|“||You do not know the privilege of being a mother. There is power in creation. To shape a life… turn it toward happiness or despair….||„|
|~ Matriarch Benezia|
|“||Good night, Little Wing, I will see you again with the dawn.||„|
|~ A dying Benezia to her daughter, Liara.|
Matriarch Benezia is the secondary antagonist in Mass Effect. She is a powerful Asari biotic who is the second-in-command to Saren Arterius.
She is voiced by Marina Sirtis.
Benezia is likely to have lived for almost a millennium, due to her Matriarch status, who is renowned and revered as a teacher of religion and philosophy. She has a pure-blood daughter who will become a member of Commander Shepard's squad and a Prothean scientific expert, Dr. Liara T'Soni.
According to Liara, Benezia feels that the asari should have a greater role in shaping galactic events and that her favorite color is yellow because she wore clothes of that color. She soon becomes an executor of rogue turian Spectre Saren Arterius and a fellow investor for genetics engineering and biotechnology corporation Binary Helix.
Like Saren, Benezia is under the "indoctrination" brainwashing effects of Sovereign. She is also the mother of Liara T'Soni, who can be recruited as a squad member either earlier or later in the game. Liara was concieved with a fellow asari as the father, which is looked down upon in asari culture; it would eventually be revealed that Benezia's partner was Matriarch Aethyta.
On the planet Noveria, Matriarch Benezia has managed to resurrect the Rachni, an evil race of insect creatures that went extinct long ago, by cloning them from an ancient Rachni egg. The cloned Rachni Queen that they created is located in the same laboratory room where Benezia is fought.
During combat, she is accompanied by the Geth and a group of Asari commandos, and used her powerful psychic abilities to form an invisible barrier around herself. After depleting the barrier by killing Benezia's henchmen, she is confronted directly by Shepard and the squad. Here, Benezia explains how Saren has brainwashed her and briefly resists the indoctrination to give Shepard the coordinates of the Mu Relay, before becoming hostile again. Before dying, she begs Shepard to stop Saren.
Once Benezia is dead, the final matter of business is to take care of the Rachni queen. The Queen telepathically begs Shepard to spare her and promises to raise the new Rachni to be peaceful, and the player gets to choose whether to let the Queen go or kill her by filling her tank with acid. It is implied that the previous Rachni had actually been under the indoctrination effects of the Reapers.
Mass Effect 3
If Shepard chooses to nudge Liara into speaking with Aethyta and overhears their conversations at Apollo's Cafe on the Citadel's Presidium Commons, it is discovered that Benezia and Aethyta were together for a hundred years until they began disagreeing over what path the asari should take; Benezia wished to do things the smart way but Aethyta simply desired to fight.
After the failed mission on Thessia, during which Liara discovers that her own government hid a Prothean beacon, which is the source for the asari civilization's advancements, she wonders whether her mother was involved in the cover-up and believes that her career choice to study the Protheans as "such a joke". However, EDI suggests that her mother was motivated by a desire to protect Liara from the fallout if this comes to light, and Liara thanks EDI.
- Benezia's last name is never revealed, but being Liara's mother, her surname may also be T'Soni; however, asari appear to discard their surname when they become matriarchs.
- Benezia calls Liara "Little Wing" just before she dies. This could be a nod to Counselor Deanna Troi, played by Benezia's voice actress Marina Sirtis on Star Trek: The Next Generation, as Troi's mother Lwaxana always called her "Little One" (much to Counselor Troi's chagrin).
- If you speak to Mira in the Peak 15 hot labs and ask her about survivors before Tartakovsky dies, she may mention that 'Lady Benezia' is still on the operations deck (instead of Tartakovsky).
Mercenaries and other Criminals