The Last of Us Storm Reid: Who’s Riley?

The Last of Us Storm Reid: Who's Riley?

The Last of Us Episode 7 took a detour from the series’ main storyline to explore Ellie Williams’ past, introducing the critical figure of Riley. In “Left Behind,” Riley helped shed light on Ellie’s character and motivations as part of the sad backstory of Joel’s travel companion. It all started with the friendship between Bella Ramsey’s Ellie and Riley.

Who’s Portraying Riley in The Last of Us

Storm Reid portrayed Riley in HBO Max’s commercial hit The Last of Us series. Reid starred in the critically acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave (2013) at the age of ten before making a name for herself thanks to her efforts in Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of the classic novel A Wrinkle in Time (2018). The 20-year-old’s credits include the horror film Don’t Let Go (2019) and another appreciated HBO series, Euphoria (2019–present).

Riley made her first appearance in The Last of Us Episode 7. Introduced as a 16-year-old girl who deserted the FEDRA boarding school, she is Ellie’s best friend. The story showed how Riley and Ellie spent a night in an abandoned shopping mall playing arcade games, reading the No Pun Intended book, riding a carousel, and drinking liquor in what represented a sort of normal life for two teenagers in the post-apocalyptic world they inhabit. The episode also heavily implied there is more than mere friendship between Ellie and Riley. As such, it was no surprise when Ellie finally summoned her courage and kissed her friend.

Briefly, Riley opted to join the Fireflies after FEDRA assigned her to sewer duty. She then attempted to convince her friend to join the Fireflies, but Ellie didn’t seem to be very tempted by the anarchist — or freedom fighting, if you prefer — movement. Riley also revealed she was about to go to Atlanta on assignment, asking Ellie to follow her. After confessing her feelings, Ellie was the one who convinced Riley to stay.

Much to the girls’ dismay, their fun night at the mall awakened an Infected, who attacked the two friends. Ellie and Riley put on a fight before Ellie stabbed the foe to death. The victory came at a high price, though, as both girls were bitten by the monster. The story panned out without revealing what happened to the wounded, but the only known survivor of the cordyceps infection is Ellie, so… Chances are The Last of Us Episode 8 will show what went on with Riley.

Riley in the Video Game


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Riley is one of the characters introduced in The Last of Us‘ downloadable content titled Left Behind, released in 2014. Unlike other times, the HBO Max series changed very little about the character’s background. Riley and Ellie became close friends while living in a military boarding school in Boston. In the game, she is voiced by Yaani King.

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