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Characters / The Last Of Us - The Fireflies

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    In General 
  • Necessarily Evil: They have claimed responsibility for a couple of bombings. They can also prove to be as deadly as the Hunters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Fireflies's attempts to overthrow the military and restore democracy has led to several human holdouts to fall to the infected and bandits.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: They will undertake any action no matter how extreme to return power to the people, even if it means killing innocents both directly and indirectly by their actions.
  • Saving the World: The Fireflies are dedicated to restoring humanity and democratic rule, staging attacks on the military as well as researching into a vaccine against the spores. They need Ellie for that. Unfortunately, this means dissecting her. A document you can find implies this isn't the first time they've done so.
    • Their attacks on the military also cause cities to become defenseless against bandit gangs and hordes of infected.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Despite having the same goal of protecting what is left of the human race, the Fireflies concentrate most of their efforts on overthrowing the US military and reinstate democracy as the last holdouts of humanity are under strict martial law, causing several cities to be lost to the infected and bandits in the crossfire.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: They're the only people wanting to save the human race and study the Cordyceps infection. They even tested the infection on monkeys and a few died as a result. They are perfectly willing to fight the soldiers and sacrifice a teenage girl's life for the sake of creating a cure.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Unlike the military, who are simply trying to maintain control and destroy threats, the Fireflies want to "rise from the ashes" and restore civilization to what it once was.

    Marlene 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marlene_last_7231.png
"There is no other choice here."
Voiced By: Merle Dandridge (English), Romi Park (Japanese), Mara Campanelli (Latin American Spanish), Ana Esther Alborg (European Spanish)

Leader of the Fireflies. She enlists Joel and Tess's help in smuggling Ellie out of Boston.


  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When at his mercy, she pleads with Joel to let her live. It doesn't work.
  • Anti-Villain/Anti-Hero: Of the well-intentioned kind. Finding a vaccine trumps Ellie's life - although she decides so not without questioning herself.
  • Big Bad: By the endgame her goals and motivations no longer align with Joel's. It's up to you to decide if she is evil or not.
  • Big Bad Friend: To Joel, at first.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Joel deals with her in their final confrontation.
  • Determinator: She is willing to do anything to find the cure that would save humanity. Even if it means having to kill her surrogate daughter in order to extract it.
  • Hero Antagonist: Her goal at of the story is to cure the zombie infection. Unfortunately that means the death of Ellie, which Joel finds out at the end and is having none of that.
  • Humans Are Flawed: She understands the cruelties humans are capable of and has even lost many of her men to humans, prior to Joel and Ellie finding her, but this she is still determined to find the cure to save humanity because there are still good humans still worth saving. This comes into conflict with Joel when the cure involves killing Ellie, the latter of which has a far less positive view on humanity.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Her attitude towards Ellie's surgery.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Though Joel's reaction is understandable, Marlene's decision to sacrifice Ellie's life could have possibly saved mankind and ended the Cordyceps infection once and for all.
  • Knight Templar: Her treatment of Riley in American Dreams is proof enough.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: Like Joel, she thinks of Ellie as a daughter… but doesn't let her feelings prevent her from sacrificing Ellie's life in order to obtain a cure.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: She could have just killed Joel after separating him from Ellie, as he'd been knocked out and was in no position to fight back. However, she decides to take the honorable course of action and not only spares his life, but honestly explains to him that Ellie will have to die if a cure for the infection is to be made. She feels that Joel is the only other person who might be able to understand the weight of her decision, and even after he refuses to listen to her, she'd rather have him escorted out instead of outright killed. However, Joel decides to violently rebel against her decision, and ends up effectively annihilating the Fireflies, herself included, as a result.
    • This also applies to her final confrontation with Joel, as despite his rampage against the Fireflies she's reluctant to kill him, and she begs him to peacefully return Ellie to her. This ends up getting her killed.
  • Parental Substitute: She apparently became something of a surrogate mother to Ellie after the death of her biological mother.
  • Rebel Leader: And she has a tough time of it.
  • Secret Test of Character: To Riley in American Dreams.
  • Tragic Villain: Her actions during the last level are heavily implied to be out of desperation after losing nearly all her men.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Averted, the other Fireflies wanted to kill Joel, but she wouldn't let them. She felt Joel was the only person who could understand the weight of her decision.
  • Voice of the Resistance: She can be heard making radio broadcasts in the game's intro, encouraging survivors to join the Fireflies and reminding them to "look for the light".
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sacrifice one little girl's life to save the remnants of mankind? Even if that little girl is close to being her own daughter? It's the mission of the Fireflies to save the world, whatever it takes.
  • Wild Hair: Even in the post apocalyptic environs, she has noticeably less-kempt hair than the other characters. It does a lot to communicate the stress she's under.
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    Ethan 
Voiced By: Robin Atkin Downes (original), René Sagastume (Latin American Spanish)

A Firefly in Salt Lake City, one of Marlene's right-hand men.

  • Jerkass: Knocks Joel out while he was trying to save Ellie (it's heavily implied that the only reason he or the other Firefly saved her is because they realized it was her, and would have left Joel behind if not for Marlene's interference).
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Sticks around for about five minutes.

    Riley Abel 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/061e3c6d_590d_4f5f_9d3a_ef01a4775c47.jpeg
Voiced By: Yaani King (English), Mutsumi Tamura (Japanese), Natalia Rosminati (Latin American Spanish), Sandra Jara (European Spanish)

Year of birth: 2017
Year of death/infection: 2033

"Come on, when have we ever gotten into trouble?"

Ellie's best friend seen in The Last of Us: American Dreams who later appears in the "Left Behind" DLC.


  • Big Damn Heroes: Her introduction in American Dreams is through saving Ellie from bullies trying to take her walkman... only to steal it from her herself. She gives it back when Ellie confronts her about it though.
  • Bully Hunter: She first got to know Ellie when stopping a bunch of bullies from beating her up.
  • Bury Your Gays: She and Ellie are bit not 10 minutes after sharing their first kiss.
  • Child Soldiers: She joins the Fireflies at age 15. She doesn't consider it soldier work though, as she tells Ellie that she refuses to become a soldier for the military.
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