Kira Nerys, the fiery officer from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is one of the my favorite characters of all time. I think it’s because she has so much going on — so many interesting contradictions within herself, which actually fit together to create someone totally unique and realistic. We’re all just a big old bag of seeming contradictions, right?
Kira is a former freedom fighter with the Bajoran Militia, who now lives in a more regimented world. She sometimes has to work with people she once called her enemy. She’s also deeply religious, passionate, and compassionate. She honors Captain Sisko not only as her commanding officer, but also as a religion figure. She sometimes has a temper. She is incredibly opinionated, and fights for what she believes in. She’s also selfless — to the point of carrying her friends’ baby, so they could fulfill their dream of having a family.
That’s probably my favorite thing about her: That she’s centered enough to enjoy something like that as a unique life experience, despite it being difficult. I have a habit of overreacting to things and wanting to control everything. But at the end of the day, life is going to throw curveballs, and Kira has an amazing way of catching them instead of dodging them. They’re what make life interesting, after all. And Kira’s life is definitely interesting.
I especially love that she falls in love, more than once. She never loses herself in these relationships — it’s more like she embraces that as an important aspect of her life, as a growing experience… and then often she moves on. It’s always fascinating to me to see a character go through multiple relationships, to see how they change from them but also remain true to their core. Kira definitely does that, and I also appreciate seeing her softer, vulnerable side in moments alone with her lovers.
Though it can be a struggle for her, she is also able to see things from different angles. The hardest example is having to work with Cardassians — the aliens who, not so long ago, occupied her planet and subjugated her people — which proves that she can let go of the past without forgetting it. She also butts heads with a certain figurehead in her own religion, with whom she consistently disagrees (and who just drives her nuts).
Her biggest romance is more proof of her open-mindedness. She ends up with someone who seems to be her opposite in many ways — Odo, a misunderstood, lone wolf shapeshifter. She is not only curious about him, she makes an effort to give him the space he needs to shapeshift. I love how his gruff demeanor plays against her more hot-blooded personality, and how she loves him just the way he is.
Overall, it’s Kira’s passion for life that inspires me. She can be very heated about things she cares about — yet she is also able to draw from her spirituality and innate sense of empathy to achieve balance. It’s a reminder not to be so self-centered all the time, but to fight for the people I care about and the causes I believe it.