Romancing Mass Effect 2’s Drell Assassin isn’t easy, and it promises to leave female Shepards heartbroken, but Thane Krios is a worthy romance option.

One of Mass Effect’s most groundbreaking features was the intimate bonds Commander Shepard formed with their squadmates. From the outside looking in, finding romance throughout the course of the Reaper invasion seems like the last thing anyone would be thinking about. The fact of the matter is that when the very nature of existence stands threatened, the more the hero has to fight for, the stronger they’re going to be when it comes down to that final battle.

When Drell assassin Thane Krios was introduced in Mass Effect 2 as a possible romance for a female Shepard, it seemed at first that a man who’d offered up his body to the Hanar as a carefully honed weapon over the years would be incapable of love. On the contrary, Thane proved relatively quickly after meeting Shepard that even though he had spent the years of his life as a weapon, beneath his cold exterior beat a warm, compassionate and spiritual heart in need of reawakening.

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The Complications

Choosing to romance Thane is an emotional gamble that promises intimate doom right from the start. Upon first meeting Thane after tracking him through Dantius Towers in pursuit of his assassination target, Nassana Dantius, Thane reveals to Shepard that he is sick and dying. After convincing him to follow through the Omega 4 Relay to take down the Collectors, Thane offers his services for free and joins Shepard on the Normandy SR-2.

In early conversations with Thane, he explains that though Keprel’s Syndrome, the Drell-specific disease destroying his body, isn’t communicable, it will eventually kill him. Doctors have only given him months to live, which is a huge red flag for a Shepard looking for a future. However, as Thane and Shepard continue to talk, he reveals a spiritual and thoughtful side that makes it nearly impossible to resist him. As their conversations become more intimate, Shepard even has a dialogue option that says, “I can’t love a dying man,” but those who fall for the Drell assassin tend to ignore that easy out.

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Thane’s Loyalty Mission

Most Shepards are surprised to learn that despite spending the years of his life as a Hanar killing tool, Thane was also a family man who the Hanar released him from their service so he could focus on his family. However, Thane had no other skills and had to contract himself out to support his wife and son. His actions eventually drew attention to them, and his wife, Irikah, was murdered in an attempt to get to him.

After Irikah’s death, Thane went into a state of battle sleep, his soul disconnecting from his body as he mercilessly tracked and torturously killed her murderers. He left their young son, Kolyat, to the care of his aunts and uncles, never returning for fear of tainting the only good thing he ever brought into the world.

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Kolyat grew up bitter and resentful. In an effort to prove himself worthy of his assassin father, he took a contract on the Citadel to assassinate a human-hating Turian politician. Thane sought Shepard’s aid in stopping his son from making the biggest mistake of his life, and only after completing that mission successfully could the romance fully blossom.


After Shepard helped Thane save Kolyat, Thane confessed that he’d been fortunate in life to have already met one Siha and never imagined he would meet a second. When Shepard asks him to explain the meaning of that word, Thane eventually explains that Siha are the warrior angels of the mother goddess, Arashu. Fierce protectors, these Siha put their very lives on the line to protect the innocent around them.

Entering into a romance prompts Thane to refer to Shepard as Siha for the remainder of their interactions.

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Be Alive With Me Tonight

To unlock the intimate moment between them, Shepard needs to tell Thane that she’s worried about him when he barges into her quarters feeling anxious and afraid. This provokes the confession from him about all the preparations and atonements he made to meet his death, but after meeting and falling in love with her, he suddenly finds himself afraid to die, and that shames him. Shepard touches his face and says, “Thane, be alive with me tonight.”

The memory of that moment carries into Mass Effect 3, where, despite making it through the Omega 4 relay and back after taking out the Collectors, Thane finds himself a resident patient of Huerta Memorial Hospital. His Keprel’s Syndrome has drawn him even closer to his inevitable death, and though he’s disconcerted that he will die in a hospital rather than the field, he’s resigned to his fate.

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There is no escaping his death for Shepard, as Thane comes face to face with the assassin, Kai Leng, who runs him through with a sword. Though Thane survived the attack, by the time Shepard got to the hospital, he was on death’s doorstep, and there was nothing to be done to save him. In his final moments, he, Kolyat and Shepard recite a prayer wish to the goddess Kalahira, in which Thane asks the Mistress of Inscrutable Depths to guide and watch over Shepard. He promises to meet her across the sea when her time comes, and Shepard promises he won’t be alone for long.

In the final battle with the Reapers, a Shepard who romances no one else in the third game races toward her end, memories of Thane guiding her to a death she can’t escape.

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