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Niles Pottinger is the provisional mayor of Defiance, appointed by the Earth Republic after Datak Tarr murdered one of her high ranking members. He has an obsession with former mayor, Amanda Rosewater.


Pottinger went to boarding school with Connor Lang where he developed a crush on him. At the age of 15, Votans attacked the school and locked the students in a chapel. As the chapel filled with excrement and broken glass, Pottinger was held down and violated in an unspecified manner. Connor protected Pottinger and saved his life, turning a crush into an obsessive love.

Connor eventually moved to New York, and Pottinger followed him there, but Connor refused to see him. Not receiving the attention he wanted from Connor, he began to stalk people close to Connor, including his then-girlfriend, Amanda Rosewater.

One night, Pottinger followed Amanda into Central Park, where he held her to the ground and raped her. He whispered, "you're mine" into her ear, but she never saw his face. Amanda got away, aborted the pregnancy that resulted from the rape, and moved to the town of Defiance where she became mayor.

When the E-Rep took control of Defiance 10 years after Amanda left New York, Pottinger took the job of provisional mayor of Defiance to get closer to her.

Season 2[]

After becoming provisional mayor of Defiance, Niles sets out on a mission to win Amanda's affections. He offers her the job of Chief of Staff, which she refuses numerous times until she finally decides that having influence over the Earth Republic is better than being powerless. She becomes his advisor on policy.

Pottinger also secretly places cameras in her bedroom to spy on her. While watching the footage, he learns that she is an adreno user. He also discovers that she is sleeping with the Lawkeeper, Joshua Nolan, who has recently returned to Defiance. Pottinger becomes mildly jealous of Nolan, but is not willing to give up his fight for Amanda. Nolan laughs off Pottinger's attempt to start a love triangle with him, seeing his behavior as juvenile.

Pottinger orders Stahma Tarr to stop selling adreno, which forces Amanda to turn to him for her fix. While using Adreno together, Amanda confides in Pottinger that she was raped in New York and aborted her pregnancy. Pottinger is shocked to learn of the abortion, but Amanda was attempting to relate to him. She didn't want him to feel like he was alone; she has suffered much like he has.

Pottinger's next attempt to win over Amanda is an elaborate scheme involving creating a clone of her sister. He wanted to stage a reunion between Amanda and "her sister," but the cloned version of Kenya escapes and seeks Amanda out on her own. Amanda discovers that the clone is not really her sister, but she does not learn who cloned her.

Viceroy Mercado orders Pottinger to take Nolan ark hunting. Pottinger initially refuses, but Mercado insists Nolan is an expert ark hunter and won't take no for an answer, so Nolan and Pottinger head out into the woods together. Pottinger lies to Nolan by telling him that they're looking for a caeruleum core which served as a refueling station for the entire Votan fleet - an endless energy source that could change the world, but they're actually looking for a Gulanee transporter that crashed to Earth.

Pottinger is forced to sacrifice his bodyguard, a bioman named Churchill, in order to save the day. Although biomen are constructed beings, Pottinger compared the bioman he rescued during the war to the daughter Nolan rescued during the war, so he is giving up someone he loves. In Churchill's honor, Pottinger strikes the killing blow against the gulanee, but when he returns to Defiance Mercado is upset with Pottinger for not recovering the Gulanee transporter to use as a weapon.

When Amanda and Pottinger get trapped in a mine collapse, they huddle together in fear of death, and Pottinger kisses her while he still has a chance. She kisses him back, and then he confesses to her that he's "a monster" and that she has no idea the things he's done. Amanda isn't phased. She believes in giving everyone second chances, has seen a lot of bad people, and truly doesn't know the things he's done to her. Running low on oxygen, Pottinger asks Amanda to kill him so that she can save herself. He wants to do one good thing in his life, but Amanda refuses. Nolan has been racing to save Amanda, and he gets there in time to save them both.

As the season draws to a close, Pottinger manages to win Amanda's affection by seeming to behave nobly in a fight to stop a possessed Irisa from destroying the world. Yewll confesses to Amanda that she was forced to build an Indogene clone of Kenya for an unnamed individual in the Votanis Collective who wanted leverage over Amanda. Yewll protects Pottinger's identity and they both let Amanda think that Pottinger would nobly stopped Yewll from building the Kenya clone. This massive lie endears Amanda to Pottinger. She's starting to see him as heroic and self sacrificial after he took the blame for letting someone as dangerous as Irisa work as a deputy.

Amanda takes him to her room. Although we do not see them sleep together and a deleted scene shows they are interrupted before sleeping together, the episode implies they sleep together after the world is saved.

Although the world was saved, New York (the location of the Earth Republic Head Quarters) was destroyed, and the Earth Republic lost most of its power over North America. Nolan and Irisa are also presumed dead.

Season 3[]

Shortly after the fall of the Earth Republic, Pottinger leaves Defiance for New York with other members of the Earth Republic. He wants Amanda to join them, but she refuses. Between Nolan's supposed death, the fall of the earth republic, and the collapse of the mines, it seems their night together did not lead to the relationship Pottinger had hoped for. Amanda's mind is on other things.

On the way back to New York, Pottinger's group run into 30 people fleeing the disaster. These people believe they will be safe with the Earth Republic, but Pottinger "just went nuts" according to Samir Pandey, one of the survivors. Pottinger kills Viceroy Mercado and declares himself the new leader. People attempt to stop him from taking power, but many of them die.

Fearing further uprising, Pottinger forces Samir to wire a singularity bomb to his chest. If his heart stops beating, the bomb goes off, killing anyone near him. Pottinger then takes the survivors to Station Arrowhead, an EMC black site from the Pale wars that had been sealed since the 2020s. Ultimately, Samir is the only person Pottinger doesn't kill. Instead, he keeps Samir locked behind bars inside Station Arrowhead.

Nolan and Amanda discover Pottinger's whereabouts during a search for weaponry. He is now living with his four biomen: George, John, Paul, and Ringo. Pottinger sees Amanda's arrival as his opportunity to finally win her affections, so he sends Nolan away and instructs his biomen to lock Nolan up with Samir to keep him from getting in the way of his plan to seduce Amanda.

Amanda has no interest in Pottinger, and senses something strange and likely dangerous is going on. Pottinger tells her, "you're mine," just as he did when he raped her, causing Amanda to distance herself from him. When Pottinger steps out of the room, Amanda asks George to bring her to Nolan, but he refuses, and she gets increasingly worried about the situation.

Amanda pretends to go along with Pottinger's seduction so that she can get close enough to grab his gun. She points the gun at him and demands to see inside a padlocked room. Inside this room, she discovers that Pottinger has a shrine dedicated to her and Connor, including a sculpture of her head, and a variety of videos. He plays her one of the video files where she is doing drugs and sleeping with Nolan.

Disgusted and horrified by everything in the room, Amanda now has confirmation that he is her rapist, so she shoots and kills him. Amanda, Nolan, and Samir escape Station Arrowhead just before the singularity bomb destroys it.


  • The writers intended to kill Pottinger off at the end of season 2, but they decided to bring him back for season 3. He was supposed to commit suicide, but Jim Murray was enjoying his experience on the show, so they deleted that plot line from the finale of season 2. [1] Ultimately, he only appeared in one additional episode, where he died.


  1. Inside Defiance 213