The Last of Us Showrunners Weigh In On Ellie Believing Joel's Lies

Credit: HBO

Credit: HBO

The last few minutes of The Last of Us Episode 9 were undoubtedly the most heartbreaking ones in the series so far as Ellie tries to confirm whether Joel is telling the truth about what happened at the Firefly hospital. But did Ellie actually believe Joel's lies about the incident? Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann weighed in on what was going on in the character's mind during the confrontation.

In The Last of Us Episode 9, Joel refused to let Ellie sacrifice her life in the search for the cure for the cordyceps infections. To do so, he killed anyone who tried to stop him from taking Ellie away, including an important doctor and Marlene. But when Ellie awakens on their way back to Jackson, he tells her that the Fireflies have given up on finding a cure and that the hospital was attacked by raiders.

Before they make their way back to the settlement, Ellie confronts Joel again, asking if he is telling the truth about what happened at the Firefly hospital. He insists that he is, and she finally accepts his words.

But did she truly believe him? Craig Mazin addressed the moment during the latest Last of Us podcast.

"I'm not sure if Ellie is saying you're lying to me and I'll move on, or you're lying and we're now changed forever in a negative way, or you're lying and it's incredibly important to you, and because I love you I won't dwell on it. Or is she so terrified of the truth that she wants to believe him, because the alternative is so terrifying," he said. "It can be any of those things, and that's why I love it. There was never an option of her believing it. She will simply choose to believe it, and the why will come later."

On the other hand, Neil Druckmann seems to confirm that Ellie is aware that Joel is lying.

"Ellie didn't know beforehand what would happen to her at the hospital, but when she knows Joel has lied, she's able to figure out what would have happened to her. She's a smart girl. I agree with each interpretation, and she's going through every one in her head - but at no point do we ever feel she believes the lie," he said. "That is not on the table, she's already doing the math asking why Joel would possibly do all of this and the only reason could be because I was going to die."

For now, the consequences of Joel's lies are still far away but it's definitely coming in The Last of Us Season 2.

All nine episodes of The Last of Us Season 1 are now streaming on HBO Max.

Related: The Last of Us Fans Hype Up Abby's Arrival After Episode 9 Shocker

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