WARNING: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so if you haven’t watched The Last of Us on HBO Max, read at your own risk!
The Last of Us centers Joel Miller (played by Pedro Pascal) journeying through the post-apocalyptic world alongside his “cargo”, Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey), in an attempt of finding the cure amid the virus. One of the highlighted character points of Joel is his detachment from meeting the kid, seeing as Ellie was about the same age when he lost his daughter, Sarah (Nico Parker) in The Last of Us Episode 1.
There is nothing more gut wrenching than having to meet a similar figure of your kid, but in the case of the HBO series, Ellie is far different from Joel’s daughter. According to The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin on HBO's The Last of Us Podcast, Joel’s relationship with Ellie is “different” from his connection with his own daughter, which could be “potentially more dangerous”. Check out his full comment below:
“When Joel hits the old lady in the head with the wrench, Sarah is horrified and cries, even though that woman was trying to kill her, basically. And she says, “You killed her.”” Mazin then described how Ellie reacted differently in their case, “Ellie sees something that isn’t one swing, and that guy wasn’t even threatening Joel’s life. And he beats him to death. Punches him over and over. And Ellie is activated.”
Mazin continued on to say they aim to show to viewers how Ellie came from a different background, “Understanding where Ellie goes and understanding what the connection is between Joel and Ellie. That there’s a thread between them that is more than just, “I used to have a kid and [Ellie]’s also a kid.” There’s something else.”
It is worth noting that in the game, Ellie pretty much had to experience living in a post-apocalyptic world, in comparison to Sarah, who still had the empathy towards the infected, given she was only present at the beginning of what only became worse. In the game, Ellie had to watch her friend die after getting infected, and yet it was also the same time she found out she was immune to the virus. How Ellie will be further explored and developed in the series is definitely what’s going to reel you in for the upcoming episodes, indeed.
The Last of Us Episode 1 is available to stream on HBO Max. Meanwhile, The Last of Us Episode 2 comes on January 22, 2023 at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PT.