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Lena Luthor (Arrowverse)

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Lena Luthor
Arrowverse character
First appearance
  • "The Adventures of Supergirl"
  • October 10, 2016
Created byAli Adler
Greg Berlanti
Andrew Kreisberg
Based onLena Luthor
by Jerry Siegel and Kurt Schaffenberger
Portrayed byKatie McGrath
Full nameLena Kieran Luthor
AffiliationLuthor-Corp (later L-Corp D.E.O.
  • Lex Luthor (brother)
  • Lillian Luthor (mother)
  • Lionel Luthor (father)
Significant otherJames Olsen

Amazon.com Logo.png Search Lena Luthor (Arrowverse) on Amazon.Lena Kieran Luthor[1] is a fictional character portrayed by Katie McGrath in the Arrowverse, mainly the television series Supergirl, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. In the series Supergirl, Lena is the daughter of Lillian and Lionel Luthor and the sister of Lex Luthor. First introduced as a recurring character who moved to National City to help clear her family name, the character is promoted to the main cast in the third season to the sixth and final season.

Katie McGrath

Casting and characterization[edit]

McGrath was cast as Lena Luthor in August 2016.[2] In late May 2017, McGrath was promoted to the main cast.[3][4] McGrath would return as the character through the sixth and final season.[5][6][7] Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller also said that the third season season would continue to explore Lena Luthor's struggle with her family's legacy, with Rovner explaining, "I think one of the central issues about Lena is that she comes from this family of bad guys and I think her journey is – and we've see her grapple with it in Season 2 – is she on the side of good or is she on the side of bad?".[8] Melissa Benoist, who stars as Kara Danvers / Supergirl, said the fifth season would be "a fight for [Lena Luthor's] soul", following Lex Luthor exposing to Lena that Kara, her best friend, is Supergirl.[9] Rovner said the rift between Kara and Lena was something the writers had been building towards for a number of years, with the fifth season serving as the "long-awaited payoff". Queller described "betrayal" as Lena's Achilles heel due to every member of the Luthor family having betrayed her in some way over the years: "She has to put on this protective shell, and the last person she thought would betray her was Kara, and that really hurts more deeply than any of the others".[10] Camille Marty portrays a young Lena.[11]

Fictional character biography[edit]

She arrives in National City after Lex has been incarcerated, hoping to rebrand Luthor Corp as a force for good.[12] As the daughter of Lionel Luthor, to whom she is close, Lena tries to redeem her family name after Lex's crimes have tarnished it and to break from her half-brother and step-mother's legacy. Initially, she believed that she was the adopted daughter of the Lionel and Lillian Luthor, but Lena learns that she is actually Lionel's illegitimate child from his extramarital affair. Lena meets Kara after Kara is assigned to interview Lena about L-Corp. Shortly after, the two develop a strong relationship. Later in the season she is taken advantage of by Rhea, under guise of fixing the portal to get her home, but instead brought all the Daxamites to Earth. She is almost married off to Mon-El before the wedding is interrupted and they escape where she then aids her mother and Winn in driving away the Daxamites.

In season three, she buys CatCo Media to prevent Morgan Edge from taking it over and decides to run CatCo personally, temporarily handing over control of L-Corp to Sam Arias. Unlike her half-brother, Lena is able to develop a formula to create synthetic Kryptonites. Like Cat Grant, she knows Kara is Supergirl, but has been in complete denial. By the end of season 3, Lena synthesizes the Kryptonian mineral Harun-El in her laboratory since it is a form of Black Kryptonite, and starts the phase 2 of her experiment.

In season four, Lena helped to make a special suit for Supergirl when the air was saturated with Kryptonite. Lex later invites Lena and Lillian to the White House to watch the destruction of Argo. After an incident at Shelly Island causes Lex to leave, Lena and Lillian fight their way past Lex's henchmen. After Lex teleports to safety upon his armor being destroyed, he arrives in a room where Lena removes the Harun-El from him and shoots him. Before succumbing to his wounds, Lex spitefully reveals to Lena that Kara is Supergirl; leaving her bitter and heartbroken.

In season five, this perceived betrayal has led Lena to go down a dark path; similar to Lex and Lillian respectively. She buys out CatCo's building so that her old friend Andrea Rojas can run CatCo and keep an eye on Kara while running some simulations with her A.I. Hope. In addition, she also blackbags Eve, Using a miniature device on Eve's head, Lena maps out Eve's brain. Andrea visits Lena voicing her knowledge about Lena's misuse of her products and states that she is cut off. If she ever does anything against her, Andrea will see to it that the next story will expose Lena's experiments. Afterwards, Lena moves on to Plan B where she reveals that she mapped out the loyalty parts of Eve's brain where she uploads Hope into it enabling Hope to control Eve's body. After being visited by Andrea, Lena provides the diversion for Supergirl so that Acrata can spring Rip Roar out of D.E.O. custody. Once that was done, Andrea gave Lena the medallion. Then she has her computers research Eve's brain for any information about Leviathan. After Lex was revived, he said that he would help Monitor in exchange for a favor that involved Lena. When the Crisis began, Lena was persuaded by Alex to help work on a transporter to transport everyone from Earth-38 to Earth-1, resulting in Lena saving billions of lives. Following the Crisis which led to the formation of Earth-Prime, Lena still had her memories as part of Lex's deal with the Monitor and that she and Lex are now co-CEO's of LuthorCorp. In addition, Lena finds that Lillian is the head of the Luthor Foundation. Lena reluctantly had to cooperate with her two family members as Lex used a truth-enforcing organism on himself. Following the Non Nocere experiment failing on the inmates, Lena learned from Lex that her project would fail anyway and he had only assisted her to see her realize that she was wrong. Rejecting her brother's offer to join his own plans of conquest, and horrified to realize that she had become the same kind of villain as her brother, Lena returned to Kara to warn her about Lex's plans. Lena makes an Anti-Kryptonite suit that wasn't on Earth-Prime so that Supergirl can fight Rama Khan, Tezumak, and Sela who are empowered by Kryptonite while also rescuing William Dey from Eve. When Supergirl enters virtual reality to put an end to the Unity Festival plot, Lena had to protect her physical body when Acrata is dispatched. Lena was able to talk her down. Afterwards, Supergirl and Lena plan to go after Lex.

In season six, Lena helps to thwart the plans of Lex and Lillian. When Lex was incarcerated at the National City Prison and being visited by Lillian, Lena appears and uses the Myriad to erase their memories of Supergirl's identity and then gives Myriad back to Alex. Due to Lex having Otis sabotage the new children's hospital wing and considering that killing him again won't solve anything, Lena informs Lex that she is leaving LuthorCorp.

Critical reception[edit]

Jay Snow of Hypable praised the depth of Lena's character and how she is not a villain yet, saying "genuinely believes that what she is doing is for good. Her vendetta against Kara/Supergirl seems to be gone after Kara confessed her secret (albeit too late), and now she’s just taking advantage of knowing who Supergirl is and how Kara feels (and what Kara would do for their friendship)."[13] Also about the character, ScreenRant's Bob Chipman said "trying to prove she's nothing like her more famous sibling, who is currently incarcerated after being thwarted by Superman from an evil scheme that's essentially the "nuke California" storyline from the 1978 movie. Lena's out to prove that even though Lex and Lillian are villains, that the Luthor name doesn't automatically predestine one to be a villain—a goal that was implied to exonerate not only herself but also her (apparently) upstanding father Lionel," as well also posing the question of "is Lena Luthor good or evil?"[14] Speaking to how the Lena character "reformed" herself in the sixth season, Mae Abdulbaki of the same website said "Through Lena, however, Supergirl is showcasing how easy it can be for someone, despite their good intentions, to travel down a dark path of righteousness. After all, it’s not like Lena didn’t know what she was doing; she made some questionable choices in the name of doing something she believed would help people but would actually cause more harm,"[15] and Donna Cromeans compared Lena to the morally gray Arrow character Amanda Waller, noting that "A brilliant, take-charge individual, Lena Luthor is willing to go to extremes to accomplish her goals, but experience has tempered her innovative mind and stubborn personality. She's been known to butt heads with authority and bend the rules, qualities she shares with Amanda Waller."[16] Katie McGrath was nominated for the Teen Choice Awards in the category of "Choice Scene Stealer" in 2018.[17]


  1. Netzley, Sara (November 25, 2018). "'Supergirl' recap: Lena Luthor and the ethics of spider-saving". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 1, 2021. Retrieved July 19, 2021. He wants to know why "Dr. Kieran" (Lena introduced herself with her middle name), picked him from the 88 acceptable applicants. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. Ausiello, Michael (August 4, 2016). "Supergirl Lands Merlin's Katie McGrath as Lex's Sister Lena Luthor". TVLine. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Stanhope, Kate (May 31, 2017). "'Supergirl' Taps Odette Annable as Major DC Villain for Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. Andreeva, Nellie (March 22, 2017). "'Supergirl': Katie McGrath Promoted To Series Regular For Season 3". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on June 1, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2017. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Burlingame, Russ (November 30, 2018). "'Supergirl' Star Melissa Benoist Talks Red Daughter". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Gittins, Susan (June 27, 2019). "SEASON 5: SUPERGIRL With Melissa Benoist Starts Filming in Vancouver After Welcome-Back Cast Dinner". Hollywood North. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2019. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. "The CW Network to Launch Its New Season in January 2021". The Futon Critic. May 14, 2020. Archived from the original on May 17, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. Damore, Meagan (August 24, 2017). "Supergirl: Benoist, McGrath Tease Changes for Kara & Lena's Friendship". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on September 28, 2017. Retrieved November 26, 2018. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. Agard, Chancellor (July 17, 2019). "Exclusive: 'Supergirl' star Melissa Benoist teases 'fight for Lena's soul' in season 5". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. Schedeen, Jesse (September 6, 2019). "Supergirl: Season 5 Introduces Dark New Threats – IGN First". IGN. Archived from the original on September 7, 2019. Retrieved September 7, 2019. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. "Supergirl Radio Season 2 – Episode 12: Luthors". Acast. Archived from the original on March 3, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. Ausiello, Michael (August 4, 2016). "Supergirl Lands Merlin's Katie McGrath as Lex's Sister Lena Luthor". TVLine. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  13. Snow, Jay (October 23, 2019). "Lena Luthor is one of 'Supergirl's' (and TV's) most complex characters". Hypable. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved July 14, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. Chipman, Bob (February 14, 2017). "Supergirl: Is Lena Luthor Good or Evil?". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on July 14, 2021. Retrieved July 14, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  15. "How Supergirl Is Redeeming Lena Luthor In Arrowverse Show's Final Season". Screen Rant. April 9, 2021. Archived from the original on July 14, 2021. Retrieved July 14, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  16. "How The Arrowverse Is Setting Up A New Version Of Task Force X". Screen Rant. April 15, 2021. Archived from the original on July 14, 2021. Retrieved July 14, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  17. "Teen Choice Awards 2018: Here's the Full List of Nominations". Moviefone. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

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