Good GOD yes she is. I love so many characters from the Mass Effect universe (Kaidan is a SUPER close second, Ashley Williams, Doctor Chakwas, Eve…) but Miranda Lawson takes the cake.
In her thirty years, woman has seen and lived through some majorly fucked up shit, and she still comes out of all of it with heart and a general belief in goodness. She’s pragmatic, but not cynical. She protects herself, sometimes to her own detriment, but she grows out of her shell over the course of ME2.
She’s hyper-focused on perfectionism, but not because she wants to be perfect. All her life she’s been told she is, but she genuinely does not see herself that way. It’s all words in her ears of what she feels she has to live up to, so much that she develops an inferiority complex about herself as a person while still recognizing that she’s more capable than most. It’s such a clash in beliefs - because she knows she has worth, yet at the same time, she feels unworthy. She fights for everything she has because she feels she needs to earn it.
It can’t be easy knowing you were a test-tube baby grown for your perfection.
BioWare really missed a chance at a great character study with her relationship towards Grunt in the second game. There are a lot of parallels that would have been amazing to explore, because they’re very different people yet their origins are the same: bred for an ideal. Or rather, grown.
A lot of people dismiss her as a ‘cold bitch’ which is frankly horse poop because a man in her position would probably be praised. She’s logical, and does what needs to be done - sometimes ruthlessly so.
I love love love that she stands up to TIM, to Cerberus, at the end of ME2, and says they’re done. The organization that she went to bat for, because Cerberus helped her escaped the tyrannical hands of her father - and let her sister have a normal life. She’s loyal, but she’s not blind, and it’s fantastic. A lot of people harp on her for being so loyal to Cerberus in ME2, but looking at what they did for her, and that all of the projects she worked on weren’t the shitty, terrible projects Cerberus was known for, can we really blame her? But over the course of the game, she sees more of the bad side and makes that decision for herself.
Good god, what a decision it is. I think it’s one of the first decisions concerning her life, aside from her running away in the first place, that she really feels like she can own. It’s a defining moment for her character - and it’s a scary ass move. Dropping Cerberus drops their protection of not only her from her father, but her sister as well. Yet she lives on the run and makes it work, because she’s a survivor, and she’s discovering more of her own self worth as she forges her own path. No one in charge of her, no one dictating her every move. No one to report to but herself.
She’s fearless while still being afraid. She stands up even when it’s hard. She’s spent her whole life running, and by ME3 she’s finally ready to stop. To take control of her life and say no more. To protect not only the people she loves, but the people she’s never met. To fight against the organization that gave her a chance at life because that organization was no longer worthy of her loyalty.
Her story is one of reclaiming agency and discovering the ability to love yourself as you are, not as others perceive you. It’s about how even ‘perfect people’ aren’t perfect, and that imperfections are beautiful.
It would be so easy for Miranda, growing up as she did with Henry Lawson for a father - a man who only cared about his dynasty and isolated Miranda from practically everything, never showing her love or affection, never giving her approval - to have grown up cold and unfeeling. To have been unable to appreciate the meaning of love - but she didn’t. Her perceived coldness is a defense mechanism, undoubtedly because Henry Lawson rejected her own displays of affection towards him as a child. But she is far from cold.
Miranda is so warm inside, she’s burning. She burns like a blue star, bright and hot - but all people see is the blue, and blue is cold.