Inara, born in the late 25th century on Sihnon, is a Companion, a high-society courtesan licensed by the Union of Allied Planets (the "Alliance"). In Alliance society, Companions are part of the social elite, often accompanying the wealthy and powerful. They have considerable ritual and ceremony surrounding their services, which appear to extend beyond sex to nurturing psychological and emotional well-being.
Inara was a rising member of Companion House Madrassa, possibly in contention for house priestess, when she suddenly and inexplicably left to travel the outer rim. She has suggested that she "wanted to see the universe".
Less than a year before the events of "Serenity", she contracted with Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, captain of spaceship Serenity, to lease one of its shuttles for transportation, living space, and workspace. This provides Inara with some mobility independent of Serenity, and Malcolm with some respectability that helps him open doors in the marketplace that he might not otherwise achieve as an ordinary smuggler. Though earning his disfavor initially by stating that she supported unification of the Alliance and the Independents, she and Mal have developed an unacknowledged attraction to each other which they resist, ostensibly for business reasons, and practically by jesting and sometimes hurtful bickering.
Inara has a number of frequent clients throughout the Allied worlds, and takes both male and female clients, although most of her clients are male.
Notable Crew-mates Edit
- Her trade as a Companion is a source of constant tension between the two, with Mal often making derogatory references to her profession during their arguments. However, Mal does treat her with a reasonable amount of courtesy and takes great offense when she is insulted (despite often insulting her himself, as she points out), leading to a duel with one of her clients, which almost resulted in Mal's death.
- Kaylee Frye
- She is often a mothering figure to Kaylee. She braids Kaylee's hair and interprets her feelings for Simon, as well as going shopping together when Serenity is docked and she doesn't have a client scheduled.