Defiance: Everything You Need To Know

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 16:48

One of the best parts about Defiance is the amazing world and characters that the show creators have . . . well . . . created. The intricate alien races, the alternate future of humanity, even languages invented specifically for the show all add to create an engrossing and all-encompassing viewing experience (which you can totally dive even further into with Syfy Sync (#shamelessplug), but all this world building can be a bit intimidating. What if you're not one of the Defiance faithful, and you just happened to see a clip on the interwebs of Irisa kicking some some serious ass, and find your interest piqued? Maybe you saw a gif of some Castithan bathing and you thought, "I could get involved in this." Or perhaps you're just an Ian Ziering fanboy and the news that he's going to gueststar as a weapons dealer has you all hot and bothered. Whatever the reason, we've put together this guide to help you get caught up as fast as is Votanly possible.

The World Then

Seven alien races, known collectively as Votans, were in desperate need of a new home after their star system was destroyed in a stellar collisions.  They departed for Earth 5,000 years ago, mistakenly believing it was (and would be) uninhabited. When they arrived in 2013, they discovered that this was not the case. Needless to say, we humans did not welcome our new alien invaders with open arms. The Pale Wars began.

The wars took their toll on the planet for seven years, and the bloodshed seemed to be neverending, until the "Arkfall", when the alien Ark fleet mysteriously exploded. The cause of the explosions remains a mystery to this day, but the result was clear: millions of dead Votans. Exacerbating the dire circumstances of the Arkfall, was what rained down upon the Earth: Votan terraformers, which radically transformed the landscape of the planet. This process also mutated many of Earth's species, mixing their DNA with that of alien creatures. Earth was left in shambles, and with electromagnetic distortion created by the terraformers, most long-distance communication and air transit stopped completely. 

Fifteen years after the armistice, a new proposed train line is being built with the goal of re-establishing regular transit between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America. A fragile peace has been struck between humans and the aliens, but in the frontier town of Defiance, that peace is threatened. 

The World Now

Now in 2048, the world is struggling to rebuild. The Votanis Collective (the U.N. of aliens) controls much of Central and South America, while the Earth Republic (the U.N. of humans) has a major foothold in most of North America. The rest of North America remains a badlands region, sort of a modern version of frontier land America in the 19th century. Law is more of a option than a neccessity, and cities have become strange melting pots of human and alien culture.  One such community is Defiance, built on the ruins of the St. Louis. For a more visual update of the world now. Check out our world of 2048 map

The Town of Defiance

Defiance was founded several years after the Pale Wars, when large deposits of gulanite—a valuable raw ore—were discovered, leading to a massive influx of prospective miners.  The town itself is nestled in a valley created by terraforming, the mountains forming a natural shield from the dangerous Badlands that lie outside them. Portions of Old St. Louis still exist in a cavern deep below the surface. It’s a “lost city,” where the Mississippi River flows, encased in permanent darkness. Only the bravest souls venture this far underground, searching for lost old world treasures. Mementos of an America that no longer exists.

Though Defiance has grown to a population of over 6000, it’s still a rugged and dangerous place. Almost half of that population is Votan—mainly Castithan (all white and prissy), Indogene (large foreheads and really into nature), Sensoth (think Chewbacca) and Liberata (short and furry). It's a melting pot of humans and aliens, an example of all races living in cooperation. Apart from its natural resources, Defiance has strategic value as well, being a natural stop along the proposed Maglev route being built by the Earth Republic. The E-Rep has made overtures to Defiance in an effort to bring them into their fold, but each time the town has refused.

The Characters of Defiance

Joshua Nolan

Media categories:  Defiance
Joshua Nolan is a former lieutenant in the Earth Military Coalition who fought in the alien conflict. Born prior to the aliens' 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. They eventually settled in Defiance, where his hard exterior has begun to crack a bit. Nolan believes in right and wrong, but adminsters it by his own code.




Amanda Rosewater

Media categories:  Defiance

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 the post-war world, Amanda eventually heard of a town where humans and Votans were attempting to coexist. With her sister in tow, she travelled 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. While she was the Mayor of Defiance, she used her political wits to give the struggling town a chance for survival. Although she is no longer mayor officially, Amanda is sort of de-facto running the town because she knows what she's doing and people listen to her. Also, she works a side braid that would make Katniss Everdeen jealous.




Media categories:  Defiance

An attractive Irathient woman, Irisa is Nolan's tacit second-in-command and adoptive daughter. Smart, independent and feisty, Irisa still struggles with the weight of her unusual upbringing. 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. But leaving the past behind is easier said than done. In Season 2, she got possessed by this crazy alien weapon thing and blew up New York City. Her techno-possession ended, but she's got all the guilts. 





Stahma Tarr

Media categories:  Defiance
The wife of Datak Tarr, once one of the most powerful men in Defiance, Stahma is seemingly 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 race. Stahma has her own ambitions and uses cunning and politics to achieve them.

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. Since the beginning of the show, Stahma has gone from Lady Macbeth (i.e. working things behind the scenes) to full blown Bella Madia, even taking over Datak's criminal empire while he was in prison and telling him to buzz off when he tried to take it back. 



Datak Tarr

Media categories:  Defiance
Datak Tarr is a 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 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. Too bad his family doesn't always want him. He and Stahma are sort of like George and Martha (or J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing). They fight a lot, but they love each other and have crazy good make-up sex. 




Media categories:  Defiance
Alak Tarr, Datak and Stahma's son, is a young man caught in the middle, chafing against tradition in a world full of new possibilities. Alak stands at odds with his family's conventional doctrines and the pressures they pose (he even married a human girl, Christie, but she's dead now). 






Doc Yewll

Media categories:  Defiance
Doc Yewll arrived in Defiance following the Pale Wars, intending to stay a week before moving on to dispense medical care in other war-torn areas. Eight years later, Yewll still serves as the town's doctor. As an Indogene – a technologically advanced Votan race – she often finds her natural pragmatism perceived as a lack of bedside manner by most humans. However, Yewll's unflappable brilliance is indisputably one of Defiance's greatest assets.





Jessica Rainer

Media categories:  Defiance
Jessica - who's gone by the nickname 'Berlin' for most of her life - is a former soldier in the Earth Republic who now acts as Defiance's lawkeeper. She hates Irisa, because she blames her for the death of her ex, Tommy (which isn't surprising, techno-possesed Irisa offed him).






Rahm Tak

General Rahm Tak is a ruthless and arrogant leader in the Votanis Collective (think of it as the U.N. of aliens in the future Earth of Defiance). Rahm is a Castithan, well-read, brilliant and a pure strategist who sets his very aggressive sights on the little town of Defiance. He hates humans and wants them all dead. 







T'evgin is an Omec, an eighth alien race. The Omec are all kinds of badass, having been the overlords of all the other alien races (Irathients, Castithans, Indogene) before everyone fled their dying universe to come to Earth. T'evgin is their leader, so you really don't want to mess with him. Some poor fool probably will, though.







Kindzi is the daughter of T'evgin and thusly the alpha female of the Omec, the race that served as overlords of all the other alien races of Defiance before their exodus to Earth. She's all sorts of fierce and scary as hell.







Votan Races

There are eight Votan races. Apart from their distinctive skin tones and tribal markings, there are languages and cultures that make these races in a rich tapestry of interwoven cultual harmony. That is when they're not trying to kill one another. Check out these new races in either video (although the Omec aren't featured in there) or photo form.

 Votan Races Video   —  Votan Race Gallery

Get Season by Season Breakdowns

Season 1  —  Seasons 1 & 2  

Look Ahead to Season 3

So where does that leave us with Season 3? What are the essential nuggets of info you need to get the most of D3? Here you go:

  1. General Rahm Tak, lover of Johnny Cash and other bits of Earthling pop culture, is en route to Defiance to kill every last human and stick their heads on spikes. He also totally murdered Christie, Rafe, and Quentin. Damn. He's also holding Alak as hostage to get Datak and Stahma to do his evil bidding. If you couldn't already tell, the guys is all kinds of crazy. We call it madness; Tak calls it poetry.
  2. Irisa got quite the homecoming upon her and Nolan's return to Defiance (which, in the seven months since the events of Season Two, has become a snow-covered near-ghost town due to the economic crisis caused by the inaccessibility of the McCawley Mines). She'd barely been back for thirty seconds before Berlin, proceeded to beat the holy shtako out of her. Irisa was content to play punching bag through this extended beating, as she's understandably now a bit gun-shy when it comes to any form of conflict.
  3. There are some newcomers to the town of Defiance, in the form of two Omecs, purple-skinned aliens who have only been alluded to in seasons past. What will these two bring to the already volatile melting pot of Defiance?

There you have it! Two seasons on one page. Keep diving deeper into Defiance with the latest episodes of Defiance which you can watch online!