"Try to remember that I'm the werecoyote who murdered her family on a full moon. I won't judge." - Malia to Stiles Stilinski
"I'm talking about something that I'm going to do. And you're not going like me much after I do it." - Malia to Scott McCall
"This isn't about you or me. This is about Lydia. We're here to save Lydia." - Malia to Kira Yukimura
Malia Tate is a born werecoyote, the adopted daughter of Henry Tate and the birth child of Peter Hale and Corrine. Prior to the series, Malia survived an assassination by Corrine that resulted in a car crash that triggered her first transformation, causing the deaths of her adoptive mom Evelyn and her younger sister and Malia herself subsequently living in the wilderness for eight years as a fully shapeshifted coyote. In Season 3, Malia is discovered by Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinski, restored to human form by Scott's alpha's roar and is reunited with her dad, Henry. Afterwards, she joins Scott's Pack, becomes Stiles Stilinski's girlfriend, enrolls in Beacon Hills High School and is helped by the pack to reintegrate back into human society. In Season 4, Malia readjusts to her humanity and goes along with the pack to fight back against Kate Argent, the assassins for the Deadpool, but learns she was adopted, and that Peter Hale is her birth father which he takes advantage of. Her romance with Stiles becomes rocky due to his keeping it secret from her, but they reconcile after near death experiences. Mails then ultimately defies Peter after he shows his true colors. In Season 5, Malia, along with the pack, works to help protect the chimeras during the onslaught from the Dread Doctors, develops a rapport with Theo Raeken and discovers her birth mother, the Desert Wolf caused her family's deaths. Due to the stress of the fight against the Dread Doctors and Theo's manipulation, Stiles and Malia end their romance. Malia gives up on saving the Chimeras after failing to prevent multiple deaths and leaves the pack. In revenge for her family, Malia seeks to kill the Desert Wolf, forming an alliance with Braeden and distancing herself from the Pack to this end. Malia and Braeden soon face off with Corrine after Theo's betrayal, though Malia saves Alan Deaton's life from the revived Beast of Gévaudan. Soon afterwards, she regains her confidence, recommits to Scott's pack, working to rescue Lydia Martin in Eichen House. Once more, Malia and Braeden face off against her mother, but Malia following Scott's advice, uses Belasko's talons to take the last of the Desert Wolf's power, then imprisons Corrine in Eichen House, getting justice for her family.
"You're right, Stiles. Thank you. Thanks for invading my home. For putting me on the run. For turning me back to human so that I could look at my father every day and try to figure out how to explain to him that the reason my sister and mother are dead is because I almost ate them on a full moon. Thank you so very much." - Malia to Stiles Stilinski about her situation
Initially Malia is unhappy living as a human. She is haunted over her horror and guilt over her transformation that caused the deaths of her adoptive mother and sister,She displays a fight-or-flight, as well as a survival-of-the-fittest mentality and shows little regard for social etiquette, being ignorant of general human behavior.
Nonetheless, after seeing life through human eyes, falling for Stiles and maintaining her relationship with him, Malia grows out of this mindset. Upon becoming a member of Scott's Pack, though she struggles academically, she comes to demonstrate a quick mind, being determined, upbeat, and develops an extremely close camaraderie with those she cares about.
Though having lost much of her more animalistic mannerisms, Malia is still feral in more ways than one, feeling betrayed over Stiles and the Pack keeping her out of the loop she was adopted, and that Peter Hale is her biological father admitting she's unfamiliar in the concept of forgiveness.
Though she's close to her adoptive dad Henry, and follows, respects the Scott's ideals and morals as her Alpha, Malia fears a killer is all she ever will be, due who her biological parents being Peter Hale and the Desert Wolf.
Malia was 9 years old when she became a victim in a car crash in 2003. Her body was never found. Her family was found three days after their deaths still trapped in the car and seemingly mauled by coyotes.
She is still feral in many ways and considers the world the way a coyote would. She has no concept of friends and does not feel any moral compunction about leaving people behind in order to escape a dangerous situation. She is, however, particularly attached to Stiles and claims that she would never leave him.
Malia is quick to fight and handles pain well. She has difficulty focusing her hearing and other enhanced senses as a human.