Irisa Nyira

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Irisa Nyira

 Biographical information







 Social information




 Out of universe information


Irisa Nyira - List of Appearances

Portrayed by

Stephanie Leonidas, Katie Douglas, Rebecca Goldman

Voiced by

Stephanie Leonidas

"You taught me to believe we're the same. Yeah, we both grew up with blood in our hands. It made you okay with killing. But not me. I hated it then and I hate it now."
- Irisa Nyira - History Rhymes

Irisa Nyira, also known as Irisa Nolan, is a female Irathient, the adoptive daughter of Joshua Nolan and the Lawkeeper of Defiance.


Early life

Irisa was born on Earth. ("Pilot") When she was young her parents were convinced by Daigo, who ran an Alakta cult, that their daughter was special and had a destiny to fulfil. The cult performed a number of rituals on here, including letting her be bitten and poisoned by a Savumouth. ("The Serpent's Egg") As part of these rituals the silver Kelovan was allowed to enter her body, forming a link between her and the Kaziri. ("Everything Is Broken") The final part of the process involved Irisa killing a supplicant but before she was forced to do so, members of the Iron Demons raided the cult and Nolan found Irisa, who threw herself into his arms. ("The Serpent's Egg") Irisa was going to be sent to a refugee camp but Nolan knew she wouldn't survive so he, along with help from Eddie Braddock, got her away. ("Brothers In Arms") She was with Nolan at The Shaming Rack when she saw him kill a captured soldier. ("History Rhymes") Nolan promised Irisa that they would get enough money to get them to Antarctica. ("Pilot") Irisa was shown how to hold a knife by Nolan and she threw it at a target with ease. ("Black Eyes") When an EMC Soldier found them, Irisa threw the knife into the back of his neck, killing him. ("The Searcher") She feared Nolan at the start, and was going to kill him one night but he awoke first. ("History Rhymes")

Retirement in Antarctica

She and Nolan joined the Bay Area Expedition, boarding the EMS New Freedom and going to the Bay Area. Shortly after arriving, the New Freedom was shot down and Irisa and others escaped in Evac pods. ("Main Mission:Recovery Mission") She and Nolan obtained a Roller and went to clear an arkfall and were joined by an ark hunter from the New Freedom. When Nolan mentioned it being fun, Irisa said she wanted to punch him. ("Episode Mission:A Little Competition") While accepting a job from Varus Soleptor, Irisa walked away when he told them their pay - 90,000 Scrip - which caused Varus to offer it to each of them. They were sent out in search of the Libera Nova Gem. ("Episode Mission:The Searchers")

Searching North Point Mine they managed to locate the gem and left to get their reward from Varus. ("Episode Mission:The Heist") The ark hunter arrived at The Crater for Varus to tell them that Irisa and Nolan had ran off instead of bringing the gem to him. Finding them in trouble, the ark hunter helped them out and Nolan apologized for screwing them over and left the gem for them. He and Irisa drove off as the ark hunter discovered that Nolan had given them an empty case. ("Episode Mission:The Departed") Driving across the Storm Divide, Irisa had to help Nolan out of a bad situation with a married woman, leading her to give him the silent treatment. They began tracking an incoming arkfall. ("Pilot")

Entering the newly crashed arkfall, they find an intact Terra-spire and use the Libera Nova Gem to extract a Terrasphere. When leaving they are ambushed by Spirit Riders and during their escape, Irisa was shot in the stomach. She awoke in the town of Defiance being operated on by Dr. Meh Yewll. Nolan entered a fight tent to make them some money for supplies to get to New York and she began taking on some side bets to increase their funds. Nolan won the fight but the win money was taken by Datak Tarr, who felt that Nolan swindled his way to a win. At the NeedWant, Nolan inserted himself into a potential fight and Irisa stepped in to stop someone harassing him. When the fight broke out, Irisa threw one of her knives into someone and after mayor Amanda Rosewater had her locked up. ("Pilot")

She revealed to Tommy Lasalle that Nolan had saved her life by killing her parents. After Nolan had made them money but learned that the town was going to be attacked by a Volge army, Irisa wanted to leave town, collect the Terrasphere and sell it to get to Antarctica. Nolan, however, wanted to take the Terrasphere back to Defiance so it could be used to destroy the Volge army. Irisa accused him of again screwing them out a payday and Nolan said that there were kids in Defiance, but she said that she didn't care and left. Instead of leaving she went to the Spirit Riders and asked them to help fight the Volge, who they hated more than humans. Irisa rode into the battle on a motorcycle, providing a distraction before the Terrasphere could be detonated. With the army destroyed, Irisa reunited with Nolan. ("Pilot")

Deputy Lawkeeper

Nolan took the job of Lawkeeper in Defiance and Irisa became one of his deputies. When a Castithan Cleansing ceremony was being performed on Elah Bandik, Irisa remained to watch despite it bringing up bad memories for her. Eventually Irisa decided to try to release Elah, causing the Castithans to throw rocks at her. Tommy decided to intervene and announce that Elah was actually under arrest for loitering. When Datak Tarr and his men came for Elah, Irisa threatened to shoot him if he came any closer. A stand off ensued but didn't escalate when Amanda Rosewater said that she pardoned Elah of his crimes. Elah was allowed to go free but he was later was found with his throat slit on the steps of the Lawkeeper's office. ("Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go")

The Spirit Riders came into town and Irisa had to stop a confrontation between Rynn and Boyd Bowen and she had a brief vision of Rynn having blood on her face. While examining a crime scene of a Hellbug attack, Irisa began to have more visions but Nolan said they were just post-traumatic stress. After more attacks, the investigation led to Rafe McCawley and they searched through his records, where Irisa had a vision when seeing a photograph. She went to the area in the photo and had a vision of young Rynn being attacked. She went to Sukar and told him what she had seen and Sukar believed that she had been chosen by Irzu. He led her through a Gyatu ritual allowing her to see what happened to Rynn in the past and where she was located. They went after Rynn and destroyed the Hellbug nest. ("The Devil In The Dark")

When Nolan left town, Irisa noticed a Castithan man who had just arrived and realized it was Daigo who had tortured her as a child. She kidnapped him and beat him, trying to force him to confess to what he had done. When Tommy found her and learned what she was doing he tried to get her to let him go, but she refused. She allowed a Savumouth to bite him as he had done to her but he didn't admit to anything. Tommy convinced her to let him go but Daigo admitted to who he was, saying that he now realizes that he is to be her sacrifice. Irisa instead refused to kill him, knowing it was a greater punishment. Tommy attacked Daigo and Irisa had to pull him off. She asked him why he had done that and he admitted to caring about her and the two of them had sex. ("The Serpent's Egg")

Irisa had a dream of Sukar dying and went out into the Badlands to find the Spirit Riders, who confirmed that he had been killed in a Razor rain storm. She took part in the sinking ritual for Sukar but during it, Sukar rose from the dead. He claimed that Irzu was guiding him and asked Irisa to join him. They went to Defiance where Sukar began taking some equipment and they went to the Gateway Arch where Sukar set up the equipment. Nolan arrived and believed that Sukar was directing an Ark Module down on the town. He and Sukar fought and Nolan shot Sukar before he fell through a hole and landed on scaffolding part way down the Arch. Irisa believed Sukar was being directed by Irzu and activated his equipment, which instead redirected the module away from town. She was later told that Sukar was instead being directed by Nanites from an Ark-Brain. She helped take the comatose Sukar back to the Spirit Riders. ("Good Bye Blue Sky")

She and Tommy began spending more time together, with Irisa giving him a copy of Moby Dick. ("I Just Wasn't Made For These Times") During an outbreak of Viral hemorrhagic fever in town it was decided by the council to quarantine the Irathients as they carried the disease but did not get sick. When Rafe came by with his men to collect Irisa and othrs, she ended up kicking Rafe off of a roof and telling the others to run. When she was caught she was taken to the McCawley Mines where Rathus said that it was only a matter of time before they were killed just like it had been in the past. Luckily a vaccine was deliver to the town in time. ("If I Ever Leave This World Alive") Tommy asked Irisa to be his date to Alak Tarr and Christie McCawley's wedding but she said she doesn't date. She helped Tommy locate some evidence after Hunter Bell's body was found and went with him to find that Jered Kikema had been killed as well. During the wedding, Irisa joined Tommy. ("The Bride Wore Black")

While having sex with Tommy, Irisa experience severe pain and lost all feeling in her legs. She recovered quickly but felt that Dr. Yewll was somehow involved so she searched Yewll's office but found nothing. When Nolan got into a fight with Datak Tarr, Irisa stepped in to end it and when Datak mocked Nolan for not finishing it, Irisa kicked him in the head and knocked him out. When Nolan's past had been exposed to the town, he and Irisa were going to leave when she experienced pain again and collapsed. Yewll said she had a parasite and needed to operate, instead she attempted to remove the silver Kelovan from her. During the procedure, the Kaziri influenced her into escaping, allowing the golden Kelovan to enter as well. With an open injury on her back, she stumbled into the woods where she was found by Rynn. ("Past Is Prologue")

Rynn stiched her up and took her to the other Irathients. Nolan came to find her, telling her what he had learned from Yewll about the Kaziri and the Kelovan. Echelon mercenaries arrived at the camp looking for Irisa and after they threatened Tommy, Irisa gave herself up. She was examined by a forced Yewll and E-Rep doctors who wanted the Kelovan removed. Yewll told Irisa to do what she did before and escape. During the procedure, the Kaziri rendered all those around Irisa unconscious. She was rescued by Nolan but he was shot and soon died. Sukar appeared to Irisa telling her that her fate lies in the Kaziri below the mines. Entering the lower levels, she saw a younger version of herself who claimed to be Irzu who said that if Irisa gave herself over then Nolan would be brought back to life. Within the Kaziri, Irisa dropped the Kelovan inside before leaping down herself. ("Everything Is Broken")

Devouring Mother

Irisa ended up in AngelArc and in 2047 she saw Nolan being captured by Varus Soleptor and helped him overpower Varus and his men and escape. She claimed that the E-Rep captured her after Nolan was shot and ended up escaping when Hellbugs attacked the convoy. When Nolan wanted to go to Antarctica, Irisa said they needed to return to Defiance. While on the drive, the Kaziri showed Irisa that it would make her kill Nolan if she revealed the truth to him. ("The Opposite of Hallelujah") When Nolan didn't want to go to Defiance because of the E-Rep presence, Irisa put her foot on the gas and drove them forward. Meeting Captain Jessica "Berlin" Rainier, who took Irisa's diary, Irisa assaulted her and was arrested. Reunited with Tommy, Irisa kissed him but he pulled away and said that he had moved on. She told him that there was something inside her that was making her do bad things. When she was later released she went to find Tommy but saw him kissing Berlin. ("In My Secret Life")

The Kaziri sent her after Bertie but Irisa refused and handcuffed herself to a pipe, but blacked out and awoke on top of a dead Bertie. She hid the body in the woods and was later sent by Nolan with Berlin to examine the security footage to find out where Bertie had gone to. As Berlin was examining the footage, Irisa removed a knife but didn't kill her; the Kaziri instead caused an overload and destroy the security computers. Irisa left and located Sukar living nearby. She told him about what was happening to her and he said that it was due to Irzu's actions. When the Kaziri went to take control again, Irisa told Sukar to run but he didn't and she attacked him. Not wanting to kill again, she took Sukar's gun and overpowered the Kaziri's influence to shoot herself. She had a vision of when the Kaziri arrived at Earth. Her would healed and she was found by Bertie, who was alive again. Nolan wanted her to tell him what was going on but she refused. ("The Cord And The Ax")

While guarding Amanda who had been attacked, Irisa and Tommy went to check on a possible intruder. When they entered the house, Amanda attacked them, hallucinating that they were the intruders and she shot Irisa in the arm. Irisa claimed to Nolan that she hadn't been shot as Amanda has missed because the Kelovan had healed her wound. ("Put The Damage On") After attacking a Casti Businessman, Irisa was found by Tommy and she asked him for help. She told him what she had been doing but that the people woke up a few hours later. After the man awoke with no memory of what had happened, she asked Tommy to help her and not tell anyone. She overheard Berlin breaking up with Tommy after he said he needed to remain in Defiance to help her. ("This Woman's Work")

Drawing the face of Reimlu from her visions, she was approached by Rynn who recognized the face and introduced Irisa to Mordecai Haipern. Irisa wanted to know if he had visions too which confused him. When Rynn went missing, Irisa went with Nolan to find her. They tracked down Dr. Otto Scheck and rescued Rynn but Irisa was stabbed by Scheck and later showed up unharmed. She followed Cai and kissed him, which caused him to have the same visions that she did. Nolan snuck up on Irisa and cut her hand open and viewed it healing. ("If You Could See Her Through My Eyes") Irisa went up to Cuthbert Ridge to help triangulate a signal and ran into Fionu who she infected in AngelArc. The two talked but soon Sukar arrived followed by others. The Kaziri told Irisa that she had been chosen to help begin Arkrise. ("Slouching Towards Bethlehem")

Irisa continued to meet with others who arrived for the pilgrimage. ("Painted From Memory") Irisa broke into the Defiance E-Rep Field Office and stole a Terrasphere but was caught by Nolan. He handcuffed her and took her with him during an E-Rep tour of the mines. After a collapse, Irisa broke her thumbs to escape the handcuffs and was instantly healed. She went to see Tommy, telling him that she was dying and needed the Terrasphere to be cured, asking him to steal it for her. When he did, she infected him as well. Using the Terrasphere she repowered the Kaziri and used its Hypersleep pods to take many of the Votan's she had infected inside. ("Bottom Of The World")

Nolan was found near the camp and brought in. Irisa told him that humanity was what was wrong with Earth and she intended to get rid of them all. Some Positronic charges were set off which disabled the Kaziri inside of everyone and Nolan and Tommy took her. During the trip, she awoke and stopped the Roller. Tommy tried to get her to stop and told her that he loved her but she said that the Irisa he knew was gone. She stabbed him in the stomach and left him to die. The Kaziri told her to slit Nolan's throat but she refused, stating it was the one thing that she would not do. ("Doll Parts") Irisa began activating the Ark Modules in orbit, released a number of Terra-spires into the sky above New York City and began terraforming the city. ("All Things Must Pass")

As she prepared to terraform the rest of the planet, Cai approached her and she tried to run but was stopped by Nolan. One of the Kelovan left Irisa and entered Cai, ending the Kaziri's control over her. She begged Nolan to give her a gun so she could die because she had killed so many. Nolan told her she could still save lots more by helping Cai stop the Kaziri. They went to the mines, where the Kaziri attempted to influence her to stop, presenting itself as Tommy and asking her to save him. She managed to resist and she and Cai took control of the ship. She disabled the AI as Cai redirected the terraforming beams into orbit. The mines began collapsing and Cai escaped but Nolan and Irisa became trapped. At some point, they managed to get inside one of the Kaziri's sleeper pods. ("I Almost Prayed")

Return to Defiance

For seven months, their remained inside the pod until 2048 when she awoke in a snow covered field with Nolan. She didn't want to return to Defiance after what she had done, especially what she had done to Tommy. They encountered some VC spies and when Irisa tried to stop one of them she found that she couldn't kill him. He almost raped her until he was shot and killed by Nolan. In Defiance, she was approached by Frei Poole who wanted her to sign a copy of Amazing Goddess of the Badlands, but she called the book trash. She was confronted by Berlin who beat her for killing Tommy until Nolan stopped her. Investigating the mines, they encountered the Omec Kindzi who was able to beat them both down. ("The World We Seize") She and Berlin watched over the injured Kindzi and when some kids wanted to see the Omec, they were told to leave. The kids poked a metal rod through the cell window and Kindzi used it to kill one of the kids, which upset Irisa a lot. She later helped hold Meh Yewll down so that the Omec T'evgin could use some of her skin to heal Kindzi. Yengi Ksaruko fired at the Omec, wanting to avenge the death of his child and Irisa spoke to him to try to get him to stand down, telling him that killing is not something that he should experience. When Nolan shot Yengi dead, Irisa was upset at the death. ("The Last Unicorns")

Irisa joined Nolan to go and investigate the VC camp. When they were attacked by soldiers, Irisa was unable to fight but they were luckily saved by Pilar McCawley who took them to her cabin and they met "Bear", a baby she was found. Nolan figured out who she was and they locked her up and took the child, who Nolan realized was Luke Tarr. Irisa refused to leave Luke behind, stating that he was just a baby. She went into General Rahm Tak's camp to plant explosives to destroy a Net cutter but was caught. Tak was going to kill her when she escaped and put a knife to his throat but was unable to kill him. She and Nolan destroyed the Net cutter and they delivered Luke to Datak and Stahma. ("The Broken Bough") After the Gateway Arch was destroyed, Nolan benched Irisa and had her examine the wreckage with Berlin for evidence of the explosive device. She found something that appeared to be the housing for the bomb. Irisa found Tommy's old badge and mentioned that she missed and loved Tommy, causing Berlin to tell her that you don't kill what you love. Irisa began experiencing intense pain and soon collapsed. ("Dead Air")

She began experiencing memories from her and Nolan, seeing Nolan's sister and how she died during the war. She saw herself as a young girl with Nolan who appeared to hate Votans and taught her to kill. They were being connected by arktech in their brains from the life pod they shared and Yewll was able to fix it and awaken them. Irisa planned to leave Defiance as she was unable and unwilling to kill anymore, but Yewll said that they were still connected and had to remain close to one another. ("History Rhymes") When the town was searching for Datak and Stahma who had been revealed as spies, Irisa was sent to watch the Tarr Residence and stop them if they tried to grab Luke. Alak arrived later that day and Irisa said she had taken Luke outside to see the stars. She told Alak that she and Nolan had found Pilar and rescued Luke. ("Where the Apples Fell")

Nolan asked Irisa to join the militia, knowing that others would if they saw the "Goddess of Badlands" there. Despite her protests, she geared up and joined in the training. While firing a gun, she hallucinated Tommy and broke down, telling him that she was sorry. ("The Beauty of Our Weapons") When an attack took place in the NeedWant, Irisa wanted to join the militia to help stop Tak, blaming herself for not killing him earlier. A tunnel was discovered and Irisa went with Nolan ahead to check it out. On the other side they were joined by one of the militia members who knocked Nolan down and stabbed Irisa before throwing an Incendiary Grenade into the tunnel and wiping out the militia. As he was about to kill Nolan, Irisa jumped him and stabbed him to death. When Nolan blamed himself for the dead militia members, Irisa said that it was Tak's fault. When Datak Tarr went on a suicide mission to destroy Tak and his camp, Irisa consoled Alak. ("My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You")

While Nolan was busy, Irisa examined a crime scene where a dead Indogene was found. She was joined by Nolan to hunt down whatever had killed them and she began to notice that Nolan was acting strange and on edge. ("Ostinato in White") A Votanis Collective convoy led by Vice Chancellor Silora Voske arrived in Defiance with Datak Tarr who had survived. Irisa tried to stop Nolan from accosting Datak and then noticed how he appeared to he hallucinating. She went to see Yewll and got a sedative but Nolan refused to use it and stopped her from preventing him from investigating that the VC was up to. She found Nolan at the VC reception where he killed Voske. She helped him escape but stopped him when VC soldiers arrived. He was to be transported to Brazil and Irisa was going with him when Amanda gave her a bunch of scrip to help bribe guards so she could get Nolan out and get them to Antarctica. ("When Twilight Dims the Sky Above")

The convoy was attacked en route and Irisa was left in an overturned Roller. She was found by Berlin and they figured out that the Omec had attacked and staged it as a Raider attack. Irisa sensed something happening to Nolan and then suddenly couldn't feel his presence through their connection anymore. She and Berlin went to confront Kindzi but could find no evidence that Nolan was there. Irisa later tracked Kindzi underground and located Nolan, shooting at Kindzi to stop her from feeding on him. She tossed an axe to a chained up T'evgin, allowing him to free himself and fight Kindzi. Nolan wanted to help but Irisa said that they needed weapons. ("Of a Demon in My View") While searching for missing people taken by the Omec, Irisa mentioned how the others didn't know what T'evgin wanted for them and maybe they could talk to them and convince them to stop. ("The Awakening")

While looking after Luke, Alak said that he wanted her to spend more time with his son. She joined Nolan, Datak and Yewll to infiltrate the Tsuroz in order to destroy it but when she saw that there were Omec children in stasis aboard she changed her mind and wanted to help them. When Yewll entered an Omec Interface device, Irisa saw the amount of blood coming out of her and realized that she wasn't going to be leaving the ship. As they were leaving, Irisa told Nolan that she was staying as she was going to find a world for the Omec. Nolan stunned her and sent her down to Earth, taking her place on the ship as he and Yewll went looking for a new world. Irisa returned to Defiance where she took on the role of town Lawkeeper. ("Upon the March We Fittest Die")


  • Irisa was partially insipired by "Lisbeth Saunders" in 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. ("Inside Defiance: Episode 1")
  • Irisa was originally called Irisa Niir and was an Irathient-Human hybrid. She was the daughter of an Earth Republic official and had stayed behind in Defiance as she liked the town. [1]