"I know you don't owe me anything. But I beg you, please, help my sons if you can."

— Karen in her letter to Claire and Stephen Reynolds in "Rules"

Karen Reynolds is the mother of Sean and Daniel Diaz, the ex-wife of Esteban Diaz, and the daughter of Claire and Stephen Reynolds in Life is Strange 2. As of Episode 3, she is known to currently live in Arizona, though her exact whereabouts and the circumstances behind her absence are unknown.

To visit Karen's room, click here.

Background Edit

Karen is the only daughter of Claire and Stephen Reynolds. She grew up in Beaver Creek with interests in art, poetry, and photography. Through the personal belongings found in her bedroom, she is implied to have not enjoyed life in her small town; she wrote poems and letters expressing her loneliness and desire to leave, owned a book about travelling the world, and kept a bus ticket from Oregon to New York hidden in her CD player.

At some point in her life, Karen moved to Seattle, where she married Esteban Diaz and had two sons with him: Sean and Daniel Diaz. Eight years prior to the events of the game, Karen severed ties with her husband and family for unknown reasons, only contacting Esteban a few times before disappearing entirely.

Episode One - "Roads" Edit

Karen's existence is first made known when Sean examines her belongings in the household's basement. He questions with contempt why his father still keeps them around. An old bicycle belonging to Karen can be found in the garage.

If Sean chooses to question Daniel before fighting their neighbor Brett Foster, Brett antagonizes the brothers by making a comment about how their mother walked out on them, which aggravates Sean to the point where he lashes out.

If Sean chose to take a moment of calm on the bench in Mount Rainier National Park, Daniel will say, "I just wish the family was together," in reference to Esteban joining him and Sean on their journey. It is later revealed that Daniel was too young to remember Karen before she left. Later in the episode, when Brody Holloway asks Sean about his remaining family during their stop at Otter Point, Sean only says that she's "out of the picture."

Episode Two - "Rules" Edit

While staying at their maternal grandparents' house, Daniel repeatedly expresses the desire to visit his mother's old bedroom, which Claire had expressly forbidden them from entering. During and after breakfast on a Saturday morning, Claire expresses bitterness and weariness towards the subject of her daughter. While in Stephen's workshop, Sean can come across a photo of Karen hidden in some drawers, which Stephen apologizes for leaving out.

While searching through her bedroom, Sean and Daniel discover a recent letter addressed from Karen to her parents. Within it, she expresses concern about the boys following the recent events in Seattle and asks her parents to help them should they come across them, referring to them as "the only family they have" and leaving a post office box address to contact her with. During the brothers' subsequent confrontation with Claire, it is revealed that Karen left eight years ago.

After leaving the Reynolds' house, Daniel keeps his mother's letter in his backpack and later asks Sean if they can look for her, which Sean refuses.

Episode Three - "Wastelands" Edit

Karen - Sports Club ID

Karen's ID.

During the opening flashback in the Diaz household, Sean can enter Daniel's room and find Karen's old ID card for the Tortoise Sports Club in Tukwila, one of Seattle's bordering cities. Upon examining it, Sean says to himself, "Too bad we didn't have a clue she hated all of us."

In the present day, after Finn heads back to their campsite and leaves the two brothers alone, Daniel asks Sean whether they could try to find Karen with the new information her letter gave them. Sean can choose to either try to be understanding or shut the idea down. Later on, after returning from the pot farm at sunset, Sean can mention to Finn that Daniel wants to visit his mother in Arizona. While Sean searches for items to train with at the lake, Daniel asks him what he thinks Arizona is like; when Sean asks why, Daniel replies that he's just curious.

Relationships Edit

Family Edit

  • Sean Diaz (son) - When Sean was approximately eight years old, Karen cut off contact with her family and left them behind, leaving him to develop bitterness and anger towards her for leaving Esteban to raise them on his own. Upon hearing of the events in Seattle, Karen sends a letter to her parents asking them to take care of him and Daniel should they come across them, telling them that they're "the only family they have left".
  • Daniel Diaz (son) - Around a year after giving birth to Daniel, Karen cut off contact with her family and left them behind. Upon hearing of the events in Seattle, Karen sends a letter to her parents asking them to take care of him and Sean should they come across them, telling them that they're "the only family they have left".
  • Claire Reynolds (mother) - Karen was disowned by her mother following the event that led to her estrangement from the family. Claire still expresses hurt, weariness, and anger towards the subject of Karen over eight years later, and can refer to her as having done something unforgivable towards the rest of the family. The one memento Claire keeps of Karen is her milk teeth inside her jewelry drawer.
  • Stephen Reynolds (father) - After she cut ties with her family, Stephen remains sympathetic towards Karen and keeps old mementos of her hidden from his wife, including a photo of her as a child wearing his firefighting gear. He tells Sean that, although he cannot approve of "what she's done", he understands her reasons for doing so.
  • Esteban Diaz (ex-partner, deceased) - Karen used to live with Esteban in Seattle, where they had two children together. According to Sean, Karen contacted Esteban a few times after her disappearance before cutting off contact completely. Upon hearing of the events in Seattle, Karen sends a letter to her parents telling them that she was "heartbroken" over the incident.

Friends Edit

  • Emma (pen pal, former) - Emma envied Karen for being an only child and having a big house all to herself, while she had to put up with annoying siblings. 

Theories Edit

Main article: Theories and Speculations (Season 2)
  • Karen's reasons for leaving the Diaz family has been debated by fans since the release of "Roads"; some speculate that Karen abandoned the family upon discovering her own supernatural powers, while others suggest that she left for purely selfish reasons, as indicated by Sean's attitude and comments about her throughout the first two episodes.
  • Karen has an amethyst in her bedroom, which is said to strengthen a user's clairvoyance due to its association with the Crown Chakra which rules higher states of consciousness. It is speculated that this may be a clue that Karen is a seer or prophet and could provide an explanation as to why she left. It is also a stone to help deal with emotional turmoil and grief.
    • The photos in her room of random things could have been used to practice her far sight ability.
  • Some fans speculate that Karen may have left her family to join a religious cult, which would explain Claire's resentment towards her as rooted in her strong religious beliefs. Several references to church recruitment can be found within previous episodes; in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a pastor named Derek calls Chris Eriksen to spread the word about the Universal Uprising Church, and in "Roads", a recruitment poster for True Cornerstone Church can be found at Bear Station. Karen also put up a cross in her room, indicating that she is a religious person.
  • During the campfire sequence in Episode 3, Jacob states that his old religious community had an “intense” female reverend. Some fans speculate this reverend to either be Karen, who shows several signs of interest in spirituality within her room and caused her devoutly Christian mother to disown her for reasons unknown; or Karen's pen pal, Emma, who mentions living in a "boring" area and having a large family, possibly either in reference to the community or due to contraception being against their religion.
  • Due to Arizona being located on the Mexico–United States border and the closest state to Puerto Lobos, some speculate that Karen's new home will be a destination in Episode 5.

Trivia Edit

  • Karen's bear, Ulysses, is named after the Greek hero and protagonist of The Odyssey, a story about his long and fantastic journey to return home from the Trojan War.
  • Karen's book "Of Mice and Men" that Daniel reads in her bedroom is a real novel by John Steinbeck and is a story about cross-country travel. It was said in an interview with Co-Creative Director and Writer Michel Koch that this book was one of the inspirations for creating Life is Strange 2.[1]
  • Despite locking away most of Karen's pictures and belongings inside her bedroom, Claire still keeps a small case of her milk teeth inside of her jewelry drawer.
  • Karen owns the music single "Rude" by the band Magic!. The song is about a man who asks his girlfriend's father for his daughter's hand in marriage; when the father refuses, the man tells him that he will marry the daughter anyway. Because the song was released in 2013, it is rather odd that it would be in Karen's teenage room. The music CD could be a reference to Karen's father Stephen, who might not have initially approved of her relationship with Esteban.
  • Karen has an amethyst in her bedroom, and Sean comments on her being into New Age stuff. In New Age mythology, amethysts are used to strengthen a user's clairvoyant abilities (far sight and prophecy). This may imply that Karen either has powers herself or was trying to obtain them.
    • The amethyst could also be her birthstone for the month of February, which would make it her personal "healing" stone.
    • A stone that large would be very valuable and expensive, and it's odd that Karen did not take it with her to continue using if she truly believed in its power. She may have worried about theft wherever she was going and simply trusted her parents to keep it safe.
  • Karen's hobby of taking random photographs may be a reference to Max Caulfield doing the same thing in the first Life is Strange game.
  • Karen's carving on her bed stand, which depicts a "Exit doorway to somewhere else" is a reference to Chloe Price's "Hole to Another Universe" graffiti in the original game.
    • Like Chloe, Karen wanted to escape her family and her hometown.
  • A QR code that can be found on Karen's sports club membership card during the opening flashback in Episode 3 contains the words "work hard mustard big", which is the slogan of Hawt Dawg Man.

Gallery Edit

Photos Edit

Screenshots Edit

References Edit

  1. Why Life is Strange 2 is ditching Arcadia Bay for its radically different road trip (August 21, 2018)
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