River Tam potrayed by Summer Glau. A pilot who travelled the world with her daughter before her sister inlaws death. Extremely intelligent, before Melody was born River was experimented on by the Alliance and because of that she gained Pyscic powers.


Early Life and KidnappingEdit

River is a former child prodigy, intelligent beyond her years and athletically gifted. After intense experimentation by Dr. Mathias on behalf of the Parliament (the Alliance ruling body), River was partially transformed into a mentally unstable psychic weapon intended for secret governmental use.


River with a baby Melody

River with a baby Melody

She was rescued at great cost by her brother Simon but tracked relentlessly by several agents of the Alliance, primarily Lawrence Dobson, two blue-gloved men, McGinnis, the bounty hunter Jubal Early, and finally the Operative.

Boarding SerenityEdit

Almost all of her time on the lam was spent with the crew of the Serenity, which became her extended family.


Some years after the events of Miranda River decided to journey on her own eventually getting pregnant with Melody Tam by accident. River only told a few about her child, after she gave birth to Melody. River travelled around the verse with her daughter.

Derry's birth and Kaylee's deathEdit

Only stopping after the death of her sister in law and birth of her nephew . She and Simon became the leaders of the Independence before their deaths.


River, when she is calm and normal, appears to be quite pleasant, nice and sweet. In the first excerpt of the R.Tam sessions we might have made the observation that this was her original personality. However, probably as a consequence of being experimented on and hence partly damaged, she is often a bit odd, occasionally making inappropiate comments and throwing tantrums. She is also shown to be fiercly protective of her family, especially her daughter, and has severly hurt anyone who would dare to even threaten them.




River and a young Melody

River cares very deeply for her daughter, sometimes coming off as overprotective. The two are extremely close and travelled the verse together when Melody was younger. Melody was incredibly devastated after her mother's passing. Melody tries to keep her distance from her mother when she meets her younger self much to River's annoyance.


River and Derry have a very mother son like relationship. After Derry's mother died River journeyed to live with them along with her daughter. She became very motherly towards Derry and he was greatly affected by her and Simon's deaths.