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“The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.”

Thane Krios is a drell assassin, rumored to be the most skilled in the galaxy. Unlike most assassins, who prefer to snipe their targets from a distance, Thane prefers to get up close and kill his target personally, utilizing a mixture of stealth, firearms, hand-to-hand combat and biotic abilities.

Despite his profession, Thane is a deeply spiritual man who prays for success in his missions. Thane asks for forgiveness after each kill, even going as far as to ignore those in his immediate vicinity until he is finished doing so. Thane is a possible romantic interest for a female Shepard.

Mass Effect: Foundation

Mass Effect: Foundation 8

No neck snaps were involved

Thane was present at the Citadel to render judgment upon the Cerberus agent named Rasa. He stalked his prey from afar and an opportunity presented itself when she walked into a bar. Thane had a spiked drink sent her way, and an unsuspecting Rasa quaffed it. He later claimed responsibility for the agent when she groggily stumbled out of the bar and ran afoul a turian cop who was holding her up for drunkenness.

At a deserted alley Thane drew his knife on a slumped and weakened Rasa, utterly prepared to use it. She was having a bad day before Thane ruined it further, and in her delirium confessed that she wasn't prepared to die there. Thane asked her why, and she simply replied she never lived her life.

Thane believed he did not see murder in Rasa's soul, and that he was misinformed of her purpose. He apologized for his actions and carried her off, offering a prayer to Kalahira to guide her through the dark and to show her how to live her life.

Days later, at the Illusive Man's sanctum, Thane's mugshot was already present on a dossier display of Shepard's prospective team.

Mass Effect: Foundation 12

Thane's physically demanding regimen

Thane was interviewed by Cerberus in their bid to assemble a team for Shepard. In response to the question if he could be compromised, he claimed that he was merely a tool of his employer. Conscience and guilt were never factors in his assignments, nor were judgments right or wrong, though the latter wasn't always true.

When Thane's assassin training began at age six, concepts like honor and free will meant little to him. He spent much time being molded into what the hanar needed him to be, often in the middle of demanding exercises like standing barechested on one foot on a pole with waves crashing all around.

His first kill at twelve was a human. Thane deemed it clumsy, crediting Arashu's grace as the only reason he was the one left standing. Over time he became proficient at killing, even to the point of taking on multiple close-range targets simultaneously. In his words, it was as if his soul had gone to sleep while his body carried on. This was the case until he met his future wife, Irikah.

Thane's first victim

Thane was sent to assassinate an old salarian war criminal. The salarian was just another target to him until a stranger came from nowhere and put herself in his line of fire. Irikah's intervention defied logic, and for the first time in Thane's life unfamiliar emotions surged through him: guilt, shame, regret.

He was unable to make the kill at the time, and for days he wandered aimlessly. He made up his mind to know more about the woman who would give her life to a stranger, stalking her like prey as per his training.

One day, thugs broke into Irikah's lab intending to destroy the place. Thane sneaked in and snapped the neck of one aggressor, sustaining a cut from another attacker in the act. Irikah smashed the attacker's head in the chaos, and in the aftermath guessed Thane wasn't one of them.

Thane's relationship with his son

Thane confessed to being the assassin Irikah foiled earlier. She was outraged and was about to call the lab's security when he knelt in front of her and laid out his reasons. Irikah devoted her life to saving others, and Thane wanted her to save him.

Despite their rocky first meeting, Thane and Irikah eventually grew close. Thane realized how long and deeply he sunk into battle sleep, as Irikah's presence made him feel alive for the first time. On one of their dates Irikah suggested that he was free to decide his own future, causing Thane to seriously consider a life with her.

Thane sought an audience with the hanar priest that was his handler, first citing his exemplary service as reason enough to be released from his Compact. When the hanar wasn't inclined to agree, Thane argued that their Enkindlers raised up the hanar to enable them to forge their own destinies. His handler warned him that not all were destined for happiness, but Thane was willing to take the chance. He was eventually granted his freedom with the hanar's blessing.

Thane returned to Irikah with the news and wed her in short order. He thought freedom would mean exactly as is, but as it turned out he felt a mixture of elation and uncertainty. Irikah gave him a coin that once belonged to her father, telling him to rub it whenever he felt restless.

A struggle to make ends meet

With no civilian experience, Thane took menial jobs. He was especially miffed at a krogan construction foreman who singled him out for some reason, musing he could've killed the krogan with a finger. With the birth of Kolyat, Thane thought he didn't know how to be a father, and was distant throughout his son's formative years. The struggle of normal life caught up with him, and he decided to freelance his assassin skills. Irikah supported him, as he knew she would.

Thane was mindful at first of staying close to his family, but his work inevitably took him farther and farther away from them. He felt his conscious mind slipping away from his body once more, and was content to let it.

One fatal mistake and Thane reverts to battle sleep

One of his jobs eventually had him cross paths with batarian slavers preying on hanar colonies. In retaliation for his kills, the remaining slavers paid the Shadow Broker for his identity. Thane mistook confidence for wisdom, and one day returned from a job to find his home trashed and Irikah dead.

One by one Thane hunted down the people responsible. His mind slipped into darkness and he disregarded his clean-kill approach for brutal torture. Eventually he learned the name of the final culprit, a goon named Stiv Kay.

Thane tracked Stiv down and prepared to snipe at him. His memories of Irikah blocking his scope came unbidden, but Thane pulled the trigger anyway. The target was still alive and managed to hurl final insults at him, and Thane put the man's words to the test.

He returned to his seaside home and thought the hanar priest was right all along. Thane tossed the coin Irikah gave him into the sea, vowing to follow the path he's given to its conclusion.

Mass Effect 2

For his gameplay attributes in Mass Effect 2, see Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 2)#Thane Krios.
Thane during mission downtime

Thane was born in 2146. At the age of six, his parents gave him to the hanar to be trained as an assassin, as part of the Compact between the two species. He made his first kill at twelve. He met his wife Irikah during an assassination, when she noticed the targeting laser on Thane's target and stepped in to block his shot. Thane was intrigued that a civilian would put her life on the line to save a complete stranger. According to the assassin, the memory "possessed" him and he felt compelled to seek Irikah out. Eventually the two fell in love.

The hanar released him from his compact to let him have a family, but with no other skills, Thane freelanced his services. Eventually Irikah gave birth to their son, Kolyat, and Thane worked very hard to keep his work and his family life separate. Unfortunately, being an assassin meant that Thane spent a lot of his time away from home, too much in fact, slowly growing apart from his family. Some time after Kolyat was ten years old, Irikah was murdered in revenge for a batarian mercenary leader whom Thane had killed. The mercenaries paid the Shadow Broker for his identity and killed Thane's wife because they were unwilling to face Thane himself. Thane traveled back to Kahje for Irikah's funeral and left Kolyat in the care of his aunts and uncles while he hunted down his wife's killers. Thane finished the job, killing everyone involved in his wife's murder. Thane notes that while he has always striven to kill his targets as quickly and cleanly as possible, he took extra time with them. He claims these murders are the only ones where he made the decision that they should be killed, and the only time emotions have affected his actions.

He is a highly spiritual drell

Commander Shepard first encounters Thane on Illium, where he had been based for the past two years, on a mission to assassinate Nassana Dantius. While Shepard talks with Nassana to discern the assassin's whereabouts, Thane drops from the ceiling and takes out Nassana's bodyguards before killing her with a pistol shot at point-blank range. Afterward he prays for himself. During later conversations with him, Thane tells Shepard that he hoped this mission would be his last, expecting that he would have been killed by Nassana's guards. He reveals he is slowly dying of a disease which is later revealed to be Kepral's Syndrome. He joins Shepard's suicide mission against the Collectors, perhaps hoping to die in the process, which he feels will redeem him from his past evils.

Thane is unusual among drell in that he follows the old polytheistic religion of his species rather than adopting those of the hanar or asari and spends much of his time in prayer and meditation, even within his work. To find a target, he prays to Amonkira, the lord of hunters; when defending another, he prays to Arashu, goddess of motherhood and protection; after taking a life, he prays to Kalahira, goddess of oceans and the afterlife.

If Shepard asks how Thane can reconcile his deep spirituality with a violent profession, he explains that the body and soul are seen as separate entities by his faith. Thane sees his body as merely a tool or vessel through which people can choose to commit an act of murder, similar to a gun.

While this philosophy spiritually absolves him of his crimes, that convenience is undermined by the eidetic memory native to his species; the ability to perfectly recall every single act of murder he committed over the years has weighed down on his conscience, thus Thane cannot help but to feel regret over his actions. This guilt, combined with an impending death, compels Thane to join Shepard's campaign against the Collectors as a gesture of penance.

If Shepard takes the time to chat with Thane regularly, he remarks that he barely spoke to anyone outside his family. He is solitary by nature and has few activities apart from work and reading, leading him to observe that there will be no one to mourn him when he dies. He appreciates the talks as he considers Shepard the only friend he's made in ten years.

En route to the Collector Base, should both Tali and Legion be with Shepard fighting the Oculus, and Kasumi Goto never joined the mission, Thane will appear in their place on the Normandy's engineering deck during the crash in the debris field.


See also: Thane: Sins of the Father

Thane shares his concerns of his son Kolyat to Shepard. Thane has learned that in spite of his efforts to prevent his son from following in his footsteps, Kolyat is preparing to take part in the assassination of a turian politician, Joram Talid, on the Citadel. Once aboard the Citadel, Thane and Shepard discover the intended target of the assassination and stop it. After Joram Talid is rescued or killed by Shepard, Thane reunites with his son and tries to earn his forgiveness. Completing the mission unlocks Thane's Shredder Ammo ability.


“Time for me is short, siha, but any I have is yours to take.”
Thane crying during his romance encounter

After successfully gaining Thane's loyalty, a female Shepard has the option to romance him. If pursued, he will affectionately refer to Shepard as "siha" for the rest of his conversations. Thane eventually reveals it as the name of "One of the warrior-angels of the goddess Arashu. Fierce in wrath. A tenacious protector." When Mordin notices Shepard's attraction to Thane, Shepard can ask him for advice regarding the drell. Mordin will advise her that human-drell romances are complex, as there is a chance of a rash with some itching and that oral contact may induce hallucinations. He offers medicinal remedies and information regarding positions comfortable for both species and details of erogenous zones. He also comments that Thane himself is "complex."

In visits to Thane in the Life Support room, he tells Shepard that he has never been involved with a member of a different species, but looks forward to the memories of the two of them figuring it out together. He will also tell Shepard that he would like to visit a desert and that he looks forward to spending some time relaxing after the mission is finished.

En route to the Omega 4 Relay, Thane comes to Shepard's quarters. While he is glad for the chance he has had to redeem himself and to reconnect with his son, he confesses he is not at peace. Although he has long known he would die, he tells Shepard he is now afraid of death, presumably because of their relationship and is ashamed that he is. Shepard comforts a crying Thane and before they begin a long, passionate kiss she says, "Thane... be alive with me tonight."

Should Shepard choose to receive Thane callously, she will comment on how he is just nervous about the upcoming battle. It has been so long since he had someone that the thought of losing them concerns him. Thane notes that he hadn't thought of that and thanks Shepard for informing him. This option avoids the romantic encounter.

Lair of the Shadow Broker

After completing Lair of the Shadow Broker, if Liara is allowed aboard the Normandy for a catch up, she will comment on how Shepard has spent "a few stolen months" with Thane and ask whether Shepard is fighting for him. Depending on the selected dialog option, Shepard will comment that Thane's condition is not bad yet, feeling concerned about the fact that she doesn't know how much longer the two have, at which point Liara reminds her that this is no different than is the case with any asari who is in a relationship with someone of a short-lived species (in comparison to asari standards), such as a human. Liara also recommends Shepard to make use of her time with Thane rather than dwelling on it, and wishes the two happiness regardless.

Mass Effect 3

“It's freeing to find no requirements placed on me. No responsibilities, no fears. It is a good end to a life.”

Thane resides at the Huerta Memorial Hospital located in the Citadel under the name Tannor Nuara. He is absent the first time Shepard visits the Citadel to visit Ashley/Kaidan in the hospital and to meet with the Council, but after Shepard rescues Primarch Victus from Menae and brings him aboard the Normandy, Thane will send Shepard an e-mail explaining he heard a rumor that the Normandy was docked at the Citadel, and he wants Shepard to come visit him at the hospital. If asked to be recruited, he will refuse, stating Shepard needs the best and his condition prevents him from performing. He elaborates by saying that his condition now requires daily medical treatment, and that would be impossible aboard the Normandy.

Thane being stabbed by Kai Leng

Thane is the one to first alert Shepard that something is amiss on the Citadel after the genophage cure has been dealt with. The Citadel is under attack from Cerberus and they're in control of the docks. Thane managed to elude them at the hospital, and he suspects that C-Sec headquarters may have been compromised. Shepard patches him in on the comm as the Commander lands on the Citadel to deal with the problem.

Later, Thane manages to sneak behind Kai Leng, the assassin sent to kill the salarian councilor. The two battle for a moment, with Thane keeping up despite his illness and even managing to throw off the assassin with biotics. However, Thane is stabbed through the stomach during the final part of the duel. Leng escapes and Shepard is able to call medical aid for the drell as he falls unconscious.

After the attack on the Citadel, he is rushed to the hospital for surgery. However, he is in the final stages of Kepral's syndrome, despite Kolyat donating blood for him. Shepard and Kolyat visit Thane during his final moments, reciting a drell prayer of redemption intended for Shepard before Thane passes away.

Thane's Prayer:

“Kalahira, mistress of inscrutable depths, I ask forgiveness.
Kalahira, whose waves wear down stone and sand--
Kalahira, wash the sins from this one,
and set him on the distant shore of the infinite spirit.”

Thane is wracked by pain, prompting Kolyat to continue the next two lines of the prayer. Thane remarks that Kolyat speaks as the priests do. Kolyat explains that he brought a prayer book, and asks the Commander to join him:

“Kalahira, this one's heart is pure,
but beset by wickedness and contention.
Guide this one to where the traveler never tires,
the lover never leaves, the hungry never starve.
Guide this one, Kalahira,
and s/he will be a companion to you as s/he was to me.”

A male Shepard asks Kolyat why Thane would ask for forgiveness when his final actions were that of a hero, and a female Shepard would ask why the last verse of the prayer said 'she'. Kolyat answers that the prayer was not for his father, who had already asked forgiveness for the lives he had taken. Thane's wish was for Shepard.

If Shepard chooses not to join Kolyat in prayer, then the prayer spoken will differ greatly.

Kolyat's Prayer:

“Kalahira, this one's heart is pure,
but beset by wickedness and contention.
Guide him to where all hunters return,
where all storms become still, where all stars show the path.
Guide him, Kalahira,
and he will be a companion to you as he was a father to me.”

Thane in his last moments, with Kolyat praying for him

Shepard says goodbye to Thane, telling him that he won't be alone for long. His name is later added to the memorial wall onboard the Normandy.

Much later, Shepard avenges Thane when fighting Kai Leng for the final time, running Leng through with an Omni-blade and saying, "that was for Thane, you son of a bitch."

Alternately, if Captain Kirrahe survived Virmire and Shepard did not talk to Thane before the attack, Kirrahe will be the one to save the salarian councilor and die in the process. However, even if Thane was not talked to before the attack, his name will still appear on the Normandy's memorial wall. If both Kirrahe and Thane died, Leng will be successful in the assassination.


“Siha, I'm afraid I've picked a bad time to leave.”

If Shepard romanced Thane, she can choose to interrupt him with a kiss upon greeting him. She can also ask to spend a little "private" time with him, resulting in a brief cut scene. After the first time, asking again will result in Thane's request that they continue conversing, rather than engaging in more "strenuous" activities. Pursuing this dialogue with him will not unlock the Paramour achievement.

When saying goodbye to Thane during his final moments in the hospital, instead of telling Thane that he won't be alone for long, she may tell him that she will "meet him across the sea." If Shepard has begun a romance with another person, she may still say "you won't be alone for long" even if she also behaved romantically with Thane up until this point.

After Thane dies, the letter from his Shadow Broker dossier will appear in Shepard's e-mail.

Mass Effect 3: Citadel

In memoriam

After Shepard participates in several encounters with other characters by inviting them to the apartment or meeting them on Silversun Strip, Kolyat emails Shepard with the message that the Council has requested him to hold a memorial service in honor of Thane. Shepard can then call Kolyat to the apartment and gather everyone who knew him there.

With a picture of Thane and some flowers propped up on the ground floor's piano, Shepard gives the opening speech then some of the gathered people share their thoughts and memories of Thane. Kolyat ends the service with a small speech of his own and a thanks to all who attended. When people start clearing out, Kolyat informs Shepard that he has been going through Thane's bequeathed possessions and has found three video messages that Kolyat has sent to Shepard's extranet address, but were intercepted while Shepard was incarcerated.

Thane on Shepard's big-screen bedroom TV

Shepard can then go to the main bedroom upstairs and use the flat screen to watch Thane's messages. The first message opens with Thane thanking Shepard for letting him leave the Normandy before the Alliance could interrogate him, then continuing to inform Shepard that he has rented an apartment not far from Kolyat's. After mentioning Kolyat, Thane begins to look worried and then expresses that he thinks his first attack from his Kepral's Syndrome worried his son. If romanced, he will second-guess whether he should have mentioned that, as he does not want Shepard to feel guilty that she can't be with him. He wishes Shepard good luck in getting the Alliance to listen to Shepard about the Reapers. If romanced, he also tells Shepard that he loves her.

The second message opens with Thane apologizing for not receiving Shepard's reply if there ever was one due to Thane living under the radar. He then talks about living as a model citizen to serve as an example for Kolyat, and succeeding. He ends the message with a request for Shepard to reply.

"Light the shade of her eyes. Shrill sound of chirping stops. I scan the ground, see two tiny bodies locked by claws--"

The third and final message opens with Thane informing Shepard that he had to use a false identity to get the message across. He then informs Shepard that he has good news and bad news. The good news was that he and Kolyat had taken a vacation to Earth, particularly at New Mexico. After saying so, he abruptly breaks into narration of another event: drell-style recollection of a beautiful sunset in New Mexico and a scorpion eating a cricket. He apologizes for that and delivers the bad news: he had fainted and struck his head during their outing. Kolyat convinced Thane to stay at Huerta Memorial Hospital after that. Thane expresses his preference of not dying in a hospital but then reasons that that's where the doctors are. He then says he loves Kolyat and says good-bye, explaining that he said so in case he would not be able to say it in the future, then ends the message.

If Thane was romanced, there will be a fourth message for Shepard. Thane says that once he had no reason to live, but suddenly had two: Shepard and Kolyat. This acknowledgement brings tears to Shepard's eyes. He wanted to tell his siha how he felt sooner, but because of Shepard's circumstance back on Earth and Kolyat taking much of his time, he must compose it as a message.

The ghost of Thane beside Shepard

Thane narrates the time that he and Shepard spent right before the Suicide Mission. Thane said that he "cannot forget her", for that is what humans say. With the drell, the feeling is called tu-fira ("lost in another"). The condition can consume them. Thane tells Shepard that in case she feels the same way when he's gone, she made his life better. Shepard, Kolyat, and even the Suicide Mission gave him a purpose. Before Thane closes the message, he tells her that they are all alive and when they are not, he will wait for her across the sea.

The morning after the party while the rest of the crew starts boarding the Normandy, Shepard continues to look out at the ship from the Docking Bay. If Shepard has no other love interest who stops for a final word with her, Thane's spirit walks up to her, telling her that he is glad that she was able to have the time to celebrate. Shepard responds that she wished Thane was with her. Thane tells her that he will always be with her and he will never trade the time he had with her. He then says it was a good fight; Shepard smiles, saying it was a great fight. Thane tells her to finish it and when she goes to the sea, he "will be waiting for her at the shore." As Shepard turns to return to the Normandy, Thane's spirit has disappeared from the scene.


  • Thane was the first Mass Effect 2 squadmate to be revealed by BioWare in early 2009.
    • Along with Miranda, Thane is one of the "poster" characters for Mass Effect 2 and appears on most of the promotional art and demo footage, and in several trailers.
    • In one of the trailers Thane was shown using "Pull field", but in game he doesn't have this power.
  • "Thane Krios" appears to be an amalgamation of Indo-European terms.
    • Thane may be named for the historical Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon term used to describe either a high-ranking nobleman or a class of retainer. His name may also be derived from Thanatos, the Greek personification of death (as well as the Greek word for death) as well as the namesake of the "death drive" in post-Freudian thought.
    • Krios (Κριός, IPA kriːós) is the Greek word for the constellation Aries, as well as the name of one of the Titan gods in Greek mythology. In modern Greek, it also means male sheep or battering ram. Τhe word Κρύος (IPA krʉ́os) is the Greek masculine adjective for cold.
    • Early in development, Thane's name was "Krios Than". Mac Walters eventually changed it to its present form.[1]
  • Thane's loyalty achievement is called "Cat's in the Cradle", which is a reference to a song by Harry Chapin. It's about a father who can't spend time with his son because of work, until the father deeply regrets not being able to spend time with his son, but ironically now the son has no time to spend for his father.
  • When listening to the advertisement "booth" between the game store and the rapid transit terminal on level 28 of the Zakera Ward at the Citadel while Thane is in the squad, the advertisement refers to him as "Sere Krios."
  • According to early design notes and concept art made for Thane, his character was conceived as a cross between an exotic fish and a bird of paradise. It is also noted that Thane was originally designed with three metal earrings on the ridge on the right side of his head, but these did not make it into his final model for Mass Effect 2 and were instead incorporated into Thane's alternate outfit in the Alternate Appearance Pack 1 DLC.[2]
  • Thane's outfit was made available for purchase via the Xbox LIVE Avatar Marketplace at a price of US $3.99.
  • Thane may have been intended as a bisexual romance option, as indicated by unused in-game audio.
  • When asked about the state of Rakhana, Thane's response includes a line likely derived from Thomas Hobbes' most famous work, commonly referred to as Leviathan.
  • When Thane is asked how he feels about killing, he will respond that he is "merely the weapon" which his employers use to kill. This is similar to the philosophy of HK-47, an assassin droid companion in BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
  • One of the early character pitches compares Thane's background with assassin Martin Blank's in Grosse Point Blank.[1]
  • During the romance lock-in dialogue in Mass Effect 2, Thane speaks about Irikah, something he never shared with anyone until Shepard. The lock-in response was paraphrased as "I'm here for you", which inadvertently led people who aren't interested in romancing Thane to go down that path and people who were interested to be locked out. As the game was months away from shipping, the particular scene was already locked, and original writer Chris L'Etoile has already left the project, writer Patrick Weekes redid the paraphrase to be more direct and unambiguous: "I want you, Thane." [3]
  • Thane's Kepral's Syndrome was initially conceptualized as curable, but considerations with the setting's medical tech discouraged the notion. Writers Mac Walters and Chris Hepler pitched the idea the Reapers may have the cure and maybe Cerberus or someone else would use it to trap Shepard, but it also didn't pan out due to project scope limitations. Ultimately, Thane became a reminder of mortality's inevitability. [4]

See also