|Books character||TV character|
Ashford was raised in the Belt, and is widely famed for his long career as one of the best pirates in the Belt, for which he earned the monicker "The Ghost Knife of Callisto". At some point in his life, Ashford had a daughter, but she died in a fire that also left the right side of Ashford's body heavily scarred with burns. Ashford personally witnessed his daughter's death, and it has heavily affected him, and his view of war and violence overall.
Closely aligned with the Anderson Dawes faction of the OPA, he was given the rank of Commander in an attempt to formalize the OPA Navy- and thereby make it appear more legitimate- and was also said to be responsible for designing the "work in progress" navy uniforms. In his new position as a commander, he was shown to have become acquainted with Diogo Harari.
Throughout the series
In "Delta-V", Ashford boards the newly christened OPAS Behemoth, alongside several other Belters (including Diogo Harari) sent by Anderson Dawes. Meeting with Captain Drummer, he announces that he has been sent to act as her first officer and second in command, with intent that his allegiance to Dawes' faction of the OPA will help balance out Drummer and the majority of the Behemoth crew's allegiance to Fred Johnson's faction.
At the command deck, he briefly clashes with a member of Drummer's crew, based on old grievances. He admits to Drummer he believes he should be the one in command, but concedes that it is now a matter of "politics and perception", and is happy to serve under her. When Drummer decides to discourage the crew of the Behemoth from taking narcotics (after one skiff pilot dies) by spacing a main supplier of Pixie dust, Ashford discourages her. He tells her that if they and the newly established "Belter state" want to be treated as equals by the United Nations and Martian Congressional Republic they must treat people with and abide by the rule of law. Drummer reluctantly relents, and instead forces the workers to place any narcotic material they have in the airlock, for it to be spaced at a later time.
In "It Reaches Out", Ashford brings a bottle of liquor along with three glasses to toast on the belter kid opening the gate with Camina and Naomi. Later, when the Seung Un is blown up by Melba Koh and the fake massage blaming Holden for it is broadcasted, Ashford, to the horror of Naomi, brings in the corollary that they must fire on the Rocinante immediately to clearly show the other factions that Holden was not speaking in their name.
In "Intransigence", Ashford tells Naomi, that according his information, the Rocinante was not destroyed by the Behemoth's missile and that he is glad about that.
In "Dandelion Sky", Ashford complains about Drummer letting their Chief Engineer Naomi leave the ship.
In "Fallen World", when the speed limit in the Slow Zone changes again due to the actions of Bobbie's team on the Ring Station, Ashford and Drummer are pinned by a shifting excavator. After Drummer nearly crushes herself with the excavator in order to free at least one of the command staff, Ashford takes command of the Behemoth. Knowing that the only way for the flotilla's many injured to survive is the Behemoth's ability to create spin gravity, he orders to spin up the ship's enormous colony drum.
In "Congregation", when Holden is brought to the Behemoth, Ashford is questioning him about what happened on the Ring Station. After Holden tells him about his visions, Ashford concludes that Holden is insane. When Naomi returns to the Behemoth, Ashford orders her to repair the ship's grid in exchange to see her visiting Holden in the brig. Later, on proposal of the science officer of the Thomas Prince, Ashford agrees to nuke a skiff close to the Ring Station to research the outcome. When consequently the Ring Station starts generating magnetic pulses like a railgun charging up, Ashford remembers Holden's statement about his vision: "They burned whole solar systems like they were trying to cauterize a wound." This brings him to the belief, that the must destroy the Ring.
In "Abaddon's Gate", Ashford believes the best action during the slow zone incident is to destroy the Ring from within, which would strand everyone still in the slow zone. Not factored into his decision is this very attempt would also trigger a supernova of Sol. In turn, this action would end up killing all humans within the solar system, the very thing his plan is meant to prevent. Amos, Alex, Anna and Monica Stuart manage to convince the rest of the flotilla to follow Holden's advice to shut down all of the ships' fusion reactors. When Holden and Naomi surrender and plead to him, Ashford orders their execution and attempts to fire the tight beam communications array turned laser cannon. At that moment, having a change of heart, Clarissa unleashes on Ashford and manages to force a reactor shutdown.
In "New Terra", Onboard the OPAS Tynan, Klaes Ashford is escorting the Sol Gate bound UN freighter Amberjack, when belter pirates threaten the ship to take their supplies. When the pirate ship tries to escape, Ashford is able to target lock their drives and disable the engines. The Pirates however dump their core but Ashford is able to capture one of the pirates. When onboard, Ashford questions the Belter pirate about who is ignoring the truce treaty. The Belter questions his Belter loyalty and dies. When Ashford is en route to entering the Sol Ring, he is late in giving the access code to pass the Ring blockade Zone. Once back on board Medina Station, Captain Drummer confronts Ashford for agitating inners. He however, is unhappy having to be protecting their ships. Drummer argues the importance of the treaty for the Belt and to trust his gut. Ashford questions this with what happen during the Slow zone incident but Drummer says they only got out thanks to Holden even when Ashford thought he was a madman.
In "Jetsam", Ashford is with Drummer investigating the disappearance of the colony ship Sojourner and the spaced crew that floated into the Ring space. Ashford speculates that supplies on colony ships were the target and their vulnerability made it possible. He also sees this incident as some Belters sending a message against peace. When the UN share their data on the possible Belters behind the Sojourner, Ashford sees them as weak and needing the OPA. Afterward, he tries to decrypt the nav logs of the wreck of the belter pirates. Through some investigation, Ashford is able to discover that Marco Inaros is behind the disappearance of the Sojourner. Knowing how charismatic Marco is, Drummer and him decide to put a bounty on Inaros.
In "Retrograde", Onboard the Tynan in the Belt, Ashford, Drummer, and other OPA faction leaders captured Marco. When he is alone with him, Ashford says that things have changed with the Rings, but Marco says the Belt need those colony ship supplies and not inyalowda. Ashford states the Belt doesn't have the ships but Marco says he shouldn't be sure with Mars not being the same anymore. Then Marco is placed in an airlock but is able to argue for his release. When the different OPA factions vote on it, Ashford votes for Marco to be spaced but the others including Drummer vote against it. Afterwards, Ashford says it a mistake to release Inaros and speculates he is planning something.
In "Displacement", Ashford questions the Tripoli captain Vats on everyone on Ilus going silent. Then when Vats is ordered to stays in the Ring Space by UN fleet command based on the Sojourner being used by Marco Inaros. Ashford argues they don't need them, and then tells Drummer they will be watching Medina. They then plan on investigating the last tightbeam the Sojourner sent. Later Ashford watches a video of him wih is baby son as he sings to him. Drummer then contacts him to say that a Martian helped Marco in coding the Sojourners tightbeam and that the Pizzouza is invloved. He then mentions that the ship should be tracked and watched. When they do track the ship, Marco is on the ship and Ashford states it would be difficult for them to capture him.
In "The One-Eyed Man", Ashford welcomes Fred Johnson onboard Medina Station when Drummer punches him for getting many Belters killed on the Pizzouza when he leaked Marco's location to the UN. When Johnson says its the right move, Ashford says the other factions would have backed them doing it instead of the Earthers. Instead he claims it will only lead to more Belters to back Marco. Ashford then sides with Drummer in saying her vote in letting Marco go was the right call but says everyone has enough blame ot go around. When Drummer quits her position, Ashford later meets with her and states that Medina is important for the future for Belters. It however will need one without violence and instead the need peace with the inners. Then he tells her he plans to hunt down Marco to kill him. When he offers her the postion of his XO, Drummer declines.
In "Cibola Burn", Ashford is onboard the Tynon tracking the whereabouts of Marco near some asteroids. Then he goes and checks a Martian Prisoner, Arum Lee, who is being tortured by one of his men Jorge Sohiro. When he stops him and tells him to leave, Ashford interrogates Lee about Marco not being where he would be and what Martian military technology was he supplying him. Ashford then tells him Marco will unleashindiscriminate violence that will kill both sides and that inners and Belters need to come together. Lee however doesn't know where Marco is and doesn't care. Then Ashford tracks down Marco's Ship and discovers Marco had taken an asteroid with him to plan an attack. When he goes to interrogate Lee, he discovers that when he escaped and killed Jorge which causes his brother Victor Sohiro kills Lee.
Later, Ashford uses breaching pods to board Marco's ship. During the Boarding he manages to take out most of the guards but loses Victor and another one of his crew. He however manages to get to Marco and disarm him but then Marco's son Filip Inaros surprises Ashford and causes him to surrender. Ashford is then placed into an airlock by Marco, where he activates a recording to get Marco to admit he's planning on throwing rocks at Tycho or Ceres. Marco questions Ashford for not seeing what he's planning with his asteroids and tells him to die. In his final moments, Ashford sings the Ballad of Captain Kidd as he floats into space where he dies. At that moment his recording of Marco is sent to someone to warn them.
Ashford is proud, resilient and resourceful. A seasoned fighter, renowned former pirate and traditional Belter, Ashford has an independent spirit and a fierce determination. He has embraced the difficult life of the Belt and deeply loves his culture, but he also believes that Belters need to progress past some of their more brutal and, in his mind, uncivilized traditions, such as spacing people as punishment for crimes.
Ashford is brave, loyal, and highly intelligent, as he was quickly able to figure out how to use Medina Station's drum to create artificial gravity, or use minimal evidence to deduce Marco Inaros' plans to coat asteroids with stealth technology. On the other hand, his determination can make him stubborn and unwilling to listen to others, and his heroics can sometimes make him shortsighted.
Throughout his extensive career as a pirate, Ashford has seen and caused a lot of death, but has acquired a wisdom through his long life, as he tells Drummer that all the violence he caused was futile and that the Belt's future must be built through peace and cooperation. Ashford is, at heart, an idealist, who feels that strength and might must be combined with kindness and understanding, and believes that humanity can create a positive, inclusive future if they work hard enough to achieve it. However, as pointed out by Drummer, Ashford can't entirely remove the Belter spirit from himself, as he admitted that he would enjoy watching Marco Inaros's "pretty face floating outside the airlock".
|1 "Fight or Flight"||Absent|
|3 "Assured Destruction"||Absent|
|5 "Triple Point"||Absent|
|8 "It Reaches Out"||Appears|
|10 "Dandelion Sky"||Appears|
|11 "Fallen World"||Appears|
|13 "Abaddon's Gate"||Appears|
|1 "New Terra"||Appears|
|7 "A Shot in The Dark"||Absent|
|8 "The One-Eyed Man"||Appears|
|10 "Cibola Burn"||Appears|
- The adaptation of the third novel in the series, Abaddon's Gate, was greatly abbreviated to fit within 7 episodes. It was anticipated that Syfy would not be renewing the show and the creators wanted to ensure that the story closed with a reasonable conclusion as opposed to a cliffhanger.
- Many of the character traits and plot points were redistributed among the characters.
- Sam has in general been replaced by Camina Drummer in the TV series overall. Naomi Nagata took on many of Sam's engineering responsibilities and served as chief engineer.
- Parts of the the Slow Zone Incident with Ashford were de-emphasized and many of the events in the book will be condensed. The recommendation that the Behemoth fire on the Rocinante was given by Ashford to Drummer as opposed to Bull and Michio Pa to Ashford.