The Last of Us season 1 ending explained

(lr) Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie

Source: HBO

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Spoiler Alert! This article provides plot details for the season finale of The last of us on HBO.

We’ve finally reached the end of the road in Season 1 of The last of us. Adapting the critically acclaimed PlayStation game first released in 2013, the series follows Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal), a smuggler who escorts a young teenager named Ellie across the United States in the midst of a post-apocalyptic society devastated by the eruption of a Cordyceps fungal infection.

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The series has accomplished what few live-action video game adaptations have done before, and has garnered its own acclaim from both old fans and new viewers alike. It took some creative liberties to tell a unique story, but still hit most of the game’s same narrative beats. That includes his highly controversial ending.

For people who played the game, they saw this coming a mile away. If you haven’t, this may have come as quite a shock. Anyway, let’s break down the ending The last of us Season 1.

Ellie in The Last of Us

Source: HBO

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The Last of Us season 1 ending explained.

Throughout the series, Joel and Ellie have traveled long and arduous roads in their attempt to meet up with a cult of the Fireflies rebel group in Utah. They achieve their goal hoping that Ellie’s immunity to the Cordyceps Virus could be researched and help turn the tide against infection.

Once there, Joel tries to convince Ellie that she doesn’t have to go through anything the Fireflies have in store. However, Ellie wishes dearly that none of the sacrifices made along the way were in vain.

As the two grow closer than ever, they are ambushed by Firefly troops and then knocked unconscious.

Joel awakens to reunite with Marlene (Merle Dandridge), the leader of the fireflies, who has made her own trek across the country to meet with them.

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She reveals to Joel that Ellie is being prepped for surgery so that the Cordyceps in their system can be properly tested and explored. Doctors there believe Ellie’s immunity can be turned into a cure. However, Joel notes that the Cordyceps The infection spreads throughout the brain. This would mean that removing Ellie would result in her death.

the last of us joel

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Marlene believes the outcome would be worth Ellie’s sacrifice, but Joel is unwilling to let go of the one person who has given his life meaning since his daughter’s death 20 years ago.

Joel escapes his bonds and ruthlessly shoots any fireflies that get in his way. He soon arrives in the operating room, where an unconscious Ellie is being kept. He shoots the lead surgeon and tells the remaining medical staff to unhook Ellie so he can take her with him.

On his way out with Ellie in tow, Joel runs into Marlene one last time. She urges him to let her get away with the cure, insisting that Ellie would want it that way. However, her pleas go unheeded when he kills Marlene as well.

When Ellie wakes up, Joel lies to her and tells her that the doctors there have stopped looking for a cure.

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They come back to the compound where Joel’s brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) is staying. Joel wants the two to have a fresh start there, but Ellie expresses her doubts about what happened before. In the final moments of the episode, Ellie makes Joel promise her that everything he said about the fireflies is true. Without hesitation, Joel lies again and swears by his story.

In the end, Joel’s moral compass may have misled him. He was willing to sacrifice the fate of the world to help a person he felt needed him. However, Ellie ends up confirming Marlene’s beliefs. After loving and losing so much on her journey, she was willing to do anything to make sure it wasn’t in vain.

Ultimately, however, she survives, with a sense of survivor guilt weighing heavily on her heart.

Season 1 of The last of us now streaming on HBO Max. The Last of Us season 1 ending explained

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