|“|| Theo: "Really? You really need me to remind you that getting captured by the Ghost Riders isn't gonna help you save your friends?"|
Liam: "We're both getting caught. You can do it while you're running-- I'm going down fighting."
Liam Dunbar is a former supporting character and a current main character in the fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons of MTV's Teen Wolf. Though Liam originally attended Devenford Preparatory Academy, he was expelled at the end of his first semester of freshman year, which required him to transfer to Beacon Hills High School, where he went on to join the lacrosse team. It was through lacrosse that Liam met Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinski, particularly when the former saved his life after a Wendigo named Sean Walcott threw him off of the roof of the hospital. However, to do so, Scott had to give Liam the Bite, and he ended up successfully surviving the process to become a Beta Werewolf.
The transformation initially terrified him due to fear that his parents would find out and look at him like he was a monster, but Scott eventually convinced him that being a Werewolf and being a monster were very different things. Liam later proved to be an exceptionally strong Werewolf despite being a newly-bitten Beta, but the anger that made him so much stronger also made it much harder for him to control his transformations. Even still, after over half a year of practice and training, Liam has become a very proficient Werewolf, though he still has difficulty controlling himself on full moons, especially during supermoons.
After Season 4 and throughout Season 5, Liam grew closer to all of the members of his new pack, especially Scott and Stiles, but he was initially afraid to confess his new supernatural identity to his best friend Mason Hewitt. However, Liam eventually overcame this fear after he was forced to shift in front of him, and he was relieved when Mason accepted his confession with excitement and joy. The two then helped the McCall Pack deal with the Dread Doctors and their newly-created Chimeras, but unbeknownst to anyone, Theo Raeken, a Chimera masquerading as a true Werewolf who claimed to have returned to Beacon Hills after a long absence to join Scott's pack, was actually manipulating all of the members to turn against Scott, Liam included.
When Liam's girlfriend Hayden Romero was near death due to a mercury overdose and Scott refused to give her the Bite out of fear of killing her, Theo used the anger Liam already felt and the effects of the impending supermoon to convince him to kill Scott so that he could become an Alpha, and give Hayden the Bite himself; Liam was too overwhelmed with anger and grief to realize that Theo needed Liam, as Scott's only bitten Beta, to kill Scott and steal his powers so that Theo could then kill Liam and take the powers for himself. Though Liam's attempt to kill Scott failed, the two were estranged for some time before they finally reconciled after both realized the extent to which Theo had manipulated everyone. Ever since Liam's relationships with Scott and the pack at large are stronger than ever, and they were able to defeat the Dread Doctors, Sebastien Valet/the Beast of Gevaudan, and Theo himself as a team.
In Season 6, Liam became even more involved in the supernatural world, as his Alpha and close friend Scott would soon be leaving for college, forcing him to step up in preparation to take up the leadership of the pack in his absence. Despite his insecurity, he learned a lot about what it takes to be an Alpha and successfully defeated a Hellhound in one-on-one combat, all while suffering from the effects of the Anuk-ite's fear-inducement powers. He has since become an essential member of the pack as he prepares for his own graduation from high school.
Little is known about Liam's very early life, including the names of his biological parents. However, it is known that Liam was raised by his mother and step-father, a Harvard-educated doctor at Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital named Dr. Geyer, and he battled significant anger issues in his childhood. ("Muted") According to Liam, his step-father told him that children deal with anger in one of two ways: by hurting themselves, or by hurting someone else. ("Orphaned") Liam typically dealt with his anger by hitting things, thereby hurting himself, but also occasionally took his anger out on others by getting into physical fights. However, when he started his freshman year at Devenford Prep, his lacrosse coach benched him for getting too many red cards, and Liam was so overwhelmed with rage that he destroyed his coach's car with a crow bar and carved "THIS IS YOUR FAULT" across the side. ("The Benefactor (Episode)"
This reaction got him expelled from school and sent to a psychologist for an evaluation. The psychologist diagnosed Liam with intermittent explosive disorder, otherwise known as I.E.D., and prescribed him Risperdal to manage the symptoms. However, the medication caused Liam to be so tired that he couldn't play lacrosse, one of his few outlets for his anger, and he eventually quit taking it completely. Afterward, Liam enrolled at Beacon Hills High School for his second semester of freshman year, just in time for lacrosse try-outs. ("I.E.D.")
When Liam was in sixth grade, he got into a fist-fight in the hallway of his school with another male student. Hayden Romero had the misfortune of walking into the hall at the wrong time and accidentally got punched in the face by Liam, who broke her nose in the process. Furious at Liam, Hayden punched him in the face and broke his nose to get back at them. Unfortunately for both of them, this fight occurred on school picture day, and both Hayden and Liam had to have their picture taken with black eyes and taped-up noses, causing the two to develop a rivalry that lasted until their sophomore year of high school. ("Parasomnia"), ("Required Reading") Liam also seemingly had a rivalry with Brett Talbot, a fellow lacrosse player, that almost bordered on bullying, but the two repaired their friendship when Liam transferred to Beacon Hills High School and became a Werewolf. ("Triggers"), ("I.E.D."), ("A Promise to the Dead"), ("Superposition")
Throughout Teen Wolf
In Memory Lost, Liam and Hayden are left stranded on the side of a road after a flat tire leaves them without a ride, Hayden makes fun of his 'new' ride, saying they should've taken her car. A new problem arises when Liam doesn't have a jack to lift the SUV, she lifts it for him, Liam then says that he doesn't have a spare tire, they laugh while recalling all their past terrible dates. Liam suggests that their current date just might be the best one yet, then they kissing. They watch as the Northern lights fill the sky above, a car is seen slowly driving down the road towards them, in an attempt to flag down the car, they discover that the vehicle is empty, upon further investigation, Liam discovers that the windshield has been destroyed and the passenger side door is missing. Inside the vehicle, a boy is hiding in the backseat, he shouts, "Don’t let them take me. Don’t let them take me too."
At school the following day, the two are seen kissing on a bench, then attending class. Teaching the class is a new teacher, Mr. Douglas, their current lesson being "Schrödinger's cat". Mason informs Liam that the geo-location on his phone isn't working, explaining that it's pointing to the wrong location. After stealing Mr. Douglas' compass, he and Mason decide to see where it will take them. The compass leads them to a house, the house of the boy whose parent's are missing, they run into Scott immediately after their arrival, explaining the compass led them to the house. The compass needle begins to spins wildly in Mason’s hand, then cracking on its own moments later.
He, Mason, and Hayden later regroup in the hallway at school, Mason has glued Mr. Douglas' broken compass back together, believing they can return it, Hayden disagrees but Liam says they’ll put it back and then go help, Scott. She suggests they just let Scott handle it since he's the Alpha, but Liam reminds her that he won’t be for long, she wonders who would take Scott's place since he's graduating soon, and it’s apparent that Liam thinks he could, but Hayden is skeptical. The two werewolves begin to smell blood, so they search the school for the source, soon realizing that it's coming from the ventilation system. The tree of them make their way to the Boiler Room, inside they find a dead body, the man's head is caved in. Shortly after calling the police, they are approached by Stiles in the hallway, however, none of them seem to recognize him, Liam asks if they know him.
In Radio Silence,
In Ghosted Liam and Hayden walk to class. He explains that Scott is okay with “the plan” as long as they don’t destroy his house. Hayden is confused, she doesn’t know what plan he’s talking about. He reminds her that she had some ideas about catching a Ghost Rider but she says they were bad plans. As they discuss breaking into the Faculty Storage Room, Garrett Douglas overhears them. Liam says that to save the whole school from Ghost Riders he has no problem breaking and entering.
The couple meets up outside the storage room later, and while they kiss, Hayden keeps an eye on nearby faculty members.Hayden says she has the list of supplies they need in her head. Liam worries she might forget something. But Hayden says if they get caught, she’d rather not have a list. The teachers down the hall leave and they head into the storage room. Liam wonders if they can just buy a lightning rod. Hayden says they cost $2500 dollars. As they round a corner, the find Garrett Douglas working on equipment. He acts nervous and makes as if to leave. They ask if he’s making a Taser and he says no. Liam concludes that Mr. Douglas saw the Ghost Riders and is scared of being taken. The teacher claims he did, dozens of them, he accurately describes the scene during the Lacrosse game when some people were running from riders but others couldn’t see them. Hayden admits that they saw the horsemen too and offers to tell him more if he really wants to fight back.
Later, Hayden explains their plan to attach a lightning rod to funnel a rider into the tunnel where they plan to grab him and push him into the Argent bunker. Once the door is closed there’s no way for him to ride the lightning back out. Douglas questions how they can keep him from riding the lightning right out of the tunnel before they get the door closed. Liam suggests their lightning rod would redirect the bolt meaning the rider could grab it. The teacher says they should assume the Riders have some sort of way to direct and control the lightning strikes. Douglas says they need to absorb a lightning bolt but he can’t build a conduit that could absorb even half the energy. The bell rings and Liam and Hayden head out to class.
Liam suggests they could find a person to absorb the lightning. Hayden says she doubts even Kira could do that. Liam says Josh could do it because he ate electricity. She reminds him that Josh is dead but Liam points out that his power is not. Hayden says it might as well be dead because they can’t get to it. While they never come right out and say it, they discuss trying to bring Theo back from wherever he ended up at the end of Season 5. Liam says he knows it’s insane but he needs Hayden to back him.
Later in the tunnels, Hayden points out that there is still time to bail on the plan to retrieve Theo. Liam admits it’s not the perfect plan but they need “the bad part of the plan to make the good part work.” They’re met in the tunnels by Noshiko Yukimura who has her daughter’s sword. She too believes it’s a bad plan. She gives them one more chance to change their minds but they refuse. Liam says they don’t know what else to do because the Ghost Riders seem unstoppable. Noshiko says they are unstoppable. She explains that they’ve been riding the storm and taking souls since long before she was born. Liam pleads, saying they won’t survive them without her help. Noshiko says Kira entrusted her with the sword while she is off with the Skinwalkers. She says she’s now trusting Liam because Noshiko believes her daughter would want her to do so. She clarifies that her trust should not be mistaken for agreement with what Liam has planned. He says he understands. He explains that Kira sent Theo away by stabbing her sword into the ground. Noshiko says if he wants to do it, he’ll have to do it himself. She bows and hands him the sword. Noshiko says once it’s done, Liam is responsible for whatever happens. She then leaves the two teens alone in the tunnel.
Liam moves to thrust the sword, at the last minute, Hayden yells for him to wait but it’s too late. The sword strikes the concrete. A large glowing crack jets forward from the sword. A few feet from where they’re standing, the ground explodes as a clawed hand shoots into the air. Theo climbs out of the hole and growls at them. Theo pushes Liam against the wall. Hayden pleads with him saying they brought him back. Theo asks about his sister. They explain that he killed her. He says he’s going to kill them all and shoves Liam again. Hayden says to send him back. Liam explains what Kira’s sword can do and Theo backs off. Liam says they need his power and then he can kill whoever he wants but that if he does kill them, he’ll be worse off than ever. Theo says there’s nothing worse than what he’s been through. Liam explains about the Ghost Riders.
Elsewhere in the tunnel, Mr. Douglas has rigged up a wire and a gadget to simulate the high voltage of a lightning bolt. They have Theo grab the wire and turn up the juice. Theo is knocked backwards. Douglas explains that Theo was knocked down by “only a billion joules” and that a lightning bolt is five times as strong. They realize he no longer has Josh’s abilities. Hayden checks his claws and realizes he doesn’t have Tracy’s Kanima abilities either. Theo quips that he’s back to “classic Theo.” Liam is angered and says he should be remorseful since Theo killed his pack members for those powers. Theo says he just put them back the way he found them. Hayden says they should send him back and Liam moves to do it. Theo tries to talk them out of it saying he knows about the Wild Hunt from the Dread Doctors. He also hints that he knows the truth about Garrett Douglas but doesn’t come right out and say that he was the Doctors’ Nazi Werewolf in a tube. Despite Theo’s discretion, Douglas says Liam should send him back down below. Theo asks who’s making these decisions and wants to know where Scott and Stiles are. Realizing that Theo remembers Stiles convinces them to keep him above ground.
Later at Scott’s house, Theo explains that they can’t get Stiles back. He says the Wild Hunt comes and the Wild Hunt goes. Liam says they’re not going, they’re staying in Beacon Hills and still taking people. Theo says that’s not possible. He says they won’t just stick around unless they’re stuck. Liam says Theo is going to help them but Theo says he doesn’t know what to do. Hayden says he remembers Stiles so he clearly knows more than they do. Liam threatens him with the sword again. Theo realizes Scott wasn’t part of the plan to bring him back.
In Memory Found,
When Liam was first introduced, he appeared to be outgoing and overconfident teenage boy, but it was quickly revealed that his character was much more complicated and nuanced than he appeared at first glance. After the initial shock of his transformation into a Werewolf, Liam demonstrated that he is also a very supportive and loyal friend to those who he truly cares about, such as his best friend Mason, his girlfriend Hayden, his Alpha and good friend Scott, and the rest of his pack. He's also shown that he is incredibly brave and quite intelligent despite being considered to be more brawny than brainy.
However, despite all of these good qualities, he does have a few more negative traits, mainly his difficulty controlling his anger. Liam was diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder as a freshman, which causes him to be incredibly impulsive (which can lead to irrationality and poor judgment), as well as possessing a quick temper that causes him to be eager for a fight when angered. Though his transformation into a Werewolf amplified this to an extent, as lycanthropy can cause anger issues in those who have been transformed by the Bite or a scratch, Liam's inclusion in the McCall Pack and the good influence of his close friends has helped him get better at controlling his temper and staying in control of both his human and werewolf sides.
Despite this general improvement in Liam's anger and personality in general, he is still prone to bouts of irrationality and violence in certain circumstances, such as the most recent supermoon, when the effect of the moonrise combined with his anger toward Scott and fear of Hayden's impending death made it easy for Theo to manipulate him into killing Scott to the point that he actually believed that he wanted to do so at the time. Afterward, however, Liam was so horrified by his behavior that he has dedicated himself to making up for it, and has demonstrated a much better sense of control over his emotions ever since, due in part to his reconciled relationship with Scott and his romantic relationship with Hayden.
By Season 6, Liam is almost to his senior year of high school, and, faced with a large portion of his friends soon leaving for college (including his close friend and Alpha Scott McCall, Liam matured a great deal and took on more responsibility with both the McCall Pack and the lacrosse team, ultimately becoming team captain of the latter and being groomed to lead the younger pack members in Scott's absence. He soon proved himself capable of quickly coming up with plans, standing up for his loved ones and the town at large even in the face of fear and adversity, and refusing to give up, even when the outlook is grim. In many ways, he has modeled himself after his Alpha and in the process, he lost many of his more immature traits, though his residual anger issues will always remain a struggle for him, as demonstrated during the Anuk-ite's time in Beacon Hills, when the entire town was affected by its power to induce fear.
Liam is a short-statured young man with an athletic build. Due to his intense workout schedule, both out of love for lacrosse and an eagerness to help control his anger, Liam is quite muscular for his age, and he has honey-blond hair, tanned white skin, and blue eyes. He prefers comfortable clothing such as hoodies, baseball shirts, jeans, and sneakers, though he has shown to wear more trendy clothing like leather jackets and boots when going to Sinema with Mason. As the seasons progress, Liam's hair becomes darker and grows longer, and by the end of Season 6, it was nearly long enough to tuck behind his ears.
Powers and Abilities
Liam possesses all the standard weaknesses associated with Werewolves, including wolfsbane, mountain ash, electricity, ultrasonic and subsonic frequencies, full moons/supermoons, lunar eclipses, and heightened emotions.
- Liam: Liam is a short form of the Irish name William, a derivation of the Frankish name Willahelm. The name breaks down into two Old German elements-- vila ("will," "desire," "resolution") and helma ("helmet of will," "guardian"). In Arabic, the pronunciation equivalent to Liam means "harmonious in opinion or feeling," while in Persian, the name is of a plant in southern Iran whose name means "protector and supporter," a fitting title, considering that as a member of the McCall Pack, Liam Dunbar is both a protector and a supporter. In Hebrew, Liam can be translated into "my nation" or "my people." Because of the Norman conquests, Saxon names were replaced by an influx of French names that were quickly adopted by the English, Welsh, and Irish in the region. Related names are William, Wilhelm, Will, Bill, Gwilym, and Guillermo.
- Dunbar: Dunbar is a Scottish habitational name from Dunbar, located on the North Sea coast near Edinburgh. It is a combination of the Gaelic words dùn, meaning "fort," and barr, meaning "top" or "summit." It can also mean "castle headland" due to the fact that the town of Dunbar is at the mouth of the Frith of Forth in Scotland, so named for the fact that it is situated on a rock that overlooks the sea. It is also the name of a Scottish clan hailing from the Lowlands of Scotland.
- Liam is diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder, commonly referred to as "I.E.D." It is defined as a "behavioral disorder characterized by explosive outbursts of anger and violence, often to the point of rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand; essentially, it is impulsive aggression that is not premeditated and that is a disproportionate reaction to any real or perceived provocation. It is currently categorized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM-5) under "Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders."
- Liam was diagnosed after his coach giving him a red card and suspending him from Devenford Prep's lacrosse team led Liam to violently bash in the coach's car with a crow-bar and scratch "THIS IS YOUR FAULT" into the paint. Liam was subsequently expelled from the school and was prescribed Risperdal, or risperidone, to treat this condition, which he stopped taking because it made him too tired to play lacrosse.
- Due to the acronym's similarity to an "improvised explosive device," or essentially a homemade bomb, led to Liam's nickname of "I.E.D." and reference to a "ticking time bomb."
- His anger makes him incredibly strong, stronger than most Betas and Werewolves his age.
- Liam is #9 on the Beacon Hills lacrosse team.
- Liam was initially valued at $3 million dollars on the Deadpool hit-list, but after it was believed that Derek Hale was no longer a Werewolf, Derek's $15 million bounty was added to Liam's, increasing his value to $18 million and making him the third-highest valued target on the list after Scott, who was worth $25 million, and Lydia, who was worth $20 million.
- Liam is Scott's first true Beta (or rather, the first Beta he has had who he turned himself). The second and final known bitten Beta of Scott's is Hayden Romero.
- In Creatures of the Night, Liam revealed that he used music as a type of anchor to help him maintain control over his transformations, though he admitted that it wasn't working as well as he hoped. During Season 5 and Season 6, Liam's best friend Mason Hewitt was able to help regain control over his Werewolf nature at times, suggesting their friendship could be his anchor.
- Liam and Mason (Best Friends, Packmates)
- Liam and Scott (Best Friends, Alpha/Beta, Packmates, Paternal/Fraternal Bond)
- Liam and Theo (Former Enemies, Allies, Friends)
- Liam and Dr. Geyer (Step-father/Son, Family)
- Liam and Corey (Former Enemies, Allies, Close Friends, Packmates)
- Liam and Nolan (Former Enemies, Allies, Friends)
- Brett and Liam (Former Enemies, Allies, Friends)
- Derek and Liam (Allies, Former Packmates)
- Liam and Malia (Close Friends, Packmates)
- Liam and Lydia (Close Friends, Packmates)
- Kira and Liam (Friends, Allies, Packmates)
- Liam and Peter (Former Enemies, Allies)
- Garrett and Liam (Former Friends, Enemies)
- Liam and Stiles (Best Friends, Packmates)
- Deucalion and Liam (Allies)
- Liam and Gabe (Enemies)
- Liam and Hayden (Former Frenemies, Close Friends, Packmates)
- Scott, Stiles and Liam (Best Friends, Packmates)