Lucas "Luke" Bankole is the husband of Offred and the father of her daughter before the Republic of Gilead's formation. He is separated from his wife and child when they are captured trying to flee the country. In the book, it remains unknown whether he is alive or dead. In the series he successfully escapes to Canada.
In the novel Edit
Luke is implied to be a few years older than Offred. He was married to another woman, but was evidently unhappy in his relationship, as he began an affair with Offred, his co-worker. They would meet in a hotel room. Eventually, Luke left his first wife to marry Offred and they had a daughter together. Luke seemed to get on well with Offred's mother, despite her generally low opinion of men and he enjoyed cooking.
Unfortunately, when the Gileadean regime took over the United States of America, Luke realised his family would be targeted, due to his being divorced and remarried. Luke obtained fake passports for himself and his family and they attempted to escape over the border to Canada. Unfortunately, they were ambushed on the way. Luke is shot whilst ordering Offred to take their daughter and run. As Offred is then captured and sedated, she never finds out if Luke was killed or merely injured.
Three years on, Offred doesn't know if he is alive or not. She occasionally daydreams about being reunited with him and often reminds herself not to refer to him in past tense, implying that Offred knows he is probably dead, but clings to the hope he's alive. Luke's final fate is left ambiguous; in the novel's epilogue, its even implied that Luke probably isn't his real name and was actually a pseudonym used by Offred, presumably to protect his true identity.
In the TV seriesEdit
Luke is portrayed by O-T Fagbenle. His character remains largely the same, although one difference is that in the TV adaption, he is depicted as bi-racial, whereas in the book he is Caucasian.
His full name is stated as Lucas Bankole. He was born 29th April, 1980 in the state of New York.
Before Gilead Edit
The first time Luke meets June, he is still married to another woman named Annie. They continue meeting up for innocent lunches, where she learns that Luke hasn't told his wife about them. After an affair with June he leaves his first wife for her. After Annie confronts June at her workplace, Luke calls her and angrily tells her their relationship is over and that she has to move on.
In expectation of their daughter’s birth, Luke drives June to the hospital amidst crowds of people protesting the recent sharp decline in birth-rates. She is greatly relieved to learn that Hannah is a healthy baby. Shortly after her birth, June wakes up to find Hannah is gone. She initially assumes she’s been taken for a blood test, until sirens begin blaring throughout the hospital. Luke urges June to stay where she is whilst he goes to investigate. June follows Luke regardless and is horrified at the sight of one of the nurses lying on the ground in a puddle of blood, either dead or unconscious. June then runs into a woman holding Hannah. She insists Hannah is her child – it’s implied her own baby died, causing her to have a psychological breakdown. June watches in horror, futilely attempting to explain that Hannah is her baby. Luke arrives, but this prompts the woman to try to flee with Hannah. Fortunately, the police and Luke intervene, returning Hannah to June while the woman is arrested.
After the takeover Edit
June, Luke and Hannah try to escape to Canada and hide in the trunk of their car while a man called Mr. Whitford drives them to a secluded cabin near the border. Mr Whitford tells them he still needs to grab them Canadian passports, because U.S. passports "don't mean shit no more". Before he leaves, Mr. Whitford teaches Luke how to shoot a gun, which he is clearly uneasy about.
After learning that Whitford has been killed, they try to reach the Canadian border on their own, but their car is spotted by a patrol. They crash at the side of the road, and Luke tells June to take Hannah and run from the Guardians pursuing them. Shortly after, Luke is taken captive by Guardians. They place him in an ambulance after he is shot in the stomach, and intend to question him.
The ambulance veers off the road, and both his captors die in the accident. He takes a first aid kit and a gun from a dead Guardian and goes off to find his wife and daughter. After stumbling in the woods for a bit, Luke sees his daughter's shoe, her stuffed bunny rabbit, and what appears to be June's belongings. He takes this to mean that they were captured before they could reach the border.
Luke finds a small town and rests inside of a bar of some sort, where are bullet holes all over the walls and windows. He is found there by strangers who are also on their way to the border. They think he is a Guardian at first, but after determining he is on their side, they carry him to a schoolbus, where the leader, Zoe, cleans out his bullet wound. The people on the bus are introduced as Christine, Lyla, and Peter, or: "an army brat, two strays, a gay, and a nun". They tell Luke that Zoe and a group of US Army soldiers she was stationed with in South Carolina rescued a girl, Erin, from one of the Red Centers, but they don't even know the extent of what's happening .
Luke, still in the schoolbus, plans to leave the other and head back to Boston. Zoe brings him inside of a church and shows him what happens to people who try to fight back. The townspeople who hid their fertile women were all hung and strung up inside the church by the Guardians. Luke decides to go with the others to New Brunswick in Canada. They get into a motorboat, but not before they are hailed with bullets from Guardians. Zoe dies from the gunfire, and Luke is seen escaping with the others.
Present time Edit
June is informed by Mr Flores, the Mexican ambassador's assistant, that Luke is alive, whereas she had assumed he was killed when they were captured at the border (though she did not witness his death, she heard shots being fired and never saw him again). Mr Flores knows Luke's full name, birthdate and birthplace, and also knows "Offred's" real name prior to meeting her, implying that what he says may be true. He asks her to write a short message for Luke .
In "Little America", Toronto, Canada, Luke is shown with Erin. He gets a phone call and goes into a government office filled with flyers of missing persons. A woman brings Luke into a room where she hands him the note June wrote him via the Mexican ambassador's assistant. The note, read in June's voice, says: "I love you so much. Save Hannah." Realizing they are both still alive, Luke cries while he smiles.
Moira manages to escape to Ontario, Canada. She ends up in a refugee camp where she is given clothes, a phone, money, and food. Luke comes and finds her there and she bursts into tears when they are reunited (In large part because Luke reveals she's part of his family in his eyes).
Luke is later seen living with Erin and Moira in a small appartment.
Commander Fred and Serena Joy land in Canada. Moira recognizes Fred and she points him out to Luke and Erin as they watch television. Moira and Luke go to the U.S. embassy and ask Rachel to arrest Fred but she tells them that it isn't possible. She encourages Moira and Luke to attend a planned protest.
At the protest, Luke confronts Commander Fred. He's taken away by the police but not before Serena and Nick realize that he's Offred's husband. Serena and Fred head up to their room where Fred says that they've made progress with the Canadian government. Nick goes looking for Luke and finds him in a bar. He tells Luke that June is alright but Luke says that she isn't fine. Nick tells her that June is pregnant. This upsets Luke and he tells Nick to get out but then changes his mind and goes after him. He asks about Hannah but Nick doesn't know if she's okay. Nick gives Luke the stack of letters June gave him and tells him to get them out somehow. Luke asks Nick to tell June that Moira got out.
Luke, Moira, and Erin go through the stack of letters. Moira is upset that it isn't something they can use against Gilead but Erin says that this is something that they can use against them. The next day, Commander Fred and Serena are told they are no longer welcome because the letters were uploaded to the Internet and the public outrage was overwhelming. Later, Moira and Luke are celebrating their departure with a large group of people. They begin to sing "America the Beautiful."