(covers information from several alternate timelines)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.
Amanda Grayson was a Human teacher from Earth. (TOS: "The Naked Time", et al.) She was a wife to Sarek, as well as mother of Spock and foster mother to Michael Burnham. (TOS: "Journey to Babel", et al.)
Amanda was born on Earth around the turn of the 23rd century. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise"; TAS: "Yesteryear") Captain Spock once implied that she was a descendant of Human author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
During the late 2220s, Amanda met Sarek, the Vulcan Ambassador to Earth. The two later married, and she returned to Vulcan with Sarek. (TOS: "Amok Time") In later years, in describing his parents' relationship, Spock stated that his mother "considered herself a very fortunate Earth woman." (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver")
The two were in the city of ShiKahr where Amanda gave birth to her only son, Spock, in 2230. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; TOS: "Journey to Babel"; TAS: "Yesteryear") A few years later, Amanda and Sarek adopted Michael Burnham after her parents' death. (DIS: "Lethe")
It was not uncommon for Spock to mention his mother's origins. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident") While under the influence of polywater intoxication, Spock regretted that he "could never tell her that he loved her." (TOS: "The Naked Time") Sarek wanted Spock raised in the Vulcan way, with displays of emotion discouraged, and Amanda had to learn to hide her emotions. Amanda later admitted that she gave Burnham all of the emotional love and support she had not been permitted to give Spock. (DIS: "Point of Light")
Spock once spoke of Amanda's fondness for reading the works of Lewis Carroll. She often read stories, such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, to both Spock and Burnham during their youth. (TAS: "Once Upon a Planet"; DIS: "Context Is for Kings"). Amanda had learned that Spock inherited her family's genetic predisposition to dyslexia and developed L'tak Terai as a result. Amanda helped Spock overcome his learning disability since the Vulcan Learning Center's methods were ineffective. One of the methods she used to help Spock was to read Carroll to him. (DIS: "Light and Shadows")
After the logic extremists bombed the Vulcan Learning Center, Burnham tried to run away to Earth. Sarek and Amanda were about to alert the Vulcan High Command to begin a search effort, when a being that Spock called "the Red Angel" appeared to him and pinpointed Burnham's location, and Sarek found her before the outskirts of ShiKahr. Amanda and Sarek had thought that Spock had used logic to help locate Burnham and wrote off the "angel" as a figment of his imagination. (DIS: "Point of Light")
In 2249, Amanda told Burnham to retain her Human side and gave her a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a mother's gift. She later expressed shock at Michael's rejection from the Vulcan Expeditionary Group, citing her academic record as proof of her worthiness to join it. (DIS: "Lethe") Burnham continued to carry the copy with her after her conviction and imprisonment, including aboard the USS Discovery. (DIS: "Context Is for Kings")
In 2257, after the Federation-Klingon War ended, Amanda came to visit Michael twice. Amanda asked her, "Isik for your thoughts?" to which Michael responded by questioning what an isik was. Amanda admitted she had no idea, and that it was just something her mother had said to her. Michael then thanked Amanda for not giving up on her, explaining that she never understood Amanda's desire for her to retain her Humanity until now, and Amanda told her it's what mothers do. Amanda later sat in the audience at the celebration ceremony for the victory of the war and Michael's promotion to science officer. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")
Amanda visited Starbase 5 to meet Spock but no one there would let her see him, tell him where he was or what his condition was, or even give her his personal effects, despite her being his mother and the wife of a prominent Federation diplomat. So she did the "next logical thing" – stealing his medical report. Then, using Sarek's cruiser, she met with the Discovery. Burnham asked Amanda about the red bursts, which Amanda had learned about from Sarek, and noted that people were anxious to discover what they were. Burnham revealed that Spock had a connection to them, but that she had no new angles to work on in order to unravel the mystery. Then, Amanda told her about the stolen report and asked her help to open it. Captain Christopher Pike at first refused to do it, but, after communication with Diego Vela, telling them that his case was classified and that Spock had killed three doctors before escaping, Pike agreed to open the file. In that file, Amanda feared that her son had gone mad; she also recognized some of Spock's drawings of what he had called the "Red Angel", and Burnham revealed that he had seen it recently. Burnham confessed that she was the cause of the rift with Spock, but promised Amanda that she would not give up and would find him. Amanda tersely replied that she would be the one to find him, and stormed away. (DIS: "Point of Light")
In 2258, Grayson visited her son aboard the Enterprise where Spock informed her of Burnham's disappearance and that only a select people knew her and the Discovery's true fate and how nobody is allowed to speak of them. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2")
While James T. Kirk taunted Spock in an effort to shake the hold the Omicron spores' influence had on him, he called Spock's mother an encyclopedia. Spock replied that she was actually a teacher. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise")
While discussing how to stop the Mudd androids by aiming illogical behavior at Norman, Harry Mudd told Spock that for all his prowess as a science officer, he "couldn't sell fake patents to your mother". Spock, not realizing that Mudd was speaking metaphorically (i.e. the Vulcan would be hard-pressed to successfully deceive someone close to him, let alone an android), took the phrase literally, expressing that he was at a loss to understand why he would ever wish to do such a thing. (TOS: "I, Mudd")
During the Babel Conference of 2268, Amanda accompanied her husband, Sarek, aboard the USS Enterprise, and helped him and Spock to reconcile some of their differences. Spock wondered why his father would marry an emotional woman. Sarek replied that, at the time, it had seemed the logical thing to do, a comment Amanda found quite charming. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")
During this journey, Captain Kirk was unsure how to properly refer to her, calling her "Mrs. Sarek". Amanda said that her married name was usually unpronounceable by Humans, although she could do it "after a fashion, and with many years of practice." She said to simply call her "Amanda". (TOS: "Journey to Babel") In Vulcan society, she was referred to as "the Lady Amanda". (TAS: "Yesteryear")
In 2286, Amanda helped her son to re-educate himself after his death and rebirth on the Genesis Planet and fal-tor-pan rejoining. In particular, she tried to help Spock rediscover his Human side. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Alternate timeline Edit
- TOS: "Journey to Babel"
- TAS: "Yesteryear"
- TOS films:
Additional references Edit
Background information Edit
Amanda Grayson was played by Jane Wyatt in TOS: "Journey to Babel" and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The voice of Amanda was provided by Majel Barrett in TAS: "Yesteryear". The role of young Amanda in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was played by Cynthia Blaise. Winona Ryder, who played Amanda's alternate reality counterpart in 2009's Star Trek, appeared as "this" Amanda in a deleted scene from that film, a scene set before a divergence in the timeline created the alternate reality. Mia Kirshner appeared as Amanda in Star Trek: Discovery.
Amanda was referenced as early as the second pilot of Star Trek, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", in which Spock mentions "a Human female" who once married one of his ancestors. The fact this Human was Spock's mother was first established in the next installment to be produced, "The Corbomite Maneuver".
The script of "Journey to Babel" included a description of Amanda that read, "She's in her late fifties and still a fascinating woman... straight, slim, humor and warmth still alive in her... and guts. She married a Vulcan and came to live on his world where her human-woman emotions had no place. She has accepted every bit of the unemotionalism Vulcan could dish out with no loss of her own warmth and human caring... but it has had to be buried inside, in deference to her husband's customs and world."
Unlike the character of Sarek, Amanda Grayson was not included in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. According to Director Leonard Nimoy, "When we first constructed the story, the scene which subsequently played between Kirk and Spock's father [in Kirk's apartment] was originally intended to also include Amanda. It was supposed to be Spock's parents coming to Kirk to say, 'How dare you do this to our son?'" Nimoy continued to say that "The original intention was a conversation scene, without the mind meld. But after several rewrites, it was decided the scene had to feature the mind meld. Once that became a factor, Amanda was extraneous. Without something vital to do, there was no reason to have her just stand around [....] I don't want the supporting cast to merely be a background chorus. If they're in a scene, they should have something to do, some reason for being there." (Starlog #106, May 1986, p. 54)
Her absence from the resurrection of Spock that takes place in the conclusion of that film was explained to be because the production staff couldn't find a way to feature her in the story without her presence seeming overly sentimental. Executive Producer Harve Bennett reckoned, "All she would have contributed was sympathy. The economy of the story was that Kirk and crew get Spock back. Family is secondary. That would have depreciated the moment when Spock says, 'Your name is Jim.' Then we'd have to cut to mother and she would say, 'Oh my God, he speaks!'" (The Making of the Trek Films, p. 46; Trek: The Unauthorized Story of the Movies, 3rd ed., pp. 87-88)
William Shatner originally intended for Amanda to feature more in Star Trek V than she actually does, wishing to explore her relationships with Sarek and Spock. At one story meeting during which Shatner voiced these interests, David Loughery was concerned about accounting for Amanda's influence on Sybok, though Harve Bennett replied, "There are solutions to that." (Captain's Log: William Shatner's Personal Account of the Making of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, pp. 64 & 65)
Once, when Sarek actor Mark Lenard was asked where Amanda was in the Star Trek movies, he replied, "In the kitchen! Where else would a good Vulcan wife be?" (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 11/12, p. 103)
In the deleted scene from the film Star Trek featuring Winona Ryder as this character, Amanda was portrayed in the aftermath of the birth of Spock, attended to by a pair of Vulcan midwives, with the scene dated on-screen as occurring in 2230. Amanda was described in the version of the scene from the film's script as "late 20's. An original beauty." In both the script and the final version of the scene, Amanda softly said "hello" to the newborn Spock and, much to the puzzlement of one of her Vulcan midwives, she cried. In the script but not the final version, Amanda was frustrated with Sarek, once he arrived, for coming too late to be present for the birth but, after he apologized, she embraced and kissed him. Responding to Sarek suggesting they name the baby "Spock", she took some time to quietly consider, then finally accepted the suggestion. 
The novelization of TAS: "Yesteryear" (as published in Star Trek Log 1) describes Amanda in an image of her from circa 2237 (i.e., shortly before her death in that episode) as being pictured "in her early thirties." This roughly matches the fact that, in the novel Sarek, her year of birth is established as being 2202. However, according to StarTrek.com, she was born in 2210.
In the Crucible book The Fire and the Rose, her death is established similarly to her death in the alternate timeline in the episode "Yesteryear". She dies in 2311 in a shuttle accident when returning from an art exhibition in Paris.
The novel Sarek established her death (with Spock at her side and Sarek away on a Federation mission) as taking place shortly after the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
The TOS novel Ishmael cites Amanda Grayson as being a descendant of Aaron Stempel, a lead character on the real-world television series Here Come the Brides. On that show, the character of Aaron Stempel was played by Mark Lenard, the actor who played Sarek in Star Trek. The novel reveals her full name to be "Amanda Stemple Grayson".