Who Is Frank in The Last of Us? Meet Murray Bartlett’s Character

frank the last of us

We know that there are a lot of characters that are going to be important to the journey of Joel and Ellie in HBO’s The Last of Us, but episode 3 allowed us to see one of the most wholesome episodes in the series yet because of how it gave life to a character that we never met in the video game series. That character is Frank, who plays a somewhat important role in the live-action adaptation of the series. So, who is Frank in The Last of Us?

Frank is the romantic partner of Bill, who we know is a doomsday prepper that had an alliance with Joel and Ellie in the games. However, in the live-action series, Frank was finally given life, as we never really met him alive in the video games. As such, his role is central to Bill’s character transformation and story.

The story of Bill and Frank in The Last of Us is one of the most wholesome things you can see in a storyline that portrays a hopeless world. In a sense, they give us hope in a manner that’s pure and beautiful. Of course, while we never met Frank in the games, the live-action series did a good job of portraying his character. Now, let’s get to know more about Frank in The Last of Us.

Who Is Frank In The Last Of Us?

One of the things that are clear about The Last of Us is that the series revolves around the journey of Joel and Ellie as they make their way across America. As such, they come across different types of people that help them in their journey and serve as allies to them if they ever need help in a world that has already gone to hell after the Cordyceps Brain Infection (CBI) pandemic broke out. And HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation has done a good job of portraying this storyline.


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In the games, Bill was one of the uneasy allies that helped Joel and Ellie on multiple occasions but were never truly someone who liked them. Nevertheless, he was quite helpful in their journey. Of course, Bill made his way to The Last of Us in episode 3, when his story was given more light. And we know for a fact that he was a doomsday prepper that hated the government before the events of the CBI outbreak. That is why he was able to spend the first few years of the pandemic living in relative peace and prosperity in Lincoln.

However, Bill was alone during his time in Lincoln, as he usually sent people away when they found his settlement. But that wasn’t the case when he met Frank, who was in need of his help when he ended up falling for one of his traps. So, who is Frank in The Last of Us?

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Frank was a middle-aged man that made his way out of one of the Quarantine Zones (QZs) that fell and decided to make his way to the Boston QZ. However, he ended up stumbling upon Lincoln, which was a settlement that Bill guarded using electrified fences and traps. Bill told Frank that he was on his way to Boston but was hungry and tired, and that was when the doomsday prepper reluctantly allowed him to shower and eat before he was about to send him away.

Despite the fact that Bill originally wanted to send Frank on his way, they ended up forming a bond until they fell in love. Frank originally wanted to stay for only a few days, but he ended up staying permanently and became Bill’s life partner while they were both living in Lincoln. However, Frank wanted to make some friends, and that was when they invited Joel and Tess over to Lincoln a few years into the pandemic. Since then, Joel and Tess became allies of Bill and Frank as they traded for supplies.

Frank ended up staying with Bill for nearly 20 years into the pandemic as they both enjoyed peace and stability in Lincoln by themselves. They had run-ins with occasional rogue raiders that they were still able to turn away due to the sophistication of the traps that Bill set up well before the outbreak. Meanwhile, Joel and Tess visited them from time to time to trade goods and information.

However, in 2023, Frank was already dying from a terminal illness he had, and that was when he decided that he wanted to die peacefully and not in pain. He asked Bill to give him one more day of bonding with one another over food and drinks before Frank was going to drink a glass of wine full of suicide pills.


What Song Were Bill and Frank Playing on the Piano in The Last of Us?

Bill, however, decided that he wanted to die alongside Frank because, as much as he hated being around people, he never hated having Frank around. He knew that his life purpose was to be with Frank and that his purpose would no longer exist if Frank were to die. As such, they both decided to take the suicide pills together, and they died peacefully in bed.

What Is Frank’s Role In The Last Of Us?

One of the biggest changes in the live-action adaptation of The Last of Us is in relation to Frank’s role in Bill’s life. In fact, Bill’s life and story were also changed drastically as his video game story was a lot more tragic.

In the video games, we never met Frank as a living person because he was introduced as a corpse. His story was that he and Bill spent nearly two decades in Lincoln but ended up disagreeing over the way Bill ran Lincoln. That was when Frank decided to leave the settlement and stole supplies before getting bitten several times by a horde of infected.

Frank hanged himself in his house so as not to succumb to the Cordyceps brain infection. Frank left a note for Bill telling him how he “hated his guts,” growing tired of Bill’s ways and how he managed Lincoln.

frank corpse

In that regard, Frank’s story was a lot more tragic compared to the live-action version, as he and Bill didn’t even part ways on good terms. Meanwhile, in HBO’s The Last of Us, Frank enjoyed his time with Bill as he openly admitted before his death that the years they spent together were the best he has ever had in his life.

This allowed the duo of Bill and Frank to have a better story that is quite wholesome compared to video games. It was actually Frank who had a huge effect on Bill’s character as he was able to change the way Bill saw the world. That was the reason why Bill left a note to Joel so that he could gain access to all of the weapons and supplies he and Frank had left behind. 

As such, Frank was the factor that allowed Bill to trust Joel enough to give him sole access to all of the supplies that he had. And that’s because Bill knew that both he and Joel were people who wanted to protect the ones that they loved.

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