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The Last of Us: From a Video Game into a Successful TV Series

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal for HBO's "The Last of Us"

It’s wild to say we are living in a timeline where The Last of Us is not just a phenomenal game, but is now a show on HBO. The storytelling, character development, and Joel and Ellie’s relationship are portrayed beautifully. The build-up of the first episode was brilliantly fleshed out, which is so important for people who are entering this world completely blind. People who have played the game should be open-minded and not go in with all these little nitpicks. Of course, you want to gain a new audience and at the same time make people who know the game happy. Also, if you think that Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal are not the right actors to play Ellie and Joel…you are wrong!


This is a story about grief, love, relationships, and decision-making. Throughout the season we are shown that you can’t run from your pain. The show introduces Joel Miller as a hard-working man who is partly cared for by his daughter, Sarah, and has an interesting relationship with his brother, Tommy. The introduction to Ellie Williams shows a very tough, headstrong girl who wants to make her life mean something. Joel developed a hard outer shell. He learned he had to do whatever he had to to survive. At first, Joel only views Ellie as “cargo” but throughout the season, we see him start to let Ellie in and develop a relationship with her. Joel gives Ellie a choice to choose him or another way and Ellie chooses him, which then that tragic path begins.

Throughout the season, as we learn more about Ellie, her first major loss is revealed and we are introduced to her best friend, Riley, whom Ellie fell in love with. Both Joel's and Ellie’s paths have been so similar and yet so different. They both have experienced so much loss and have been through so much together. Throughout their journey, they somehow were able to heal each other in a way neither of them expected.

In the finale, Joel takes away Ellie’s choice. From being in so much pain from losing his daughter Sarah, it blinded him from seeing the choice that Ellie made for herself. Earlier in the episode, Joel gives Ellie the option to not follow through with finding the Fireflies, when hearing this Ellie doesn’t think twice when she says, “After all we’ve been through, everything I’ve done, it can’t be for nothing”.

Still from Episode 9 of "The Last of Us"

The Last of US highlights grief and love as overwhelming experiences. In the finale, the audience can sense that Ellie knows Joel is lying and if she finds out, we don’t know if Ellie will ever forgive him. Ellie wanted to make her life mean something and this was how she was going to do it. It’s sad to see this adaptation come to an end. The real question now is how will this be resolved in season 2.

Written by Daniel Rojas

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