"ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL."
Harbinger is the leader of the Reaper fleet, being the largest and oldest of all Reaper capital ships. It first made its presence known in Mass Effect 2 as the controlling force behind the Collectors and led the invasion of Earth during Mass Effect 3.
Mass Effect 2Edit
Throughout ME2, Harbinger makes no physical appearance. It makes itself heard through the Collectors as they attacked Human colonies and the crew of the Normandy, taking possession of the Collector General and channeling its consciousness to one of the many drones across the Milky Way. Harbinger has targeted Humanity specifically for harvesting, recognizing their genetic diversity and their potential for creating a new Reaper. They are also regarded as the most potentially threatening race in the galaxy and are targeted early in order to remove the most chaotic element of the coming Reaper invasion. As Shepard and the Normandy crew battle the Collectors, Harbinger makes several threats to deter the commander from resisting, but to no avail. When the Collector base is destroyed, Harbinger releases the Collector General from its manipulation and leaves it to its fate. It then mobilizes the Reaper fleet in dark space and leads them as they descend upon the Milky Way.
Mass Effect 3Edit
Harbinger has a significantly reduced role in the third game. Although it supposedly leads the Reaper forces invading Earth, it is not seen as they descend upon the planet. In fact, it makes its only short appearance during the final battle on Earth as Shepard and several Alliance soldiers make a push for the Conduit to reach the Citadel. Harbinger unloads a volley of particle beams and vaporizes most of the soldiers, then takes off after Shepard has been knocked out. It has no dialogue whatsoever during the game and does not possess any Reaper ground units as it did in ME2.
Harbinger possesses all the capabilities of Sovereign and other Reaper capital ships.
- According to The Catalyst - the guiding intelligence behind all the Reapers - its creators were the first harvested species to be turned into the first Reaper. In the Leviathan DLC, the Leviathans confirm that Harbinger is indeed the first Reaper, built in their image from their harvested ancestors.
- Harbinger faces the same fate as all Reapers at the end of Mass Effect 3, depending on the choices made by the player.