Commanding Officer of the Normandy and the current Avatar. Born on Mindoir with her parents and younger sister Talitha, and was traumatized when batarian raiders attacked the planet for slaves, leaving her with a bad temper and a deep hatred for batarians and slavers of all types. Later resulted in the slaughter at Torfan, where she and her team managed to root out the batarians despite 97% casualties, and discovered Shepard was the Avatar. Later promoted to become the first human Spectre, and assigned to stop Saren.
- Big Sister Instinct: When she finds out Talitha was kidnapped by Phoenix, she nearly goes into the Avatar State.
- No "nearly" about it: when she finds the Phoenix ships carrying the kidnapped Grissom Academy students, her manifestation of the Avatar State is so powerful that her mandala literally consumes enough energy to becomes mass (as by the famous relativity equation).
- Bi the Way: While she usually dated men growing up, and liked Kaiden before he died, she later falls for Liara.
- Broken Bird: Even more than Korra or Aang at their lowest points. She gets better over time, but still falls into this at times.
- Character Development: Related to the above, in game terms, Shepard goes from a bitter, angry, alcoholic Renegade-type to a selfless, heroic, and kind Paragon. It's one helluva long, painful, difficult, but utterly worthwhile journey.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her parents and sister were killed by batarian slavers on Mindoir. Though her sister later turns out to have been taken as a slave, and is later freed.
- Drives Like Crazy: Her squad gets very concerned when she's behind the wheel.
- Elemental Powers: As the Avatar.
- Blow You Away: Airbending is her birth element (ironic, given she's not the sort to back away from a fight).
- Dishing Out Dirt: Her earthbending.
- Extra Oredinary: She knows metalbending.
- Making a Splash: Waterbending, which she's good enough at to teach Tali.
- Blood Magic: Knows how to bloodbend.
- Mind over Matter: Biotics is a form of bending, according to Benezia. Also apparently her real birth element; she was noted as having great biotic potential, due to the Eezo present in her.
- Playing with Fire
- Shock and Awe: Can generate lightning incredibly fast, and redirect it as well.
- Fantastic Racism: Views batarians as scum.
- Good Is Not Nice/Good Is Not Soft: She becomes more and more Paragon over the story. She is still solidly Renegade when it comes to her enemies, however.
- Interspecies Romance: With Liara.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Believes that since the universe is not fair, she will have to make it fair.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The main reason she starts to like Kaiden, and later falls in love with Liara.
- Survivor's Guilt: Feels guilty early on that she didn't die with her family on Mindoir. She gets better over time.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Becomes more and more of a Paragon over time.
- Would Hurt a Child: On Torfan, to the batarian children... who were hauling around explosives their parents gave them and trying to use them on the Alliance soldiers.
A Sentinel born in Republic City, who was among those sent to Jump Zero, where he was trained as a biotic. Serving as a high-ranking member of the Normandy, as well as somewhat of a Love Interest and conscience for Shepard. However, his Heroic Sacrifice on Virmire cut off any romantic interest between the two.
- Encyclopaedic Knowledge: Attributes this to reading an awful lot.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Stays behind to ensure the destruction of the cloning facility on Virmire.
- Love Interest: Initially this to Shepard before he dies.
- Mind over Matter: As a biotic, though he's not as strong as Jack.
- Nice Guy: He's polite and kind to everyone.
- Take That!: Sort of, to the keeper sidequest in Mass Effect: He plops down over a keeper tunnel with the scanner and catches up on his reading.
Tortured as a child to produce a biotic super-soldier, which she has suppressed the memories of. Later adopted, she joined the Systems Alliance military shortly before Mindoir, and fought alongside Shepard there, being one of the few survivors besides her and Major Kiel. Joins the Normandy crew much earlier, and Shepard's oldest remaining friend.
- Adaptational Heroism: Starts out as a member of the Systems Alliance military, and one of Shepard's closest friends, instead of a feared convict.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The same as in canon, though she's suppressed most of the memories by the main story.
- Happily Adopted: While she was very angry/troubled as a child, it's clear her adoptive parents did their best to raise her. She's very grateful to them for this.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Mind over Matter: A strong enough biotic to fight Benezia one on one.
- One-Woman Army: Destroys a Phoenixnote base by herself, and everyone in it.
- Only Friend: Was this to Shepard when the story started.
- Precision F-Strike: Just like in canon, she is prone to this.
Known in the main timeline as Ashley Williams, here descended from the Si Wong tribes and renamed. The former Gunnery Chief on Eden Prime before her promotion to the Normandy. Instead of her grandfather being known as the man who surrendered to the Turians during the Relay 314 Incident, he was known as the "General Who Lost An Avatar" for the death of Avatar Hong at the time, otherwise managing to hold the turians off.
- Adaptation Name Change: Ashley Williams to Asha al'Wahim.
- Badass Normal: She's very good at her job of kicking ass without outside help.
- Honor Before Reason: Due to the death of Avatar Hong on her grandfather's watch, can slip into this at times towards Shepard.
- Race Lift: She's a Si Wongi, and is much darker-skinned than in canon.
- The Stoic: While she slips up at times, it is noticeably difficult to get her to react with anything beyond a calm look.
- Undying Loyalty: To Shepard, believing it will make up for her grandfather's black mark on their family's service in getting Hong killed.
- Unperson: Does this to herself after Shepard dies, viewing it as failing in her duty to her and ruining her family's honor.
A quarian engineer who, upon her Pilgrimage, discovered evidence proving Saren was working with the geth. Swiftly heading to the Citadel in order to release the information to stop him, was rescued by Shepard from being assassinated by Saren's thugs. Joined the Normandy's crew for protection from retaliation, and later became the first quarian waterbender under Shepard's tutelage.
- Extreme Doormat: Has difficulty saying no to other people.
- Interspecies Romance: With Garrus, eventually.
- Making a Splash: Discovers she's a waterbender shortly after joining Shepard.
- Nice Girl: Is very kind and polite to everybody.
- Squee!: After she discovers she's a waterbender.
- Wrench Wench: A skilled engineer.
A former C-Sec officer who quit because he felt there was too much red tape preventing him from making a real difference there, and joined Shepard in order to take down Saren and restore the name of the turians. Later becomes a firebender during the Battle for the Citadel, to his own surprise, but decides to roll with it regardless.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Empowered Badass Normal: He gains firebending later on, apparently due to direct contact with the Conduit.
- Interspecies Romance: With Tali.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe: He apparently nearly got part of the crew blown up by a nuke at some point before Shepard died. It's still brought up, to his embarrassment.
- Playing with Fire: First discovers it during the Battle for the Citadel.
- Shock and Awe: He can both generate lightning and redirect it after Shepard is revived.
An 800-year old bounty hunter and biotic/earthbender who tried to unify Tuchanka roughly 300 years ago, and was betrayed by the other Krogan. Becoming a bounty hunter out of anger, and joined Shepard to take down Saren. Later deciding to try again to unify the krogan, and became the head of Clan Urdnot on Tuchanka.
- Deadpan Snarker: His response to seeing the Thorian?"If we're killing it, I need a bigger gun."
- Dishing Out Dirt: He's an earthbending master second only to Kyoshi - when she had the Avatar State.
- Extra Oredinary: Though it shows up less than his earthbending, he's still very good at it.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Isn't sure when he heads back to Tuchanka if he's going to make any difference, but decides he's going to try regardless.
- Mind over Matter: Possesses biotics, though he doesn't use it as much as his earthbending.
- Old Master: Over 800 years old, and good enough at earthbending to have Shepard on the ropes till she entered the Avatar State, and posed a serious threat even then.
Daughter of Matriarchs Benezia and Aethyta, has studied the Protheans for most of her life. Joined Shepard to try saving her mother, who she thought she might be able to help. Later became Shepard's lover shortly before the Battle for the Citadel, and an information broker after her death.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Believed by everyone, even Shepard, to be crazy.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: She is still capable of making guesses or assumptions with no apparent basis or little support that turn out to be correct.
- First-Name Basis: One of the only people to refer to Shepard by her first name "Aimei."
- Genius Ditz: Despite her tendencies, is a very good information broker.
- Interspecies Romance: With Shepard.
- Mind over Matter: Her biotics, as with all asari.
- Motor Mouth: Has to be reminded to stop and breathe at times.
An earthbender who aided Shepard, Tali, and Garrus in the Rouge VI mission on Luna/Yue. Later sent to Fehl Prime, where he, Anette, Fung, and Zek managed to fight the Collectors, and ran into Leviathan himself in the process, who briefly took his soul. Later joins Shepard after the Reaper invasion begins.
Known in the main games as Legion, here first encountered Shepard much earlier, though not directly, on Feros. One of the oldest geth platforms in existence, first encountered her directly in the facility where Miranda oversaw Project Lazarus, aiding both of the two in escaping the Collectors. Later revealed to be an airbender.
A genetically altered human waterbender "born" from Henry Lawson, who she fled when she was 12. Later joined Phoenixnote , who she later fled from as well. A current member of the Samsara company, under Siwang Weaver. While still responsible for reviving Shepard, did so under the company's supervision. Joined Shepard afterwards as in canon, as the XO of the Normandy.
- Body Horror: Underwent it due to Host vs Eezo.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Henri Lawson was even worse than in canon; She's not the first Miranda Lawson that Henri kept. She was the first that survived what Henri did.
- Heroic BSoD: After she discovers Weaver is the Illusive Man, she goes into this until after Jack helps her snap out of it.
- Making a Splash: She's a waterbender, though she bemoans how "useless" it is at times... and often proceeds to use it in a bdass way afterwards.
- Blood Magic: She knows how to bloodbend.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: When she finds Wilson, she has not had the best day."Hello, Wilson."BANG!"Goodbye, Wilson."
A salarian scientist, as in the main games, who was responsible for altering the Genophage to the Krogan to slow down their breeding. A former member of the Special Tasks Group, who Shepard recruits in order to find a way to defend themselves against the Collectors, though she is disturbed by his previous workings on the Genophage.
- Badass Normal: His abilities are based off of his technology and his time in the STG.
A Token Heroic Batarian, who initially, unlike in canon where he was a terrorist, uses the attack on an asteroid as a way to help a large number of batarian slaves escape the Hegemony's clutches. Later joins Garrus's team on Omega to help fight crime there, and the only other surviving member of said group.note Joins Shepard out of loyalty to Garrus; cares little initially about saving humanity.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the main universe, he was a batarian terrorist on Terra Nova. Here, he does the same thing... while using the operation as a cover to get a bunch of batarian slaves away from the Hegemony and kill off several Jerkass batarians.
- Badass Normal: Has no bending, shamanistic abilities, or biotics whatsoever. He is no less awesome for the lack thereof.
- Headbutting Heroes: With Shepard, at first. Both grow out of it eventually.
- Sadistic Choice: During The Arrival, he's with Shepard and Rai Li at The Project. He is horrified by the idea of killing more than 300,000 of his people to destroy the Alpha Relay, but agrees to do it when Shepard points out that if they don't destroy it, the Reapers will invade and get their hands on the batarians.
- Shadow Archetype: To Shepard herself. He even notices this, and Shepard can't really argue with it after thinking about it, since she would have done what he did if she was in his situation.
- The Stoic: He almost never loses his cool.
- Stronger with Age: He's a downplayed version of this trope, because while he is apparently at least the batarian equivalent of 50, he is in extremely good condition for his age.
An asari Justicar as in canon, and an incredibly powerful and skilled biotic, who seeks to bring down her daughter Morinth, an Ardat-Yakshi who is responsible for hundreds, possibly thousands, of deaths. Joins Shepard in order to teach her how to use her biotics after she is brought back to life.
- Badass Teacher: She joins the crew to teach Shepard how to use her biotics.
- Death Seeker: Downplayed, but she has no interest in dying in her bed of old age.
- Determinator: After the Collectors send her into a coma due to brain injuries. Initially, the doctors have little faith she will ever be able to move by herself again after she wakes up. She proves them wrong.
- Mind over Matter: Her biotics.
- Never Mess with Granny: She's a Asari Matriarch, Justicar, and one of the strongest biotics in the story.
- Odd Friendship: Develops one with Thane, which later becomes Ship Tease.
A drell assassin taught by the Hanar, first encounters Shepard when she is attempting to stop him from assassinating Nassana Dantius, who she feels guilty about turning into a paranoid wreck due to her own actions. Joins Shepard to help stop the Collectors, and to make the galaxy a better place before his death.
- Fights Like a Normal: He usually just sticks with guns, speed, and his martial arts, despite having both bending and biotics.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Holds off the Collectors to give the rest of the team enough time to escape.
- Making a Splash: He's a waterbender, though he admits he's not the best at it. He mostly uses it to pull out the fluid in his lungs from Kepral's Syndrome (though it just comes back faster as a result).
- Mind over Matter: He's a biotic as well as a waterbender, though he almost never uses it.
- Odd Friendship: With Samara, and it becomes full-born Ship Tease later on.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Due to Kepral's Syndrome.
A krogan super-soldier as in canon created by Warlord Okeer, and revealed swiftly upon his release to be an extremely powerful shaman. Joins Shepard in order to find worthy enemies to kill, and seeing none better than the Collectors.
A master thief as in canon, as well as a direct descendant of Aang, who aids Shepard in stealing one of Matriarch Benezia's tapes intended for Shepard herself. Though she does not join Shepard's team permanently, she shows up at times, and gets along well with her.
A Prothean engineer, who Shepard rescues from the Collectors and Leviathan, cutting out a large part of their ability to reinforce themselves. Joins her crew for a short time, later leaves.
A clone of Shepard created by Phoenix, who was later used in a plan by Cat 6 and Maya Brooks to acquire Shepard's Spectre codes, and created to be a "counter" to Shepard herself in fighting. Unlike in canon, she betrayed the group and joined Shepard's team.
- Cloning Blues: There were at least 107 other clones of Shepard made who were implanted with the Paragon Device who didn't gain the full usage of their abilities. Zia has nightmares about it.
- Elemental Powers: Thanks to the Paragon Device granting her all the elements as well as biotics, a chance of roughly 1 in 17 billion.
- HeelFace Turn: Shoots Brooks in the legs and frees Shepard and her team after she traps them and confirms Cat-6 is done for.
- What You Are in the Dark: EDI notes that she could have just left Brooks behind and not tried to stop her, but instead did her best to ensure the scheme never succeeded.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Her max life expectancy, due to being a flash-grown clone, is to be 15 years old. And that's with everything going her way, genetic enhancements, eating healthy, etc. And after Thessia, her number seems to be coming up a lot sooner than expected...
- Heroic RRoD: What her life has boiled down to. The strain of fighting on the front lines of the Reaper war alongside Shepard vastly reduced her lifespan and sent her body into a death spiral of organ failure. She's more or less surviving on borrowed time and generous transplants from Shepard.
A surviving Prothean and their last Avatar. Noticeably more trained and knowledgeable about the Avatar and the Avatar State than Shepard is. Unearthed from a diamond he sealed himself (and his daughter) in on Eden Prime shortly after the Reaper invasion began.
- Elemental Powers: As befits an Avatar.
- Interspecies Romance: He was apparently married to a ditakur, and even had a daughter with her (and yes, how impossible this should be is lampshaded continuously.)
- Irony: In the original Mass Effect trilogy, Javik says that an Interspecies Romance is pointless if you romanced Tali. Here, he has a half-ditakur daughter (the ditakur were one of the races in his cycle).
- Red Baron: The Avatar of Vengeance.
A member of the Golden Spiders mercenary group, who has spent much of his life wandering the galaxy trying to find out what it is that he wants to do.
- Badass Normal: Despite being given a Paragon Device, it apparently failed to work with him for some reason.
- Guest-Star Party Member: He only shows up at the start of Book 3, and is imprisoned by Shepard for a fair amount of time, and later leaves to find other members of the Golden Spiders and get them away from Phoenix.
- Nice Guy: Easily one of the most polite members of Shepard's team.
- Noodle Incident: His past has apparently been a very strange one.
- For reference, he's been, among other things; a mercenary, an electrician, a thief, a forklift worker on Mindoir, a divorcee, and a cult member who left when they started worshiping him...
- Reincarnation: Ultimately revealed to be a soul reincarnating alongside the Avatar throughout the ages. Most pertinently, he (or his soul, rather) has been Kyoshi's husband, Roku's wife, Sokka, and Asami Sato. He's been unconsciously trailing behind Shepard for years, waiting to reunite with her.