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Who is Kathleen in The Last of Us?

If you loved The Last of Us episode 4 then you need to check out our guide breaking down everything you need to know about the leader of the hunters Kathleen.

Kathleen from The Last of Us

Who is Kathleen in The Last of Us? We all know the dangers the infected in The Last of Us present to Ellie and Joel, but the undead aren’t the only threats hiding in the wasteland of America.

There are hunters, survivors who prey on other weaker groups, who are one of the deadliest threats you can come up against and in The Last of Us episode 4, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) finally come across such a group. The ruthless Kathleen seemingly leads these violent bandits, but who is she?

Well, we’ve done some digging to bring you Kathleen’s backstory on the TV series, how she figures into the videogame’s story, as well as breaking down who plays Kathleen in The Last of Us. Warning minor spoilers ahead. Here’s everything you need to know about Kathleen.

Who is Kathleen in The Last of Us?

Kathleen is the leader of the Kansas City revolutionaries. With the help of her loyal soldiers, Kathleen managed to take over the Kansas City Quarantine Zone, deposing FEDRA and those loyal to the tyrannical group in the process. 

She’s currently hunting a man called Henry and has sent soldiers into the city to find him. Kathleen’s soldiers are the hunters who Joel and Ellie encounter when they get lost while driving through the city.

When Joel successfully rebuffs the hunter’s attack, Kathleen comes to believe that FEDRA must have sent Joel and Ellie to rescue Henry. She then orders her soldiers to hunt down our heroes before they can help Henry.

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Is Kathleen in The Last of Us game?

No, Kathleen is a wholly original character created for The Last of Us TV series. Kathleen was specifically developed by the show’s co-showrunner, Neil Druckmann, to give the hunters a sympathetic (if violent) leader which they lacked in the game. 

“[An original character] that Craig came up with was the character of Kathleen, who was the leader of who in the game of these guys were the hunters, and they take a slightly different role here,” Druckmann told ScreenRant. “Because I love the idea that there aren’t just good guys and bad guys. Everybody’s trying to survive. Everybody’s trying to live life to the fullest way they can. But often, the goals are competing with each other, and that’s where the interesting things happen.”

Kathleen from The Last of Us

Who plays Kathleen in The Last of Us?

Kathleen is played by Melanie Lynskey, who’s best known for playing Shauna in the survival thriller series Yellowjackets.

If you can’t get enough of The Last of Us, then check out our guide to The Last of Us cast, where we explain who’s playing your favourite The Last of Us characters. We also have individual articles on The Fireflies, Cordyceps,  Clickers, and Tess.

If you’re looking for more great TV, then we’ve also got guides on House of the Dragon season 26666, and Yellowjackets season 2.