The Last of Us

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in Texas. Joel grew up in the Lone Star State, raising his younger brother Tommy. Eventually, he got married and had a daughter named Sarah, but at some point his wife departed and he raised Sarah as a single parent.

Living... in a zombie apocalypse. In the future, a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus infected humanity, causing a worldwide zombie apocalypse. That left society in tatters and the survivors struggle to get by, and co-exist, with limited resources.

Profession... smuggler. To help maintain some semblance of order, survivors are kept in quarantine zone police states in cities like Boston. Joel works as a smuggler illegally getting things in and out of these zones, including a young girl named Ellie whose fungal immunity could save the world.

Interests... construction. Joel never got to go to college due to his family duties. But he is very handy when it comes to carpentry and construction, useful skills to have in a broken world.

Relationship Status... widower. Joel’s spirit is still shattered due to the death of his daughter and presumably the rest of his family during the beginning of the outbreak.

Challenge... keeping Ellie safe. The new world has left Joel a cynical and apathetic shell of his former self. But during his journeys with Ellie, he becomes like a surrogate father to her, willing to do anything to keep her safe – even things he’s not necessarily proud of.

Personality... ruthless. Joel remembers what the world used to be like before it went to Hell, and he’s seen the true darkness that he and other humans are capable of. He’s a hardened, jaded survivor. As he says, “I struggled for a long time with survivin’, and no matter what, you keep finding something to fight for.”


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