The Last Of Us Season 2 Needs To Keep Pedro Pascal’s Fate From The Game

The Last of Us Season 2 absolutely needs to stay faithful to Joel's fate from The Last of Us Part II.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

last of us 2

With season 1 of The Last of Us wrapping up, fans are left wondering if Joel’s fate will follow the story arc of the video game series. For you non-gamers out there, Winter is Coming has a pretty good primer (with spoilers) for the Last of Us 2 video game that you should read at your own risk. If you are familiar with the game’s lore, then you already know that Joel’s (Pedro Pascal) death is a crucial plot point in the story necessary to conclude the series if Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann want to continue being somewhat faithful to the source material.

While none of us want to see Pedro Pascal leave the series, the narrative structure we’re following from Last of Us 2 requires Joel to meet his maker and get killed off the series for one important reason: Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) revenge arc. In the video game, Joel’s death drives the rest of the series after he’s beaten to death with a golf club by Abby, the daughter of the lead Firefly surgeon who Joel killed in the first game. And it makes sense that Ellie has an important revenge arc; her mother died during childbirth, and she never met her father.

For all intents and purposes, Joel is Ellie’s father figure in The Last of Us, and his death in Last of Us 2 is not only brutal and humiliating, but Ellie also witnesses the entire thing. Up to this point in the HBO Max series, Ellie has been the optimistic foil to Joel’s jaded and cynical countenance, but she becomes hardened and cynical, and rightfully so, after Joel’s death. Imagine how she must feel after starting to bond with Joel, only for him to be taken away from her in such a violent and traumatizing way.

last of us 2
Ellie in The Last of Us Part II

The hardest part about becoming attached to a protagonist in a post-apocalyptic drama is the fact that there may not be a pretty outcome for them as the story unfolds. Joel’s death, if Mazin and Druckmann decide to be faithful to the Last of Us 2 story line, will be a devastating blow to fans, much like Glenn’s death in season 7 of The Walking Dead. For those who need a refresher, Glenn’s death was necessary to the narrative in forming Rick Grime’s revenge arc in seasons 7 and 8 of the AMC series.

At the end of the day, you have to think of both the short-term and long-term ramifications of Joel’s demise. If Joel gets killed off as he does in the Last of Us 2 game, there’s no doubt that fans will be angry; that’s the intended reaction for the video game. But think about how satisfying it will be when Ellie goes on the warpath to destroy Abby and everything she holds dear. In other words, Joel’s death is a short-term pain that yields a long-term gain.

The Last of Us aired its Season 1 finale on March 12, 2023, to record-breaking views, and Season 2 is slated for a late 2024 release. Whether the show goes off into new territory or leans into Last of Us 2 for inspiration, there’s no doubt that Mazin and Druckmann will tell us a compelling story, regardless of Joel’s fate.