HBO’s The Last Of Us has received widespread acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The popular video game adaptation has been largely praised for its accuracy to its source material being seamlessly blended with a few adjustments. Notably, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, who portray Joel Miller and Ellie Williams, are being praised for their emotionally impactful performances as an accidental father-daughter duo. Pascal has become the internet’s favorite reluctant father figure, as his character in The Mandalorian has a similar journey with Grogu (also known as baby Yoda).
Some viewers were quick to spot that Ellie’s voice actress from the original video game, Ashley Johnson, was cast to play Ellie’s late mother Anna in the show. Anna passes away just after giving birth, as an infected person bit her immediately after Ellie was born. This season’s finale was praised for its heartfelt moments between Joel and Ellie, including when they pause their journey for Ellie to meet a giraffe for the first time.
i don't think a show has honored the source material quite like what the last of us did with ashley johnson. watching ashley portray anna and share a scene with baby ellie — knowing all of the work ashley put into ellie and how much she loves her — is truly remarkable. i wept pic.twitter.com/gWg1CQhtAm
— Nora Dominick (@noradominick) March 13, 2023
— mira (@rhaelina) March 13, 2023
On a darker note, Joel admits to Ellie that he attempted suicide after his daughter Sarah was senselessly killed in his home state of Texas when the pandemic first started. In their conversation, he reveals that their unlikely friendship finally helped heal him after the trauma of the apocalypse and losing his daughter.
ellie being so distant this episode and joel finally being open; their roles being reversed and him telling her (essentially) she was what healed him is something i will NEVER get over EVER #TheLastOfUs pic.twitter.com/74ehyZpXZz
— maeve ???????????? (@bellaramsrry) March 13, 2023
While fans of the show can’t get enough of the main characters, players of the original game and its sequel reminded Twitter that Joel is killed early in the sequel game. Given Pascal’s success in the role, fans wonder if this part of the source material will be changed for season two to give him more screen time.
tlou hbo fans saying they can’t wait for season 2 to see more of joel and ellie pic.twitter.com/VGFIhJYxFQ
— gigi ☆ (@JOELSGUIT4R) March 9, 2023
The pair of main characters have frequently talked about wanting to live a peaceful life on a sheep farm, in Wyoming where Joel’s brother Tommy (Diego Luna) lives, and some fans are still holding out hope for a happy ending.
wow can’t believe tlou ended right after ellie said okay and her and joel lived happily ever after on a sheep ranch playing guitar together & eating chef boyardee..wow it’s over it’s ended there’s no more they’re happy the end #TheLastOfUs pic.twitter.com/UgSkwGmjFx
— tarrin (@chiefjopper) March 13, 2023
Rumors have already swirled that Pascal’s character will not be killed off just yet–especially since the show’s creators confirmed to Variety that there will be more than one season of the show needed to explore the plot of the sequel game.
— Pop Base (@PopBase) March 13, 2023
The Last of Us Season 2:
– Will be different than the games
– Bella Ramsey will return as Ellie
– Will have much more infected
– Will cover The Last of Us Part 2 story
– Won’t cover the whole second game
– Filming could start later this year
– New kinds of infected are coming
— DomTheBomb (@DomTheBombYT) March 13, 2023
Some fans of the game also hope for more mushroom zombies, known as cordyceps in The Last Of Us universe, as there were more of them in the original game than in the television show. Others feel that the show will continue to keep them to a minimum, so as to focus more on the relationships between the characters and the people they’ve encountered on their cross-country journey. The show’s intention appears to invite viewers to question the humanity (and lack thereof) at play when the show’s characters are faced with the end of life as they know it, and less on the jump scares of monsters.
One of the best aspects of Last of Us is that it does not waste much time on “boo” scare tactics from ugly infected but instead spends that time on character development, probing the psychological challenges that shaped the characters. Also, the comradery between Joel and Ellie.
— Feminine Genius (@pondering_this) March 13, 2023
Regardless of how the show and game creators choose to handle the rest of the game to television adaptation, one thing remains clear–that we haven’t seen the last of The Last Of Us just yet.