
%%* BadassInANiceSuit
* BrownNote: The mysterious weapon they use, which appears to be sound-based.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: What generally happens to those said weapon is used on.
* {{Cyborg}}: [[spoiler:If the metallic parts in one of them in the comic is anything to go by, which might explain their immunity to their own weapons.]]
* DeathRay: Though not so much a ray as a sonic emitter that causes catastrophic internal bleeding. The blue gloves they wear extend to cover their chests under their suits, so they're not affected.
%%* GovernmentConspiracy
%%* ImplacableMan
* KickTheSonOfABitch: The first people we see them kill? [[spoiler:The same Alliance crew members that were going to turn River and Simon back to the Academy, then backstabbed Jayne after he sold them out (though Jayne probably had it coming]].
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler:Killed when they were incinerated by ''Serenity'''s engines.]]
%%* TheMenInBlack
%%* {{Mysterious Mercenary Pursuer}}s
%%* PersonWithTheClothing
* {{The Quiet One}}s: They barely say anything, making their pursuit somewhat more unnerving.
%%* ThoseTwoBadGuys
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Lawrence Dobson]]
!!Lawrence Dobson[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TropeDobson_3137.jpg]]
->[[caption-width-right:300:''"That girl is a precious commodity. They'll come after her. Long after you bury me they'll be coming."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Carlos Jacott

An undercover Alliance agent with an itchy trigger-finger. He was intended to be a recurring character before the show was cancelled. He returned in the spin-off comic 'Those Left Behind'.
----
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:In the comic, his revenge scheme goes awry and Mal kills him with a DoubleTap.]]
%%* DirtyCoward
* DoubleTap: Mal does this just to make sure Dobson doesn't come back a second time.
%%* EyepatchOfPower
%%* EyeScream
%%* {{Jerkass}}
* KubrickStare: He does it in the picture.
%%* TheMole
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: To be fair, Mal was in a hurry. After getting shot in the eye, Dobson is unceremoniously tossed out the hatch and left for dead.
%%* ObfuscatingStupidity
%%* RevengeBeforeReason
%%* SanitySlippage
* UndercoverCopReveal: He claims to be a lawman, but it's never made clear if he was this or a BountyHunter with [[ImpersonatingAnOfficer a front of legitimacy]].
%%* WouldHurtAChild
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Harken]]
!!Harken
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/harken_9781.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"No mandatory registration markings on the bow. Make sure we cite them for that."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Doug Savant

An Alliance Commander whom the crew encounter in the episode "Bushwacked." He discovered and arrested the Crew after seeing them stealing from a Reaver attacked ship. [[InspectorJavert He falsely believed them to have killed the crew]], and [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist correctly believed that they were robbing it.]]
----
* AntiVillain: Essentially, he represents many of the Alliance's good traits, like keeping the galaxy safe and preserving order.
* AgentScully: Somewhat, he doesn't believe in Reavers, but he does come around by episodes end.
* BlondeGuysAreEvil: Or just antagonistic.
* ByTheBookCop: He grills all the members of the crew according to proceedure, reactions range from talkative to completely silent DeathGlare (Jayne).
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When he discovers the sole survivor or the vessel tortured to insanity, he's quite shocked.
-->'''Harken:''' I haven't seen that kind of torture since... well, since the war.
* IOweYouMyLife: After Mal saves him at the end, he releases the crew without any further inquisition, but he does confiscate what they stole, because it was Alliance property.
* PetTheDog: When the tortured victim succumbs to the madness and begins killing members of his crew, his first order was to post guards at the nursery [[note]]The ship is the size of a city[[/note]].
* PunchClockVillain: He's pretty much just a regular guy doing his job, frustrated by a lack of information from the higher-ups and wanting serve justice.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: He just wants to figure out what happened, and has no evident corrupt or fascistic traits. He only really turns on the crew when he believes they brutally tortured the man found on board a vessel they were robbing, and dismisses their claims about Reavers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Lt. Womack]]
!!Lt. Womack
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/womack_4846.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"I'm a dangerous-minded man on a ship loaded with hurt."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Richard Burgi

->''"[[FalseReassurance Relax! You've been great. And I was just bluffing with that stuff about arresting you. I mean, who needs that kind of paperwork?]] [[TheBrute Skunk]], [[KillItWithFire light him on fire.]]"''

A corrupt Alliance federal agent who pursued Tracey and the crew of Serenity. Although he claimed to be chasing Tracey because he was a criminal, which was true, he actually wanted to catch him because he was smuggling Womack's goods. He was ''supposed'' to be a recurring villain, but due to ''Firefly''s cancellation, he became a one-off villain.
----
* {{Badass}}
** BadassLongcoat: As opposed to other uniformed Alliance-types we see, Womack favours a long duster-like coat.
* DeadpanSnarker: Womack is deeply sarcastic and snarky to just about everyone he meets.
* DirtyCop: He's an Alliance agent involved in a spot of organ smuggling on the side, and God knows what else.
* {{Jerkass}}: He's not just a crooked cop, he's a repulsive sadist who enjoys taunting others.
* JurisdictionFriction: PlayedWith. Book does some research on Womack, and learns that he has wandered ''far'' from his own legitimate area of authority in pursuit of Tracey. He points out that if Serenity's crew shot him and left his corpse where it landed, nobody would care.
* KickTheDog: Womack is the one to tell Jayne that his hat makes him look 'like an idiot'. Sure, perhaps it needed to be said, but c'mon Womack...
* KillItWithFire: Threatens to set a poor guy on fire. He got as far as splashing something flammable on him and lighting a match, suggesting it wasn't exactly an empty threat.
* SpitefulSpit: When forced to leave Serenity, he spits in the cargo bay in frustration.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Operative]]
!!The Operative[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TropeOperative_8358.jpg]]
->[[caption-width-right:300:''"Do you know what your sin is?"'']]
->'''Played By:''' Creator/ChiwetelEjiofor

Primary villain in ''Film/{{Serenity}}''. A special agent/assassin of Parliament, sent out to keep government secrets and take care of loose ends. While he technically represents their interests, they are never seen, making him TheHeavy.
----
* AffablyEvil: For a man who's possibly the most dangerous assassin the Alliance has, he is impeccably polite, willing to negotiate, and seems genuinely saddened by the measures he's forced to take in capturing River Tam.
* AntiVillain: Type III.
* {{Badass}}: Arguably second only to River as the biggest badass in the ''Firefly'' universe.
* BigBad: The closest that the film gets to one, although he's technically TheHeavy with the Alliance as the BiggerBad.
* CatchPhrase: "Do you know what your sin is?"
* CombatPragmatist:
-->'''The Operative:''' I am, however, wearing full body armor. ''I am not a moron!''
* CoolSword: He likes swords ''way'' too much for a guy living in a sci-fi world with laser guns. Lampshaded by [[spoiler:Mr. Universe]].
-->'''[[spoiler:Mr. Universe]]:''' Guy killed me, Mal. He killed me with a sword. How weird is that?
* DeadpanSnarker: On occasion: "I am impressed that you came for her yourself, and that you made it this far... in that outfit."
* {{Determinator}}: Practically to a Mal Reynolds degree.
** VillainousValour: It makes him borderline unstoppable in a straight-up fight.
* FinishingMove: A particularly sweet one where he effectively paralyzes his victim, then places his sword at such an angle that the victim slowly overbalances and is impaled.
* EnemyMine: [[spoiler:In the post-film comics, he joins with the crew of ''Serenity'' on Mal's beckoning in order to help them rescue Zoe and deal a blow against the Alliance.]]
* EvilBrit: His actor keeps his normal accent for the film.
* GeniusBruiser: The Operative is a powerful man, but also very eloquent and clever.
* GenreSavvy
-->'''Operative''': I'm not threatening you, I'm unarmed...\\
'''Mal''': Good. ''[shoot him]''\\
'''Operative''': I am, however, wearing full body armor. ''I am not a moron!''
* TheHeavy: Of TheMovie.
* HeelFaceTurn: After Mal shows him the recording of [[spoiler:what the Alliance did to the planet Miranda]].
* InspectorJavert
* KatanasAreJustBetter: His preferred weapon.
* KickTheDog: Kills plenty of people when it's not necessary to his mission, including [[spoiler:Mr. Universe.]]
* KnightTemplar[=/=]WellIntentionedExtremist: He really does believe he's helping to create a better world, even if, in JossWhedon's words, it "does involve a ''certain'' amount of genocide."
* NecessarilyEvil: He is himself disgusted by his own actions.
* NoNameGiven: Although in earlier drafts he was given the name 'Jude'.
* NoPlaceForMeThere: TropeNamer.
* ScaryBlackMan: Scary, yes, but unfailingly soft-spoken.
* TheUnfettered: The Alliance and utopia require he work his hardest and kill anyone who gets in his way, and he's fine with that.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: His reason for existence; he's apparently OK with the idea he won't exist after he gets his world.
* VillainousBreakdown: One inflicted on him by Mal in an ironic, thematic defeat; by the end, [[spoiler:he himself says that he's a shell waiting to die, bereft of purpose. In short, exactly what Mal took steps ''not'' to become after Serenity Valley]]. Also has a minor one when he sees ''Serenity'' being followed by a horde of Reavers.
* WarriorPoet: Though he misquotes a few poems from time to time, he fits the bill.
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: He takes steps to defy this trope as it applies to him by means of a BulletproofVest.
* WorthyOpponent: Seems to think this of Mal.
* WouldHitAGirl: He slams Inara to the ground during her and Mal's fight against him.
* WouldHurtAChild: One of the people on Haven is a little kid Kaylee plays with. The kid was killed in the Operative's attack.
-->'''Mal:''' ''I don't murder children.'' \\
'''Operative:''' I ''do''. If I have to.
* YouMonster: A variation, in that he believes ''himself'' to be a monster. This is the reason why he doesn't think there's a place in the utopia he creates for him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Dr. Matthias]]
!!Dr. Matthias
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mathias_4351.jpg]]
->'''Played By:''' Michael Hitchcock

The Academy technician in charge of taking care of River. He is noticeable for an odd encounter with a certain spoiled rich kid who had curious questions about his baby sister. Vaguely related to this was an investigation by a government agent who gave him lessons about the customs of "certain older, ''civilized'' cultures".
----
* BioAugmentation: What he was researching.
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:The Operative paralyzes him, forcing him to literally fall upon a sword in forced penance.]]
* DirtyCoward: He makes a run for it and leaves his guards to die.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: [[spoiler:By the Operative, and...gravity.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: [[spoiler:Paralyzing a government scientist and then leaving him helpless to stop himself from being impaled would normally be a KickTheDog. When said scientist is a mad scientist who {{Mind Rape}}s young girls... well, let's put it this way: was anyone ''not'' pleased when The Operative killed him?]]
* OrganTheft: Particularly parts of the brain.
* PlayingWithSyringes: Directly into the forehead.
* {{Pride}}: His sin.
* MadDoctor[=/=]MadScientist: With Parliament approval!
* {{Seppuku}}: [[spoiler:Involuntarily, thanks to the Operative]].
* TortureTechnician: He's not a sadist, and isn't out to intentionally cause pain, but he doesn't give a single damn if he does. River is put through outrageous torture at his hands, and he doesn't give a single thought to her as being a human being going through pain.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: His justification, most likely, since all of the Alliance higher-ups seem to believe this.
* YouHaveFailedMe: [[spoiler:Why the Operative kills him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Dr. Caron]]
!!Dr. Caron
->'''Played By''': Sarah Paulson

A member of the research and rescue team that investigated the strange happenings on Miranda.
----
* ApocalypticLog: Leaves one behind, which is found by the Serenity crew.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: [[spoiler:She tries to shoot herself before the Reavers get to her, but she isn't quick enough.]]
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:Dr. Caron is grabbed by the Reavers, who go on to gang-rape her, torture her, kill her and ultimately eat her, as they like to do.]]
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Subjected to this by the Reavers...although the death part comes after.]]
* MrExposition: She provides a straight-forward explanation of [[spoiler:Miranda, the Pax and the Reavers.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: She's horrified by the effects of the [[spoiler:Pax.]]
%%* PosthumousCharacter
* WellIntentionedExtremist: She [[spoiler:meets a horrible fate she certainly didn't deserve and the Pax was designed to make people happier and more relaxed...but she still participated in using a pathogen on a civilian population without their knowledge or consent.]]
-->'''Caron:''' We meant it for the best!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The Interviewer]]
!!The Interviewer
->'''Played By:''' Creator/JossWhedon

An interviewer for the Academy sent to determine River's mental state.
----
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:River stabs him in the throat with a pen, killing him.]]
* CreatorCameo: For our boy Joss.
[[/folder]]

!The Independents (Browncoats)

[[folder:Bendis]]
!!Bendis
->'''Played By:''' Eddie Adams

A fellow Browncoat who fought in the war with Malcolm Reynolds and Zo Alleyne Washburne in the Battle of Serenity Valley.
----
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:Bendis is riddled with Alliance bullets while standing next to Mal.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Monty]]
!!Monty
->'''Played By:''' Franc Ross

A long-time colleague of Mal Reynolds who also fought on the side of the Independents in the Unification War. An extremely large (Zoe refers to him as a "sasquatch") and mostly genial man, he is known among his friends for wearing a thick beard and mustache.
----
* {{Badass}}: Even Zoe thinks so.
** BadassBeard: He used to have one, but Saffron didn't like it, so it ended up becoming one of her victims.
--->'''Monty:''' I shaved my beard for you, ''devil woman!''
* CasualDangerDialogue: After Saffron and Mal pull their guns on each other.
-->'''Monty:''' So...you guys have met?
* FireForgedFriends: With Mal. They're old war buddies.
* GentleGiant: He's a big guy, but greets Mal with a massive hug.
* OldFriend: To the entire Serenity crew, but mostly Mal and Zoe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tracey Smith]]
!!Tracey Smith
->'''Played By:''' Jonathan M Woodward

A war buddy of Malcolm Reynolds and Zoe Alleyne from the war against the Alliance. Mal helped get Tracey through the war, but after the war Tracey became something of a drifter, eventually falling in with organ smugglers.
----
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:He spins a sob story about falling in with a bad crowd, but Mal deducts that he was doing plenty of killing by himself. He likely betrayed Womack, not the other way around. He also takes Kaylee hostage to aid his escape and save his own hide.]]
* CharacterDeath: Tracey is found as a corpse delivered to Mal and Zoe. [[spoiler:He's faking it. He's dead for good later that same episode, though.]]
%%* DeathEqualsRedemption
%%* FullFrontalAssault
%%* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor
%%* HumanMail
* OldFriend: To Mal and Zoe.
* PosthumousCharacter: He's dead by the time he appears during the main events of the series. [[spoiler:Averted, he was faking.]]
[[/folder]]

!Other Criminals

[[folder:Badger]]
!!Badger
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/badger_8488.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"Crime and politics, little girl. Situation is always... fluid. "'']]
->'''Played By:''' Mark Sheppard

->'''Sir Warrick''': I know [Badger]. And I think he's a psychotic low-life.\\
'''Mal''': And I think calling him that is an insult to the psychotic low-life community.

A lowlife 'businessman' on Persephone who frequently does business with Mal.
----
* BriefAccentImitation: River does this to him at one point.
* ButtMonkey: When [[BookDumb Jayne Cobb]] is able to make you look pathetic, you truly fall into this.
* CreatorCameo: Was ''supposed'' to be this, but Joss liked Sheppard!Badger better.
* DeadpanSnarker
* FauxAffablyEvil: On rare occasions he slides into AffablyEvil, but mostly not.
* EvilBrit: Most certainly immoral if not outright evil.
* LondonGangster
* TheNapoleon: He's a short fellow who's easily upset.
* NiceHat: A black bowler.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: With Mal on pretty much every single job.
--> '''Mal:''' I may not be an upstanding citizen like you, with your fancy clothes and your very shiny hat, but I do business. I'm here for business.
* WickedCultured: As with most criminals of the LondonGangster variety, he tries but fails. River even uses this in her TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Adelai Niska]]
!!Adelai Niska
[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TropeNiska_3493.jpg]]
->[[caption-width-right:300:''"When you die, I can't hurt you any more. And I want two days at least, minimum."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Michael Fairman

A crime lord introduced in the second pilot, "The Train Job." Very concerned about reputations, especially his own. He is the second recurring villain of the show.
----
* AxCrazy: Lampshaded by Zoe to Mal.
-->'''Zoe:''' He's a psycho, you know.
* BackFromTheDead: Niska likes to do this to people who die on him during his torture sessions.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Niska's modus operandi in the series. He strongly believes in the principles of Shan Yu.
* CaptainObvious: One of his quirks is deliberately explaining things that he's already made clear.
* DirtyCoward: When [[spoiler:Mal frees himself,]] Niska pathetically crawls away in fear.
* ElectricTorture: When Niska gets busy, he likes to start off with this before getting nastier.
* EvilOldFolks
* FauxAffablyEvil: At first, he comes across as a harmless old grampa with a funny accent and probably some nice stories. Just when you're expecting him to pat his lap and hand you a Werther's Original, he has his henchmen slide open a door to show the hanging, mutilated corpse of his wife's nephew.
-->'''Mal:''' ''[barely hiding his disgust]'' ...I'm sure he was a... very bad person.\\
'''Niska:''' My wife's nephew. At dinner I'm getting earful. And there is no way out of that.
* FourEyesZeroSoul: He wears a pair of Gepetto-looking glasses.
* LargeHam
* TheMafiya: Of sorts.
* RevengeBeforeReason: Mal gave him back the money for the train job, but Niska takes the incident as a personal slight and wants to torture Mal for days before killing him to keep his reputation solid.
* SadisticChoice: Niska's attempt to give one to Zoe backfires on him when she immediately chooses Wash.
* SlaveToPR: He's constantly trying to uphold some kind of twisted reputation he has, to the point of killing his own nephew and letting Zo walk away unscathed from an encounter with him.
* SmugSnake
* SoftspokenSadist: He can be very soft-spoken in the tone of a kindly old man. The fact that he does this while he's [[ElectricTorture zapping the living daylights out of you]], [[ColdBloodedTorture cutting off your ear]], or even worse things makes him ''creepy''.
* TortureTechnician: What Niska is generally known for.
* YouHaveFailedMe: People who disappoint Niska tend to be tortured to death multiple times.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:'Saffron']]
!!'Saffron'
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yosaffbridge_7525.jpg]]
->[[caption-width-right:350:''"Everybody plays each other. That's all anybody ever does. We play parts."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Creator/ChristinaHendricks

One of the few recurring villains (they likely intended more, but dying off after one season does mess up plans a bit) of the show, Saffron is a con woman who specializes in seduction. Introduced in (and as) "Our Mrs. Reynolds".
----
* AccidentalMarriage: How she's introduced.
* AmbiguousDisorder: The speed in which her demeanour goes from meek to manic depending on who has got the upper hand, leads some characters to suggest she honestly might be mentally ill.
* BestHerToBedHer: Subverted within the course of a few seconds.
%%* BitchInSheepsClothing
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Boy howdy...how do we begin? The crew of Serenity, Monty, Durran and there are allusions to her disposing of previous accomplices.
%%* EvilRedhead
* ExtremeDoormat: But it's an act.
* FemmeFatale[=/=]TheVamp: She uses a combination of innocence and feminine wiles to hit her marks.
-->'''Saffron:''' But face it, hubby: I'm really hot.
* ForTheEvulz: Compulsively. In her first appearance, she implies this is her real motivation for playing an elaborate ruse to send ''Serenity'' into a trap, not the money. In her second appearance, it turns out that she was once married to a man who could give her everything she could ever possibly want, but she left him because she still couldn't resist the urge to commit crimes and screw people over.
* IHaveManyNames: Resulting in the [[BuffySpeak awkward]] but ''canonical'' "[=YoSaffBridge=]."
* LaserGuidedKarma: After plotting and scamming the crew so much in her reappearance in "Trash", she's outwitted and left in a dumpster by Inara.
%%* LoveableRogue
* ManipulativeBastard: Hell, it's her job. She bats her eyelashes and most melt before her...it's hard to blame them, too.
* MsFanservice: Her nude scene.
** IgnoreTheFanservice: What Mal tries to do. "Oh, I'm going to [[BrickJoke special hell...]]"
* TheOldestProfession: Based on their interactions, Inara realizes that [=YoSaffBridge=] has most likely received Companion training, but too late to do anything about it except delay her escape.
* SerialSpouse: Who in the galaxy isn't her huband?
* ShadowArchetype: Easily construable as Inara's {{foil}} and [[EvilCounterpart opposite]].
* SmugSnake: She's smart, but pigs will fly before she outdoes Mal and his crew.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Patience]]
!!Patience
->'''Played By:''' Bonnie Bartlett

An old ally of Mal's, who apparently shot him once. Owns a moon by the time the series starts.
----
* EvilOldFolks: She's elderly, but she's evil enough to take control of a whole world.
* ILied: With regards to making a deal with Mal.
%%* {{Jerkass}}
%%* NeverMessWithGranny
* WastelandElder: Patience is running her own planet, although as planets go, it's pretty desolate and barren.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sir Warwick Harrow]]
!!Sir Warwick Harrow
->'''Played By:''' Larry Drake

A nobleman on Persephone who owns some "property" that he needs moved off-planet. After he refuses to deal with Badger, Badger sends Malcolm Reynolds to talk to him.
----
* CoolOldGuy: Harrow is a quick-witted, classy fellow who's a good judge of character.
* GentlemanSnarker: Particularly with regard to Atherton Wing, whom he dislikes immensely.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stitch Hessian]]
!!Stitch Hessian
->'''Played By:''' Kevin Gage

An old crime buddy of Jayne's.
----
* BeardOfBarbarism: He's grown one after years of isolation and torture.
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:Jayne beats him to death during their confrontation at the Jayne statue.]]
* EyeScream: One of his eyes was torn out by Magistrate Higgins.
* HandCannon: He wields a shotgun with one hand.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Against Jayne.
%%* SealedEvilInACan
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Nandi]]
!!Nandi
->'''Played By:''' Melinda Clarke

A former Companion who knew Inara on Sihnon before they both left the planet. Nandi gave up her life as a Companion having concluded that it was too restrictive to become a brothel madam, overseeing common prostitutes on one of the outer planets. When Petaline, one of her girls, becomes pregnant with the son of a local landowner, the richest, most powerful man on the small planet, she calls Inara to see if the crew of Serenity can help against the baby's father, Rance Burgess.
----
* ActionGirl: She learned how to use a gun, and use it well, long ago.
* {{Badass}}: How she's managed to defend her whorehouse for so long from the likes of Burgess.
* BeleagueredChildhoodFriend: To Inara.
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:Rance Burgess shoots her in the stomach with his laser gun, killing her outright.]]
%%* CulturedBadass
%%* DeadpanSnarker
* DeathBySex: [[spoiler:She's killed by Rance Burgess after a night with Mal.]]
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: She even appears in the episode ''Heart of Gold'' running a brothel by the same name.
* MamaBear: For her girls in her brothel.
* MissKitty: She's a brothel madame who's very protective of her girls.
* OldFriend: To Inara, with whom she trained to be a Companion. After Nandi left the Guild, the Companion higher-ups forbade Inara from speaking with her. It's an order that Inara simply ignores.
* SilkHidingSteel: An expected trait for a former Companion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Rance Burgess]]
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/burgess_rance_7595.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"The rights you got are the ones I give you."'']]
->'''Played By:''' Fredric Lehne

->'''Mal''': Nothing worse than a monster who thinks he's right with God.

A rancher who runs afoul of the crew of Serenity when he decides to wage war against a brothel run by Nandi, a former Companion and friend of Inara Serra. According to Nandi, Burgess was the richest man on the planet, and kept everyone else poor so he could play at being a "cowboy in his own gorram theme park".
----
* BoomHeadshot: [[spoiler:At the hands of Petaline.]]
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:Petaline shoots him in the head.]]
* {{Determinator}}: It's hard not to be impressed by the bastard's utter failure to give up, even when he's lost.
* FamilyValuesVillain: He has very 'traditional' views, clearly seeing men as superior and women as objects to be owned as property or used for breeding or simply making a point.
-->'''Rance:''' Now, Chari here, she understands a whore's place, don't she? But Nandi, and those others, they spit on our town! They've no respect for the sanctity of fatherhood, or... decency, or family! They have my child held hostage to their decadent ways, and that I will not abide. We will show them what power is! We will show them what their position in this town is! Let us all remember, right here and now, what a woman is to a man!
* FeudalOverlord: He purposefully keeps the planet poor so that he can rule as the unofficial king.
* HeManWomanHater: He sees Nandi's whores as less than human, and when Mal compliments his wife he right-away assumes he's talking about his gun.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Shot by the mother of his son.]]
** LaserGuidedKarma: After he [[spoiler:kills Nandi]], Mal goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge and personally chases after him, then drags him back for [[spoiler:his execution]].
* KnightTemplar: He believes entirely that he is in the right, which is noted by Mal as a dangerous point-of-view for an enemy to have.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: A mysoginist through-and-through.
* SmugSnake: Rance certainly considers himself a hero and a great man, despite all the murder and intimidation. He's also not as tough or untouchable as he thinks.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Jubal Early]]
!!Jubal Early
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/early_jubal_2595.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"Does that seem right to you?"'']]
->'''Played By''': Richard Brooks

->'''Simon''': You're out of your mind.\\
'''Early''': That's between me and my mind.

Shows up in the final episode, "Objects In Space." When we first meet him, he proves to be [[{{Badass}} more than a match for Mal and company]], but it isn't long before [[PsychoForHire his true colors become apparent]].
----
* {{Badass}}: If hijacking Serenity singlehandedly didn't push him here, what does?
* BaitTheDog: Whedon was defining having some fun manipulating [[StarWars Boba Fett]] fans.
* BecauseImGoodAtIt:
-->'''Inara:''' This is pointless, you know that?\\
'''Early:''' 200,000 seems pretty pointed to me. That kind of money, I could retire. But I wouldn't. What's life without work?
* BerserkButton: Trying to psychoanalyze him. River turns this against him by mercilessly [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech deconstructing his stoic, spacy exterior]] from where he can't get at her.
* BlatantLies: For several topics.
** HonorBeforeReason: He claims this, but he changes his plans so much that his so called code of honor is proven to be unimportant.
** NobleDemon: Claims to not want to kill anyone who he doesn't have to. Again, him changing his plans so much proves otherwise.
* BountyHunter: The evil, sadistic kind.
* CatchPhrase: "Does that seem right to you?"
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Early and reality are not on one-to-one terms, though it's not clear how much of this is [[ObfuscatingInsanity deliberate on his part]].
* CombatPragmatist: He takes out the crew silently, identifying the biggest threats as Mal and [[MysteriousPast Book]] before locking everyone else in their cabins to spare himself a cat-and-mouse game.
* DramaticSpaceDrifting: "Well. Here I am."
* FauxAffablyEvil: He'd initially appear to be AffablyEvil and he does get some killer lines, but he soon reveals how much he'll twist his rules just to hurt people. He's also terrifying when he wants to be.
* {{Foil}}: Jubal is calm, intelligent (though not quite all there), a skilled combatant with a decidedly precise style, and deeply intuitive, able to suss out a person's nature in an eerily quick fashion. Just like River.
* InsistentTerminology: Subverted, in a surreal way:
-->'''Simon''': So you're a bounty hunter?\\
'''Early''': No, that ain't it at all.\\
'''Simon''': Then what are you?\\
'''Early''': I'm a ''bounty'' hunter.\\
'''Simon''': That's what I said.\\
'''Early''': Yeah, but you didn't say it well.
* KickTheDog: Literal example (albeit offscreen and in his backstory) in that he murdered his mother's pet dog.
* PsychoForHire: River explicitly calls him out for this; the reason he took his job is because it gives him an outlet for his violent urges.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: He's beyond any kind of redemption to the audience the moment he threatens Kaylee with this.
* TheSociopath: While he claims to be AffablyEvil, River taunts him in that she's been in his head and knows ''exactly'' what kind of person he ''really'' is. So did Jubal's mother. That's why she reacted with fear when she found the dead animals he'd killed.
* SoftspokenSadist: Early has a deep but soft voice that's borderline hypnotic, but he's also a barely restrained sadist.
* VillainousBreakdown: He abandons his witty one-liners and calm, smooth demeanour as River starts to run circles around him. Early becomes violent, suspicious, paranoid and even comes to believe that River has possessed the ship.
* WarriorPoet: In a weird sort of way.
* WouldHitAGirl: Hits Inara for questioning his motives.
--> '''Early:''' Don't visit my intentions. Don't ever.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mr Universe]]
!!Mr Universe
[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mr_universe_2754.jpg]]
->[[caption-width-right:350:''"You can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere."'']]
->'''Played By''': David Krumholtz

->''"You guys always bring me the very best violence."''

An isolated and reclusive TechnoWizard who is an ally of the crew.
----
* BunnyEarsLawyer: He's a loner who 'marries' his sexdoll/robot, but he's also a genius.
* CasualDangerDialogue:
-->'''Mr. Universe:''' Guy [[spoiler:killed me, Mal. Killed me with a sword.]] How weird is that?
* CharacterDeath: [[spoiler:The Operative stabs him through the stomach after he's fulfilled his purpose. Mr Universe manages to leave a message for Mal, but dies from his injuries.]]
* DeadManWriting: [[spoiler:He leaves a message for Mal after being stabbed by the Operative. He dies after the recording.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: [[spoiler:Snarkily demands his "30 pieces of silver" after he's forced at gunpoint by the Alliance and the Operative to sell ''Serenity'' out and lure them to his planet.]]
* KnowledgeBroker: It's his business.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: [[spoiler:His reaction to getting stabbed by the Operative]].
--> '''Mr Universe''': [[spoiler:Guy killed me, Mal. Killed me with a sword. How ''weird'' is that?!]]
* MrExposition: Mr Universe explains all about the 'Miranda' code that ticked off River.
* PlayfulHacker: He flirts lightly with Zoe, is quick to make jokes and is on good terms with the entire crew.
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: [[spoiler:He's a reluctant traitor and is coerced by the Operative, who immediatly kills him. According to WordOfGod, this was an impulsive kill that the Operative doesn't really understand and is part of his VillainousBreakdown.]]
* SixthRanger: Mal and the crew of Serenity seem to like him a lot more than their usual contacts, [[spoiler:burying him with Wash and Book]].
* SixthRangerTraitor: [[spoiler:Although he tries to make up for it.]]
* TechnoWizard: He's a bonafide genius, able to uncover just about anything no matter how much code it's buried under.
* VoiceWithAnInternetConnection: He acts like this for the crew, never meeting up in person. He seems to be a recluse.
* YouHaveToHaveJews: The second Jewish character to appear in the 'Verse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanty & Mingo]]
!!Fantastic 'Fanty' & Mingojerry 'Mingo' Rample
->'''Played By:''' Yan and Rafael Feldman

Twin brothers who act as fences for goods acquired by Mal Reynolds and the crew of Serenity. Although identical twins, Mal is able to tell the two of them apart (he claims "Fanty's prettier"). Their full names are Mingojerry and Fantastic Rample.
----
* EvilBrit: Both of them are criminals trying to cheat the Serenity crew out of their fair cut of a dangerous job.
* LondonGangster: Similar to Badger, they have this demeanour.
* SingleMindedTwins: They're able to finish each other's sentences and act like one person.
[[/folder]]

!Other Characters

[[folder:Sheriff Bourne]]
!!Sheriff Bourne
->'''Played By:''' Gregg Henry

Sheriff of the small town seen in "The Train Job."
----
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: He understands Mal and Zoe trying to do the right thing, and lets them go, knowing that times are tough for them as well. He's also seen giving a prisoner a light for his cigarette.
* TheSheriff: Of the small town Mal and Zoe are robbing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Atherton Wing]]
!!Atherton Wing
->'''Played By:''' Edward Atterton

A young nobleman on Persephone who has hired Inara Serra on multiple occasions. On some of these occasions, he has proposed a more permanent arrangement with her.
----
* {{Badass}}: Sure, Wing is a dick, but there's no getting past the fact that he's a highly skilled swordsman.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: At first, he comes across as a pleasant and even charming young man. This facade drops soon and it quickly becomes apparent he's a possessive cretin.
%%* CombatAestheticist
* TheDandy: He's a well-dressed pretty boy who doesn't look like he's even seen dirt before. Harrow even calls him a spoiled dandy.
* EvilBrit: He speaks with a refined English accent, and is plenty evil.
* GreenEyedMonster: When Mal tries to simply talk to Inara, Wing quickly loses his temper.
* {{Jerkass}}: The magnitude of Wing's dickery cannot be underestimated.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: He's a sexist piece of shit who treats women like things to be used or owned.
* UpperClassTwit: Atherton's upper-class position in society hasn't stopped him from being a violent frat boy in a grown man's body.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Magistrate Higgins]]
!!Magistrate Higgins
->'''Played By:''' Gregory Itzin

->''Now Jayne saw the Mudders' backs breaking''
->''He saw the Mudders lament''
->''And he saw the magistrate taking''
->''Every dollar and leaving five cents''
-->-- ''The Hero of Canton''

The final word of law on Higgins' Moon, a small moon that has a primary export of mud. Higgins is a man who looks out only for himself. He treats his workers, known as mudders, harshly, almost as slaves, and metes out strict punishment to any who cross him, as evidenced by the confinement cage in which he imprisons Stitch Hessian after he and Jayne Cobb robbed him.
----
* BadBoss: He pays the mudders next to nothing, keeps them stranded in his little town and plays at being a king.
* BeardOfEvil: A little goatee.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Higgins has made his money out of mud, but is a greedy psychopath who treats the mudders like slaves.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Higgins greets Inara very cordially and is even able to talk Stitch into attacking Jayne instead of himself.
* FeudalOverlord: Of his moon. The mudders are essentially slaves that he keeps oppressed.
* IOwnThisTown: Or rather, he owns the moon. It's 'Higgins' Moon' after all.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Higgins is embarrassed by his more sensitive and goodhearted son.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fess Higgins]]
!!Fess Higgins
->'''Played By:''' Zachary Kranzler

Son of Magistrate Higgins, and Inara's client on the planet. His father hired him a Companion to try and make him into a man.
----
* TheDogBitesBack: Against his father, who doesn't consider him a 'man'.
* GrewASpine: Fess was pretty brow-beaten by his father, but eventually stands up to him.
* AManIsNotAVirgin: Played with. His father hires Inara to bed him so he can become a man, and she does, but that isn't what makes him a man. Inara talks to him and gives him to confidence to stand up to his father, therefore becoming a 'man' through actions instead of merely becoming something else.
* WellDoneSonGuy: His relationship with his father is very strained. Higgins doesn't consider Fess to be a 'man'. It's unclear how Fess is meant to meet women on a moon inhabited by his father, his father's men, and a society of people who are basically slaves and hate the Higgins family.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Gabriel and Regan Tam]]
!!Gabriel & Regan Tam
->'''Played By:''' William Converse-Roberts & Isabella Hofmann

River and Simon's parents. Well-to-do, they take great pride in their social position and Simon's achievement. They support the Alliance and do not believe it could or would do anything to harm their daughter, River, who was in their care in a special school.
----
* AbusiveParents: There are some implications that they are aware of what is happening to River; Gabriel barely pays attention to her even as a child, even though she is clearly more intelligent than her genius brother.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Bester]]
!!Bester
->'''Played By:''' Dax Griffin

Serenity's original engine mechanic. Mal caught him having sex with a local girl, soon identified as Kaylee Frye, in the engine room. Mal demands to know what is taking Bester so long to fix the engine, and Kaylee then demonstrates that she has more knowledge of ship engine workings than Bester, whom Mal immediately fires in favor of Kaylee.
----
* DumbBlonde: He's pretty damn stupid.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Durran Haymer]]
!!Durran Haymer
->'''Played By:''' Dwier Brown

A wealthy land-owner and collector of rare Earth-That-Was artifacts living on a floating estate on the planet Bellerophon.
----
* GoodIsNotDumb: He might love Saffron, but he [[spoiler:doesn't believe a word of her lies.]]
* NiceGuy: Haymer is a pleasant, accomodating guy.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:Pretends to still believe in Saffron's con, when he actually called the feds the second he saw her.]]
* PuppyDogEyes: Durran uses these on Saffron, who goes a bit crazy (well, crazier) and can't deal with them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Reavers]]
!!Reavers
[[quoteright:306:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_reaver_s_5_9435.jpg]]
->[[caption-width-right:300:''"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're really lucky, they'll do it in that order"'']]

->'''Jayne''': Reaver's ain't men.\\
'''Book''': Of course they are. Too long removed from civilization perhaps, but men. And, I believe there's a power greater than men. A power that heals.\\
'''Mal''': Reavers might take issue with that philosophy...if they ''had'' a philosophy...and they weren't too busy gnawing on your insides. Jayne's right. Reavers ain't men. Or they forgot how to be. Come to just nothin'. They got out to the edge of the galaxy, to that place of nothin', and that's what they became.

The [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Reavers]] are spacefaring, [[ImAHumanitarian cannibalistic]] raiders that exist on the outermost fringes of the 'Verse. They are said to be folk who were driven insane after reaching the end of the galaxy and seeing the sheer nothingness.
----
* {{Aesoptinum}}: [[spoiler:Their origin.]]
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: They are beyond madness. Every single reaver is driven by evil urges.
* TheBerserker: Played with. When attacking someone face-to-face, the Reavers become mad, frothing, berserk killers. Outside of face-to-face combat, however, Reavers are disturbingly thoughtful and intelligent, laying carefully-prepared traps, operating advanced spacecraft, and deliberately torturing people to break their minds to increase their numbers. They're skilled enough that they can take an entire ship by surprise without leaving any obvious trace of their presence.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: ''No one'' wants to be taken alive by the Reavers, and no one who can stop it will allow someone else to be, leading to several {{Mercy Kill}}s.
* ColdBloodedTorture: They flay, eat, and rape their victims until death, which is prolonged for many hours, and likely days, in some cases. Reavers are calculated sadists, they prefer their victims conscious - more than violence, they are motivated to inflict agony on people.
* TheDreaded: Absolutely '''everyone'''...Zoe, Jayne, the Operative...is scared to death of them.
* DyingRace: The movie reveals they fly without any reactor containment, meaning they're likely all suffering some degree of radiation poisoning. They also don't seem to breed and are unable to build any kind of culture, so the only method of creating new Reavers is to drive people insane. The Reavers cannot last more than a generation.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Reavers have a penchant for breaking and torturing people into becoming second-generation Reavers simply by exposing them to what they do to others.
* TheHorde: There are thousands of them, and they attack like a swarm.
* ImAHumanitarian: They prefer human flesh. Of live people.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: They favour ballistic blades and edged weaponry, both on their ships and in the field.
* InsaneEqualsViolent: Reversed. [[spoiler:They're insane because their aggressor instincts were heightened to a truly ridiculous level, driving them to do the things they do.]]
* KillAllHumans: Due to being driven to attack anything they see.
* NothingIsScarier: See TakeOurWordForIt.
* ShroudedInMyth: Until the movie.
* SpaceMadness: Originally believed to be their origin.
* TakeOurWordForIt: We never see a "true" Reaver in the series, only their ships, the [[ShroudedInMyth reactions others have to them]], and one man who was [[FreakOut broken]] into becoming one of them. TheMovie throws this out the window.
* TheUsualAdversaries: They're a vicious race of antagonists who turn up from time to time. The crew always keep an eye open for them.
[[/folder]]