Joshua Nolan is a former lieutenant in the Earth Military Coalition who fought in the alien conflict.Born prior to the Arks' arrival, he saw his comfortable life turned upside down when the war between the humans and Votans began. The conflict took its toll, and in the aftermath of Arkfall, he found himself a wanderer in a dangerous new world.There he was joined by Irisa, a young Irathient he raised as his own, and who served as his lone companion in the lawless badlands.
Anti-Hero: While he is a generally good person, Nolan isn't above milking others for his own benefit (and, by extension, Irisa's). Of particular note is the fact that the crystal taken from him in the pilot was in turn stolen by him from the player character in the tie-in video game.
This is coming back to bite him as Varus Soleptor has put a quarter million scrip bounty on his head.
Awesomeness by Analysis: In "A Well Respected Man", Nolan cleverly takes one of Datak's schemes apart. Datak had his men instruct a Castithan snitch not to talk to Nolan so he would get angry, then Datak would swoop in and "gently persuade" the man to talk, making Nolan look like a fool and Datak look like a hero. But Nolan sees through Datak's bullshit, taking note of the fact that the snitch is more scared of Datak than the armed Lawkeeper.
Cowboy Cop: Tends to act on what's right without considering the social or political implications. It earns him the enmity of Datak, who's used to a certain amount of leeway in such matters.
Dark and Troubled Past: He was involved in the Yosemite massacre, where over 200 Human and Votan civilians were killed.
Deadpan Snarker: Snarks about allowing Datak Tarr and Rafe McCawley to carry weapons when they act as if they're above the law, while he isn't because he's an outsider.
Determinator: In "If I Ever Leave This World Alive", he spends the entire episode suffering from hemorrhagic fever, yet he takes longer to succumb than numerous characters who were infected after he was.
Fake American: Grant Bowler is from New Zealand, though raised in Australia.
Friend to All Children: As to be expected of a man whose reputation comes from rescuing children in danger, threatening children is a serious sore spot with him. He helps Alak Tarr after it's clear Rafe intends to lynch him, and the motivating factor for his Conscience Makes You Go Back moment is seeing a bunch of children being ushered to safety.
Genius Bruiser: Despite his thuggish appearance, Nolan is a very smart, capable man.
Genre Savvy: Not much gets past him. He caught Rynn in the middle of her escape attempt, easily saw through Datak's Good Cop/Bad Cop routine, and did a fair job predicting how the hijackers would react in "The Serpent's Egg". Also, he's noticed the increased amount of time that Tommy and Irisa were spending together and connected the dots as to what's probably happening, prompting him to Twerp Sweat Tommy.
Good Is Not Nice: He was perfectly willing to leave Olfin Tennet to die after she orchestrated a scheme to steal Defiance's deposit for a railroad, leading to several deaths. He also murders a Mad Bomber in cold blood to keep the Earth Republic from exploiting his weapon-making talents.
I Am What I Am: In "Brothers in Arms" his old friend points out that he isn't some politician. In his heart, Nolan is a soldier. After a moment to think on it, Nolan agrees and kills Pol Madis in cold blood after learning the weapon maker wasn't going to be executed but used by Earth Republic to make more weapons.
Though he doesn't actually use the line, Nolan doesn't seem terribly fond of how the Defiant Few have been idolized. In particular, when Amanda tries to ask him about the actual incident, he only vaguely replies "It was what it was." Given his Chronic Hero Syndrome, it's probably in part due to the fact that before the Defiant Few incident, there was literally a world war going on where countless died and suffered. Glamorizing the reality of war is something he has consistently fought against.
The game explains why he's frustrated with the idolization of the Defiant Few: they activated a terraforming device to defeat the enemy forces, obliterating San Francisco and effectively committing a war crime. He's noticeably evasive when events surrounding the incident come up.
In episode 4, when Nolan explains the process to make Adreno from human adrenal fluid, Amanda tries to ask if his own unit was involved. Nolan quickly turns her attention back to the matter at hand without answering.
"Brothers in Arms" reveals that he got the nickname "No-Man Nolan" during the war, on account of an itchy trigger finger. He also has a fairly large bounty on his head, half that of the Mad Bomber Pol Madis.
"Past is Prologue" reveals that he was involved in a massacre and did things during the Pale Wars that border on war-crimes.
In-Series Nickname: "No-Man Nolan," which he tells Irisa is because he got stranded behind enemy lines and had to cross through no-man's land. In reality, he was given the name due to his tendency to leave no man alive.
Knight in Sour Armor: Stuck in a dirty job where he doesn't always have all the information he should and pulled this and that way by Town Council Politics, he continues to soldier on.
Last Name Basis: To date, only Datak, who did so mockingly, has ever called him "Joshua".
Morality Chain: He and Irisa are this to each other. Irisa's violent tendencies are kept in check by her loyalty to Nolan, and Nolan is implied to have been much more brutal prior to adopting Irisa.
Papa Wolf: It is a seriously bad idea to mess with Irisa if he's anywhere nearby.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: In "Brothers in Arms" he murdered Pol Madis, who was his prisoner at the time, upon learning the weapons of mass destruction maker and mass murderer would be given a cozy life in the Earth Republic or the Votanis Collective. His entire justification was "It felt right."
The Sheriff: Inherits the title of "lawkeeper" due to being the only qualified person in town after the original lawkeeper bites the dust.
Spanner in the Works: The only reason Defiance still exists is because Nolan happened to wind up there just when the villains' plan was set into motion.
An attractive Irathient woman, Irisa is Nolan's adopted daughter and tacit second in command. Smart, independent and feisty, Irisa still struggles with the weight of her unusual upbringing.A drifter since birth, she only stays in Defiance due to the loyalty she feels for Nolan. Nolan has encouraged Irisa to leave behind her traumatic past. He rescued her at a young age, and the two have been inseparable ever since.
Abusive Parents: Implied about her biological parents. Her parents sold her to a cult that tortured her by tying her wrists so tight that they bled and had a venomous snake bite her just to see if she was the cult's messiah..
Action Girl: More than willing to knife someone holding a gun to her head, and just as capable a fighter as Nolan.
The Chosen One: According to Daigo, who may or may not be batshit insane. Sukar has a similar belief (but for very different reasons) but he's not insane. The fact that she's gotten this treatment twice, once from someone she hates and once from someone she deeply respects, makes her rather uncomfortable. Both the treatment itself and the juxiposition of the two.
Dark and Troubled Past: Whatever Nolan rescued her from, it apparently involved chains and she has scars on her wrists from it. Episode 5 reveals that a cult was trying to make her into a Dark Messiah.
Deal with the Devil: She agrees to become Irzu's "weapon" in order to revive Nolan. Her fate afterwards, as well as the future consequences, are unknown.
Knife Nut: Always has a knife hidden somewhere. She's got four on her back, and at least two on each thigh. When she comes to Alak and Christie's wedding in a dress, Tommy's first observation is that she doesn't have any knives. Irisa then reveals she has them strapped to her thigh.
MacGuffin Girl: The cult implanted the white Kaziri in her, which has bonded with her entire system. This is probably the origin of her visions.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Mean is certainly stretching it, but there's certainly a distinctness between Irisa and Stephanie. In one behind the scenes interview, it's noted that she almost constantly worries about Kevin (the actor who plays the Sensoth in the show) because she keeps seeing the frown in the makeup and thus keeps thinking he's uphappy about something.
Morality Chain: She doesn't act on her more violent impulses thanks to Nolan, and in turn it's implied Nolan was much worse before adopting her and needing to set a good example as a result.
Ms. Fanservice: With her midriff baring and her relatively explicit sex scene with Tommy, she's certainly heading this way very quickly.
Amanda Rosewater is the Mayor of Defiance.Every day, she uses her political wits to give this struggling town a chance for survival. Born in New York in 2011, Amanda shouldered a great responsibility at an early age, serving as a stand-in parent for her sister when their mother and father died during the Pale Wars. Adrift in a post-war world, Amanda eventually heard of a town where humans and Votans were attempting to coexist.She traveled to Defiance and accepted a job cleaning the mayor's office. Despite these humble beginnings, she so impressed then-Mayor Nicolette Riordon that, upon her retirement, Nicky appointed Amanda to finish out her term. Now, Amanda is determined to maintain peace in the community, an ambitious task in this deadly new world.
Brutal Honesty: As opposed to inspiring speeches that were seemingly a hallmark of the previous Mayor, Amanda has started her career by being utterly honest in horrible situations. One such example is flat-out telling the townspeople that they're going to die in the Volge attack.
Good Is Not Dumb: She's an idealist, but is neither stupid nor naive. This is especially made clear by her first interaction with Nolan. She is not overly impressed to learn he is one of "The Defiant Few" musing that that was a long time ago and insists he answer her questions. Also, when he tries to impress on her that he can only work if he has a gun, and needs to work to make enough money to leave town, she casually mentions that the local brothel is hiring. Later, when Stahma tries to convince her to appoint Datak as the temporary mayor when she's incapacitated by a virus, she sees right through the attempt.
Missing Mom: She disappeared in the Pale Wars during a bombing.
Not so Above It All: She's not above leveraging her position as Mayor to force Alak to play her favorite song on the radio.
Parental Substitute: To Kenya after losing their mother, to the point that she slaps a woman for insulting Kenya's mother, claiming it was an insult to her. It turns out that their mother was unwilling to go back into danger for Kenya, so Amanda did so alone.
Mama Bear: When the body of Kenya's abusive missing husband is found bricked up inside of a wall, Tommy and Nolan's first suspect is Amanda and both privately admit that she'd definitely be capable of murder to protect her sister. She's innocent however.
Kenya is the beautiful spitfire who runs the NeedWant, the town's bar and brothel. Self-assured and dauntless, she has an unwavering devotion to the town that has inexorably woven her into many of its complicated affairs.Growing up, Kenya rebelled by making trouble and embracing her sexuality. When Kenya arrived in Defiance, she took up residence at the NeedWant, eventually becoming its proprietor.She has a keen insight into the needs of others, but a blind spot when it comes to her own emotions.
Action Girl: Nolan is initially unconcerned that she was wandering around the worst part of town at night, claiming she can take care of herself. She also carries around a knife for self-defense, which unfortunately is completely useless against a bioman.
The Bartender: Her first role in the plot is to sit behind her bar and give Nolan advice on where to find some quick cash.
Establishing Character Moment: In the pilot, when a grimy miner walks in and asks for sex, she gives him a lecture on dressing well before inviting him back after he takes a shower.
Ethical Slut: Both in how she runs her business and in her personal relationships
Friends with Benefits: She decides not to charge Nolan for their sessions, since he's fun, at the same time insisting that they don't use labels for their relationship. She ends up breaking it off in the next episode because it interferes with her work, and Nolan's a good sport about it.
Genre Savvy: Kenya knew better than to drink from a flask Stahma gave her, demanding that Stahma drink from it herself first. Unfortunately for Kenya, Stahma was Dangerously Genre Savvy, having poisoned flask itself, rather than what was in it.
Datak Tarr is the primary figure in Defiance's underworld, running everything from gambling to weapons smuggling and organized crime.True to his Castithan ways, Datak is always on the lookout for opportunities that allow him to get his hooks into people so he can later manipulate them to his own ends. Born into a lower caste on his homeworld, Datak was a survivor who found his way onto an Ark despite his low standing. There he met Stahma, who admired his instincts, and the two became husband and wife.Once they arrived in Defiance, he used brute force and wits to establish a powerful business interest in the town. More than anything, Datak desires legitimacy and a better future for his family.
Ain't Too Proud to Beg: He does beg for his life, but is desperately ashamed of it. He even kills the only witness - the man who literally saved his life from the situation he was begging for it in, five seconds previously - to keep this secret.
Anti-Villain: He's a crime lord, but he doesn't want to be. He much prefers to be honestly respected rather than feared, and his overriding goal is to create a legitimate business empire to leave to his son.
Badass: Got into a swordfight with two Hellbugs and killed both without a scratch on him.
The Bad Guy Wins: He is elected mayor of Defiance in the season 1 finale. Datak's victory is short-lived, however, as his E-Rep allies prove that they have no intention of sharing control of Defiance with him.
Berserk Button: It's a very bad idea to challenge Datak's pride, even unintentionally.
Bolivian Army Ending: At the end of season 1, he and Stahma re left at the mercy of E-Rep soldiers... after Datak killed their commanding officer.
Bullying a Dragon: After learning the details of what Nolan was like during the Pale Wars, he decides to reveal this publicly on the radio to everyone in Defiance. A supremely pissed off Nolan nearly beats him to death with his bare hands. And after Irisa gets Nolan to stop, Datak laughs at Nolan for not following through, which borders on Too Dumb to Live.
Culture Justifies Anything: Occasionally tries to use old Castithan traditions to get his way which includes murdering his son for disobeying him. This doesn't earn to much points for him, since many of the people of Defiance, both Human and Votan tend to disagree with their views.
The Don: Leader of the underworld in Defiance, and everyone seems to be aware of it.
He's very annoyed at how much applause Rafe gets as opposed to him, mostly because Rafe deliberately filled the crowd with miners to upstage him.
In "A Well Respected Man", he initially refuses to help find Kenya because Nolan drags him out of his house in the middle of the night.
In "The Bride Wore Black" reveals eight years ago, he still had this attitude when he was helping bring in quadruple the profits to the town but Hunter Bell refused to give him any respect or more money.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He genuinely loves his wife and son and states that everything he does as a crime boss is to make a better life for them.
Even Evil Has Standards: He is disgusted when he sees a man run from the Volge Battle. The next episode reveals that such a show of cowardice is considered damning to the entire Castithan community.
Evil Albino: Pretty much goes with being a mafioso. He had a guy's hand broken in public because the guy had the gall to approach him directly rather than wait for his regular contact.
That being said, he's not really an albino. Castithans are just naturally like that.
Fantastic Racism: Shows himself to be rather virulently anti-Irathient in "If I Ever Leave This World Alive".
And despite his attempt to appear civil, his barely veiled contempt for Humans is obvious to everyone.
Good Feels Good: He initially disdains the cheers that his rival McCawley receives during the founding celebration as merely due to his having stuffed the crowd with mine workers. Later, after he vows to forgive the interest on debts of all those who fight against the Volge and receives a cheer in turn, he is clearly somewhat affected.
He only enforces the caste-based traditions because, in his position, that makes him top dog. The same traditions on their world had him at the bottom of the barrel.
He also cheats on his wife with Kenya, but would be outraged if he found out she was doing the same thing. It seems to be more of an overall Castithan cultural hypocrisy, since Castithans are mostly patriarchal. It's suggested in one episode that it's cultural tradition for a male Castithan to have sex with stand-in for their wife-to-be during their equivalent of a bachelor party.
On a deeper level the fact he has sex with a human at all is hypocritical given he detests humans as inferior and disgusting, refers to them as smelling bad and claims any Castithan who thinks otherwise has lost their sense of smell.
The Rival: To Rafe McCawley. Datak doesn't particularly like being a criminal, and wants to have the same respect Rafe holds in the town so Alak can have a better life. Of course, it's no big secret that he is one, so this naturally creates some friction.
Ungrateful Bastard: Connor Lang saves his life...and Datak kills him so nobody knows he shamed his liro.
Being ungrateful seems to be a recurring theme with Datak. Humans have saved his life at least three times but he still regards them as inferior and is more than willing to kill the very people who saved him.
Villainous BSOD: After murdering Colonel Marsh, he just stands there, waiting for the inevitable, and even confides in his wife that he misses home (mind you, he was nobody there). It's a very different attitude for the otherwise outspoken Datak.
Villainous Valor: When it comes down to it, Datak won't shy away from battle. During the Volge attack, he's right up front with everyone else and is even seen showing others how to shoot.
Your Cheating Heart: Stahma mentions, off-handedly, how he sometimes visits the Need-Want for Kenya and others. It's seemingly something that Castithan men are expected to do.
Played By: Jaime Murray
The wife of Datak Tarr, one of the most powerful men in Defiance, Stahma is beautiful and loyal, the perfect picture of a Castithan wife. Beneath the surface, however, lies a dark side that is ready to break from the traditional roles assigned her by her caste.Having met Datak during her voyage on an Ark, Stahma aided him in his business during the Pale Wars. When the fighting ended, the two found themselves among a group of migrant settlers and eventually settled in Defiance. There, Stahma plays the part of the dutiful wife while secretly harboring her own ambitions.
Absurdly Youthful Mother: To the point that her son, while hosting his radio show, asks people to stop calling her 'Hot Mama Stahma'.
Affably Evil: She cheerfully tells Christie a story which basically implies she murdered her fiance to be with Datak.
Appeal To Tradition: Stahma does this twice in "The Bride Wore Black" by understanding Christie's earlier dislike of the Telos, a Castithan wedding device which keeps the bride blinded through the wedding so the first thing she sees is her husband. So before the wedding, even when Christie was willing to wear it, she gives Christie the an old human-style wedding veil, which while not fully blinds Christie, would work here.
Bi the Way: She has sex with Kenya, although it's unclear if Castithans have the same labels as humans do.
Bolivian Army Ending: At the end of Season 1, she and Datak are left at the mercy of E-Rep soldiers... after Datak killed their commanding officer.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: When Datak found out about her relationship with Kenya, he demanded Stahma kill her. Kenya being Genre Savvy herself, she wasn't fooled by the poisoned flask trick. That's why Stahma covered the flask itself in poison. Whether it was a lethal poison or just an anesthetic, and whether Stahma killed her while she was asleep, or left her somewhere safe, remains to be seen.
Evil Albino: Don't let the outward attitude fool you; she's more than willing to arrange a covert assassination if it's to her benefit.
See Datak's entry.
Femme Fatale: Not a traditional one, but she'll use her sensuality and sexuality along side soft and hard words to manipulate the people around her or hide the true strength she has. In "The Bride Wore Black", Datak is briefly amazed when Stahma (relatively speaking) raises her voice at him but she quickly becomes demure and sensual again in order to steer his thoughts back to where she wants them.
In Love with Your Carnage: She doesn't love Datak despite his cruelty, but because of it. She considers his cutthroat nature to be proof of his ambitiousness and willingness to do anything in order to succeed.
Lady Macbeth: Seems to be quite a bit more cunning than her husband, and even talks some sense into him when his approach is too unsubtle.
Manipulative Bitch: Extremely so. Whether dealing with the townsfolk, her son, her husband, or her lover, Stahma plays everyone around her with relative ease.
More Deadly Than The Male: She's also been the schemer in her marriage. It takes Nolan until episode 4 to realize it. She'll even manipulate her own husband to achieve her own ends.
Nolan: I've been watching the wrong snake. You're the dangerous one. Stahma: You are very sweet.
Ms. Fanservice: Played with. In public she wears concealing robes but at home is a very different story.
Murder the Hypotenuse: If Stahma's story of how they met is to believed (and one reads between the lines), she spaced her fiance after he challenged Datak to a duel to the death.
No Nudity Taboo: Castithans consider bathing a family bonding ritual, and thus she has no problem hugging her teenage son while wearing... necklaces, mainly. Subverted in that publicly she wears flowing robes that cover everything but her head and hands.
Not So Stoic: There are two thngs that break her facade: Kenya's threat to reveal their affair, and the fact that Datak will probably get executed by E-Rep.
Pragmatic Villainy: She's the one who came up with the idea of allowing Christie and Alak to marry with an eye on taking over the McCauley mines. She also parleyed Amanda's search for her sister into a Council seat for Datak when he had refused to help them, and used the fact that Christie was sick to tell Amanda's assistants not to bother Rafe about mayoral duties while he was at her bedside, so that Datak could take them over instead. She also realizes the opportunity that Amanda getting sick with the plague provides and sets plans in motion to take advantage of that well before Datak even realizes it himself or the part he's suppose to play.
Silk Hiding Steel: Under her smiles and elegance she's every bit as ruthless as her husband.
Villain with Good Publicity: Compared to her husband, most people seem to think of her as merely a soft spoken if occasionally firm wife who's nothing but kind and timid. Only Nolan and argueably Kenyaknows otherwise and that's primarily because his Genre Savvy is near supernatural. Even her husband seems only partially aware of how manipulative she can be since most of her efforts where Datak are involved revolve around Datak. A good example being in "The Bride Wore Black" where she briefly gets flustered while trying to wrangle in a pissed off Datak.
Women Are Wiser: While her husband was willing to kill the entire McCawley in response to Rafe nearly killing his son, she points out that it would just take a few simple assassinations for all the McCawley property to fall under their control through Alak's relationship with Christie.
"Yeah, well, call me old-fashioned, but I believe in a fair fight."
Played By: Graham Greene
Rafe McCawley is Defiance's richest and most powerful human – a mine owner whose family has been in this territory for generations.Raised by a tough-as-nails father, Rafe disobeyed his father's wishes and enlisted. After the Pale Wars, he took his wife and burgeoning family back to his home of St. Louis, now barely recognizable due to terraforming. He longs for the world as it was before the Votans arrived.As one of the founders of Defiance, Rafe has amassed a considerable fortune in the mining business, and now seeks to exert his influence and champion the advancement of his family in the town’s political sphere.
The Atoner: His claim for rewriting his will so when he dies the lands the mines are on will be given to the Irathients of Defiance in a trust. See Dangerously Genre Savvy for the other half of his reason.
Badass: He very rarely shows fear, helping fight the Volge, showing himself to be an experienced fighter and breaking up a fight between Datak Tarr and Hunter Bell.
Badass Boast: "If you again act in a manner unworthy of my baby girl...your marriage will end. And I do not believe in divorce. Capice?"
Noble Bigot: Despite his prejudices he's mostly one of the good guys.
Old Shame: Before the Wars, his family owned a pet food company. Do not ask him to sing the jingle. He won't do it.
He is utterly appalled to learn that the land his mines are located on, used to belong to Irathients who were butchered when they wouldn't sell up.
Papa Wolf/Overprotective Dad: He tried to kill Alak Tarr because a: he thought he had murdered his son and b: he found out that he was dating his daughter. Later, when Alak gets himself mixed up in his father's scheme to ruin Amanda's reputation, he has his miners give the kid a beating and warns him not to display such idiocy again.
Pet the Dog: He changes his will to leave the mines to the Irathients, mostly because he doesn't want Datak to get his hands on them, but also because he's deeply ashamed after learning that the original Irathient owners of the land were butchered by the people who sold it to him..
Daughter of Rafe McCawley. She marries Alak Tarr in "the Bride Wore Black."
Action Girl: To a point, anyway. When she and Alak find a Hellbug coming at them, the scene cuts away. When it cuts back, Alak is still freaked out while Christie is holding it off with a torch. The Tarrs charitably rework this story as Alak doing the protecting so he can gain some points with Rafe, which Christie doesn't contradict.
Also, she, along with Alak, takes part in the Battle of the Volge.
Dating What Daddy Hates: So much so that he's willing to disown her, and that's after trying to kill Alak when he first found out. However, when Alak tells Rafe about his father wanting to cancel the wedding and Rafe sees Alak truly loving his daughter by his conflict between doing the wedding and honoring his father, Rafe comes around to the young man.
Genre Blind: When inspirational stories include casual mention of implicit murder, generally they're not supposed to still be inspiring. Even so, Stahma's story has the desired effect on her.
The Dutiful Son: He tells his father about Luke's fight with Alak, even though he clearly knows it's a bad idea.
Only Sane Man: Serves as the voice of reason in the family, compared to the more emotional Christie (who he describes as The Heart in their family) and more impulsive Luke. He tries to keep his father from acting to rash in response to Christie's relationship with Alak, and gives him a dose of cold water when it comes to Luke associating with criminals that tried to destroy the town.
Possibly subverted as of "Brothers in Arms" where he seems to be talking to a hallucination of his dead brother.]
Sanity Slippage: Has begun seeing and talking to his dead brother who keeps urging him towards the Dark Side. However, it's the result of having the Kaziri around.
The Unfavorite: He has some minor issues regarding this, though he keeps it quiet until Rafe prevents him from working on Luke's section of the mines. Rafe makes up for it by telling Quentin that he doesn't want him to be anyone else, and they end up exploring that area of the mines together.
Played By: Wesley French
Son of Rafe McCawley.
Asshole Victim: Kinda hard to feel sorry for him when his death comes immediately after him trying to kill Alak.
Fantastic Racism: His issue over Christie dating Alak seems to be more about him being a Castithan than being Datak's son.
Hair-Trigger Temper: Doesn't take much for him to snap at Alak, though, to be fair, he was apparently drunk.
Jerkass: He's violent and racist toward Castithans.
My Sister Is Off Limits: At least when it comes to dating the son of a criminal, not to mention him being a Castithan.
Not What I Signed On For: He was murdered after trying to expose what Nicolette Riordon had planned for the town. Given his association with her is implied to go back longer, it can be assumed he had only recently discovered the lengths to which she was willing to go.
Spirit Advisor: Assuming Quentin isn't just hallucinating him. It might be the influence of the Kaziri on Quentin's mind.
Played By: Gale Harold
An Earth Republic representative and former romantic entanglement of Amanda's.
He Knows Too Much: Killed by Datak for witnessing him shame his liro by begging for his life and seeing him lose his cool and brutally beating an Irathient corpse in "If I Never Leave This World Alive".
Datak: I'm sorry you had to see that. [shoots Connor] It doesn't fit with my narrative.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Datak has a Laser Blade he usually uses to kill people. Galen pissed him off so badly that Datak gutted him with a letter opener, and it doesn't look like he went down on the first hit from all the splatter.
Fantastic Racism: He calls Datak an uppity haint after Datak demands some respect from him.
The Dreaded: Nolan recognises him, and as his name implies, he's well-known for being a cruel son of a bitch.
Faux Affably Evil: Tries to carry off a professional veneer, but the second he hears something he doesn't want to hear he threatens to scalp Doc Yewll and wear it like a hat...which is something of an overreaction.
That One Case: The disappearance of Hunter Bell. It was the first case he caught as deputy to Clancy. Hunter was also the reason Tommy became a lawkeeper. So while Nolan isn't that interested in finding who killed an abusive mafia-type man, Tommy has a deep interest.
Nicolette "Nicky" Riordon
Played By: Fionnula Flanagan
The former mayor of Defiance, who retired three weeks before the series started.
Alien Blood: Averted. Unlike Gordon McClintock, her blood is human red instead of Indogene silver. Presumably, the deep cover process was more advanced by the time she was altered.
Badass: She may look like a frail old lady, but she caved in Hunter Bell's skull with a single strike from her cane. Age and disease might have caught up to her in the eight years since that incident, though.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Acts like a nice old lady in public, but in private is more than willing to rack up a high bodycount to see her goals fulfilled. Rafe actually knows she's dangerous, which suggest this might be a more evident trait than would appear at first glance.
Cool Old Lady: She's supportive of Amanda, has a sense of humour, and is vastly popular with the townspeople.
Killed Off for Real: Yewll decided to nip this whole "potential genocide" thing in the bud and murdered her, then set it up to look like a suicide.
The Last Dance: Apparently has terminal lung cancer, so sees little point in giving up smoking. It's implied that if she was ruthless before, now she's even more driven to fulfill her goals, since she's got nothing to lose.
Smug Snake: She is extremely confident of her power and considers herself untouchable.
Character Development: Initially, he was mostly a submissive (though snarky because of who his father was) pretty boy. The influence of Christie and Rafe - particularly when he's engaged - however, have made him more capable of standing up for himself, being his own man, and being a better man than his father. Which, while exactly what his father wants, isn't exactly how Datak would probably want it to happen.
Dating What Daddy Hates: Though in this case, his father puts up with it since his son marrying the mine owner's daughter presents... opportunities. There's also the fringe benefit that Rafe will be far more annoyed with the relationship than he will.
Evil Parents Want Good Kids: While certainly not squeaky clean (being willing to get in a knife fight with Luke McCawley when provoked), he's practically upstanding compared to his parents. He is even put off by Datak casually suggesting that they murder Rafe when he objected to Alak dating Christie. This is intentional on Datak's part; he does not want his son to be like him.
Foil: To his own father. Alak is respectful of others because he considers them equals; his father is respectful of others in a mostly condescending way. Conversely, Alak is also respectful of the traditions of his home because he appreciates them... but he considers his home to be Earth; Datak is respectful of the traditions of his home (Cathi) but only because it gives him the power of caste over others.
Going Native: Much to Datak's chagrin, his son is in love with a human and is prefers their culture to his own.
Because of Rafe's Dangerously Genre Savvy above, Datak canceled the wedding and fully expects Alak to listen. This trope is in play because Alak genuinely loves Christie and wants to marry her, but he has rarely stood up to his father all his life. So now, he must choose between honoring his father verses the woman he genuinely loves. Rafe, seeing his genuine turmoil, helps him select Christie.
After the above example, Datak declares Alak has shamed his liro, and gives him a task to redeem himself. When that goes south, Rafe has him beat up, and declares if Alak ever does anything to shame Christie, he'll be killed. So, to sum up: if Alak doesn't do what his gangster father wants (which often ends in death or at least loss of property), Datak will kill him. But if he does do what his father wants, it's quite likely Rafe will kill him for it.
Unwitting Pawn: In his father's scheme to set up Nolan for killing his friend.
Played By: Robert Clarke
A Castithan who has dealings with Datak Tarr.
Butt Monkey: In his very first appearance, he almost has his arm broken. From there on, he's never in a good position in life.
Dirty Coward: He runs from battle, and is tortured for it in a cleansing ritual by Datak Tarr.
Nolan however disagrees with this, citing that the fact that he volunteered to fight at all is a sign of how brave he is, and sometimes people panic in battle.
Face Death with Dignity: Despite running from battle earlier, he accepts his Castithan cultural responsibility and merely thanks Datak Tarr for giving him some time with his family, before going to his death.
Nervous Wreck: He's constantly on the verge of a breakdown, which makes sense considering he's in business with Datak Tarr.
Slashed Throat: Via Datak Tarr. Notable for the blade being a laser, so the wound seared up.
Played By: Kyle Mac
Alak Tarr's main "dudebro" friend, un-named until episode 11.—-
Unwitting Pawn: Was set up to be shot by Nolan in what looked like and assassination attempt on the Mayor but was just a prank, so he thought
Played By: Noah Danby
Leader of the Spirit Riders and Rynn's adoptive father.
Anti-Villain: A very subdued one and only in that he and his Spirit Riders have lukewarm relations with Defiance. But when push comes to shove, he'll help out against true villains like the rampant Hellbugs and the Volge.
Badass: Comes with being the leader of the Spirit Riders. He leads them into battle against the Volge.
Badass Boast: A quiet one. When Amanda asks him to stop provoking people and assimilate into Defiance, he agrees... then says that when the city inevitably turns on his people, they'll know where all the food and weapons are kept, and fight back much more effectively than last time.
Beware the Quiet Ones: For all his size, lifestyle, and badass status, he's actually goes against the grain (for his character archetype but particularly for Irathients in general) and is fairly soft spoken and cool headed. But that doesn't mean he won't be the first one on the battlefield.
Enemy Mine: Sided with Defiance against the Volge. It would become the start of renewed bonds with the city.
Father to His Men: Cares deeply for his people and those he has given his loyalty to - when one goes down under razor rain, he immediately rushes out of his own car to check on the fallen.
Mission from God: After waking up from an acid bath, he believes he's been given one. In reality, nanites from an Ark-brain interface which got lodged in his throat are driving him to save Defiance from an Arkfall, and Sukar can only interpret their commands within his own knowledge of his situation.
He is willing to make an effort to integrate his people into Defiance, despite still being bitter about the Irathient massacre.
Later, he signs an agreement with Mayor Amanda to have the land stolen by claimjumpers years ago and sold to McCawley returned to his people but still lease it out to the current residents.
Thicker Than Water: Subverted. Despite wanting to protect Rynn, who he sees as an adopted daughter, even when she was committing murder via Hellbug, he considered Irisa's visions a sign from their god that he should help apprehend her (non-lethally, of course).
Warrior Monk: Rides into battle with his men, but also well-versed in the traditions of his people. He aids Irisa in learning to control her visions.
Played By: Kaniehtiio Horn & Romy Weltman
One of the Spirit Riders. Sukar took her in after her parents were murdered.
The Bus Came Back: After spending some time in the game, she comes back in "Past is Prologue" to kill Irisa in retaliation for Nolan's attack on Sukar.
Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being willing to wipe out Defiance for the acts of two of its citizens, she rescues Nolan in "The Serpent's Egg" because he risked his life for another. In the game, she teams up with the player to keep a rogue faction of E-Rep soldiers from weaponizing Hellbugs.
Revenge Before Reason: Was willing to sick a Hellbug nest on Defiance in retaliation for her parents being murdered by claimjumpers (whom she had already killed).
Revenge by Proxy: She reappeared in the second to last episode of season one claiming to be there to kill Irisa to get back at Nolan for leaving Sukar comatose. Later averted as she takes her to the Spirit Riders' camp to tend to her wound.
Doc Meh Yewll
Played By: Trenna Keating
The town doctor/scientist, who isn't afraid to tell off her patients.
The Atoner: She displays (for her) a lot of guilt over Gordon's predicament. It's implied that this kind of work and her subsequent guilt is why she changed her ways.
Bald Woman: Indogenes don't appear to have any hair, no matter the gender.
Dark and Troubled Past: Pol Madis implies she was a weapons designer like himself during the war. Later episodes reveal that she was involved with the creation of Indogene sleeper agents surgically altered to look human so they could kill human authority figures. She was also associated with Nicolette Riordon in the past, but broke ties with her, denouncing her as crazy.
Dr. Jerk: Casually pushes on Nolan's stomach when he tries to fake being asleep, and threatens to toss Irisa out without fixing her up after Irisa grabs her scalpel on reflex.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She let Nolan walk out without paying once it was clear he was broke, telling him to use what little cash he had to buy Irisa a meal.
Not So Different: With Nolan, surprisingly. They both did things during the war they are not proud of, are trying to live up to a higher standard in the present, and aren't against morally ambiguous behavior for the greater good.
The Perfect Crime: She paralyzes Nicolette, writes out a suicide note detailing Nicolette's crimes, then sticks her in a car being piped full of exhaust. As far as the town knows, she has no connection to Nicolette, so there's no reason to not allow her to perform the autopsy herself, at which point she will declare that everything is exactly as it seems, and get away scott free with murder.
Retired Monster: It's debatable how okay she is with what she did in the past, but it's clear she did some seriously unethical things during the Pale Wars.
Too Kinky to Torture: A minor case, he finds her anger sexy. And wouldn't mind getting punched in the face by her
Benevolent Boss: He's actually rather respectful toward the Player Character for the most part, especially compared to everyone else. This may just be pragmatic considering how much he's invested in you mission, but the other people is disrespectful to in-game are not employees of his.
Disney Death: Thrown off the Golden Gate Bridge by Nim Shondu.
Insufferable Genius: He takes every opportunity to let everyone he meets know how brilliant he is.