Who is Kathleen in The Last of Us? Was She in the Game?

Is she a friend or foe?

by J.R. Waugh
Kathleen The Last of Us
Image: HBO

The Last of Us on HBO has had the luxury of being able to pace itself as a TV drama and tell the story of the games without nearly as much bloat. It has translated into a way for new locales to be explored in the show, and new characters to be put to the screen. One of the most talked-about characters in episode 4 of The Last of Us is Kathleen Coghlan, who has fans wondering whether she appeared in the original game. She will be appearing in several episodes, and it’s worthwhile to see how she ties in with the plot and other supporting characters.

Is Kathleen Coghlan an Original Character in The Last of Us on HBO?

Kathleen Coghlan is a new character, played by Melanie Lynskey added to The Last of Us on HBO and not from the games. She is the leader of a resistance group in Kansas City, Missouri, which successfully overthrew the martial law imposed by FEDRA. She is a soft-spoken firebrand who unites like-minded individuals and takes justice into her own hands, personally executing FEDRA collaborators, even if they’re close friends or acquaintances.

It shows the morally nuanced state of the factions in The Last of Us and ties her to the story’s worldbuilding. Due to her suspicions about one supporting character, she’ll likely be interacting with Joel and Ellie soon.

Kathleen’s Connection to Henry in The Last of Us

Kathleen suspects Henry Burrell, a character from the original game, as another FEDRA collaborator. Specifically, she believes him to be responsible for her son’s death. During episode 4 of The Last of Us, a group of her raiders, including Bryan, attempted to ambush Joel and Ellie, only to be killed in the process.

Kathleen believed these two to be allied with Henry and Sam, even exploring the site where the attack happened and finding clues of their whereabouts in the city in a nearby building. More upsettingly, there appears to be a writhing sinkhole in the basement, and despite her associate Perry urging her to warn the others of this, she decides to focus her efforts on finding Henry. This quest for vengeance will likely be the undoing of Kathleen and her revolutionaries in The Last of Us.

Image: HBO

The Last of Us premiered on January 15, 2023, on HBO and HBO Max, and will air weekly every Sunday. International viewers can catch this series on Sky Atlantic and Crave.

- This article was updated on February 6th, 2023