POLL: Who is Your Favorite Character on Defiance?

Stahma, Datak, Nolan, Irisa, Tommy, Rafe, Alak, Yewll, T'evgin, Rahm, Amanda - Defiance

, now in its third season on Syfy, gives us a rich array of characters to enjoy. Human and alien alike, they come in all shades of the rainbow and with lots of complicated layers and abilities. In fact, there are so many regular and recurring characters I was not able to fit them all in this article. If you have a favorite I left out then by all means let me know in the comments section at the end!

Warning, the article below contains some mention of events that have occurred in the third season of the show, so if you are not up to date in your viewing, you should tread carefully!

Joshua Nolan

Defiance - Season 2

Joshua is a reluctant hero. He has seen his share of fighting and would rather just retire for the good life on the beach in Antarctica. As is usually the case, circumstances conspire to not allow him to retire. Instead, he becomes the Lawkeeper in the town of Defiance.

Nolan’s nickname from the Pale Wars is “No Man”; a reference to his policy of leaving no man standing when he was on the battlefield. He is a forthright man, with his own code which he follows scrupulously. He has little patience for liars and cheaters, which means that he is not very fond of Datak and Stahma Tarr.

However, his fondness for Irisa, his adopted daughter, is his weakness. He will do anything to protect her, which frequently puts him at odds with the people of Defiance. He has tried to be a good father, but has done things that have alienated Irisa.

Datak Tarr

Defiance - Season 3

Datak is a Castithan, one of the Votan Races that came to earth aboard the Arks. He is a wealthy and successful businessman, but is mainly involved in shady dealings including smuggling weapons, gambling rings and other organized crime activities.

On his home world, he was born into a very low caste and only was able to get passage on an Ark because someone owed him a gambling debt. There is a constant struggle for him to prove that he is worthy of marrying Stahma since she was born into a high caste.

He feels strongly about adherence to the old ways of his people, including the subjugation of women. He is a very strong and forceful man, frequently using physical means to force his point.

Stahma Tarr

Defiance - Season 3

Stahma is Datak’s wife. The best way to describe her is a snake in the grass. She is conniving, duplicitous and ruthless. She has embraced the philosophy of the human women’s movement which of course frequently puts her at odds with Datak. However, she is an excellent actress, always backing down when he challenges her. But, everyone knows that she is plotting and scheming behind her mask of submission.

Stahma will do anything to protect her son, Alak, and was happy when Datak ended up in prison. Being forced by convention, she ran the family business during this time from behind the scenes using Alak as a figurehead.

Irisa Nyira

Defiance - Season 2

Irisa is Nolan’s adopted daughter. Her parents, along with other Irathients, were killed by Nolan’s military unit. He saved her from being killed and when she ended up in a refugee camp Nolan and his friend rescued her. Since that time, the two have been together.

Their relationship is not always smooth. Nolan is not always the best role model for his daughter. During the third season, we learn that Irisa is not the cold blooded killer we saw in the first two seasons. She becomes angry with Nolan for forcing her to kill; something he did in order to help her survive.

Irisa is strong and independent, and due to her past is very protective of the weak and suffering.

Doc Meh Yewll

Defiance - Season 3

Meh is an Indogene, another Votan race which originates from the same planet as the Castithans. Because of this, her closest alliance is with Datak and the other Castithans. Datak turns to her when he needs assistance getting out of a sticky spot.

The Indogene value technology and science above all else and have implants of both a technological and genetic nature. She is the town’s doctor, although she is not always comfortable around humans. Her bedside manner does leave a lot to be desired.

The good ol’ Doc gets most of the great lines. She is full of wisecracks and snarky rejoinders and is not afraid to speak her mind, although sometimes it is behind your back or after she leaves the room. She is very intelligent and speaks without consideration of how others will perceive what she says.

Rafe McCawley

Defiance - Season 2

Rafe was the richest human in Defiance. He owned the mines which produce gulanite, an important mineral used as the source of power for all Votan Ark technology. He also served on the city council in Defiance. He was resentful of the aliens and the destruction and drastic changes they brought to earth.

He had three children, Luke, Quentin and Christie, all now deceased, whom he loved dearly. In fact, he gave his life in defense of his daughter Christie.

Alak Tarr

Defiance Season 2 Episode 5 Putting the Damage On (3)

Alak is the son of Datak and Stahma. He is portrayed as being weak and naive early on, a typical spoiled rich kid. He falls in love and eventually marries Christie McCawley, putting both of them at odds with their families.

Despite that, he was loyal to his family until in his overwhelming grief following the death of Christie he turned on his parents and told Nolan about their working for Rahm Tak.

Amanda Rosewater

Defiance  Season 2 Episode 9 "Painted From Memory" (2)

Amanda is the mayor of Defiance. Well, she starts out as mayor, and then is defeated in an election, and finally ends up back in the position after the Earth Republic abandons the town. She also owns and runs the NeedWant, the local bar and brothel.

Her heart is in the right place, putting the lives and safety of the town above her own personal interests. She wants to create a world where humans and Votans live together in peace and harmony.

Rahm Tak

Defiance - Season 3

Rahm is a Castithan leader in the Votanis Collective. His nickname is The Beast because of his brutality during the Pale Wars and also in the following years.

He has gone rogue from the Votanis Collective, however, and has set his goal to destroy Defiance and kill all the humans there. He wants earth for Votans only.


Defiance - Season 3

T’evgin is an Omec, a race of Votans believed to be extinct. As it turns out, he and his daughter are the only two awake aboard their ship when it arrives at earth – the rest of his people are in stasis pods.

He forms a temporary alliance with Amanda to share the gulanite which he needs to power his ship, but his ultimate plan is to awaken his people and take over earth once the ship is fully powered.

Tommy Lasalle

Defiance - Season 2

Tommy was a deputy under Nolan, having been a deputy under the previous Lawkeeper Garret Clancy who was killed in the first episode. He was a good friend and lover to Irisa, until Irisa pushed him away.

He was a good tracker and fighter. Irisa killed him while under the influence of alien technology, something she still feels guilty about despite it not being her fault.

Somebody Else

Question Mark

As I mentioned in the beginning, I was not able to include all of the characters from Defiance, since there are so many. So perhaps I have not included your favorite. If so, vote here and then let me know who your favorite character is in the comments section below!


My personal favorite is Doc Yewll. I love her snark and the fact she is predictably always looking out for herself. Be sure to vote and then let me know how you voted in the comments section below. I love hearing your thoughts!