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Is Ellie gay in ‘The Last of Us?’
Image: HBO

What is FEDRA in HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’?

What is this group doing here??

HBO’s The Last of Us has finally arrived. The live-action adaptation, based on the 2013 hit video game of the same name, stars Pedro Pascal as Joel, a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a virus. Depressed and directionless following the loss of his family, Joel ultimately finds himself entrusted with the mission of smuggling a young girl, Ellie, out of a quarantine area and across the United States.

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Ellie is played by Bella Ramsey, one of the most important characters in the show due to the fact that she is immune to the Cordyceps infection responsible for pushing humanity to the brink of extinction. Her survival is of the utmost importance, as she is the probable key to helping create a world-saving vaccine.

Besides the abominations born from infection, one antagonistic force to have already made its appearance in the series is the enigmatic organization FEDRA. This has fans wondering what the agency is and what its aims are.

What is FEDRA?

Image: HBO

FEDRA stands for Federal Disaster Response Administration, a remnant government entity in charge of some of the quarantine zones people are designated to stay in. FEDRA is one of three government agencies that still function, alongside the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Defense. Some of the most important people in FEDRA include Attorney General Arthur Munroe and Paul Douglas.

FEDRA has different quarantine zones set up all around the United States, including in Boston, Massachusetts, Atlanta, Georgia, and Denver, Colorado. One of the most important things to know about FEDRA is that it does not control all the quarantine zones.

The other important thing to note is FEDRA’s iron grip on the communities under its jurisdiction. What started as an attempt by the U.S. government to control the virus and keep people safe quickly transformed into a military dictatorship, with FEDRA brutally punishing citizens for crimes born of desperation, like stealing food or sneaking into — or out of — a QZ without approval.

FEDRA maintains an iron grip over the citizens that reside within controlled QZ walls, maintaining order through fear and violence. This is shown at various points throughout The Last of Us season one, via hanging bodies and heavily armored, and manned, military vehicles. It is in an attempt to maintain order that FEDRA initially brought down the hammer of military rule, but as the years ticked past the government entity leeched more and more control for itself. These days, its nearly unstoppable in the areas its taken control.

Not every FEDRA base is equal, of course, and some are far more vicious than others. As shown in episode 5, “Endure and Survive,” the FEDRA presence in Kansas City is closer to a gang than anything else. The group transformed from a governmental entity into a collection of murderers, thugs, and rapists wearing military attire in the decades since the virus struck, and seemingly ditched the original purpose of FEDRA long ago. In other areas, including Boston, FEDRA maintains at least a flavor of its original purpose, and strives to keep people safe even as it regulates every aspect of their lives.

FEDRA’s imposing presence is the catalyst behind the creation of several rebel groups, including the Fireflies that tapped Joel to transport Ellie. Not all of them function under the same banner, but all of them were formed out of a desperation that FEDRA created.

New episodes of The Last of Us are available on HBO each Sunday night for fans to stream.

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Andrew Dupont
Andrew Dupont is a college graduate who enjoys writing about anything comic book and anime related.