The Last of Us: what happened to David in the video game? Ending explained

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Scott Shepherd brought the villainous David to life in HBO’s hit series The Last of Us

The Last of Us is nearing a dramatic conclusion to its first season and the penultimate episode once again provided high drama.

HBO’s hit series, which has already been renewed for a second season, has faithfully brought the popular 2013 video game to life. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey star as Joel and Ellie, the unlikely duo brought together on a mission that could change the world.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The previous episode of The Last of Us saw the show bring to life the beloved Left Behind DLC, exploring the night Ellie discovered she was immune from the deadly fungal pandemic. HBO adapted the winter arc of the game for episode eight “When We Are in Need”.

Ellie is left to care for Joel after he is seriously injured, but she comes into the orbit of the charismatic but dangerous David. But was David in the game and what happened to him?

What happened to David in the video game?

David is the charismatic leader of a group that Ellie and Joel encounter during the fall and winter sections of the video game. His hunters are the ones who attack the protagonists at the University of East Colorado, resulting in Joel being greviously wounded after falling onto rebar.

His group are also the human enemies that Ellie encounters during the Left Behind DLC - in the game the present section is set in a mall, paralleling the flashback with Riley. But David himself is not introduced until the start of the winter section.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ellie meets David while she is hunting a deer in a forest. He agrees to trade for medicine and helps Ellie survive an attack by a wave of infected.

Scott Shepherd as David in The Last of Us (Credit: HBO)Scott Shepherd as David in The Last of Us (Credit: HBO)
Scott Shepherd as David in The Last of Us (Credit: HBO) | HBO

However once another member of his group returns with the medicine, he mentions about how his men were attacked at the university, causing Ellie to become hostile. After returning to Joel, Ellie tries to lead David’s men away but is eventually captured.

David attempts to recruit Ellie to join his group, which is revealed to be a band of cannibals who hunt other survivors for food. Ellie escapes but is confronted by David in a restaurant, during this section the game switches back to Joel’s perspective as he makes his way through David’s settlement, trying to reunite with Ellie.

The restaurant where David has cornered Ellie is set on fire and it becomes a boss battle in which players have to stealthily sneak up behind David to attack him. It culminates with Ellie killing David with a machete, before Joel arrives and comforts here.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Who voices David in the game?

In the original The Last of Us game on the PlayStation consoles, David was voiced by Nolan North. To players of Naughty Dog’s other hit franchise from the PS3 and PS4 era Uncharted may recognise him as the voice behind Nathan Drake.

He has had a long career as a voice actor in the video game industry, including appearing in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Prince of Persia, Team Fortress 2, Spec Ops: The Line and voiced Tony Stark in The Avengers game.

Who played David in the HBO series?

Nolan North did not return to play the role of David in the TV adaption. Scott Shepherd was the actor who brought the charismatic cannibal to life.

But fun fact David’s right hand man James was actually played by Troy Baker in the HBO series. Troy was the voice behind Joel in The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Troy Baker as James in The Last of Us (Credit: HBO)Troy Baker as James in The Last of Us (Credit: HBO)
Troy Baker as James in The Last of Us (Credit: HBO) | © 2023 Home Box Office, Inc. Al

Shepherd has had a career which has spanned across film and television. He is perhaps best known for playing Cardinal Dussolier in the 2016 series The Young Pope, alongside Jude Law.

Other roles include Casey in El Camino: A Breaking Bad movie, Harris James in season three of True Detective and Edwin Russell in 2016’s Jason Bourne - the fourth film in the popular franchise.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.