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CogGear (1)
Samuel Dray Byrne
Biographical information
Date of birth

14 B.E. (age 31)[1]

Physical description
  • Lieutenant[1]
  • Sergeant (former)[1]
  • Corporal[1]
  • Private First Class (former)[2]
  • Private (former)[2]





6'1 ft. (1.85 meters)[1]

  • COG Armor
  • Communications earpiece
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter
Hair color


Eye color


Chronological and political information
Notable Facts

Coalition of Ordered Governments

"Got a light?"
— Samuel D. Byrne

Lieutenant Samuel Dray "Sam" Byrne ES was Gear commando in the COG Army, the son of a Kashkuri named Natalya and Tyran-Gorasni Gear Agustin Byrne, half brother of Sgt.Samuel K. Byrne making him the cousin of Samantha Byrne. Renowned as a hero of the Locust War, and convicted "traitor" after the Battle of Corren, which both earned him the Embry Star, the COG's highest military award, and cost him his career. Like most of humanity, Byrne saw everything change after Emergence Day. He joined the COG Army two years later and fought bravely for thirteen years until the aftermath of the battle in the ruins of Corren City when he was accused of "dereliction of duty" and sentenced to 27 years in Jacinto Maximum Security Prison. After being incarcerated for one grueling year, he was released by his longtime friend, Lena Gallo.


Early lifeEdit

Samuel Dray Byrne, born to a Kashkuri woman named Natalya and a biracial Tyran-Gorasni Gear soldier named Agustin Byrne, who was the brother of Sgt.Samuel K. Byrne, whom he was named after. Born at Anvegad in Kashkur, but raised in Tyrus, Sam experienced a typical childhood up until his twelfth birthday when he learned his parents were splitting up. Though they never got a divorce, his mother moved to Ephyra with Sam and his father would pick him up whenever he was on leave from the army. While living with his mother he attended Allfathers Youth Academy.[2]

Emergence Day and innocence lostEdit

On Emergence Day, Byrne was with his mother at her work in the city at Halvo Bay. When his mother tried to get him to safety he watched as his mother died when an Emergence hole opened directly beneath her, she only had time to say, 'I love you,' before falling to her apparent death, and a Locust rising in her place. Byrne was only saved by his quick reflexes when he grabbed his mother's Snub pistol and killed the grub before escaping to his father's homein Ephyra with the help of several other civilians including Lena Gallo, his friend from school.[2]

First Years After E-DayEdit

"I'm gonna kill 'em all, Dad. Soon as I'm old enough to enlist. […] I'm going. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it. I will be a Gear."
— Sam arguing with his father over becoming a Gear

Joining the ArmyEdit

At the age of sixteen he forged a permission slip from his father allowing him to join the Coalition of Ordered Government's army early, against his father's wishes and after completing basic training was shipped out to fight the Locust Horde.


Five years into war he was serving at the Fall of Landown as a member of Torrent Company's Sierra-One until it was obvious they were losing and he retreated with Sgt.Hudson Conners, though preferred to keep his name out of the newspaper, not wanting to be seen as a coward in the public's eyes.

Commando trainingEdit

"Heh, heh. Smells like a garayaz. [...] 'Heap of shit' in Gorasni."
— PFC.Byrne, to Pvt.Cadman Jenson after he asked him what a dead Locust smelled like

Sam volunteeredfor commando training, and was assigned to the 501st Special Tactics Group, and he realized how much he loved being a Gear again. He was put into a commando training group with his friend Pvt.Cadman Jenson, and they and several other commando trainees were taught survival techniques by Sgt.Mila Kunis at a barracks in Corren City. During one class, she showed them how to snap the neck a chicken and cook it. The others were disturbed by this, feeling uneasy about having to kill an animal that was not doing them any harm but Sam had no problem saying it was probably better to kill and prepare your own meal. She told them that they could do this, and that the chicken didn't feel any pain when they snapped its neck. After watching Kunis kill her chicken, Sam broke his chicken's neck. As he got ready to prepare it, he kept checking to make sure it was really dead by twisting its head, but Kunis told him get to work on plucking and gutting it, since it would be the only lunch he would be receiving that day. He gutted and cooked it, and then sat with Jenson around a campfire and talked with him about why killing it had been so easy. Sam just shrugged saying "it just was."

On LeaveEdit

"Have a drink with me, Sarge. We're on leave, let's enjoy it while lasts."
— Sam convincing Sgt.Kunis to have a drink with him

Not long after, Sam finished his commando training and received twenty days leave, and he caught the first train he could to Jacinto City to see his father. He arrived at his father's home in the afternoon, trying to surprise his old man. When he saw his father for the first time in a year, he noticed the man was now walking with a slight limp having suffered a bullet to the leg during his last tour, the older man told him not to concern himself with it. Sam changed the subject and told him about his leave, and showed him his commando knife. Agustin smiled and told Sam how proud he was of him despite not initially wanting him to become a Gear. Later that night Sam went to The Rusty Nail for a drink, an hour later he offered a drink to his commando trainer Sgt. Kunis, she accepted saying "I hope you know I can drink you under the table," to which Sam responded "We'll see". After lengthy conversation and a few drinks Kunis paid the bill and grabbing his hand escorted Byrne to a hotel room she had been staying in. The two had sex and Kunis told him her first name—something few knew—and insisted their 'intimate encounter' was a one-time thing and that they both had needs that were met, disgruntled Sam told her he actually lovedher, and kissed her square on the lips. Surprised, she kissed back and the pair made love again, and fell asleep. They spent the rest of their leave together and when they deployed Kunis made sure Byrne was assigned to her commando squad an act they both would come to appreciate.

Lost loveEdit

"Everything you say to me, takes me one step closer to the edge. You're lucky I don't kill you, right here, right now."
— Byrne threatens Major Harris after Kunis's death

After about a year later, Cpl.Byrne, Kunis and the rest of her squad participated in the evacuation of Autrin, while they retained heavy COG losses and civilian life, Major Harris insisted on the squad recover valuable documents from a government building, reluctantly they did as ordered until they were ambushed by Locust General Marr and his forces. In the ensuing skirmish Byrne's entire squad was wiped out but he managed to defeat the remaining Locust, recover their COG tags and the documents before returning to Harris. Upon seeing him, Sam entered a frenzy of rage and fury, brutally beating him with his bare fist and scolding him until he was finally arrested for assaulting a superior by his fellow Gears. He was held in a cell for three days before anyone came for him, as it turned out it was his father LtCol.Agustin Byrne, Sam apologized for embarrassing the family but Agustin rebutted the apology saying he only did what he thought would have been fair, "an eye for an eye". Agustin apologized for Sam's loss, but he couldn't condone his son's behavior (at least not outwardly) and demoted his son back to Private with deep regret.

The next night Sam tearfully laid Mila's COG tags to rest atop a makeshift headstone with her name carved in it.

Offered a "reward"Edit


Jilane birthing creche where Sam met Alex Brand

Thirteen years after E-Day and two months after the battle in the ruins of Corren City, Cpl.Byrne was awarded an Embry Star for his efforts on the battlefield against the Locust. He was taken to the Jilane birthing farm and presented to a young seventeen-year-old girl with red hair. When Sam asked what the place was as he hardly paid attention to government concerns and issues, the Warden of the facility simply answered "paradise" with a grin Sam wouldn't forget. Sam took the girl into one of the many rooms that accommodated Gear "visitors", but attacked him when they were alone with a swift punch to his jaw. After regaining himself he calmed her and told her he wasn't trying to get a "reward" from her, he asked her what the place was and who she was; she revealed herself to be Alex Brand and that the place was a decorated soldier's playground, government-sanctioned rape. Disgusted, Sam punched a small hole in the wall and told Alex that she could leave with him if she wanted, she declined but gave him a kiss on the cheek saying she couldn't leave the other women.[3]

Trial and Imprisonment Edit

Sam was court-martialed for assaulting the warden and failure to "cooperate" with facility's procedures. He was sentenced to 27 years imprisonment at Jacinto Maximum Security Prison, where he was prisoner number 073862-GX, and where gained his fleur-de-lis tattoo. [3]

The Lightmass OffensiveEdit

ArmoredGears 1

Samuel (right) and another Gear during the Lightmass Offensive

Freedom from The SlabEdit

"Welcome back to the army, soldier.
"When do we kill some grubs?
— Lena Gallo and Sam, upon boarding a King Raven after leaving the Slab

Dealing with Stranded Edit

"Shit, you Gears are just fucking walking Locust magnets."
"Nah, just me, I think they know I want to kill their queen mother.
— Jackson and Sam

Operation: Hollow StormEdit

Six months after the Lightmass bombing, Sam and Cpl.Hobbs were stationed as guards for Pomeroy Depot, but were quickly overrun by the Locust and fell back with the wounded to Jacinto Med. [3]

Separated and new companionEdit

Looking for his motherEdit

Hanover supply runEdit


Samuel at Anvil Gate before going to Hanover


"Shit, shit, shit, shit!"
— Sam awaking to see his squadmates being executed by Savage Locust and Wretches

After crash landing in Hanover and seeing his squad being executed by Savage Locust, Byrne managed to kill the executioners and escape to a Stranded outpost near the Cougars Stadium but was soon kicked out, after striking a man who felt up Lena, and was forced to seek refuge elsewhere, eventually coming across a Stranded group living in a warehouse. Their leader, a woman named Alex invited them inside before any Locust or Lambent show up.

Spending the night with LenaEdit
"I don't want you to love me because I saved your life."
"I've loved you since we were kids.
— Sam, to Lena

Desperate StandEdit
"Your short history has been of rugged people surmounting to difficult odds. Never have the odds been so great or the future uncertain, but today is your chapter, your tale. Generations yet born will look upon this battle with pride and wonder. I will not lie, the risks are great. The threat is all too real, but I would stand beside any of you proudly as we face our destiny on the field of battle. This is our day, our valiant chance to free Hanover. Who will fight beside me?"
— Sam delivering a speech prior to the battle of Hanover

Sam was a charismatic soldier, being able to rally the Hanover Warehouse stranded against the Locust and Lambent

"Come with us. I'll—we'll miss you. I mean we fought well together and we'd like to fight together again."
"You had us at 'come with', armored wonder.
— Sam and Alex, convincing a few Stranded to join Echo-One

Retaking AzuraEdit

"I hate to say it but if this is another Hollow Storm, I say we put our all into taking these bastards out."
— Sam on retaking Azura and wiping out the Locust and Lambent

Earning a tomorrowEdit

"We did it? We did it! We finally fucking won."
"Now what do we do?"
"For starters... *kisses* We can watch the sunrise.
Lena and Sam, after retaking Azura

Helping out the StrandedEdit

"And they said I'd never make officer."
— Sam, to Lena after being promoted

Shortly after the end of the Locust War and Lambent Pandemic, Sam was given an unused journal by Lena and told to corroborate the stories of COG and his ventures throughout the war. He began with recounting his views of Operation: Hollow Storm, the Battle of Corren, his imprisonment, release, and finished with his promotion to Lieutenant.[3] Two weeks later Byrne and rest of Echo-One were given orders to help any Stranded rebuild.[3]

Personality and traitsEdit

Byrne's most defining traits were his immense size, his short hair, and his slight addiction to cigarettes, along with COG Crimson Omen and fleur-de-lis tattoos on his shoulders. While not quite cynical, he was an intelligent man with no delusions about life and war. Byrne was also a friendly person, as evidenced from his interactions with Maya and Brian Olivas, and hints that he did care for the rookies' safety.[3]

Though he served loyally as COG Gear, he did hold a bit of hostility toward the higher-ups and the Brass for their hand in the birthing creche.[3]

Notable QuotesEdit

"That's one ugly motherfucker!"
— Sam after seeing a Hydra
"This is where the fun begins."
— Sam's usual optimistic phrase before a day-time battle
"Lena, you just made my day."
— Sam to Lena after she showed him the COG base's armory
"Some times death is all you can see; it's all around you, it consumes you. So you have to look it in the eye and say fuck you."
— Sam, to Anthony Hatley, after killing his mother
"I was just a kid, an angry, grief-stricken seventeen-year-old boy who wanted revenge on the Locust for taking my mother from me. Defied my father to do it. He almost disowned me for it, but in the end, vengeance seemed like a just cause for me to continue on the family's militant line."
— Sam, to a group of Stranded on why he joined the COG




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Gears of War: Last Stand
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Gears of War: Dark Times
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Gears of War: Diaries

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