Who is Riley in The Last of Us? Answered

More than a friend.

Image via HBO

Warning: This article may contain spoilers for HBO’s The Last of Us episode seven.
HBO’s The Last of Us episode seven gave fans a slight reprieve from the show’s main story. Although some scenes of Joel and Ellie in their current timeline were still displayed, the adaptation’s latest showing focused mostly on Ellie and Riley’s friendship. Having never been introduced before, some viewers may be confused as to who Riley actually is. Luckily, we’re here to answer any questions that you may have about her so all you’ll need to do is to read on to find out.

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Who is Riley in HBO’s The Last of Us show?

Riley is Ellie’s best friend and her main confidant throughout her entire stay at the Boston quarantine zone. Even though this is the only time we’ve seen her throughout the course of the show, we can assume based on their interactions that they’ve always been there for each other for a long time before the events of episode seven. It’s also implied that Riley mainly protected Ellie from bullies, like Bethany.

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Unfortunately, Riley also thinks that FEDRA is a fascist group, which is mainly what caused her to run away from them and join the Fireflies. This was also the primary reason for the duo’s conflict towards the end of the episode as Ellie isn’t as frustrated with FEDRA’s presence and she eventually discovers the pipe bombs that Riley has been making. Also toward the end of episode seven, Ellie and Riley are attacked by an infected, but Ellie manages to take it out with a killing stab to the head. Although the two might not have got out unscathed.

Who is Riley in The Last of Us game?

Riley is also Ellie’s best friend in the game and is the only person with whom she’s shared a real connection with until she met Joel. However, we do see and learn more about her story through The Last of Us: American Dreams series of comics that extensively depicted even more of the duo’s story.

Thanks to the graphic novels, we were able to find out that Riley was seemingly born in 2016 and that she and her family, like many others, were a victim of the pandemic. During its onset, her father became contaminated with the Cordyceps brain infection, which caused him to kill his wife. Sadly, Riley also ended up having to kill her father as well in order to protect herself.