River Tam

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Name: River Tam
Occupation: Fugitive/psychic
Relationships: Brother Simon Tam
Fandom: Firefly, Serenity
Other: Played by actor Summer Glau
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

River Tam is a main character in the TV series Firefly, and the film Serenity.


"Also, I can kill you with my brain."

River Tam is a core-born child prodigy who escaped from an abusive institution (posing as an academy for gifted children) with the help of her brother, Simon. Aboard the Serenity, a Firefly-class spaceship, River is revealed to have gained extensive weapons/combat skills during her time at the academy, and become a "reader" (psychic), but suffers severe mental instability.


This article or section needs expansion.

A common fan reaction to the character is summed up by this xkcd cartoon, whose final caption has since been used for meta and fan videos.


Person Ship Name
Jayne Cobb River/Jayne Rayne
Malcolm Reynolds Mal/River
Simon Tam Simon/River Crazy Space Incest
Kaylee Frye Kaylee/River
Inara Serra Inara/River

AO3 has a small but notable collection of fics for the crossover pairing of her and Riddick of The Chronicles of Riddick.

She is a popular character in Firefly crossovers, especially with other shows produced by Joss Whedon, such as Buffy where she is often cast as a Slayer, and with other shows Summer Glau has appeared in such as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Some Fanworks



Archives & Links