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This page is about the Book-icon-simple.png books character. For the TV incarnation, see Chrisjen Avasarala (TV).
Book-icon-simple.png Books character Tv icon.png TV character

Chrisjen Avasarala was the United Nations Deputy Undersecretary of Executive Administration, working under Sadavir Errinwright, the Undersecretary of Executive Administration in the Office of Secretary-General Esteban Sorrento-Gillis.


She is an Indian woman with gray hair. At the time of her first appearance, she is in her seventies and is frequently identified by the sari, which is a standard part of her wardrobe.



She is married to Arjun; together they have a daughter named Ashanti with two children of her own, Kiki and Suri, and they had a son named Charanpal who died as a teenager.

Avasarala has a background as the treasurer of the Workers Provident Fund and the district governor of the Maharashtra-Karnataka-Goa Communal Interest Zone.

The Churn[]

As the circumstances of The Churn were being carried out by security officers in Baltimore, an Indian spokeswoman for the government appeared on news feeds. It is believed this woman was Avasarala.

Ganymede Incident[]

After the events of the Ganymede incident, Chrisjen attends a meeting with Admiral Nguyễn, Admiral Souther, General Adiki-Sandoval, General Nettleford and Mike Agee on whether they should accept a meeting with Martian Congressional Republic. She tells them to find a way to make it work, as she leaves with her personal assistant Soren Cottwald. On their way back to her office she tells him to essentially spy on Admiral Nguyễn. Once back at her office she has a call with her boss Sadavir Errinwright. She fills him in on the meeting and the status of Venus from a report by Michael-Jon de Uturbé. Afterwards she calls her husband, Arjun telling him she'll be late.[1]

Later, Avasarala is reading a report on Venus during lunch when Soren informs her of Admiral Nguyễn position of being in charge of the Martian delegation. After lunch Soren gives her background on Jules-Pierre Mao, of Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile with whom she's about to have a meeting. During the meeting she tries to pry any information from him that he may have left out about Venus during the hearings of Protogen. However Jules-Pierre maintains a cool professionalism and denies knowing anything else. After her meeting Soren gives her a report informing her that a surveillance team has been following James Holden since he and his crew landed on Ganymede. She then informs them to continue to follow him until he tries to leave and then detain him.[2]

Later, while at her home visiting with her grandchildren she receives a call from Gloria Tannenbaum who informs her that Admiral Nguyen is quietly sending more ships to Ganymede. Once she learns this she immediately begins to dismantle the small fleet bringing it to one medical support ship, a transport, and a small gunship. She gives this report to Errinwright tells her to keep focused on Venus and the Martian peace talks.[3]

Later, Avasarala gives a debrief to Secretary-General Esteban Sorrento-Gillis that Errinwright attends. Afterwards, Errinwright gives Avasarala a blank check on anything she needs to resolve the activity on Venus knowing that the talks between Earth and Mars are at a deadlock. After the meeting she realizes it's too late to go back home so realizing she'll be staying in the VIP quarters for the night she decides to have a drink in the Dasihari Lounge. There she sees Martian Marine Gunnery Sergeant Bobbie Draper. Both tells the other that their side had nothing to do with the monster on Ganymede. Avarasala then offers Bobbie a job as her liaison to the Martian Military. After returning to her room and getting a shower she receives a call from Ameer with U.N. intelligence alerting her of Holden's actions on Ganymede. She immediately orders him to be brought in.[4]

The next morning, Bobbie's first day with her, she hands over everything the U.N. has on the incident and tells her to read it all that day. Early the following morning Avarsala calls Errinwright and a few generals and admirals to her office[5]

Bobbie offers her resignation on the grounds that the two governments are at war and that she expected to be recalled to duty soon and wants the paperwork in place. Avasarala rejects it.[6]

Draper discovered that Avasarala's personal assistant Soren Cottwald was part of a conspiracy involving Avasarala's boss, Sadavir Errinwright. After following him to a clandestine lunchtime meeting, Bobbie discovers that Soren is secretly sending information to Admiral Augusto Nguyễn and lets him know she'll turn him in to Avasarala[7]

Soren attempts preemptively to discredit Bobbie as a fraud but, unconvincing, he is fired and relegated to "basic". Avasarala realizes that the person she had most trusted was working against her and managing any access to information.[8]

Errinwright and Jules-Pierre Mao conspire to cripple Chrisjen Avasarala by putting her on the slow-moving yacht from Luna to Ganymede, the Guanshiyin.[9] Bobbie Draper initially protests declaring this a trap; however, Chrisjen Avasarala recognizes what it is but also shares with Bobbie what the political ramifications of refusing would be.[8] Despite many reservations, accompanied with a UN security team headed by Cotyar, the two agree to go .[10] Avasarala is able to get Bobbie's Martian power armor aboard with assistance from Michael-Jon.[11]

In addition to the limiting factors of distance and speed, the restricted access to communication were mechanisms to hinder Avasarala's actions to dismantle the nefarious plot of Errinwright, Mao, and Nguyễn.[12] Gathering evidence of this is what authorizes Bobbie to take control of Guanshiyin.

Bobbie Draper finds Julie Mao's racing pinnace Razorback aboard Jules-Pierre Mao's ship[13] and uses it to transport both of them to meet the Rocinante on the way to Jovian moon Io.[14] This changes the risk profile of Admiral Nguyễn's fleet attack James Holden's crew.

Avasarala ensures that all are aware of her presence aboard the Rocinante by making a video press release with Naomi's help. In the process, she clears Prax's name.[14]

Martian Navy easily agrees to attack the UN fleet led by Admiral Augusto Nguyễn when Avasarala authorizes it for threatening the safety of herself as the UN Undersecretary aboard the Rocinante.[15]

When Admiral Nguyễn launches protomolecule hybrids toward Mars[16] but has one hit his own vessel, the Agatha King, the Razorback that Bobbie and Avasarala is what Holden uses to board and acquire transponder activation codes.[17]

After it was discovered that Errinwright had worked covertly with Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile in creating an army of human-protomolecule hybrid soldiers, he was forced to retire, and Avasarala took over his job as Undersecretary.

This gave her control over, among other branches of the UN, the economic planning council, the public health service and the committee on financial regulation.

The Ring[]

Undersecretary Avasarala was reportedly instrumental in Nancy Gao's election as secretary-general, beating the incumbent Esteban Sorrento-Gillis, something that very few people knew about.

After the rings opened and the United Nations granted Royal Charter Energy the charter to settle and explore New Terra, the planet had already been colonized by Ganymede refugee squatters. Avasarala, together with Fred Johnson of the OPA, sent Jim Holden to mediate between the two parties.

This was actually part of a political strategy to discourage a massive exodus from the solar system, especially Mars. Although Mars is a military superpower, the planet itself is hostile and its settlements are subterranean, losing all its inhabitants to other prosperous planets would greatly upset the political and military balance of the inner planets.

Attack on Earth[]

Bobbie Draper reveals to Alex Kamal that Avasarala gave Julie Mao's Razorback to her[18], so that the gunnery sergeant and the pilot have it available to investigate the brief transponder signal at the Hungaria asteroid cluster near Mars.

Amos Burton, the engineer aboard the Rocinante, at the end of his visit to Baltimore, where he attends to affairs of his foster mom Lydia, requests information from Chrisjen Avasarala to locate Clarissa Mao at the pit. He calls Avasarala "Chrissie" which she scolds him for but seems to enjoy.[19]

As the Free Navy plot unfolds, Bobbie and Alex find themselves an MCRN ship with Captain Choudhary in command. The ship is the transport for Martian Prime Minister Nathan Smith. Choudhary reveals a daring plan to use the Razorback to escape with the prime minister. He implies that it would be Alex and Bobbie to be sent on the mission to the PM's rendez-vous on Luna. When the rogue MCRN frigates controlled by the Free Navy and loyal to Marco Inaros begin boarding MCR PM Nate Smith's ship, Alex and Bobbie manage the frantic escape with the Prime Minister on the way to meet Chrisjen Avasarala at Luna. To defend themselves, they have missiles keyed to follow the Razorback's targeting laser.[20]

Following the devastation of Earth by artificial meteors, Avasarala was appointed as the interim Secretary-General of the United Nations. She established a temporary UN headquarters on Luna in an effort to coordinate recovery efforts for Earth, and to deal with the implications of the new Free Navy.

As Bobbie and Alex make their way with Martian PM Nate Smith toward Luna for the rendez-vous with Avasarala, the UN Secretary-General communicates with Bobbie regarding the investigation at this point. Bobbie is in a position of committing treason by sharing new information with a foreign government, while the head of state for her own government is in earshot. She hesitates, but realizing the situation, Chrisjen coaxes Nate to release Bobbie allowing her to reveal what she knows.[21]

As Amos and Clarissa approach Luna on a ship they commandeered to escape from the ruins of Earth, he contacts Avasarala for clearance to dock. After doing so, he convinces Avasarala to instruct the inspectors to bypass the ship with clear implication that Clarissa would be aboard and that'd create an incident. This allows Amos to sneak Clarissa aboard the Rocinante.[22]

Holden consults with Avasarala to learn how to address the OPA faction leaders in a summit to ally against Marco Inaros' Free Navy.

Avasarala is retired but she appears aboard People's Home to advise and counsel Transport Union President Camina Drummer.

She reveals valuable intelligence that she has gathered about Winston Duarte and her hidden communication channels to Medina. She lets Drummer know that Laconia is searching for Elvi Okoye.

By 51XTE, Chrisjen Avasarala had passed away from old age. Funeral arrangements were made for her on Earth, before High Consul Duarte intervened and had her body shipped to Laconia for a state funeral[23].

Memorable Quotes[]

  • "My life has been a single, constant realization that I haven't been cynical enough!"
  • "Good to see you too. Call me that again and I'll have an officer beat you gently with a cattle prod."
  • "You aren’t going to fuck up the whole solar system just because you’re a one-trick pony. We have bigger fish to fry."
  • "He’s using the outsider speech. That man’s asshole must be tight enough right now to bend space."
  • "For fuck's sake, Holden, I have crates of anti-herpes drugs that are more legitimately UN Navy than you are."
  • "If Fred is showing this to you, Holden, know that your home planet appreciates your service. Also try not to put your dick in this. It’s fucked enough already.”


  • The authors have said in an interview with the "Imaginary Worlds" podcast that the character of Avasarala was inspired and derived from former presidential chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.[24]


  1. Caliban's War, Chapter 5
  2. Caliban's War, Chapter 9
  3. Caliban's War, Chapter 12
  4. Caliban's War, Chapter 18
  5. Caliban's War, Chapter 20
  6. Caliban's War, Chapter 23
  7. Caliban's War, Chapter 25
  8. 8.0 8.1 Caliban's War, Chapter 28
  9. Caliban's War, Chapters 28, 30, & 35
  10. Caliban's War, Chapter 30
  11. Caliban's War, Chapters 28 & 30
  12. Caliban's War, Chapter 37
  13. Caliban's War, Chapter 38
  14. 14.0 14.1 Caliban's War, Chapter 41
  15. Caliban's War, Chapter 43
  16. Caliban's War, Chapter 48
  17. Caliban's War, Chapter 49
  18. Nemesis Games, Chapter 15
  19. Nemesis Games, Chapter 45
  20. Nemesis Games, Chapter 31
  21. Nemesis Games, Chapter 37
  22. Nemesis Games, Chapter 50
  23. Tiamat's Wrath, Prologue: Holden