In Firefly,

when Inara is planning to leave Serenity, and she first tells Mal,

she says:

INARA (cont'd)
There's something that I... that I should have done a long while ago. And I'm sorry -- for both of us -- that it took me this long.

I'm leaving.

Then the episode ends. It doesn't say where she is going to leave to, and (as far as I can remember) it doesn't say it in the episodes after that episode (Heart of Gold) either. Then, in "Serenity", Inara is at some school, where she prays (which doesn't seem like her, but it is also all we see her do there). So, is she at a companion school? It doesn't seem like it is, with the religious things. Also, Inara had already completed training for being a companion.

"On Sihnon, we started training at twelve, years of discipline and preparation before the physical act of pleasure was even mentioned. Control was the first lesson, and the last."- Inara Serra explaining how much studying is involved with being a Companion.

So again: Where was Inara during "Serenity"?

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    Just a note - in the past (especially ancient Greece / Rome and similar), "companions" were often associated with churches (well, temples). So your assumption that companion schools would not be in a religious environment is flawed even in our own history, not just the world of Firefly / Serenity. A lot of rituals and similar also involve sexuality, orgies and similar - the connection has been there long before Judaism came along and said it's forbidden (with exceptions, of course :P). – Luaan May 19 '15 at 7:21
  • i meant that it did not seem like Inara, not that it wasn't like a companion. – albusseverus potter May 19 '15 at 12:51
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    We also know from Heart of Gold that a companion never stops training. – Amory Jun 19 '15 at 20:42
  • What do you mean by during "serenity" (is it a reference to the film's title, the ship's name or something else)? – Peter Mortensen Jun 20 '15 at 18:42
  • Inara mentions praying for Mal and the crew in the pilot. – Rogue Jedi Sep 8 '15 at 14:21

The film script lists it as "Companion Training House"

A WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.): They love you.


Inara looks out at the mountains. The space she's in resembles a Tibetan monastery, if slightly more opulent.

Widen to see she is with SHEYDRA, a somewhat older Companion, the woman whose voice we heard. She hands Inara a drink.

SHEYDRA: The girls. They've learned more from you these last months than the rest of us could show them in two years.

The clear implication is that this is where would-be companions are being trained before being officially sanctioned. Inara is evidently working there as a tutor for the latest batch of young recruits. The training house itself is apparently on the edge of the core worlds.

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