*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Last Of Us*
Danger is everywhere in the world of The Last Of Us. Not only has most of humanity been turned into mindless zombie-like creatures but the surviving humans are arguably even bigger monsters.
While he may be one of the key protagonists in the series and original video game, Joel Miller has carried out his fair share of dark deeds in order to survive.
But what will become of Joel in The Last Of Us and does he die in the game that inspired the series?
Joel Miller in The Last Of Us
Played by Pedro Pascal in HBO’s adaptation, Joel Miller is one of the main protagonists in The Last Of Us.
He is tasked with escorting 14-year-old Ellie Williams across what’s left of the United States in the hopes of finding a cure for the Cordyceps infection that has almost entirely wiped out humanity.
Since his daughter, Sarah, died on day one of the outbreak back in 2003, Joel has closed himself off and has become a hardened smuggler by the time we catch up with him 20 years later.
He is desperate to find his brother Tommy after losing contact with him; desperate enough that he and his partner Tess agree to smuggle Ellie out of the Boston quarantine zone.
Both Joel and Tess know it will be a dangerous journey, but little do they realize how big an undertaking it will turn out to be.
Does Joel die in The Last Of Us?
No, by the end of the first Last Of Us game, Joel does not die.
As a result, we expect that Joel will live to see out the end of season 1 of HBO’s adaptation as the TV series is set to completely cover the story of the first game.
However, Joel is still set to have plenty of brushes with danger, including several encounters with deadly infected and terrifying human survivors.
The most harrowing of which comes during a trip to the University of Eastern Colorado where Joel and Ellie hope to find another group of Fireflies who have been researching a cure.
Instead, they arrive to find that the facility has been abandoned save for a group of bandits who attack the pair.
In the chaos, Joel falls from a balcony and is impaled on a metal rod. Ellie manages to get him to safety, but he spends the next few weeks on the verge of death with Ellie having to care for him and hunt for food and supplies.
What about in The Last Of Us Part II?
While Joel is able to survive his several brushes with death in the first Last Of Us game, the same can’t be said for his fate in The Last Of Us Part II.
In the opening act of the game, a young woman named Abby and a group of her comrades travel to Joel and Ellie’s new home of Jackson, Wyoming, a community set up by Tommy and his wife, Maria.
Abby is the daughter of a doctor that Joel shoots in the first Last Of Us game during a pivotal scene at the hospital in Salt Lake City and she is out for revenge.
She inadvertently runs into Joel as they try to outrun a hoard of infected and when they finally get to safety, she realizes that she’s found her target and begins beating him with a golf club.
Ellie arrives to find a bloody Joel on the verge of death and witnesses Abby deal the final brutal blow to kill him.
This then set up the main plot of The Last Of Us Part II as Ellie heads to Seattle in the hopes of avenging Joel.
Despite dying in the opening few scenes, Joel does still appear throughout the second game in a series of flashbacks. So hopefully, we’ll see still get to see Pedro Pascal reprise the role if HBO renews The Last Of Us for season 2.