Millions of fans of HBO’s latest hit series The Last of Us seem to have the same two burning questions: Does a TV show based on a video game really have any right to be this good? And does Joel die in The Last of Us game?
If you put any stock in the Tomatometer, Rotten Tomatoes users have named The Last of Us the best live-action TV adaptation of a video game ever, with a 96 percent approval score. (The Witcher comes in a distant second, with an 81 percent rating.) Which would seem to make the answer to that first question: No, it does NOT have a right to be this damn good — but we’re glad it is.
As for the fate of Joel, Pedro Pascal’s character (who could have been played by Mahershala Ali)? At the end of “Kin,” the series’ sixth episode, it seemed as if Joel might be a goner when the episode ended with him collapsing after being stabbed. In episode 7, “Left Behind,” we learned that all was not lost — yet. While Joel is still hanging in there as his smartass teenage companion Ellie (Game of Thrones show-stealer Bella Ramsey) does her best to tend to his wounds, despite his insistence that she keep moving, Ellie isn’t ready to move on from their time together just yet.
Does Joel die in The Last of Us video game?
For viewers who can’t bear the suspense and are looking to the show’s source material for possible answers on how it all might end for Joel when season 1 concludes on Sunday, Men’s Health reports some possibly good news: No, Joel does not die in the video game. However, the wounds he sustains from the unexpectedly brutal attack are actually much worse. As assistant editor Joshua St. Clair writes:
In the game, Joel and Ellie are fleeing from inside the hospital; the attackers have come in swarms — maybe 20 total — and Joel and Ellie must run-and-gun their way out. As Joel (and, in this moment, the player) makes for a door, leading from an outside corridor overlooking the hospital’s courtyard, a man bursts through, throwing Joel against the courtyard railing. It’s a moment where gameplay seamlessly transitions to cutscene: the two struggle, and then both fall. The perspective of the fall is a skyward view from the courtyard, where a protruding piece of rebar frames the foreground. Joel and the attacker fall towards the camera. Joel is impaled on the rebar.
Of course, there’s no rule that says any adaptation — video game or otherwise — needs to remain faithful to its source material. Bella Ramsey has said that she expects the season 1 finale to “divide people massively,” which some viewers have taken as a hint for bad things to come. But really, it just means that when The Last of Us comes to a conclusion on Sunday, March 5, anything can happen.
(Via Men’s Health)