Ellen Giordano
Ellen Sophia Giordano
Portrayed By
Vanessa Ferlito
Independent (NYPD)

Ellen Giordano is a NY born and bred cop trying to do her job and rid the streets of criminals, but when serpent tongues speak…


  • Birthday: March 25, 1988
  • Position: Police Officer
  • Fame: The good intentioned cop with a chip on her shoulder a mile wide.
  • Family: Carmine Giordano (father, living), Delia Giordano (mother, estranged), Lena Savalas (maternal grandmother, deceased), Philander Savalas (maternal grandfather, deceased), Leo Giordano (paternal grandfather, deceased), Donna Giordano (paternal grandmother, deceased), Sal Giordano (paternal uncle, living), Grace Giordano (aunt through marriage, living), Sandro Giordano (first cousin, living), Isabella Giordano (first cousin, living), Gianna Thompson (paternal aunt, living), Marcus Thompson (uncle through marriage, living), Ella Thompson (first cousin, living), Vincent Giordano (paternal uncle, living)

Ellen Giordano was born to working class parents in the neighborhood of Astoria in the Borough of Queens. Her mother, Delia, is Greek-American with grandparents who emigrated from the island of Crete to Chester, Pennsylvania, and later moved to New York. Her father, Carmine, is fourth generation Italian-American.

As far back as she can remember her parents had their share of problems. Her mother walked out on them when Ellen was ten years old for reasons that were never divulged to her because they were assumed to be too hurtful. That Delia was never very attached to her, or Carmine, and was never suited for married life, and was believed to be having an affair. Instead, it was explained in the simplest terms, that “mommy went away” and probably wouldn’t “ever be back,” and Ellen was eventually raised by her father and grandmother on her mother’s side of the family, Lena, who took it upon herself to fill the void left by her daughter; Carmine’s relatives were living in Cleveland and were themselves unable to be there for Carmine and Ellen on a regular basis.

The first couple of years after were rough on everyone. Ellen missed her mother, and at times wondered if she had herself to blame for her leaving, but seemed to be coping as well as could be expected. Both Carmine and Lena had different ideas on how Ellen would be raised, but confronted by domineering Lena’s arguments in favor of Greek school and a solid Greek Orthodox foundation, Carmine’s quiet will won out. Ellen would be raised on his terms: Roman Catholic and free to take to it however she would. But while Carmine threw himself into his job as a concrete finisher with a construction company based in Brooklyn, both to provide for Ellen and an escape from having to deal with the reality of his failed marriage, Ellen still found herself subject to her grandmother’s strict rules of conduct.

In childhood, she had no choice but to cave, but the concrete jungle of public school and her late preteens emboldened a herself bull-headed Ellen and made her a back-talking little mutineer within the confines of the home: battles were picked over everything from what clothing she would wear out in the morning to what food she would eat in the evening. Prone to bursts of hyperactivity, she would try to sneak out down the fire escape whenever she was told to do chores. Carmine would return home to hear a bevy of complaints from both sides, but Ellen trusted him to take hers when all was said and done; they boasted of being the best of buds, her and her dad.

When Carmine played poker with the boys from work, they always dealt in Ellen. From the beginning to end of baseball season, father and daughter went to every Yankees game they could get tickets for. Together, they amassed a large card collection including all-time greats like Whitey Ford; and when it came time for Super Bowl Sunday, they’d lay claim to the home front’s sole television set, which was routinely in Lena’s control, with enough Dr Pepper, beef jerky, beer nuts, pork rinds, and hot wings to give them three day’s worth of indigestion.

It was only natural that Ellen would grow to be a tomboy after spending so much time in the company of her father. She started hanging around the local youth center to play sports with the other kids, and would later join an after-school club for boxing upon reaching the age of sixteen. It was something a friend suckered her into, not anything that really held her interest, but within a few short months, Ellen was hooked, and it wasn’t just for the exercise; while enrolled in the program she competed almost regularly though she continued to develop at a rate that would be considered normal for a teenage girl. She dated a few boys, snuck a drink on occasion—and there was even a time she convinced her best friend to go with her to get fake ids.

No one really expected her to become a cop.

She never did well in high school, though she did manage to graduate. She enrolled in college, but dropped out after two years when it became frustratingly clear to her that she would never be more than a C student. Someone suggested that she apply to the police academy, wherein she finally found her niche: the level of physical activity she required, and the chance to make something useful of herself.

Here, she met Emilio Perez. He was her first serious relationship, but it lasted less than a year; Ellen was having trouble committing. They parted amicably enough, and after graduating, both joined the ranks of the police department. Ellen began her career at a steady pace: she earned a reputation for being a tough girl with an occasionally explosive temper, but she was honest and dedicated, and took pride in her work, and was largely … happy. Things were good.

Then all hell broke loose. Sentinels literally came crashing down on the city. Friends and coworkers were dying left, right and center. Something snapped in Ellen. The job became more about making a positive difference and standing up to the slews of offenders released into the streets.

She now walks the beat of Midtown North, accompanied by her partner of three years, stationed at the Midtown North Precinct, and typically found on the job between 3pm and 11pm. Her former flame has become a detective-investigator for the homicide division and gotten in a relationship with her long-time friend—and it still has not had time to sink in. For the most part, Ellen remains a high-energy person. A nine to five desk job is something she could never do, nor ever want to do. She likes to keep active, and can grow impatient and annoyed if she is made to be anywhere against her will, and usually in a very obvious way: she will drum her fingers, play with her rings, and even doodle vilifying pictures of the individual who has put her on lockdown if a pen and paper have been made available to her.

Though she carries high ideals, her vision of the future is partially obscured by an embittered view of mutants. After attending ten separate funerals for men and women in the police force that died while trying to protect civilians from the new crime wave, she is convinced that mutants are troublemaking freaks, and bears a not-so-silent grudge against them. Although born and raised Catholic, she only attends church enough to keep her family off her back, though she has been known to light a candle and say a prayer every now and then. She used to be more religious. Used to be. These days faith seems to be of little use to her.

She likes to be in charge, and is forever butting heads with the people in her life, and her partner especially, but is known to back down if a strong enough argument is presented. For all her bullheadedness, Ellen is not unreasonable; her family and coworkers have identified that she has deep-seated control issues stemming from her mother’s abandonment of her as a child, and while her job is important to her, she is also determined to prove her own worth. Every time she wins a fight, every time she earns a commendation, or even makes an arrest, it is a form of self-validation. She does not like criticism, or being forced to change her ways.

When she isn’t in uniform, she dresses for comfort: t-shirts and jeans, leather boots, tank tops and sneakers, long-sleeved blouses and mannish suits, or else jackets, pants and flat soled shoes. At least in Ellen Giordano’s mind, dresses and heels are for hookers. She is a keen observer of other people, but is no stranger to putting her foot in her mouth, and is streetwise, but lacks book smarts. She has been a beat cop for years, and has never once been considered for an investigative assignment and promotion. Although she is physically unrelenting and displays a strong initiative, her disorganization and lack of patience make her an unlikely candidate. Fine by her: all she really wants is to take care of her family and clean up the streets, and where’s the best place to do that, if not out in Manhattan?




Boxing/Hand-to-Hand Combat: As a result of her training, Ellen is able to employ lethal and nonlethal methods to subdue someone at close range. Having boxed for most her life, she could easily win a match against an inexperienced fighter. Against a more skilled fighter, she will experience more difficulty, depending on their weight class.

Firearm Handling: Ellen carries one 9mm service pistol (Glock 19) that fires in DAO (Double Action Only) on-duty and a Glock 26 off duty, and has a high level of skill with each. She also has limited ability to use other guns (mostly handguns).

She is not an expert markswoman, but she is a better shot than the Average Joe, and knows how to disassemble and clean the weapon, and what to do in the event of a jam or misfire. She has gone through Basic Training and Tactics Training, and attended basic and tactical lectures on shooting fundamentals, firearms safety, weapons maintenance, tactical awareness, the judicious use of firearms, the escalating scale of force, and confrontation scenarios. As a UMOS, she goes through Live Fire Qualification for Service and Off Duty Weapons yearly (traditionally making use of the police Firearms Training Simulator), and visits the shooting range as often as she can.

First Aid/CPR: Ellen has learned basic first aid and CPR. She is not an EMT, but she knows how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, ensure someone’s airway is clear, and provide rescue breathing. She can perform chest compressions and predict cervical spine injuries, treat cuts and grazes, is able to maintain the condition of broken bones, and knows what to do if a person is found unconscious.

Defensive Driving/Emergency Vehicle Operation: Ellen can, to some extent, be considered a defensive driver. She passed the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course as part of her recruit training. She can operate a standard motor vehicle and knows defensive driving techniques for bad lighting, poor weather, speeding, hydroplaning, and any number of situations. She can swerve to avoid a collision; she can hit the brakes at precisely the right moment. In a police chase, she is likely to have the advantage over a less experienced driver.

Water Safety/Water Rescue: In addition to knowing how to perform CPR, Ellen is a strong swimmer. She can rescue people from drowning, where an inexperienced swimmer might fail, but she must be careful to reduce a person’s panic before attempting to save them, or else she might end up drowning herself.

Cooking: Ellen can secretly cook; she learned from her grandmother. While she is not an expert chef, she has mastered more than the independent art of microwaving. Her favorite to make are the Italian dishes.

Basic Training: Ellen has been a cop for many years. She knows the rank and file of the streets of New York City. She knows what gangs exist, and their turf. As a Recruit Officer, she gained basic knowledge of Law, Behavior Science, Police Science, Physical Training and Tactics, and firearms (including nomenclature, safety and basic shooting fundamentals). She is equipped to identify theft; handle the media (though she struggles with diplomacy); recognize explosive devices, fraud, terrorism and threats; and handle mass citywide gatherings.

Hazard/Threat Training: She has had extensive training in defensive tactics, the straight baton, expandable baton, frisking and cuffing, crowd control, tactical gear, and water rescue. Though not specifically trained to deal with terrorism, she has received COBRA (Chemical, Ordinance, Biological, and Radiological) Unit certification. She has undergone terrorism awareness training that has given her knowledge of terrorist threat indicators, Level C protective equipment, dangerous chemical and non-chemical weapons, decontamination, triage, finding shelter, and moving downwind from any potential threats. Nowadays, she would refer to it as “Mutant Awareness Training.”

Basic Technical Training: Though she is not computer savvy, by any means, Ellen has learned to use a PDA and the department’s standard electronic forms, which are her least favorite part of her job and something she will frequently try to delegate to her partner.

Second Language Comprehension: Lena failed to win the argument over religion, but she was determined to preserve at least one household tradition, and that was teaching Ellen to speak fluent Greek. Apart from this, she knows at least several phrases in Italian, and having grown up in Queens, she has all the features typical of a strong New York accent. It probably goes without saying that she can easily blend into her home turf.


Flawed Personality: Ellen is not a people person. While she is physically attractive, she does not have the best personality. She is quick to form judgements, and is often hated for it. Oftentimes she finds it hard to win approval. She is also stubborn, impatient and ill-tempered.

Prejudiced: Ellen is prejudiced against all mutants, not just some, and has her own ideas about how they should be policed. In her eyes the Sentinels are piece of crap contraptions that never should have been used in the first place. In the long run, all they did was provide the muties with another weapon. While not necessarily a “bad cop,” she is fast becoming disillusioned with so many friends and coworkers being lost in the line of fire.

Mutants serving on the force are a different story altogether. Ellen doesn’t regard them as fellow officers. They’re liabilities. They’re untrustworthy. They have access to police records if they want to protect all their mutant buddies. How convenient is that? She’s deeply suspicious of them, though she knows well enough to keep her thoughts to herself (or likeminded company), and sometimes, on neutral turf, she’ll even pick fights with them. Hopefully someone will wisen up to them soon, because as Ellen suspects, they’ve got to be up to no good.

Control Issues: Ellen likes to lead. She is not a follower. When someone who is not in a position of authority tries to order her around, her immediate reaction is anger. She has an inability to relinquish control, but when she is confronted on it, she will deny it. Vehemently.

Unsophisticated: As someone who never excelled in school, she has poor penmanship, only rudimentary math skills, and a preference for plainspoken speech. She can easily grow confused when confronted with long-winded academics. She cannot deal with them.

Disorganized: She makes a mess whenever she goes, and has a habit of simply throwing things wherever she pleases. She is forever misplacing her possessions and losing her temper when they don't turn up.

Fear of Intimacy: Ellen is gun-shy about forming romantic attachments because of the failed marriage between her parents. One-night stands have ended in her sneaking out in the early hours of morning with the crest of dawn, and the few other relationships she had after leaving the academy were short-lived; Ellen pushes men away the minute things start to get too comfortable. Those who have persevered against the unexplained moodiness and unpleasantness have found their phone messages unreturned and a break-up recording on their answering machine. Really, there was only one relationship she had that ended on a pleasant note, and if she does show any regret, she keeps it personal.

Musophobic: She hates and fears rodents. Her grandmother owned a cat when Ellen was younger. It once brought a surprising present to her bed (a dead mouse) which has had a lasting effect on her. She is even hesitant to set foot in warehouses and sewers because she knows they are breeding grounds.


Connections: Ellen has connections to a number of police officers throughout the city. She has a large family and a moderate social support system (despite how unpleasant she can appear at first meeting).

Finances/Transportation: She earns a decent living; she is paid the average salary for a police officer in the US, with the occasional pay raise. She and her partner drive a Nissan Altima hybrid, the standard New York City police cruiser.

Police Equipment: On duty, Ellen carries her Glock 19 in her duty belt, her police shield and ID card. She is equipped with a specialty vest and trauma plates, PDA, taser, handcuffs, a collapsible baton, and spare clips of ammunition, a portable radio, and pepper spray. She usually keeps a first aid kit, portable breath analyzer, flashlight, pen and notepad, latex gloves, pocket mask and hi-visibility jacket in the patrol car, and other equipment as required. Off duty, she carries her Glock 26.

Savings Account: Ellen has roughly $18,000 in a savings account due in part to the fact that she lives in a low-rent apartment at the sacrifice of personal comfort. Maybe eventually she’ll have more, but so long as she has something to fall back on in a pinch, that’s all that matters to her.



Watch For

  • Her struggles with intimacy.
  • Her closeness to her family and (non-mutant) fellow officers.
  • Her growing contempt for mutants and disillusionment over the NYC crime waves.


"We got things happening day in, day out with mutants. I've seen them firsthand. Even felt what they can do firsthand. Had my ears shrieked out just the other day. No word of a lie. And.. well, how in the blue blazes are you supposed t'compete against things like that? Gets me a little bothered when all is said and done, let me tell you." —Ellen, Common Ground


"The Chain" Fleetwood Mac
"I Fought the Law" The Clash
"Fight the Good Fight" Triumph
"Hot Blooded" Foreigner
"Adrenaline" Gavin Rossdale
"11 A.M." Incubus
"War Sweater" Wakey!Wakey!


Icon Name Notes
Detective-Investigator Third Grade Emilio Perez An NYPD homicide detective, Emilio is Ellen’s ex and sometimes confidant. They used to date back when they were both cadets. When Ellen couldn’t commit to the relationship, they broke up. Later, they decided to keep in touch with one another. One night out at the bar, Ellen introduced him to Lettie. The two hit it off and are now even considering marriage. Something that … Ellen still wonders about. No, it’s fine. Really.
Ellen's Partner Yeah. She’s got one. (Note: The character may appear in the background when Ellen is on duty!)


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