First, You Survive: Comparing Kathleen from The Last Of Us to Queen Consort Cho of Kingdom

Ophelia Onobrakpeya, Student Writer

With the release of The Last Of Us on HBO, it is common to make connections between the different types of zombie apocalypse media that have come out in recent years. However, instead of focusing on the imminent threat ( the zombies), the light will be shown on the next most dangerous thing: humans. 

On the surface, the only thing that Kingdom and The Last Of Us have in common is the fact that they are both a part of the zombie genre. Kingdom is a Korean period drama that deals with a virus outbreak as well as political intrigue, whereas The Last Of Us is a modern-day Lone Wolf and Cub story with hive-mind mycelium zombies. But the two properties do share one unlikely link in the saccharine villainess: Kathleen from The Last Of Us and Queen Consort Cho from Kingdom. Both women found a way to thrive in their respective worlds. That is until they didn’t. 

Strong Willed

Kathleen became the de facto leader of the Kansas City QZ after the overthrow of FEDRA ruling with the same brutalist mentality that she had lived under. Her drive seems to derive from the loss of her brother, the original leader of the resistance who was taken into custody after being ratted out. It could be that Kathleen’s narrow scope is what lead to the victory of FEDRA, but that myopic vision was also what lead to her downfall. Kathleen’s need for retribution against Henry and Sam leads to her ignoring an imminent threat, which ultimately leads to Kansas City being overrun by zombies.

Queen Consort Cho is someone who had ambition thrust upon her. Her father, a Chief State Councilor, was more concerned with amassing more power in the Kingdom than the fears and concerns of his children. Which, ultimately leads to his downfall at the hands of his daughter. Queen Consort Cho did enjoy many short-lived victories after her father’s murder, but, in the end, she met hers due to her own hubris.

Power Seeking

It would appear that neither of these women set out to gain power just for power’s sake. For Kathleen, it was to end a 20-year fascist regime mixed with her brother’s death at the hands of the regime. Kathleen seems like an unlikely leader for a revolution, which is what makes her the perfect Trojan Horse. Because of her motherly appearance and soft-spoken nature, no one expects her to have the temerity to hold the QZ as well as FEDRA. When the conspirators were captured and questioned, Kathleen convinced them that they would be allowed to leave, which was false. That calculated decision proved that she was able to make tough decisions and proved that the only thing that could stop her was her underestimation of the undead. 

As a daughter, Queen Consort Cho was often overlooked and sometimes condemned by her father, who facilitated her marriage to the King in order to cement his palace in the government. When the King became ill and Cho could not bear a child, she took matters into her own hands, making a mess in the process. Once Queen Consort Cho realized that her father would be an obstacle in her own climb, she eliminated him as well.

Both Queen Consort Cho and Kathleen found a way in a world that made no way for them. However, they were so focused on their individual goals that they forgot the most important rule: Survival.

Kingdom can be watched on Netflix; The Last of Us streams every Sunday on HBO Max