Dr. Liara T'Soni is the offspring of Matriarch Aethyta and Matriarch Benezia, and is "one-quarter krogan" on the "father"-side. As a "pureblooded" asari—both parents were Asari—T'Soni was socially marginalized by asari society. T'Soni is 106 years old, which is the equivalent to a human teenager. While T'Soni is legally age of majority under Citadel-law, T'Soni has not reach adulthood by asari standards. T'Soni is a computer scientist, xenoarchaeologist, cryptanalyst; with a passion for studying and working with Prothean technology. T'Soni is an the foremost expert in the field of Prothean archaeology, specifically evidence concerning the Protheans' demise. T'Soni is the daughter of Matriarch Benezia, a well-respected and powerful asari biotic. It is unknown precisely who T'Soni's other parent is, except that she was another asari. In the Mass Effect 2 downloadable content Lair of the Shadow Broker, on the Shadow Broker's ship a video of an asari looking at a picture of Liara can be viewed. This asari is the Matriarch that is the bartender on Illium, and in Mass Effect 3, both the Matriarch, Aethyta, and Liara can be goaded into conversing with each other in the Presidium. There is a certain social stigma attached to this, as the asari believe that for them to improve themselves, they should mate with other species to gain new genetic properties. If two asari mate as Liara's parents did, then it is believed that nothing is gained from the relationship. The term "Pureblood" is used as a cruel insult for children born of two asari. When asked about her second parent, T'Soni is only able to speculate that her parents were possibly embarrassed by the union, but she does not know for certain.
T'Soni initially depicts a radically changed personality due to her experience as a black market information dealer. Acting much more like her mother Benezia, T'Soni has become an information broker on Illium in direct rivalry to the Shadow Broker. Having improved as a biotic, she uses threats and other intimidation tactics to extort information. If the player imported a Shepard from the original Mass Effect that romanced Liara, she greets Shepard with a kiss. Liara assigns Shepard an optional quest to assist her in hunting down an agent of the Shadow Broker spying on her, known as the Observer. Liara's anger at the Broker stems from when he recovered Shepard's body and was prepared to sell it to the Collectors during the events of Mass Effect: Redemption. After certain dialogue choices, the player is finally able to break through her shell and reveal the real Liara, revealing that her darker personality is nothing more than a facade. T'Soni took pains in getting Shepard's body from the Broker and gave it to Cerberus so they could bring Shepard back to life. Liara knew that Cerberus would use Shepard for their own uses, but still gave them Shepard's body as she cares for Shepard and could not let the Commander go. She feared that Shepard would hate her for this, and apologizes. In spite of wanting to join Shepard, she declines Shepard's offer to join the team to continue her quest for revenge against the Shadow Broker. She expresses regret that she cannot join Shepard's squad. However, she makes a new appearance in the Mass Effect 2 DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker and joins Shepard's crew temporarily as Shepard decides to help her hunt down the Shadow Broker. Shepard gradually breaks her hardened shell after lecturing her about mindlessly running into battles, but at the same time she states that she won't stop "to enjoy the scenery" until she's done. As the Shadow Broker is killed, Liara takes the opportunity to fill in his now vacant role. She says she will use her newly bestowed status to help assist Shepard's ongoing mission to fight the Reapers.
Liara T'Soni returns as a permanent squad member in Mass Effect 3 and there are consequences for players that were unfaithful to her as a romantic interest in Mass Effect/Mass Effect 2. After the events of Arrival, Liara realized what little time the galaxy had left before the Reapers arrived. Admiral Hackett, knowing this as well, commissioned for Liara's aid. However, this brought her into conflict with the Illusive Man. Eventually, through a process of elimination, mixed with desperation, she discovered plans for a Prothean superweapon on Mars. Unfortunately, by then, the Reaper invasion reached Earth. Regardless of whether or not Lair of the Shadow Broker was completed, she will become the Shadow Broker, but if it wasn't, she took on the Shadow Broker with dozens of hired mercenaries, but with Feron's death. If Shepard assisted her in taking out the Shadow Broker, she mentions that during the time that Shepard was in Alliance custody, Cerberus managed to track down the Shadow Broker's ship at Hagalaz, and sent a cruiser against it. As the aging ship was not suited for space travel, Liara and Feron loaded as much equipment as they could onto a shuttle as possible, then remotely sent the ship crashing into the cruiser, resulting in the destruction of both ships. Liara didn't have much love lost over the event, as the most crucial part of the Broker's operation is the galaxy-wide spy network, and the ship's destruction kept the Illusive Man from getting his hands on anything valuable. Upon meeting a surviving Prothean, Javik, she is initially overjoyed to have one serving aboard the Normandy, but slowly becomes more disappointed, having previously imagined the Protheans as the "keepers of wisdom and enlightenment" of their era, only to find them to be "cold and ruthless warlords". Eventually, this relationship reaches a breaking point after the fall of Thessia, where Liara is in Javik's quarters, frustrated with him for "not having the answers".
Personality and attributes
T'Soni's people, the asari, are a monogender-sapient homeotherm species with strong pansexual-panromantic orientation—capable of procreating with any sentient life form, and can reproduce with any known sex, gender or species—their offspring are asari, regardless their "father". Liara has stated "I am not a woman; my species has 'one' gender" when responding to gender bias; because of their "feminine" appearance by non-asari standards, they choose to use feminine third-person, singular personal pronouns as an efficient means of conversing with gender binary non-asari. T'Soni is a possible romance interest for both male and female Commander Shepard.
Powers and abilities
- Liara T'Soni was based on the likeness of actor Jillian Murray.
- Due to budget concerns, BioWare realized they would be unable to make both male and female versions for each of the races, which led to the creation of an all-female one. The asari were designed as a race of "beautiful, blue aliens", to add a familiar science-fiction element to the Mass Effect franchise. More alien-looking designs for the asari were made, but disregarded for their lack of human attractiveness. The hair fins arose from the designers mainly experimenting with different shapes, and the scalp tentacles on the asari evoke the image of a woman "emerging from the water with her hair swept back". After the hair fins were introduced, the asari looked more aquatic and thus their design was altered to follow.
- Unlike other characters made for the game, Liara's face did not have a specific design; instead, her face was taken from the original concepts of the asari. It was, along with the character's body, modelled after Jillian Murray. Ali Hillis voices the character in the Mass Effect video games. When Hillis first began voicing Liara, she was unfamiliar with voicing video game characters nor did she expect much out of the character.
- Mass Effect: