Does Joel Die in ‘The Last of Us’ Episode 6? What the Game Tells Us

The Last of Us certainly knows how to do the unexpected, even surprising fans of the video game franchise despite how faithful the story is to its source material, and Sunday night’s episode 6 was no exception.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 6.

Episode 6 finds Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey) three months after their tragic encounter with Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard) in episode 5. Here is all you need to know.

‘The Last of Us’ Episode 6 Recap

In this composite image is Pedro Pascal (left) and Bella Ramsey (right) pictured as Joel Miller and Ellie Williams in “The Last of Us” Episode 6, which ends on a dramatic cliffhanger.
Liane Hentscher/HBO

Joel and Ellie are still looking for Joel’s brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna). They eventually find him after several days of trekking through the wilderness between Kansas City and Wyoming.

Tommy now lives in a secluded community of survivors in Jackson, Wyoming, and the group have started to rebuild their lives in post-apocalyptic America as best they can—complete with working electricity, farming animals, and a bar.

Joel’s sibling is now married to Maria (Rutina Wesley) and the settlement is thriving, but the elder Miller asks his brother for help. He tells Tommy of Ellie’s immunity to the Cordyceps Brain Infection, and asks him to complete his mission to bring her to the Fireflies in order to help make a vaccine.

Joel thinks it’s best to leave Ellie in Tommy’s care, but the teen confronts him about abandoning her, and eventually Joel lets her choose between him and his brother. She chooses him.

They leave the younger Miller and head to the University of Eastern Colorado, where Tommy said the rebel group used to be based.

However, when they arrive the pair quickly realize that the Fireflies have moved to a hospital in Salt Lake City. While leaving they are attacked by scavengers and Joel is stabbed in the abdomen. The episode ends with him falling unconscious.

Does Joel Die in The Last of Us episode 6? What the Game Tells Us

Those watching the episode may be shocked to see Joel so severely injured. As his fate hangs in the balance, the cliffhanger may make non-game fan viewers wonder if the character will survive his ordeal.

In the game, the pair’s search for the Fireflies unravels in much the same way as the HBO show, and Joel, who is voiced by Troy Baker in the game, does indeed suffer the same injury.

Ellie, voiced by Ashley Johnson, takes it upon herself to nurse Joel back to health, and the latter lives to fight another day. So, should the HBO show follow the same trajectory as the game, it should be expected that Pascal’s iteration of the character will survive thanks to Ellie’s help.

The HBO series has remained remarkably faithful to the original game’s story so far, therefore we will not reveal any further details of what happens in Naughty Dog’s original in order to maintain the mystery for those watching who have not played the game.

The Last of Us airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.

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