Who Are the Fireflies in the Last of Us? What Do They Want?

The Last of Us has shown us a world where there is no hope. It’s a place where only the cruel survive, and the weak are eaten by monsters and the worst of people. But despite all the bad things, there is one group, The Fireflies, that still hopes for a better tomorrow.

In many ways, the Fireflies are the last sign of humanity’s kindness, but so many of our favourite characters in The Last of Us hate them and think they are no better than terrorists. Still, they are the only real big threat to FEDRA, and they are the only real hope for the infected. But what kind of group is this?

We watched the TV show and played the video game to find out what was going on. We’ve looked at every step of Joel’s (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) adventure to answer any question you might have about The Fireflies.

Who are the Fireflies?

The Fireflies are a group that fights against FEDRA’s martial law. Marlene, who is played by Merle Dandridge, is in charge of the group (reprising her role from the games). Even though the series takes place in different times, the Fireflies were formed in the 2010s, and when six of their members were killed, they gained more support. Jump ahead to the Boston Quarantine Zone, where the Fireflies are a group of rebels who are hiding underground.

“When you’re lost in the dark, look for the light,” is written over and over on the walls. The Fireflies use the slogan as a way to say hello to each other, but HBO has used it here as a smart way to promote the show.

Even if the Fireflies are seen as a dangerous part of society, it’s clear that they’re gaining power at the end of the world. In one shot, the Firefly symbol is covered up with paint, which makes it seem like the group is looking for new members.

Who Are the Fireflies in the Last of Us

Later, an explosive attack on Tess (Anna Torv) leads FEDRA soldiers to fight a Fireflies shooter on a rooftop after an attack on Tess with a bomb. Ellie (Bella Ramsey) calls the Fireflies terrorists, which makes Marlene, who is in charge, ask, “Was Riley a terrorist?” This is a reference to Ellie’s girlfriend from the Left Behind DLC, who will be played later in the series by Storm Reid from Euphoria.

It seems likely that Riley was a Firefly, which would fit with her story in The Last of Us: American Dreams, but we also know that Joel’s brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) joined them during the 20-year time jump.

When Joel (Pedro Pascal) wants to leave the safe zone to look for Tommy, he is told to be careful about more than just the Infected. The Fireflies all want the same thing, but because their groups are spread out, it’s hard for them to stay in charge.

Marlene used to know Ellie’s mother, so she asks, “Do I look like your mother?” Marlene is the one who sent Ellie to military school. We don’t know what happened to Ellie’s mom, but it’s possible she died fighting for the Fireflies.

Even though Ellie has a fiery personality, we know she’s on the Fireflies’ side because, in The Last of Us Part II, she’ll get a tattoo of a moth. Druckmann told The Washington Post that it honours the Fireflies and her old life with Joel, which is funny when you think about what happens to Ellie with Marlene’s group.

The main bad guys in the first game are the Fireflies, which is a spoiler. Ellie is immune to the Cordyceps infection, which makes her a kind of end-of-the-world hero. Marlene tells Joel and Tess to take Ellie across the United States to meet with other Fireflies and work on a cure.

Who Are the Fireflies in the Last of Us

In the end, it turns out that the only way to cure Ellie is to cut out the part of her brain that is sick, which would kill her. Even though the Fireflies have tried this on people who are immune, they have never been able to find a cure.

Even though Marlene wants to use Ellie for the greater good, Joel feels like a father to her and won’t let her be used as cannon fodder for the Firefly cause. Based on what Mazin and Druckmann have said about how true The Last of Us will be to the game, we think that things will go about the same way.

The Fireflies might be a pain for FEDRA, but in the first episode, we learn that their fight against the military rule is losing ground and support. The fact that the Fireflies are painting over their logo shows that they aren’t as popular as they think they are. After the games, even Tommy will lose interest in them.

The Fireflies are the main group trying to find a cure, but characters like Marlene are some of the most complicated in the story because of how they try to get there. Still, the Fireflies aren’t the only ones trying to change the way things are done.

If you want to learn more about the TV show The Last of Us, then check out our article about its cast and episode guide. We’ve also written about the latest news on The Last of U Season 2.