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Does Joel die in the Last of Us games?

Fine, spoil yourselves, I don’t mind

Pedro Pascal looks up skeptically in The Last of Us Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Sometimes it’s OK to want something spoiled for yourself. Cliffhangers are all fun and good, but there’s a certain comfort in knowing how something ends, or at least whether or not it continues. And in something as bleak as HBO’s The Last of Us, it’s probably good to take that comfort wherever you can find it. Even if that means looking up whether or not one of the series’ main characters dies partway through the first game or season... like you just did.

Well, in the interest of providing some kind of comfort, or at least some certain answers after the cliffhanger ending of season 1’s episode 6, let’s dig into it.

[Ed. note: From here on, this post contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part 1.]

Does Joel die in The Last of Us episode 6?

Joel (Pedro Pascal) sitting next to a tool bench Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO

To answer this, I’m going to have to spoil what happens to Joel in The Last of Us Part 1: Joel doesn’t die in The Last of Us Part 1. I get why you’re freaked out, but honestly, in the show, his wound doesn’t even look that bad. He’s fine. Well, OK — he’s not fine, but he’s gonna pull through even if the stops between now and then aren’t so pleasant.

In the interest of answering every available question, we’re also going to deal with the much further-away issue now, too:

Does Joel die in The Last of Us Part 2?

[Ed. note: The rest of this story contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2. Please do not keep reading if you are going to be annoyed that The Last of Us Part 2 gets spoiled here. If you’re still here, it isn’t my fault.]

I know you probably didn’t read the editor’s note up there so I’m giving you a second chance: If you don’t want The Last of Us Part 2 (and The Last of Us season 2, for that matter) spoiled for you, don’t keep reading this. Please, it’s easier for everyone if you leave.

Fine, if you’re still here, you can know that Joel absolutely dies like an hour into The Last of Us Part 2. He gets the shit kicked out of him, then gets beaten to death with a golf club by a character we’ve never met in order to establish that she’s a big deal and the antagonist of the game (sort of). Frankly, it’s all very silly. Anyway, the rest of the game is about Ellie’s quest for revenge and all the ways that quest destroys her personally, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s a huge fucking bummer and according to The Last of Us co-showrunner Craig Mazin, it’s going to be at least two seasons long when the show gets there.

There you go! Now you know what happens to Joel in the Last of Us games and what’s coming next for the show. I hope you’re happy.

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