Specialist Samantha Traynor is the Comm Specialist aboard the Alliance Normandy SR-2, serving in a similar role to that of her predecessor, Yeoman Kelly Chambers. She is a potential romance option for a female Commander Shepard.
Her parents were originally from London, but they preferred the freedom of colony life. Samantha spent some time in England when she attended Oxford University. Her parents didn't have money for sending her to a university, but she was able to pursue her studies as the Alliance offered her full scholarship after seeing her aptitude scores. She has a strong British RP (Received Pronunciation) accent. Samantha later reveals that she was visiting her parents on her birth planet, Horizon, when the Collectors attacked. Aside from her duties as Comm Specialist, she also notifies Shepard about e-mails and vid calls through the QEC.
Shepard first meets Traynor when she comes up to the Commander's cabin after the meeting with the Council. She apologizes for interrupting Shepard's conversation with Liara, after which Liara leaves. She is rather flustered on giving her first report to the Commander, and Shepard can choose to be kind or strictly professional. Traynor gives the Commander a brief tour of the Alliance-retrofitted Normandy and directs them to speak with Admiral Hackett on the QEC.
Immediately after the turian primarch's rescue from Menae, Traynor relays to Shepard that the Normandy's comm systems are going haywire, directing the Commander to the source of the problem: Deck Three. She tries to restart the systems, but something's blocking her, and she also reports that EDI's offline.
When everything's sorted out moments later, Traynor informs Shepard that Grissom Academy has sent a distress signal. A turian transport ship reported that it had responded to the signal, but Traynor is suspicious about the turian transmission since it is similar to one used by Cerberus to lure Shepard to a Collector Ship. Shepard can congratulate her on the discovery and choose to evacuate the Academy.
Once Javik has been recruited, Traynor expresses sympathy for the relatively frequently attacked colonists of Eden Prime. She notifies Shepard that while he doesn't need a translator himself, Javik has shared a Prothean language tutorial program intended for servant races being inducted into the empire, noting the "charming cultural clue."
After the krogan female's retrieval from Sur'Kesh, Traynor is challenged with integrating datafeeds for the war summit, or integrating data from the Alliance war effort as well as the Crucible construction project, if Shepard decides to delay checking in on her. EDI compliments her abilities over the radio, claiming that the accuracy of the ship's War Room data is a direct result of her work. Traynor reports no problems in settling in, though she remarks she's still getting used to living on an active ship.
In the lab, Samantha claims they'd hoard everything, but living in the Normandy is apparently like "living out of a shoe box", in her words. Shepard can either assure her she'll get used to it, or callously remind her she's just running with just a skeleton crew, though whichever the case Traynor claims she's not complaining. They hoarded tech because they had no budget, but in the Normandy, for comparison, Traynor simply asks EDI to upgrade the ship's combat data analysis time by using technology from Ariake Technologies, and the AI speedily complies, impressing Shepard. Traynor proceeds to say that she is enjoying her new duties and if she can get the tech she needs, she is quite happy "living out of a shoe box."
If Shepard tries to be friendly with Traynor by engaging her in conversations, she may send an email entitled "Game night?" sometime during the war, and the Commander can invite her up to the cabin whenever convenient. Traynor brings along her holographic chess set and challenges the Spectre to a game, which Shepard loses horribly by subjecting the game pieces to real-world rules, not board ones. At this line of thinking Samantha is reminded of a joke regarding the Commander: "What's the difference between Commander Shepard and a krogan? One is an unstoppable juggernaut of head-butting destruction..."
...and Shepard supplies a witty reply if the Commander isn't attempting to woo her. Traynor is impressed if the punchline refers to her, claiming it's better than the "number of testicles" original, and happily offers a rematch. Otherwise, she snarks about the Commander feeling defensive if Shepard jokingly pulls rank regarding the matter of performance reviews. In any event, Shepard congratulates her for adjusting to life outside the lab.
After the attempted Cerberus coup, Traynor draws Shepard's attention to some Cerberus scientists who are on the run from their own organization. She suggests that Shepard find them and recruit them for the war effort. Shepard can choose to rescue the scientists.
Traynor frequently converses with Diana Allers on the communicator, sometimes regarding her new stories for the Alliance News Network, other times on more trivial issues like why female reporters have to look feminine.
After the fall of Thessia, a frustrated Shepard asks the assembled crew in the War Room if they know of any lead on where Cerberus is hiding. EDI glances at Traynor, who tentatively reveals how she tracked Kai Leng's shuttle and managed to extrapolate his destination: the Iera system, home to Horizon and Sanctuary. She reports all signal activity being actively blocked in that region of space, and deems it worth checking out. Shepard can either praise her for the effort or ignore it while being focused on Kai Leng.
Before the assault on Earth, Shepard can speak to Traynor, commending her on her excellent service.
Traynor is later seen in the cockpit with Joker when the Normandy receives orders from Admiral Hackett to disengage upon the Crucible's activation. Assuming the Normandy crew survives the crash landing, Traynor will be present along with the others at Shepard's memorial, honoring the fallen.
Mass Effect 3: Citadel
While Shepard is on the heels of the clone attempting to take the Normandy, Traynor is first seen exiting the ship, angered that Commander Shepard just fired her for 'conduct unbecoming' or 'fraternization' if romanced, not knowing that the Shepard who fired her was a clone. When she sees the real Commander Shepard approach, she yells at them about barely leaving her enough time to "grab [her] toothbrush". Shepard either proves their identity by identifying the model of toothbrush Traynor uses or pointing out that a disciplinary hearing is needed before any firing is done, also wondering why the only thing Traynor would grab when leaving is a toothbrush. If a female Shepard is romantically involved, she is given an option of convincing Traynor that she still loves her via shutting her up with a kiss.
Afterward, Shepard and the squad will unsuccessfully attempt to open the airlock to the Normandy and then ask Traynor if she knows of an alternate entrance, given her extensive knowledge of the ship. She opens a panel and explains that there was an emergency hatch used for evacuations but it could only be opened from the inside. A squad member mentions that a biotic field could open it from the outside but nobody has the required precision to do so. Traynor then holds up her toothbrush, which uses small mass effect fields to operate. Later, when the squad is crawling in through the emergency exit, Shepard comments on how very skeptical he/she would be if someone had told him/her that a toothbrush would save the Normandy.
Once Commander Shepard's clone is defeated, the real Shepard will receive an e-mail from Traynor to meet her at the Castle Arcade for lunch. When arriving at the arcade, Traynor is seen playing a game called Kepesh-Yakshi against a salarian in a tournament. When she beats the salarian, Traynor will apologize to Shepard for missing lunch, stating that she entered the tournament on impulse and thought that she would be beaten in an earlier round.
An asari called Polgara T'Suzsa, a rival of Traynor's, then challenges Traynor to a match saying she will beat her in less than twenty moves. Shepard either offers words of encouragement, or orders Traynor to beat the asari (if in a relationship, under penalty of shower privileges withdrawal if she loses, with special emphasis on Shepard's glare).
Nearing the endgame, Shepard can either trash-talk T'Suzsa, distract her while Traynor is thinking up her next move, or watch silently. Traynor wins in the first two cases, with the game shocking Polgara unconscious as she loses. If Shepard opts to stay silent, The asari wins instead, with the game shocking Traynor off her seat.
Sometime later, Shepard receives another e-mail from Traynor, offering apologies for messing up their lunch plans and thanks for sticking around for the match with Polgara. Once invited, Traynor enters with a trophy in hand if she won, noting that she couldn't leave it on the Normandy, as she had no room. As she looks around the apartment and marvels at its amenities, Traynor notices it is equipped with a hot tub when she gets to the second floor.
If Shepard and Traynor's relationship is platonic, Shepard allows her to use the tub as she indicates her wish to do so. Traynor dips into the hot tub alone while Shepard gives her privacy by talking from a distance and looking the other way. While relaxing she notes that the hot tub may be good for her sinuses and goes on to list the numerous medications she is on, eliciting a reaction from Shepard. If the Commander inquires after her health, Samantha reveals she is missing one medicine, sucrocapsunol, though Shepard informs her it's a placebo. Traynor is dismayed at the find though she quickly gets over it. If the Spectre expresses incredulity at her seeming hypochondria (but clarifies intent with a "no offense" disclaimer), she waves off the apology by downplaying her body's importance relative to her mind and shares that Horizon is poor enough gene therapy is used only for life-threatening conditions.
Traynor then asks for some scented bath oils and Shepard delivers it to her, prompting a remark about where Shepard's eyes are looking. Next, she asks for a loofah, to which Shepard replies that the apartment being previously Anderson's would not have one. Traynor then finds one in a bag with "girly stuff" belonging to "K. Sanders", and compliments the bag's owner for great taste in "adjustable massage wands."
If a female Shepard is romantically involved, the couple then bathe together in the tub. Shepard comments that Traynor is "very persuasive" as the Commander originally suggested going outside, and Traynor replies that at least she let Shepard take her clothes off this time, referring to their "game night" shower on the Normandy.
Shepard can dispute who's in control of who, and if so Traynor counters how the Spectre fell for the Specialist's deliberate wiles in the cabin. Shepard concedes the point and Traynor reminds her that she plays for keeps. If Shepard just praises how Traynor is being good to her, Samantha accepts the compliment and swims toward her lover. Shepard is last heard giggling in pleasure.
Traynor mingles with Shepard's friends during the big party. She hangs out with Liara by the kitchen at the beginning, gushing that she can't get over the apartment's size as the electric bill alone could've paid for her college tuition. If Garrus is around and asks about any "plans" afoot in the "Traynor-Shepard love nest", on a quiet setting she just talks about playing chess while in an energetic setting she talks about "spontaneity" and losing themselves in something before backtracking and just claiming to play chess. If Tali is around, she asks if people ever found it hard to understand Traynor's accent. Samantha wishes it were so; something about the English accent causes people to flirt with her even when she's not on Earth.
If Shepard checks up on them, Traynor voices her concern for the Normandy, asking if anyone else tried to steal it. If Kasumi is around she pops in to express interest at the idea before recloaking, leaving Samantha utterly bewildered. When someone in the group starts speaking fondly about the good times on the SR-2, Traynor humbly interjects that she's just honored to have squeaked in, and when the toast to the ship is brought up, if she's in a relationship with Shepard she also toasts falling in love with the ship's captain.
She shares later that she still feels like something of an outsider, given that her groupmates all had histories with Shepard. Everyone present gives their opinions on the matter, and Traynor remarks at the end that the experience must be something to look forward to. If Tali isn't around and Garrus is present, Samantha says she's heard the stories about Archangel, hoping to meet him someday. Garrus makes his presence known, and Traynor expresses her surprise by telling him James told her Archangel was some sort of "maid service" on Omega.
If Shepard checks up on her again, Samantha claims she's not particularly good at socializing, so if they're in a relationship Shepard proposes "one-on-one time" for later and Traynor responds by "checking her schedule." If they're not in a relationship, Shepard asks if she's not up for big parties. Samantha feels comfortable if she knows the people, but some of Shepard's friends are legends and she feels she can't just ingratiate herself in their presence. If Dr. Chakwas was recruited, Traynor is the one to put in the word for her absence, mouthing the doctor's apologies as she had some emergency consult on the Citadel. She did send some fancy liquor that was apparently consumed before Shepard tasted it, as Traynor wished the Commander could've had some.
At the party's second phase, Traynor will be at the upstairs lounge regardless of party setting; her companions, however, differ depending on the setting. In an energetic party, Samantha shares a couch with EDI, and EDI keeps asking about Traynor's unbridled lust for her voice for the sake of learning. Traynor is understandably embarrassed by this, unsuccessfully trying to divert the discussion. If Shepard checks in on them EDI brings the Commander up to speed, causing Shepard to glare at her lover in mock jealousy if they're together and Traynor in turn countering that they haven't even met yet. EDI brings up the sordid details of Traynor's obsession with her voice thanks to perfect machine recall, and Samantha keeps fumbling for excuses until EDI proves with scans that Traynor was genuinely aroused.
Left with no defenses against the Normandy's omnipresent AI, Traynor attempts to apologize for her behavior, though inadvertently confessing to more kinky details even EDI previously didn't know (Shepard actually wants to put those details into practice if in a relationship with Traynor). Samantha is mortified by the awkward conversation, though EDI assures her she need not be embarrassed, going so far as to provide her with extranet sites involving "romantic relationships between organics and synthetics." Traynor puts up a token protest, though she gives in by the end.
In a quiet setting for the second phase, though, Samantha still lounges by the upstairs couch but has Joker for company (and possibly the Virmire survivor as well). Joker and Traynor are still talking about her attraction to EDI's voice, and given that Joker is more physically closer to EDI now that she's had a real body, Traynor warns him to take good care of her. She also makes a point of being fine with AIs to begin with whereas Joker had to overcome his prejudices. If Samantha's in a relationship with Shepard, Joker counters that she's being pissy about it considering that circumstance, although if not, Joker just says there are other fish in the sea, but Traynor isn't willing to let that voice "feeling like smoky satin across the skin in soft candlelight" go easily.
If Shepard checks up on them and Ashley/Kaidan is around, Traynor claims to have heard the Virmire survivor's mishap from the previous occupant of EDI's body from Liara. Traynor says it's unfair to even bring it up; the Virmire survivor pointedly reminded them. If Shepard's her lover, Shepard steers the conversation by pointing out they got each other. Joker then butts in, using the excuse he's hammered to spill the open secret that Traynor has a thing for robots. Traynor threatens him initially, though when she learns a female Shepard is around 30% cybernetic her voice perks up in interest. Later, when Joker clarifies if they're never going to talk about what they discussed again, Samantha declares "absolutely not." When Joker is confused by the wording, she just tells him to shut up, clarifying her stance on it.
At an energetic party's final phase Samantha is dancing on the ground floor along with Cortez, clearly enjoying herself. She participates in identifying elements from the periodic table based on atomic number, though at "element 69" the humans around start sniggering while the aliens don't get it. She promises to explain to Tali what it means later, if she's around. Samantha claims to "love and treasure" Shepard when her lover starts to dance, though concedes that the Commander's moves are just terrible.
At a quiet party's final phase Samantha is either mixing drinks at the bar or preparing snacks at the kitchen's center aisle. If she's mixing drinks, she's confident at her ability to do so, as she reveals she worked at a bar to pay for university. She had a full scholarship, although she claims it didn't cover spa sessions, beauty supplies, or very expensive toothbrushes.
Traynor claims not to know dancing or crazy stunts, but fancy drinks are her forte. As testament to her capacious memory for bartending, she takes on the drink orders of everyone present in the party, always answering correctly when grilled about the ingredients.
If Traynor is assisting EDI in preparing food, they nitpick the amount of curry about to be added to the dish, with Traynor explaining it doesn't have to be exact because recipes adapt over time as tastes change or as foods are carried to new cultures. She later just admits she's allergic to curry. Much later, though, she does admit the dish EDI prepared tastes good, good enough to ignore getting a little sick from it.
The morning after the party, Samantha wakes up with Shepard if they were together, or can be found at the poker den contemplating never talking to EDI again as well as scanning the extranet for any embarrassing moments that may have been captured from last night and leaked. When the squad returns to the Normandy, Traynor speaks with Shepard if they're in a relationship, reassuring her that she will always find a way to save the day. She will also note that the war was not what she signed up for, but they had a good ride regardless, to which Shepard will agree.
At some point, Shepard will receive an email from Traynor with the subject heading "Game Night," where she will ask to come see the Commander during her off-duty hours. After reading the email, it will be possible for Shepard to invite Traynor to her cabin. Traynor will marvel Shepard's quarters, noting that they're larger than some apartments she's seen, and how Shepard has her own shower. Shepard will have the option of letting Traynor use her shower. Traynor is shown going into the bathroom, exclaiming how she feels "a week of stress" washing off of her, followed by several comments insinuating that she is interested in Shepard as something more than a commanding officer. At this point, Shepard has the option of joining Traynor, or simply remaining seated at her coffee table.
If Shepard pursues the romance with Traynor before going to the Citadel to meet with the various crew and potential love interests, it will "lock in" Traynor as the love interest, precluding the romance conversations with other crew.
While the fleets are mobilizing for the assault on Cronos Station, Traynor proceeds to Shepard's quarters. She claims the comm channels are currently full, and there's little else to do but wait. Shepard asks if she just wants to sneak in one last shower, and Samantha cheekily affirms it, though she's also offering up her company, one which Shepard can accept or refuse.
If Shepard takes it, she wakes up later with Samantha on her arms, unsettled after yet another nightmare. Traynor reminds her lover how terrified she was of everything and how Shepard stepped in to help her, and now Traynor is promising to return the favor. If Shepard doubts her ability to lead, Samantha counters that with someone else in charge she would be a terrible back-seat performer. If Shepard more openly second-guesses her efforts, Traynor uplifts her spirits by highlighting how smart and lucky she is before adding she also probably cheats. In any case, Traynor tells her to "suck it up" and cheers her on.
At some point near the endgame Traynor will mention to Shepard that she wants a house with a white picket fence, a dog, and two children. She soon dismisses this as a 'stupid joke' before Shepard tells her that it was a good idea. Traynor will then tell Shepard that she wasn't really joking, and that she wants these things with her, asking Shepard if she is taking notes. Afterward, Traynor will tell Shepard that she loves her.
If Shepard receives the "Game Night" email but locks in a different romantic partner before inviting Traynor to the cabin, then a different story unfolds: Traynor remarks on Shepard's posh facilities but does not take a shower. Instead she produces a chessboard and challenges Shepard to a game, which Traynor wins, telling Shepard that what works in real combat won't necessarily work in chess. She then offers a rematch, which Shepard accepts, and the scene fades out.
A male Shepard will still receive the "Game Night" email. Traynor will get to the cabin and will note that she got up there just to play chess. After the match, if Shepard tries to woo her, she will excuse herself, hinting that the commander isn't "her type". She will also joke on how she can tell everyone that she not only beat Shepard at chess, but also broke his heart.
If Shepard activates the Crucible, Traynor survives to pay her respect at the Normandy's memorial wall along with the other crew, having the honor of placing her lover's name above that of David Anderson's on the wall. If Shepard destroyed the Reapers and succeeded to bring most of the galaxy's assets to bear, Samantha refrains from placing her name. Otherwise, Traynor proceeds in anguish. If Shepard merged organic and synthetic life, Traynor will be the one to hug EDI at the end.
- Samantha Traynor is the only openly lesbian character in the original Mass Effect trilogy.
- Traynor's voice actress, Alix Wilton Regan, is noted for playing various roles in Dragon Age: Origins, the most notable of which is the role of Ser Cauthrien. Also, she is noted to have voiced Mhairi and Ser Tamra in Dragon Age: Awakening, and various roles in Dragon Age II. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, she provides one of the available voices for the female Inquisitor.
- After Priority: Rannoch, if Shepard is romancing Traynor and talks to her, Traynor will tell Shepard to sweet talk her all she wants, but "I still won't feed your fish", a nod to becoming friends with Kelly Chambers, thus having her feed your fish in Mass Effect 2.
- Traynor's Kepesh-Yakshi rival's name, Polgara T'Suzsa, may be a reference to the chess player Susan Polgar.
- If Traynor was romanced, during the party, Joker jokingly insinuates to Shepard about Traynor's apparent robosexuality given the Comm Specialist's comments towards EDI, and that Traynor might check if Shepard's back lights up during sex. This is likely a reference to the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, which had human-looking machines called Cylons whose backs glowed red during sex. Tricia Helfer, EDI's voice actress, starred in that series as a Cylon.