What's a Collaborator in The Last of Us?

What’s a Collaborator in The Last of Us? Complete Explainer

Key Takeaways

  • Understand what it means to be a collaborator in the gritty world of The Last of Us.
  • Discover why Henry’s decision to collaborate defines survival and morality in a post-apocalyptic landscape.
  • Learn about the personal vendettas and deep-seated conflicts that drive the characters’ actions and relationships.

The term collaborator is mentioned in The Last of Us episode 5, “Endure and Survive”. It’s depicted as something bad. Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam Burrell (Keivonn Woodard) desperately escape Kathleen Coghlan (Melanie Lynskey), the resistance leader in Kansas City, after FEDRA is overthrown. Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) become unlikely allies in their quest to flee the city. Henry reveals his collaborator status, causing Joel’s initial reluctance. However, their need to escape fosters an uneasy alliance. This revelation introduces viewers to the series’ complex dynamics of betrayal, resistance, and survival.

Are there any collaborators in the game?

No, the game does not specifically label any characters as collaborators. However, the Pittsburg QZ is filled with hunters who ambush, rob, and kill passersby. Unlike in the series, these hunters don’t follow a unified ideology but rather form a confederacy of violent gangs. Their actions are driven not by political motives but by a desire for power and bloodshed. Henry’s actions against these hunters to protect Sam hint at the blurred lines between survival and collaboration in a lawless world.

Differentiating Collaborators and Runners

Collaborators and runners represent two survival strategies in The Last of Us’s bleak world. While collaborators like Henry choose to work with or under oppressive forces for perceived benefits, runners, symbolized by Joel and Ellie, prefer constant movement and resistance against such forces. This differentiation highlights survivors’ moral and ethical dilemmas, forcing them to choose between safety and freedom, forgiveness and revenge.

Why Being A Collaborator Is So Bad In The Last Of Us

Being labelled a collaborator in The Last of Us is equivalent to being marked as a traitor. Kathleen and her resistance fighters view collaborators with disdain, not solely because of Michael’s death but due to their perceived betrayal of their community. Even actions taken out of desperation, like Henry’s deal with FEDRA to save Sam, are condemned. This narrative thread explores themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the complex nature of morality in times of crisis.

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What happened in Kansas City?

Kansas City’s storyline in The Last of Us replaces the Pittsburg chapter from the game, illustrating a brutal coup against FEDRA. Henry and Sam flee not just the chaos but the targeted vengeance of Kathleen, who leads the resistance against any perceived collaborators. This backdrop of violence and rebellion set the stage for exploring the consequences of collaboration and the sacrifices made in the name of survival.

Why Henry Was A Collaborator In The Last Of Us

Henry’s decision to become a collaborator stems from a place of love and desperation. Needing medicine for Sam’s leukaemia, he betrays Kathleen’s brother, Michael, to FEDRA, leading to Michael’s death. Henry’s actions, driven by the need to save his brother, highlight the painful choices individuals are forced to make in a world ravaged by infection and tyranny.

Why does Kathleen hate and want Henry?

Kathleen’s hatred towards Henry is deeply personal. As a leader of the resistance in Kansas City, she sees Henry’s collaboration with FEDRA as a direct cause of her brother Michael’s death. This vendetta is fueled by a mixture of grief, anger, and a desire for revenge, showcasing the deep scars left by betrayal and loss.

Why does Kathleen want to find Henry so badly?

Kathleen seeks Henry with such enthusiasm because he symbolizes the ultimate betrayal: losing her brother Michael to FEDRA. Henry’s collaboration, motivated by his need to secure a cure for Sam’s leukaemia, directly leads to Michael’s demise. This pursuit is not just about retribution for Kathleen; it’s a quest to confront the pain and betrayal that tore her life apart.

How Old Are Henry & Sam in The Last of Us?

In The Last of Us, Henry and Sam’s ages are not explicitly stated, but their dynamic as brothers on the run adds a poignant layer to the narrative. Sam’s youth and vulnerability, compounded by his battle with leukaemia, contrast with Henry’s protective and desperate measures to ensure his brother’s survival. Their story adds depth to the series’ exploration of family, sacrifice, and the lengths one will go to protect a loved one.

The Last Of Us Season 1 Ending Explained

The Last of Us concludes with Joel’s heart-wrenching decision that challenges the essence of what it means to be human in a post-apocalyptic world. After discovering that creating a cure for the Cordyceps infection would result in Ellie’s death, Joel chooses to save her, rejecting the potential salvation of humanity. This act of defiance sets off a chain of events that sees Joel battling out of the hospital, determined to protect Ellie at all costs. His decision culminates in a lie to Ellie about the nature of their escape and the existence of others immune to the infection, suggesting a cure was never within reach. This ending is not just about the survival of these characters but also delves into the themes of sacrifice, the will to live, and the bounds of moral decision-making in a world bereft of structure and hope.

My review of Last of Us

As a viewer, my take on The Last of Us is that I find The Last of Us to be a masterclass in storytelling. Its exploration of themes like survival, betrayal, and the human capacity for kindness and cruelty resonates deeply. The series skillfully balances action with emotional depth, making it a landmark achievement in narrative storytelling. Its characters, particularly Joel and Ellie, embody the complexity and contradictions of human nature, making The Last of Us not just a story about a post-apocalyptic world but a reflection of the human condition itself.

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 Last of Us Series Details

Release DateJanuary 15, 2023 – present
Rating8.7/10 IMDb
96% Rotten Tomatoes
5/5 Common Sense Media
Written byCraig Mazin Neil Druckmann
ProducersGreg Spence
Cecil O’Connor
Episode9
GenresPost-apocalyptic
Drama
Thriller
CinematographyKsenia Sereda
Eben Bolter
Christine A. Maier
Nadim Carlsen
Based onThe Last of Us by Naughty Dog
platform Available OnHBO

Source: Wikipedia

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