Does Joel die in The Last of Us game? Here's what happens to him and Ellie

20 February 2023, 09:14

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Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

The Last of Us stays loyal to the game it's based on but there have already been several major changes. [SPOILERS AHEAD]

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Can't get enough of The Last of Us and want to find out what happens to Joel and Ellie in the game? We've got you covered.

The Last of Us is based on a popular video game of the same name and, for the most part, the show stays loyal to its source material. Just like the series, the game follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) as they travel across the US in an attempt to use Ellie to find a cure for the viral fungus that turns humans into zombies and has taken over the world. Ellie is immune to the fungus.

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The game was so successful that it inspired a sequel and the series is set to adapt both parts on screen. What happens to Joel and Ellie in the games though and do they both make it to the end alive? We're here to break down the plot for you.


Does Joel die in The Last of Us game? Here's what happens to him and Ellie
Does Joel die in The Last of Us game? Here's what happens to him and Ellie. Picture: HBO

As mentioned above, there are huge The Last of Us spoilers in the rest of this article.

If you don't want to know what happens to Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us games, and what will happen to them in the show if it remains loyal to the games, we recommend that you leave this page. If you don't mind spoilers, carry on!

You've been warned!


Viewers will be relieved to know that neither Joel nor Ellie dies in the first The Last of Us game. As a result, it's highly unlikely that either character will die in the first season of the show. However, The Last of Us Part II divided fans when it came out because Joel dies in it.

The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the first game. It opens with Joel and his brother Tommy saving a stranger called Abby from a horde of the infected. Due to a snowstorm, they're forced to shelter with Abby and her friends. All is fine but Joel then introduces himself to Abby. Recognising Joel's name, Abby becomes angry and shoots Joel in the leg.

Now, this links back to what happens in the first game. At the end of Part I, Joel and Ellie manage to make it to the Fireflies. However, here, Joel learns that the doctors plan to kill Ellie. In order to make an antidote for the viral fungus, they need to remove part of Ellie's brain. Players then play as Joel and kill all the Fireflies they come across.

It ends with Joel killing the Fireflies' lead doctor. Fast forward to The Last of Us Part II and it turns out that Abby was a member of the Fireflies. Not only that but the lead doctor was her father. Abby gets her friends to bandage Joel's leg. However, she then grabs a golf club and says: "You stupid old man. You don’t get to rush this."

The Last of Us 2 - Joel's Heartbreaking Death Scene | Abby kills Joel

The screen goes black and you then begin playing as Ellie who eventually finds Joel at the exact moment that Abby is killing him. Ellie is forced to watch Joel's gruesome death. After that, you then play the game as both Ellie and Abby. Abby has a new adventure after avenging her father's death but, unbeknownst to Abby, Ellie seeks to avenge Joel's death.

Whether or not Joel dies in the series is yet to be seen but we can't imagine that the creators will rewrite Joel's death given how pivotal it is in the game. You'll have to play to find out if Ellie manages to get her revenge or not.

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