ellie, joel

What I Hope for in The Last of Us TV Series

I can't wait to see what they do!

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As we’re gearing up for The Last of Us on HBO, I’ve started to watch through the gameplay of The Last of Us: Part 1. After finishing it, I had so many hopes and dreams for this show that I figured why not put them out into the universe, and hopefully, we’ll get to see them in live-action (even though Neil Druckmann has said that the show will differ from the game).

While we all hope the relationship between Ellie and Joel is as strong between Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal as it is in the game, I want to take that one step further and say that I hope they keep the little details like the way that Joel comforts Ellie after she’s taken by the cannibals, calling her “baby girl” like he would have if she were his daughter, Sarah.

I also hope that they keep random little things like Joel constantly having to lift Ellie up so she can grab ways for him to get up to the same level, or Ellie not being able to swim so then he has to find boards for her to stand on while he gets her across whatever body of water they’re near.

What makes The Last of Us such an interesting game is the level of detail put into it. I’ve been watching my friend Sophie Martin’s Twitch stream of the game in preparation for my own gameplay/research, and she pointed out that Joel Miller will often touch his watch that he still wears despite it being dead and said he does so because it is his last thing from Sarah. He might not want the picture of himself and Sarah that Tommy tries to give him, but he still holds onto her in his own way, and that relationship helped spawn his desire to help Ellie when he could have refused to take the job.

What I’m excited for is to see the growth of Joel and Ellie’s relationship that goes from just a job into the dynamic we see by the end of Part 1, where Joel is willing to risk everything to protect her. We know from The Mandalorian that this is right up Pedro Pascal’s alley as an actor. He is one of the best out there currently, and he has mastered the art of playing the reluctant father-figure turned protector, and I can’t wait to see how that’s adapted for Joel.

I’ve never been a big “let me watch this stream” or watching other people play video games person. I’d rather play myself. But The Last of Us is so cinematic in its storytelling aspect that I think it’s going to translate incredibly onscreen, even if there are differences from the game to the show. Sure, maybe that means some of the beats will shift. Maybe we’ll see Tommy Miller (Gabriel Luna) sooner than we do in the game, after the prologue. Or maybe Tess will play a bigger part in the show than she does in the game.

Whatever they’re planning, I’m extremely excited about it because The Last of Us is one of the most beautifully constructed games I’ve ever seen, and translating that to live-action is going to be no easy feat.

(image: Naughty Dog)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.