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Garrus "Archangel" Vakarian

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Garrus_Vakarian_06_by_johntesh_3389.jpg
"Fighting a rogue Spectre with countless lives at stake and no regulations to get in the way? I'd say that beats C-Sec."

Voiced by: Brandon Keener

A turian C-Sec officer who joins Shepard's team after becoming dissatisfied with regulations at C-Sec. Specializes in technology and long-range combat. He becomes one of Shepard's most trusted and loyal comrades, being one of only three squadmates to be available in all three Mass Effect titles. In Mass Effect 2, he becomes a romance option for a female Shepard (provided he was recruited in the first game).


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    A-E 
  • The Ace: It's hard to notice since he tends to be overshadowed by Shepard, but Garrus is one of the most skilled soldiers in the turian army, let alone party members. By the third game he's promoted to having his own squad to counter the Reapers and in the first game Garrus was revealed to have been a candidate for Spectre status, if his father hadn't stepped in. He tends to downplay this last part by pointing out that turian Spectre candidates are a dime-a-dozen, but he does seem to take immense pride in his sharpshooting skills.note 
  • Adorkable: In the first game, if spoken to in the Council chamber, he actually stammers when he says that in all his time in C-Sec, he's never been privileged enough to see or meet the Council. For the second game, it shows more clearly and consistently in his romance with female Shepard. First he agrees to Shepard's offer of casual sex, but each time you talk to him after that, he's increasingly awkward, worrying about all the ways their Interspecies Romance could crash and burn. By the time he shows up in Shepard's quarters, he's babbling from nerves. Finally he confesses it's because he feels like Shepard is the only real friend he's got left, and after all his failures, he wants their relationship to be something that finally goes right.
    • Come Mass Effect 3, he's not as nervous around her if she continues to see him, but their first conversation on the Normandy is fraught with awkward uncertainty that he tries to mask with humor. It does appear again on their Citadel date just before the bottle shooting.
      • He can be similarly adorkable if he and Tali hook up. But that's only if you don't romance either of them in the last game.
    • In Citadel DLC, when he and Shepard are roleplaying a first date (the idea of which screams the trope itself), he eventually is at a loss for words and breaks character. Amusingly, he almost immediately averts this when he drags Shepard to the dance floor, prompting her to be adorkable.
  • Aesop Amnesia: A dark and somewhat justified example. In the first game, you can encourage him to become more law-abiding and less reckless. Then the Council tries to bury everything he and Shepard did, causing him to lose respect for the law and then he falls right back into his ruthless ways, arguably even more so than before. Things got even worse after Sidonis betrayed him. As a vigilante, he at least tries to follow some of Paragon!Shepard's advice, since he goes out of his way to avoid hurting innocents (something he wasn't as picky about last time), and it helps that he's operating on Omega, which really doesn't have much, if anything, in the way of law or law enforcement to begin with.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Of the non-romantic variety. James begins calling him Scars midway through Mass Effect 3.
  • Alien Blood: In the second game, after Garrus takes a gunship rocket to the face, Shepard finds the poor bastard lying in a pool of what looks like blue paint.
  • Always Someone Better: It's heavily implied that Garrus feels somewhat inferior when compared to Shepard. His Shadow Broker dossier even says that Shepard's presence just might be preventing him from realizing his potential.
    • Shepard can intentionally miss during a bottle shooting match in the third game. The look on Garrus' face that he's a better shot than Shepard speaks of how much of a win this is for him.
    • Played with quite a bit: on the whole, Shepard makes it very clear that they wouldn't have lasted this long had Garrus not been by their side.
    There's no Shepard without Vakarian.
  • Amazon Chaser: Part of the reason he goes for female Shepard is the tremendous amount of respect he has for her leadership skills and prowess in battle. See Interplay of Sex and Violence below.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Similar to other love interests in the Leviathan DLC for Mass Effect 3. He chastises Female Shepard for almost getting herself killed, and later on he still seems worked up about it.
    Garrus: NEVER do that again.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: During the "first date" on the Citadel DLC with a romanced Shepard, Garrus plays up his voice as one of his better qualities (twice). If he isn't around in ME3 and was romanced in ME2, Female Shepard laments not hearing his voice again. Apparently, she really likes it.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: His delivery of his introductory quote during his date with a romanced FemShep in the Citadel DLC:
    "My name is Garrus Vakarian, Codename: Archangel. All-around Turian Bad Boy, and dispenser of justice in an unjust galaxy..."
    (Cut to a smirking FemShep)
    ... Also, I kill Reapers on the side. And you are?
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In the third game, he's one of the highest-ranking officers in the entire turian military due to his prior experience fighting Reapers, to the point where Field Generals are saluting him. Partly justified as the turian military (and turian society in general) is a self-described meritocracy and they don't have nearly as much problem rapidly promoting people as humans do.
  • Babies Ever After: If he's romanced, during the final conversation with him in Mass Effect 3, he brings up the possibility of finding out "what a turian-human baby looks like" after everything's over. Shepard can either agree with him and suggest adoption (Garrus points out that there's going to be a lot of krogan babies once the Reaper war is over) or claim that they'd be terrible parents ("I think two trained killers are enough for one family").
  • Badass Normal: The most notable example in Mass Effect. While every soldier in the Mass Effect universe receives some type of genetic enhancements, most are fairly minor (certainly not "superhuman"), and Garrus doesn't seem to buck this trend. Meanwhile, the Elite Mooks of the various factions the Normandy Team goes up against include cybernetically-enhanced zombie troopers, 10-foot tall BFG-wielding bipedal mechs, biotic commandos that can toss you around with their mind, 800-pound sapient lizards that can bench press cars and carry and use guns that would be impossible for weaker beings to wield, and invisible psychic cyborg assassins, among others. Garrus still holds his own quite well, even next to Super Strength and Super Toughness characters like Legion or Grunt, characters with Psychic Powers like Liara and Samara, or people with both like Wrex and (most versions of) Shepard.
    • In his recruitment mission in 2, he mentions that he once got into a one on one firefight with the krogan battlemaster Garm, who had psychic powers as well as both the characteristic Super Strength of his species and a Healing Factor so extreme that he was considered a freak even among krogan. According to Garrus, he was actually winning, until Garm called in back-up. Garm only survived his wounds afterwards due to said Healing Factor.
  • Bandaged Face: Partial example. After taking a rocket to the face at the end of his recrutiment mission in Mass Effect 2, he spends the rest of the game wearing a bandage/artificial graft on the lower right side of his face. It's gone by the third game, but there's still some pretty heavy scarring.
  • Bash Brothers: As Shepard puts it, "If I'm walking through hell, I want someone I can trust by my side." To which he replies, "I hope you're aware that this plan has me walking through hell too."
    • May also count with Zaeed. Not only do the two have similar histories and identical weapon specialties, but Zaeed greatly respects Garrus' skills. It comes to a head in Citadel DLC when they discuss the apartment's features for possible modifications into a defensive base and then act on it. While they "improve" the apartment by booby-trapping it Zaeed remarks that he could have really done with knowing Garrus several years ago for a challenging mission.
  • Best Friend: Throughout the trilogy, Garrus grows to be Shepard's closest associate and confidante, alongside Liara, as showcased by their final exchange in ME3 ("There's no Shepard without Vakarian"). This is particularly true for Male!Shepard, since Fem!Shep can actually take their relationship a step further from part two onward.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Garrus is generally a nice guy, if bitter about C-Sec and his own failings but get him angry and he'll go commando on your ass.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • In 3, Legion remarks that it is physically impossible to improve the accuracy of the Normandy's weapons past .32%. Garrus then calibrates them to be .43% more accurate. Legion is utterly flabbergasted at the impossibility.
      Legion: How did you accomplish this?
      Garrus: It's a little secret we organics like to keep: always hold a little something back for emergencies.
      Legion: Does our present circumstances count as an emergency?
      Garrus: A geth meddling in our computers, telling me how to do my job? No, I can't imagine that would qualify.
    • Played for laughs in the Citadel DLC. Garrus achieves the "impossible" with a romanced Female Shepard: He teaches her to dance.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Turians are one of only two known sentient star-faring species (the other being quarians) that have a dextro-amino acid based biology. As such, they can't consume any food or drink made for levo-amino acid biologies (humans, asari, salarians, krogans, etc.) without, at the least, not getting any nourishment from it; or at the most, having a fatal allergic reaction. If Shepard romances him in the second game, Mordin warns her about the dangers of "ingesting."
  • Black and White Morality: Garrus prefers to see the world like this, though by the second game it's implied he was starting to slip into Black and White Insanity with how bitter he was at the world and some of the decidedly cruel and ironic deaths he'd give his targets. Unlike Samara, his is born of being passionate about right and wrong rather than just following what the law entails, and he's willing to give mercy a chance if Shepard persuades him to.
    Garrus: It's so much easier to see the universe in black and white. Gray? ...I don't know what to do with gray.
  • Blatant Lies: In 3, if Tali brings up the time in the elevators he criticised her on behalf of her entire species creating the geth, he'll claim he never said it. He quickly recants when Tali offers to play back a recording of it she made.
  • Blood Knight: Almost to krogan levels. Omega in particular brought out this side of him; in his own words, criminals were everywhere and all he had to do was point and shoot. This attitude (and Sidonis) nearly gets him killed.
    Garrus: Scratch one!
  • Body-Count Competition: If Shepard romanced either him or Tali, they end up making bets about one of these in their final conversation in Mass Effect 3. Apparently it's not the first time.
    Garrus: Shepard. We were making friendly wagers.
    Tali: Optimistic wagers, in your case.
    Garrus: A turian commando competing with a quarian mechanic, and I'm the optimistic one?
    Tali: Remember Ilos?
    Garrus: ...Yes. It was filled with geth, which tilted the odds in your favor.
    Tali: Excuses, excuses.
  • Breakout Character: Like Tali, he becomes far more plot relevant and fleshed out in 2, in addition to being a Love Interest. In 3, Garrus, along with Liara, also has the most conversations/interactions with Shepard. Keep in mind, this is done despite the fact that Garrus could actually be dead in the player's import.
  • Byronic Hero: In ME2, after he's been put through hell on Omega. Depending on the player's actions, he can fall further into this trope or start to be pulled out of it.
  • Casual Kink: Implied in the relationship between him and a female Shepard in a romance with him in the Citadel DLC of Mass Effect 3, in which they roleplay a first date and swap some suggestive dialogue before partaking in a Mating Dance.
  • Catchphrase: "Just like old times..." Being one of only two squadmates that have been full-time in all three games, he's prone to saying this. Usually in a casual manner about some danger or other.
  • Character Development: Paragon Shepard can help him undergo a surprising amount of this, with Garrus slowly coming to realize that regulations and safety precautions, while sometimes obstructive, are often there for very good reasons. He can even decide, on his own, to re-apply to C-Sec once your mission is complete. Or, if Renegade, you can encourage his Cowboy Cop tendencies and have him decide to reapply for Spectre status. Unfortunately, he seems to backpedal between games if you've encouraged him to work within the system — which makes sense, considering the Council did everything possible to rip apart everything he and Shepard's team accomplished in the first game, denying the Reapers' existence and allowing C-Sec to become corrupt and ruthless in its policing of the Citadel. Of course he'd get pissed off at the system and take things into his own hands.
    Joker: It seems like Garrus has finally worked that stick out of his butt, but now he's beating people to death with it.
  • Chick Magnet: Along with Even the Guys Want Him. Garrus attracts the attention of no less than Dr. Chloe Michel, Yeoman Kelly Chambers, Tali, a turian military scout, a turian patron at Silver Coast Casino and potentially Commander Shepard herself. In Citadel, he can get one of the guards at the casino to flirt with him. He receives a Ship Tease from Eve and male Shepard.
  • Continuity Nod: A minor one, but Garrus says after ending a conversation with him, "I'll be here if you need me" or "Need me for something?" He also says it if you reject him during his sex scene. This is one of his general lines when on a mission from the first game.
    • The third game also has multiple references to Garrus and his calibrations.
  • Cowboy Cop: Deconstructed in that he has to leave C-Sec in order to indulge his Cowboy Cop urges; just like in real life, actual police forces would not tolerate cowboy cops. Paragon Shepard's influence can inspire him to rejoin C-Sec with a new appreciation for playing by the rules, in addition to reapplying for Spectre candidacy (which happens either route you take). Renegade Shepard's influence, conversely, will encourage his tendencies to the extent that he envies Shepard's lack of problems with red tape. Deconstruction is taken further in Mass Effect 2, where he is now a vigilante bordering on Knight Templar whose actions have resulted in multiple mercenary gangs teaming up to kill him. And even still, he notices that his work still hasn't changed very much at all.
  • The Cowl: As Archangel, befitting his role as the Mass Effect universe's very own "Space-Punisher", or as some people think, "Space-Batman".
  • Cultural Rebel: Garrus frequently displays this, being relatively lax compared to most turians when it comes to bending the rules and also recognising that following military protocol is not always the best course of action, particularly when it prevents him from helping people. He even admits it himself, "I don't think I'd make a very good turian."
  • Cultured Badass: In the Citadel DLC, if romanced by a female Shepard, Garrus can dance tango with her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably the most sarcastic character next to Joker. This is pretty remarkable, considering that other races don't consider turians to have a sense of humor. Appropriately enough, by the third game, they're trading military jokes and even some self-deprecating wisecracks.
    Wrex: I had to make friends with the one turian in the galaxy who thinks he's funny.
  • Death by Irony: The Shadow Broker's dossier on Garrus reveals that he is a fan of dishing out these types of deaths to criminals. This includes shooting a weapon smuggler in the head with one of his own smuggled weapons, and coughing on a quarian virus specialist turned serial killer. He also plans on harvesting organ seller Dr. Saleon's organs, but decides that time is short and plans on shooting him (he will if Shepard chooses not to talk him out of it, and might if Shepard decides to let Saleon live).
  • Death Faked for You: After you recruit him on Omega (and kill a metric crapton of mercs to do it), the mercs spread rumors that he died in the battle and Garrus is happy to accept them. They pretty much had to, because the true story of Garrus and Shepard's team completely owning all of them would have destroyed their reputation. It could also be that the mercs are pretty sure he died when he took a gunship blast to the face. Somewhere down the line, however, the truth does come out. The mercs in the Citadel DLC recognize him under that name. Possibly because The Man Behind the Man is ex-Cerberus and was in charge of writing the dossiers for potential recruits.
  • Determinator: Held out against a band of three mercenary companies single-handedly for over a day.
  • The Dreaded: By Omega's criminals while acting as Archangel. Also the CAT6 mercenaries.
    CAT6 merc: I think that turian is Archangel! How are we supposed to kill him?!
    [BANG!]
    Garrus: You're not!
  • Dork Knight: Garrus Vakarian is of the Number Two/Friendly Sniper variety. He is a highly trained sniper who (1) aided in stopping a full scale assault on the galactic seat of government, (2) led a group of vigilantes on a space station that would put Mos Eisley Spaceport to shame, and (3) became the leader of a task force designated to prepare for the inevitable genocidal alien invasion. During the course of all of this, he has a bad habit of saying Innocently Insensitive things, and turns into a shy, stuttering confused mess when either making or receiving romantic/sexual advances.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: While fumbling his way through a romance dialogue with female Shepard, he rather clinically refers to their upcoming get-together as "cross-species intercourse", and immediately feels dirty afterward for referring to his relationship with Shepard in such blunt terms.
  • Dull Surprise: If you take him into the Omega housing area where a plague is spreading through (Mordin's recruitment mission), he begins to show signs of contracting the disease. His response: mild inconvenience. Makes sense since he can be rather stoic.
    Garrus: Is it hot in here or is it just... *cough* Oh, that's not good.
  • Establishing Character Moment: From the first game, he has two. His first appearance has him arguing with Executor Pallin over the Spectres stealing his investigation out from underneath him, establishing Garrus as a cop who plays by his own rules. His second has him score a perfect headshot on the thug holding Dr. Michel hostage, demonstrating his prowess as a marksman, but also that Garrus can be reckless in his pursuit of justice. Either one of these moments can be Shepard's first encounter with him, depending on how you play out the investigation on Saren.
    • The Reveal in the second game that he's actually Archangel, establishes that Garrus has become far more Darker and Edgier. Without the influence of Paragon Shepard, this is likely because no one was around to serve as his Morality Chain.
    • And finally, his first appearance in the third game, with him being saluted by a turian general, shows how far he's come since his introduction as a C-Sec officer.
  • Everyone Can See It: Kelly and Kasumi comment on how Garrus and female Shepard would make a good couple.

    F-K 
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Garrus absolutely loathes the geth, possibly more than anyone on the team except Javik, and like many residents of Citadel Space he hates them so much that it indirectly fuels Fantastic Racism of the quarians by proxy for being the descendants of the people who created them (he gets better on that later, though). Notably, not only will he express his approval if Shepard chooses to let the quarians destroy them, he's the only squadmate besides Javik who will say anything negative in the event Shepard manages to forge a peace (after expressing amazement that s/he could even manage that). In his case, unease.
    Garrus: [quarians defeated geth] The geth spilled a lot of blood. I'm not sad to see them go. Now let's make sure the Reapers join them.
    Garrus: [quarians and geth made peace] Not sure if having an army of geth following us gives me confidence or makes me feel like there's a target on my back.
    • If taken on the Geth Consensus mission in the third game, he's one of the three squadmates who will always advise against trusting Legion. The other two are Ashley and Javik.
    • He also spends most of the series unlearning his society's prejudices against the krogan and quarians. Should you cure the genophage, he notes that it was definitely one of the high points of your adventures, but also admits he might have considered the dalatrass' deal.
  • Foil: To Paragon Shepard, where he essentially takes on the role of the "Batman" to Shepard's "Superman", with his entire character arc throughout all three games probably summed up as 'almost just as awesome as Shepard'.
    • In the first game, his hunting of Dr. Heart, forgoing rules and protocol are similar to Shepard gaining Spectre status and given free rein to investigate Saren. How he ends the pursuit, and his subsequent personal philosophy is also affected by Shepard.
    • His accomplishments as Archangel in the second game are basically all three of Shepard's possible psychological profiles rolled into one.
  • Foreshadowing: In 3, you have Fleet & Flotilla, and in 2, you have a turian and quarian hooking up in a bar. He winds up with Tali, if they aren't with Shepard. The fact that they have compatible amino acids help, along with the fact they seem to share a fear of spiders.
  • Friendly Sniper: Ruthless when scopin' and droppin' but very friendly outside of battle.
  • Friends with Benefits:
    • His romance with female Shepard starts out this way — Shepard suggests they have casual sex "to blow off steam" and Garrus, after a moment of shock, agrees. As things progress the relationship becomes more emotional, but the dialogue is never quite overtly romantic.
    • In Mass Effect 3, they can receive a full Relationship Upgrade if you romanced him in ME2 and don't choose to break up with him.
    • In the Citadel DLC he can be way more romantic, going so far as to call Shepard "honey" and "love of my life."
    • If neither of them was romanced by Shepard, Tali hooks up with him in ME3 and, when he says that it's nice to have something to come back to, she protests and claims it's only a fling, she's "just using [him] for [his] body." His response is "You're so mean... and I'm okay with that." Though considering how big a deal sex is to quarians, she was probably just kidding around.
  • From Bad to Worse: In the first game, Garrus mentions that his Cowboy Cop attitude clashes with his C-SEC veteran father's more typically turian by-the-book mentality. In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC for Mass Effect 2, a file on him reveals his mother is dying of a (currently) incurable disease and he and his sister aren't on very good terms. To push the trope further, by the third game, only his father and sister are accounted for; his mother isn't mentioned once. However, he had reconciled with his father, whom he resorted to availing himself to when he needed to convince someone in the Turian government that the Reapers were a serious threat.
  • Gallows Humor: The exchange about hospitals not being fun to fight through becomes clearly this in 3, when he says, "I thought hospitals were ugly to fight through. This is so much worse."
  • Genius Bruiser: He is primarily a master of weapons, but he's also a skilled technician.
  • Get a Room!: His reaction to Tali and Shepard flirting while on board a geth dreadnought.
    • Can receive one from Zaeed in the Citadel DLC if he's in a relationship with a female Shepard.
  • Glass Cannon: Garrus can put out a lot of pain from an extreme distance, but for one of your "combat" characters, he is relatively fragile. This might be at odds with his high combat skills during the Collector Base mission, but his skills as a leader and strategist outweigh his relatively fragility.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Implies in Citadel that he prefers playing bad cop.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Basically a darker Paragon Shepard. The extent to which he embodies this throughout the series, however, depends on Shepard's interactions with him.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gains some shortly into Mass Effect 2 after getting a rocket to the face; on a human face, his would definitely look like evil scars, although he's a good character.
    • He apparently got them treated between 2 and 3, though they're still noticeable. Or maybe it was just a year's worth of healing. Dr. Chakwas even theorizes that he actually likes his scars, in regards to him turning down her offer of treating them.
  • The Gunslinger: Both a crack shot and able to pull them off quickly as shown in his Establishing Character Moment.
  • Gut Feeling: Garrus often trusts these, which lends even more to his Cowboy Cop status.
  • Headbutt of Love: Since turian mouths are structured very differently from humans and fluid exchange can lead to anaphylactic shock, this is how he shows affection for female Shepard during their romance scene. If the romance continues to the third game, Shepard and Garrus no longer have reservations with kissing.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • With male Shepard and female Shepard (if not romanced), respectively.
      Shepard: There's no Shepard without Vakarian.
    • With any Shepard who didn't romance him, after a poignant bonding moment in the third game he sarcastically wonders if Shepard is going to propose. This happens to be the same moment in which, with a romancing Shepard, he does propose.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Paragon Shepard constantly warns him about this throughout the first game, and is usually brushed off for it. His backstory makes this particularly pronounced, as he wanted to blow up a ship full of civilian hostages just to kill Dr. Saleon. He also lets his obsession with revenge get away with him in the second game; you can choose whether to stop him or encourage him.
  • Hollywood Kiss: Gives one to Shepard in 3 if they're in a romance during their Citadel outing.
  • Honor Before Reason: He often obsesses with seeing villains get their just deserts, regardless of whether pursuing them is the wisest course of action. He wrestles with himself over whether it's because of his pride, or because of his values in justice. If you take him down the Paragon path, he admits it was his pride that wanted him to hunt down Dr. Saleon/"Dr. R. Heart" more than it was to seek justice.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Performs this for many of his targets as Archangel. For ordinary criminals he just executes them via bullet to the head, but for special criminals he uses special means, e.g. damaging a saboteur's environmental suit so that it kills him by suffocation, killing a weapons smuggler with his own smuggled weapons, killing a drug dealer by giving him an overdose of his own drugs, and a quarian viral specialist serial killer with a cough. The only criminal he breaks this pattern for is a slaver, whom he set ablaze, fractured the face with his rifle butt, and shot multiple times in every limb and primary organ. Though if the target was a krogan (and the use of the term "primary organ" suggests that he was), this may have been barely enough.
  • Humans Are Ugly: Played straight, subverted, and ultimately averted in his romance with female Shepard (and in that order). He starts off by saying he doesn't have a fetish for humans and has never before considered — let alone participated in — an Interspecies Romance. He's attracted to Shepard because she's the woman he idolizes. However, come Mass Effect 3 and its obvious Garrus' attraction to a romanced female Shepard is increasingly physical (although he never loses any of his spiritual or romantic attraction to her either). Finally done away with once and for all during the Citadel DLC, in which he openly admits to finding female Shepard extremely attractive. Her hair, her Little Black Dress, her body. He loves it all. To put it simply: he just loves her. Everything about her.
  • Hurting Hero: In the second game; especially pronounced when pursuing a romance with him. Gets turned Up to Eleven in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, where a dossier on him reveals his mother has turian Alzheimer's, and his sister is on bad terms with him because he can't send any money to help and can't tell her what he's doing. Liara says to female Shepard in a romance with him that she's giving him peace.
    • Although its also revealed that he asked Mordin to use his STG clearance to pull some strings so the Salarian Medical Centre had clearance to pursue further research into the disease. He also donated his Cerberus pay and sends Collector samples to fund the project and get his mother onto one of the trials.
    • In Mass Effect 3, he gets worse, due to the Reapers' invasion of Palaven. He worries constantly about his dad and sister during the course of the game, even praying for their safety at one point after his father tells him his sister has been injured before the call cuts off. They do make it safely off the planet eventually, but Garrus's ill mother is never mentioned at all.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: He's very surprised to hear that female Shepard is interested in him as a romance option. He doesn't mind as long as they can work things out, though.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Subversion of the Interspecies Romance kind. Garrus doesn't have a fetish for humans—just female Shepard. In that case, "Yeah... definitely."
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Used in a sidequest and potentially subverted. Though it's less about killing them, more about not being obsessed with killing them to self-destructive levels.
  • Improbable Age: Patrick Weekes once gave his age as ~4 years younger than Shepard (chronologically; biologically Shepard would only be two years older, since Shepard was dead for two years). That makes him 25 in the first game and 28 in the third. By which point he's killed hundreds of enemy troops, helped saved the galaxy thrice, and become an advisor to the supreme commander of the military forces of an intergalactic empire. Which seemingly makes him the turian equivalent of a general. Or at least high enough in rank that low-ranking generals salute him.
  • Informed Attribute: According to his backstory, Garrus was the top-ranked hand-to-hand specialist on the ship he served aboard while in the turian military, not that you would know through gameplay, since at most he throws a sucker punch every now and then.
  • Innocent Bigot: In the first game, he'll make some unprovoked and offensive racial comments to Wrex (essentially telling him he's a credit to his species) and Tali (blaming the quarians for unleashing the geth on the galaxy). Gets better in 2, possibly on account of working with Shepard's team and then his own multiracial squad on Omega. By ME3, he's clearly very close friends with both Tali and Wrex, and even apologizes to Tali for that three-year-old comment. Interestingly enough, he displays no animosity towards humans even in the first game, which is usually common among turians. In his elevator conversations, he's even quite respectful of Ashley.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: More than one way to work off stress, I guess.
    • His romance with female Shepard revolves around this trope. The above mentioned scene leads directly into the early stages of his romance with her. From there his romance is chock full of gun metaphors (which go somewhere horrible), Relationship Upgrades during gun-shooting contests on the Presidium, and numerous instances of Distracted by the Sexy during the heat of battle in the Citadel DLC. It's also stated that part of what attracts Garrus to Shepard is the respect he has for her unparalleled ass-whooping skills.
  • Interspecies Romance: Can end up in one with female Shepard or Tali if both remain unromanced by the end of 3.
  • It's All My Fault: In Mass Effect 2, he blames himself for the death of his squad and feels he has to kill the traitor to avenge them. And according to turian culture, it is his fault — if someone is placed into a position they weren't qualified for, the stigma is on the guy who put them there.
  • Just a Machine: In the first game, his attitude toward A.I.s is very much in line with the Council's (to be fair, the same goes for the rest of your squad).
  • Knight In Sour Armor: In the second game, he's become like this. He's frighteningly devoted to his ideals, but expresses a lot of disappointment about how little he's changed things for most of Omega's residents.
    Garrus: Walking around in this place makes me sick. People still dying, the strong still exploiting the weak. Nothing I did here even made a dent in this.

    L-R 
  • The Lancer: Promoted to Lancer in ME2. Aside from Miranda and Jacob he is the second to Shepard.
    • Also, on the final mission he always does well when assigned to command the backup; both Fire Teams are good assignments, and he's as good as Grunt when it's time to Hold the Line.
    • Back in the role again in 3, sharing with Ashley/Kaidan this time.
  • Let's Wait a While:
    Garrus: You know me. I always like to savor the last shot before popping the heat sink [beat] Wait, that metaphor went somewhere horrible.
  • Made of Iron: The guy survives being shot by a gunship only a few meters away. And after the battle and a short rest in the sick bay he's able to get up and laugh when Shepard jokes about his new scars.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Curiously averted if he's romanced by a female Shepard. Humans and turians have a bit of bad blood between them (though not nearly to the extent of the hostility between the krogan and turians or humans and batarians), but nobody raises an eyebrow at a romantic relationship between him and a female human. Could possibly be explained by the fact that Shepard tends to surround herself with open-minded people (even the more xenophobic characters like Ashley receive Character Development that essentially dispels their prejudice), or at least ones who respect her enough to not make negative comments about her relationship.
  • Mark of Shame: Bears this after Sidonis backstabbed him and, some time later, gets hit with a gunship barrage. It applies to both his armor and face.
  • Mating Dance: He has one with female Shepard should she be in a relationship with him in Citadel. Things start off as an Adorkable tango. Then it gets good enough to draw attention from everyone on the dance floor. Then, well...
    Shepard: I see you've been putting that reach and flexibility to good use.
    Garrus: You know it. And it gets even better when you try it in bed.
  • The McCoy: Garrus is usually the most emotional person on a given team, and when faced with injustice his first instinct is to seek revenge for the harmed party rather than justice. He starts seeing things more logically in the third game after his time attached to the turian command structure, seen in his discussion with Shepard about the 'ruthless calculus' of savings lives on a galactic scale. Still doesn't stop him from wanting to carve the names of the turian Horizon victims into The Illusive Man's skull, though.
  • Memetic Badass: invoked
    • In-universe is considered one on Omega as "Archangel".
    • His skill with calibrations is also considered legendary by 3, to the point where he even manages to beat Legion in improving the Normandy's Thanix cannon, something that Legion — a synthetic, no less — deemed impossible.
      Legion: Telemetry indicates that the calibration of Normandy's weapon accuracy could be increased by .32%.
      Garrus: That's All? You can't squeeze .34% out of it?
      Legion: Negative. That threshold is impossible.
      Garrus: You sure? Take a look now.
      Legion: Scanning. Normandy's weapon systems have been improved by .43%. How did you accomplish this?
  • Morality Chain: Paragon Shepard acts as one for Garrus, preventing him from going too far into Knight Templar territory and becoming like the very criminals he so despises. It's heavily implied that Garrus is very aware of this.
  • Must Make Her Laugh: A romanced Garrus will behave this way towards Fem!Shepard in the third game, trying to make her laugh and smile while The Chains of Commanding eat away at her morale and mental health. He does this even if you don't romance him, or if you play Male!Shepard, but it's more prominent during the romance path.
  • My Greatest Failure: Sidonis. Turian culture places the stigma of a failure not on the individual, but on whoever put that individual in the position they weren't ready to handle. As a result, Garrus feels he is as guilty as Sidonis for the betrayal.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Admits that he's not a very good turian. Specifically, turians are supposed to respect the chain of command, and always do a job to the letter. Garrus has no patience for that; he will chew out a commanding officer if he thinks they're making a mistake, and he will bend or flat out break the law if it's inconvenient to justice.
  • Nice Guy: Garrus is a genuinely friendly guy who just happens to be a bit of a loose cannon at times, mixed with a bit of Innocent Bigot in the first game. Similarly to a Paragon Shepard, he's a clear-cut example of Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Noodle Incident: There were rumors during his Archangel days that he killed three men with one bullet. When asked, Garrus insists he can't claim that honestly: the third merc died from a heart attack.
  • Number Two: By ME2, he's pretty much Shepard's right-hand man (even if unofficially) and probably the most trusted fellow soldier and combatant. This continues into ME3 if he's still alive.
  • Oblivious to Love: It becomes a minor running gag that he's completely unaware that Dr. Michel has a major crush on him.
    Tali: She got you turian chocolate?
    Garrus: She said she saw it and thought of me... why?
    Tali: [snickers] Oh, nothing.../(to a female Shepard romancing him): Watch yourself, Shepard.
  • Odd Friendship: Garrus' friendship with Shepard on its own isn't necessarily odd. However, given some of the tensions that still exist between humans and the turians, the closeness of it is. Garrus' unquestionable and unfailing loyalty to Shepard is one of his most notable character traits.
  • Oh, Crap!: Garrus explicitly says this when seeing two heavy mechs being airdropped and when seeing the elevator bomb on Sur'Kesh.
  • One-Hit Polykill: When asked if he really killed 3 guys with one shot during his days as Archangel, he denies it. The third guy had a heart attack.
  • One-Man Army: Held off three mercenary companies single-handedly as Archangel.
    Shepard: How'd you manage to piss off every merc band in the Terminus Systems?
    Garrus: It wasn't easy. I really had to work at it.
    • Applies in gameplay, as well: the official strategy guide's advice for Insanity difficulty starts with, in essence, "Never take Garrus out of your team. Ever."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Archangel is a nickname Omega's residents gave him for his good deeds.
  • Optional Party Member: You can complete the first game without him. You have to pick him up in the second, but the dialogue changes if he wasn't on the team in the first game.
  • Out of Focus: Aside from his recruitment and Loyalty mission, Garrus has by far the least amount of dialogue of all the squadmates in 2 (if you count the monologues, that even includes the two DLC squadmates). It even became a Memetic Mutation that was included in 3, with him always being so busy calibrating.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • Garrus is basically Paragade Shepard, except he's not the main character.
    • Even the Shadow Broker knows this. His file on Garrus notes the turian's excellent leadership skills, with the note that he's unlikely to develop to his full potential if he stays in Shepard's shadow.
    • As of Mass Effect 3, he seems to finally come out from Shepard's shadow and into his own. The Turian Hierarchy puts him in charge of a special Reaper task force and during the course of the game, he's seen playing leadership roles to turian soldiers and refugees. Shepard him/herself notes that s/he's seen multiple turian generals saluting him and can ask him about his rank and what he thinks about becoming Primarch someday (Garrus is not crazy about the idea).
    • Shepard can intentionally miss while shooting bottles with him on the Citadel, leading to Garrus gloating like a madman that he's a better shot than Shepard and triumphantly declaring;
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: If Shepard chooses not to upgrade the geth with Reaper code, leading to their death at the hands of the quarians, Garrus is happy to be rid of them, unlike Tali.
    Garrus: The geth spilled a lot of blood. I'm not sad to see them go.
    • He shows shades of this during his Archangel days as well with the extremely cruel and ironic deaths he meets out to certain criminals, usually turning whatever crimes they were committing against them; for example, he killed a drug dealer by forcing him to overdose on his own drugs, and killed a quarian viral specialist serial killer by coughing on them.
  • Pair the Spares: With Tali, assuming neither of them are occupied with Shepard in ME3.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you don't recruit him in Mass Effect, not only is he gone for the game if you wait too long, but you can't romance him in Mass Effect 2. And if you don't romance him in 2, you can't start a new one in 3.
  • Plotline Death: Can die on the suicide mission in ME2, at which point he does not appear in ME3.
  • Red Baron: "Archangel".
  • Relationship Upgrade: Potentially with female Shepard in the second game. In the third game, they either break up or get another relationship upgrade, from Friends with Benefits to a committed monogamous relationship.
  • Rescue Romance: His return in the second is a rescue mission, and only starting in this game is he an actual romance option.
    • His case in the first game was most likely an example as well, though less explicit. He was preparing to take on six shielded thugs armed with assault rifles in order to rescue Michel, when he all he had was a pistol. He also had only one piece of cover, which lends itself quite easily to getting suppressed and flanked by foes with automatic weapons. His chances of surviving such an encounter without Shepard's intervention seemed extremely slim. Certain, gameplay-wise he absolutely could not handle that situation himself.note 
  • Running Gag: In the later games, he tries to get other squadmates to talk about their past or their race's history during elevator rides. While the new crew members will indulge him on the one elevator ride they have together, every returning crew member wants him to shut up about it, much to his disappointment.
    Garrus: You ever miss those talks we had on the elevators?
    Tali: No.
    Garrus: Come on, remember how we'd all ask you about life on the flotilla? It was an opportunity to share.
    Tali: This conversation is over.
    Garrus: Tell me again about your immune system!
    Tali: I have a shotgun.
    Garrus: [hesitant] Maybe we'll talk later.
    • In the third game, Garrus' love of calibrations is endlessly commented on.

    S-Y 
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Second only to Joker.
  • Scars Are Forever: Even with advanced medical technology, he's still got the scars he received from the gunship when you meet up with him in ME3, six months later. However, an optional conversation with Dr. Chakwas suggests that this is his choice, as she thinks he likes them.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: After he leaves C-Sec, he starts to like taking the law into his own hands.
  • Self-Deprecation: Swaps jokes about humans and turians with Joker a few times.
    Joker: What's the hard part about treating a turian who took a rocket to the face?
    Garrus: Figuring out which side took the rocket.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: One way to look at his actions as Archangel. While he was protecting the weak from thugs and drug runners, he also gave free reign to all his worst impulses. His Shadow Broker file notes that he went out of his way to give his targets "poetic" deaths.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mordin/Padok points out Garrus' scars to Eve when trying to get the two together. Eve still refuses.
  • Shock and Awe: He can use Overload in every game. In the third, he can only prime and detonate his own Tech Bursts with Overload + Concussive Shot.
  • Shutting Up Now: In Mass Effect 2, he pokes fun at Tali over the things she revealed in the elevators in the first game, then basically has this response when she threatens him with a shotgun.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: If romanced by female Shepard, by the "Citadel" DLC for 3 he and Shepard reach this kind of relationship. Zaeed is not impressed. Of course, this happens while Garrus is working with Zaeed to booby-trap every square inch of Shepard's apartment.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: He was never officially confirmed to be a squad member in Mass Effect 2. All the promotional shots of him focused on the meeting with him on Omega.
  • The Slacker: His sister Solana believes him to be one, unaware of what he's done. He's content to let her believe he's been dragging his feet working as a mercenary after leaving C-Sec instead of helping take care of their ailing mother.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: "Come here often? I imagine anyone who does is probably an alcoholic." - Garrus turning on the charm in the Citadel DLC.
  • Space Police: For a while, he was a detective in C-Sec, though he quickly grew tired of it.
  • Spanner in the Works: Assuming he was recruited in the first game, Garrus ends up being one to the Illusive Man's attempt to keep Shepard away from the original squad. Garrus's disappearing act during the Time Skip kept even the Illusive Man from being able to find out where he was, keeping him from tricking Garrus into thinking that Shepard was a traitor. Once Garrus's identity was revealed, letting him stay on the Normandy was the less risky option.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Because of his adorkability and gar factors, he commands a relatively sizable shipping following even among straight male fans of the series.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Downplayed in his relationship with Paragon Shepard in the first game. Shepard's steadfast refusal to bend or break the laws in place for ruthless efficiency as opposed to absolute necessity (even if s/he can) is certainly not what he expected or was hoping for when he joined him/her. He still follows but makes his disagreement known. Completely dissipated by the second game, where he becomes one of the most loyal friends that Shepard has.
  • Token Minority: Even self-deprecatingly refers to himself as such in the third game. It also means that, until Tali joins up, he's the only one eating dextro amino acid-based food.
  • Took a Level in Badass: At the start of Mass Effect, he was simply a bitter C-Sec cop. After his time on the Normandy, he's taken enough levels that he goes off to Omega to become a borderline One-Man Army, feared by every major criminal group there. Come Mass Effect 3, the Primarch himself is deferring to Garrus for judgement.
  • Tragic Bromance: Garrus has the most visible personality shift after Shepard's death (only Liara even comes close). The others return home and try to go on with their lives; Garrus spends two years as a vigilante in the galaxy's number one hellhole, either following Shepard's example if Renegade or ignoring it if Paragon.
  • Tritagonist: Garrus is the longest serving squadmate, joining early in each game.
  • Tron Lines: The alternate appearance DLC pack for Mass Effect 2 gives him these (as well as fixing the gash in his armor).
  • Undying Loyalty: There is no one that Shepard can trust to have his/her back in a firefight more than Garrus. No matter what Shepard does, Garrus will always be willing to follow him/her to hell and back.
  • Vigilante Man: As Archangel.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Male example toward Female Shepard if he's romanced through until Mass Effect 3. In the Citadel DLC he insists on installing extremely overpowered defense mechanisms and essentially redesigning the entire apartment simply because he "needs to know [Fem Shep is] safe."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Most of Shepard and Garrus's dialogue is one long series of trying to out-snark the other.
    • When Shepard intentionally misses during a bottle-shooting contest, Garrus starts to immediately gloat that he's clearly the better marksman. Shepard responds that all that proves is Garrus will be in charge when the bottles decide to take over. Garrus actually says the exact same thing to Shepard if s/he doesn't let him win.
    • Also has this relationship with Wrex by Mass Effect 3.
    Wrex: I had to make friends with the one turian in the galaxy who thinks he's funny.
    • He also seems to be fond of messing with Tali across the trilogy, who has no trouble snarking back. If neither is romanced by 3, the dynamic turns into Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Warrior Therapist: Pays Shepard back for the first two games by acting as one to him/her in Mass Effect 3 as he sees Shepard slowly crumbling under the pressure.
  • Weapon of Choice: As Archangel, he used a M-92 Mantis heavy sniper rifle. You find him using it to fight off mercenaries during his recruitment mission, and it's also the weapon he's wielding when picked he's first picked up in the third game. Various promotional material for the third game as well as the squad selection screen show him with an M-29 Incisor burst-fire sniper rifle instead.
  • We Help the Helpless: How he describes his squad's actions on Omega in Mass Effect 2.
    "You saw Omega. It was full of thugs kicking the helpless. I formed my team to kick back."
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He joined C-Sec instead of pursuing membership in the Spectres because of his father.
    • It appears they bonded somewhat, as he mentions in the third game that after Shepard got incarcerated, he got so desperate to warn the Turian Hierarchy about the Reapers that he did something he never thought he'd do, which was go to his father for help. Turns out that after Garrus laid all of the facts down in front of him, as a former C-Sec cop, Garrus's father was completely convinced that the Reaper threat was indeed real and promptly went to the Primarch, repeatedly hassling him until he approved Garrus' token task-force meant to deal with the Reaper menace. This likely saved many turian colonies in the long run.
    • Given that his father has enough influence to have the Primarch's ear (or whatever auditory organ turians have instead of ears) and that his father was willing to meet Garrus, hear him out, evaluate his claims on their own merits, and go to bat for him despite the estrangement between the two of them, his father would also qualify as a Reasonable Authority Figure.
    • Toward the end of "Homeworlds," he, thinking he's not going to make it out, calls his father to apologize, but his father insists that Garrus survive whatever situation he's in and get back to Palaven so they can talk things over.
    • To make things even better, in Mass Effect: Andromeda, Castis Vakarian, his dad, believed him from the very start, as we learn from one of Alec Ryder's archived memories. So much so, he contacted Ryder (despite him being a persona non grata amongst the higher ups on the Citadel like himself) just to warn him and his family and to push the Andromeda Initiative to get the hell out of the galaxy ASAP. During the memory, Castis speaks extremely highly of Shepard and Garrus, despite never meeting Shepard and Garrus' belief he wouldn't approve of them. It never mattered to Castis, Garrus was always a model Turian and son to him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He gives this reaction if you allow the Council to die at the end of ME1 and he is in your party, although if Liara or Kaidan is also with you he's completely behind the plan.
    • On Horizon, he will angrily call out Ashley or Kaidan's claim that Cerberus might be behind the Collector attacks, in contrast to Jacob and Miranda's dismissive reaction to the "typical Alliance attitude."
      Garrus: Damn it, Williams/Kaidan, you're so focused on Cerberus you're ignoring the real threat!
    • If you fake the genophage cure and kill Wrex to gain salarian support in 3, you have the opportunity to confess what you did to him. He wearily admits that he would have chewed you out for it a few years ago, but with everything going to hell he might have done the same thing himself.
    • On the other hand, if Wrex died in the first game and you manage to talk down Mordin, resulting in him surviving, he will be extremely impressed.
      Garrus: Remind me never to play you at poker.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • He's implied to have a fear of spiders, and worries they might be able to follow him to the afterlife, which would apparently ruin the whole thing for him.
    • At one point in 3 he explains that he can handle most of the weird horrors the Reapers can cook up... but the flying ones creep him out.
  • Working with the Ex: To a Shepard who romanced him in 2 and broke up with him in 3.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sort of. Garrus admits in 3 to a naive crewmember that he does admire the Reapers, in the same way that he admires a virus or a Thresher Maw: they are perfectly adapted for what they do. When the crewmember is horrified Garrus tells him that of course they're awful and he's not going to stop fighting them, but you have to have respect for your enemy and their capabilities.
  • What Would X Do?: Shepard would lead a squad of up to twelve members and take out lots of bad guys... just like Garrus does before they meet again in ME2.
  • The Woobie: In-universe example. Kelly Chambers says that she just wants to give him a hug and tell him it will be OK.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Paragon Shepard invokes this during the first game when Garrus wants to show no mercy to Saren for being a traitor. Shepard rebukes him, stating that when they confront Saren, they will give him the chance to return to face justice first and only shoot him if they are left with no other choice.
    • This also occurs in the mission to track down Dr. Saleon. Garrus is in favor of just outright shooting him, whereas Shepard points out that he will again be brought before a court of law. When they are forced to shoot Saleon, Garrus bitterly points out how pointless mercy was, causing Shepard to point out;
      Shepard: You can't predict how people will react, Garrus. But you can control how you will respond. In the end, that's what really matters.
    • During his loyalty mission in the second game, Paragon Shepard can stop him from shooting Harkin and Sidonis, noting that this isn't like Garrus and that his mission for revenge is going too far and turning him into one of the criminals he so despises.
    • To the point where Paragon Shepard will actually refuse to stand aside and intentionally places themselves in a position that is dead-centre of Garrus's sniper-scope, implying to him that he will have to shoot through them if he wants to have any hope of killing Sidonis.
  • You Are in Command Now: During 3, Shepard can ask Garrus about how close he is in the chain of command to being named turian Primarch (after seeing Garrus being saluted by turian generals). Garrus' discomfort with the line of questioning likely means that he is far closer than he or anyone else would like to admit to being in that position.

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