Does Joel die in The Last of Us? What happens to Pedro Pascal’s character in HBO series and video games

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The Last of Us fans want to know what happens to Joel in the HBO series and the video games

The latest episode of HBO’s hit series The Last of Us left fans fearing the worst after a dramatic cliffhanger.

‘Kin’ saw protaganists Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) complete their journey to Wyoming. After a tense initial encounter with a group of masked riders, the pair ended up in the peaceful settlement of Jackson.

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But the episode ended with a devestating twist as Joel was stabbed and collapses from his horse leaving Ellie distraught. Previews for the next episode airing on 26 February in the US and 28 February in the UK, show only Bella Ramsey and a new character played by Euphoria actor Storm Reid.

Fans have been left fearing that Joel could have met an untimely end. But does Joel die in HBO’s The Last of Us?

*Spoilers for The Last of Us season one ahead*

HBO horror drama The Last of Us has done very well for a video game adaptation, pulling in more than 6 million viewers per episode. The apocalyptic series follows two people on a mission to find a cure for a devastating virus that has wiped out most of humanity, turning the infected into zombie-like cannibalistic mutants.

The latest episode has many fans wanting to know the fate of a major character. Joel, played by Pedro Pascal in the series, is a resilient survivor of the pandemic caused by a fungal virus which claimed the life of his daughter.

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Joel has been tasked with transporting Ellie, a young girl with natural immunity to the virus, from Boston to a medical facility in Colorado, a journey of around 2,000 miles. But disaster struck in the latest episode of the series, Kin.

Does Joel die in The Last of Us?Does Joel die in The Last of Us?
Does Joel die in The Last of Us? | © 2023 Home Box Office, Inc. Al

Does Joel die in The Last of Us?

In the sixth episode of the series, after finally tracking down his brother, Joel and Ellie spend time with a mountain community who live in relative safety. But eventually, the pair realise they must continue on their journey, shortly after returning to dangerous territory, Joel is attacked and stabbed with a wooden spike.

Joel kills his attacker and he and Ellie manage to ride away on a horse, but Joel falls from his horse and passes out - this is where the episode ends. Naturally the shocking end had many fans wanting to know Joel’s fate before the next episode is released.

Well, this is everything we know - or think we know - so far. Pedro Pascal is credited as appearing as Joel in every episode of the current season of The Last of Us, as well as the first episode of the second season.

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HBO series The Last of Us is based on the 2013 video game of the same nameHBO series The Last of Us is based on the 2013 video game of the same name
HBO series The Last of Us is based on the 2013 video game of the same name | Sony Interactive Entertainment/ Sky

Additionally, the show’s creators previously confirmed that the first season of the show will cover the first video game, whilst season two will be adapted from the sequel game, which Joel also appears in.

Therefore, it’s a fairly safe bet to say that Joel won’t die of the stab wound he suffered in episode six, but that’s not to say that he’ll make it through the entire show completely unscathed.

Spoilers for future seasons of HBO’s The Last of Us and the second PlayStation game - you’ve been warned.

What happens to Joel in The Last of Us Part II?

At the end of the first video game, Joel and Ellie finally find the Firefly medical facility. Joel learns that in order to develop a vaccine, the Firefly doctors will have to remove the infected portion of Ellie’s brain, which will kill her.

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Joel is unable to stand by and let Ellie die - he kills several Firefly doctors and leaves with Ellie. In the second game, which is set four years after the end of the first, Joel is ambushed by Abby, the daughter of one of the Fireflies he killed in rescuing Ellie.

Ellie is forced to watch as Abby beats Joel to death with a golf club. It’s not yet known to what extent the TV series will follow the video game, so there is hope for Joel fans that he may have a happier outcome in the show.

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