Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Did Joel Die In Last Of Us Episode 6? (& How The Game Is Different)

Sunday's installment of HBO's "The Last of Us" gave fans a bit of emotional whiplash. Though much of the episode saw Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) experience some refreshing normalcy at Tommy's (Gabriel Luna) settlement in Jackson, Wyoming (while subtly introducing a major Season 2 character), it ended on a devastating cliffhanging that will surely have new fans anxious until next week.

After a certain degree of arguing, Season 1, Episode 6, "Kin," ended with Joel and Ellie finally making their way to the hospital, which unfortunately turns out to be another dead end on their quest to join Marlene (Merle Dandridge) and the Fireflies. As they attempt to leave the area, however, the pair are ambushed by a nasty group of bandits. Though Joel and Ellie are able to kill most of them, one manages to jam the jagged, broken hilt of a baseball bat into Joel's stomach, causing him to bleed profusely. Ellie is able to help him mount their horse, but it's too late — Joel soon becomes unresponsive before falling into the snow.

While it wouldn't be unheard of for "The Last of Us" to kill off a major character in this way, this scene seems all too familiar to fans of the original game. Assuming the series will continue to follow the trajectory of Naughty Dog's "The Last of Us — Part I," this will almost certainly lead to the fateful battle at the Lakeside Resort, the introduction of Scott Shepard's David, and the darkest period in Ellie's journey so far.

Breathe easy, Pascal fans

No, Joel Miller is (probably) not dead — even though it definitely seems that way.

In "The Last of Us — Part I," Joel and Ellie find themselves in a nearly identical scenario to the one in Season 1, Episode 6 of the HBO series. While fighting one of the hospital bandits, Joel (Troy Baker) is thrown from the second floor of the building into the rubble below, and when he lands, a piece of rebar runs through his gut.

While this injury is a little more grizzly than the baseball bat shank, Joel is ultimately able to pull through with Ellie's (Ashely Johnson) help. As will seemingly be the case in the series, Ellie drags Joel's body along for several weeks, fighting for her own survival while she does what she can to keep Joel alive. Eventually, fate brings her into contact with a kindly group of strangers that can seemingly ensure the survival of her friend. The toll this chapter will take on Ellie, however, leaves scars that never heal. If you don't want any more spoilers for Episode 7, you should stop reading here.

More people, more problems

While hunting a deer in the snow-covered woods along her journey, Ellie has a chance encounter with two previously unknown men — one of whom is David, a soft-spoken southern gentleman and community leader played by "Uncharted" star Nolan North. David instantly takes a liking to Ellie, though she's understandably skeptical by default. Ultimately, they agree to a trade — Ellie's deer for two bottles of life-saving medicine.

Despite Ellie's attempts to control the situation by keeping David somewhat hostage until his friend returns with what she needs, a horde of infected force them to act on their feet. After narrowly surviving, David reveals that Ellie and Joel killed a group of his men earlier in the game.

Though he allows her to return to Joel with the medicine, it isn't long before David's survivors track her down and bring her back to their camp, at which point David's true motivations become clear — keep Ellie captive for truly disgusting purposes or turn her into food for his community. Through sheer will and determination, Ellie is able to escape and brutally kill David, causing irreparable emotional damage that haunts her for the remainder of the game.