Here is the answer and explanation to who Kathleen is in the HBO The Last of Us TV series, played by Melanie Lynskey.

Who Is Kathleen in The Last of Us?

HBO’s The Last of Us episode 4 introduces us to Kathleen, who’s set to become a real problem for Joel and Ellie. But why? Have they done something to enrage her? And was she in the game?  Just who is Kathleen in The Last of Us?

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Kathleen Is a New Character Created for the HBO The Last of Us Series, and She’s Got a Lot of Muscle at Her Disposal

Kathleen, played by Melanie Lynskey, didn’t specifically feature in the video game. The Pittsburgh hunters did have a leader, but they remained entirely unseen. In The Last of Us the TV series, she’s right on the front line, running down Henry and Sam and, by association, Joel and Ellie.

She’s the leader of the Kansas City rebels (The show swaps Pittsburgh for Kansas City.) and was responsible for overthrowing FEDRA, who ruled the Quarantine Zone. Her brother was killed by FEDRA, which may have been a motivating factor, but given that her rebellion succeeded, an awful lot of Kansas City residents must have been unhappy with FEDRA’s control.

However, while FEDRA may be gone — dead or exiled — she blames Henry (who did feature in the game) for informing on her brother. He’s on the run, with his brother Sam, and she’s hunting them both.

Her forces also attempted to rob and/or kill Joel and Ellie, and Kathleen says that they’re working with Henry and Sam. It’s not clear whether she believes that herself, but it’s enough to push her soldiers to hunt them down.

She’s also shown to be ruthless, executing a doctor when he refused to reveal Henry’s whereabouts. And with tens, maybe even hundreds of troops at her disposal, she’s a force to be reckoned with.

So, in the HBO The Last of Us series, Kathleen is a rebel leader who rules Kansas City and is an original character not seen in the video game.


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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.