Ashley Johnson as Ellie and Troy Baker as Joel in PS4's The Last of Us

‘The Last of Us’ Game Has Already Told the Ending of the HBO Show

Warning: spoilers ahead for The Last of Us, both game and TV show.

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So ya wanna know how it all ends, do ya?

Well, my guess is that humanity slowly dies out not with a whimper, but with a bang. Oh it’ll start with a whimper, sure. The whole franchise is the start of the whimper. Humanity is dying a slow, fungusy death. But eventually all the infected are gonna turn into bloaters and by that point I think it’s safe to say they’re gonna BANG on humanity’s collective doors and rip us all to shreds. But before that, we’re going to have a good time! Grow some strawberries in our backyards! Get married! Burn a couple of raiders to death! Bill and Frank had the right idea.

Oh you meant the ending of the FIRST GAME? Okay got it. Thnx for clarifying. One end-of-game explanation comin’ right up!

How does The Last of Us Part 1 end?

After Ellie buries the hatchet with the cannibal leader David (specifically into his skull) Joel and his surrogate daughter depart the Silver Lake resort hellscape and make it to the outskirts of Salt Lake City. And just in time for spring!

Mother Nature opens her arms in beautiful, saturated splendor! There are birds chirping! Grass is growing! Herds of giraffes are running in the city parks (yes really). After making their way into the city, Joel spots Saint Mary’s hospital in the distance. According to a tape recording they found in at the Fireflies’ last known hideout, the group had set up camp at Saint Mary’s Hospital and are using it as their current base of operations.

Joel and Ellie trek through the city, finding a herd of giraffes that escaped from the city’s zoo. After giving a particularly friendly giraffe a good pet, Joel tells Ellie that they could leave their mission behind and return to his brother’s peaceful community in Jackson, where they would be safe in perpetuity. After weighing the decision, Ellie decides to press on, believing that she owes it to the world to finish the mission so the Fireflies can use her to develop a cure for the infection.

After journeying on, Joel and Ellie are forced to travel underground into a flooded tunnel en route to the hospital. Surprise, surprise, it’s LOUSY with infected! After fighting off the fungal hordes, Joel and Ellie have to climb over an abandoned bus to reach the street above. As Joel is attempting to climb out, the platform he is standing on gives way, and he falls into the bus below and becomes trapped. After breaking one of the windows on the bus to rescue Joel, Ellie falls into the water. Joel drags an unconscious Ellie out of the water and frantically tries to resuscitate her. Just then, a group of Fireflies find the pair and order Joel to surrender his weapons. The panicking Joel ignores them and is knocked out a Firefly.

Joel wakes up in the hospital, face to face with the Fireflies’ leader Marlene. Marlene explains that Ellie survived, and doctors are currently preparing to remove a fungal infection that lays dormant in her brain in hopes of engineering a cure. Joel realizes that the surgery will be fatal to Ellie, as x-rays show the fungus has covered her brain. Joel begs Marlene not to carry out the surgery, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. As tensions escalate, Marlene orders a Firefly guard named Ethan to march Joel off the premises. “If he tries anything, shoot him,” she says.

And boy does Joel try something. As he is being marched out, he wrestles Ethan’s gun away and pins him to the wall, asking him where the surgery room is. After the guard tells him, Joel shoots Ethan in the head. It is woefully satisfying. The gunshots attract the Fireflies like … well, flies! Joel fights his way up the surgery in order to rescue Ellie. And he kills a lot of people to get there.

Joel makes his way into the operating room and comes face to face with the head surgeon, who levels his scalpel at Joel, saying he won’t let Joel take Ellie and doom humanity. Joel doesn’t take too kindly to that and expresses his displeasure by grabbing the good doctor’s scalpel and quickly returning it to him in the neck, point first. He then carries a sedated Ellie off the operating table and flees the hospital.

Ellie wakes up in the backseat of a car. Joel is driving her out of town. She asks what happened at the hospital, and Joel lies to her saying that there were many other immune people already there and the doctors were unsuccessful in engineering a cure. The story then flashes back in time, with Joel carrying Ellie into the hospital’s parking garage. Joel is stopped at gunpoint by Marlene, who attempts to reason with him. She tells him that he is only prolonging Ellie’s suffering, saying that the girl will likely be torn apart by a pack of clickers “if she hasn’t already been raped and murdered first.”

Joel appears to give this some thought, and Marlene takes it as a sign that she’s getting through to him. She lowers her gun, giving Joel a second to shoot her in the abdomen with a gun that he had concealed under Ellie. Joel lays Ellie down in the back of a Firefly vehicle, then returns to Marlene. Marlene begs for him to let her go, but he refuses saying, “you’d just come after her”. He then shoots Marlene point blank in the head.

Sometime later, Joel and Ellie reach the outskirts of Jackson. Joel begins talking openly about his daughter Sarah, who died at the beginning of the game. He tells Ellie that they used to go on hikes all the time and that Ellie and Sarah would have been “good friends.” Just before they reach the town, Ellie stops Joel. She tells him to swear to her that everything he said about the Fireflies was true. Joel considers, then says, “I swear.” Ellie accepts his answer but seems to harbor doubt. The game then cuts to black and the credits roll.

(featured image: Sony)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.