What is Joel’s fate in ‘The Last of Us Part 2’

Is 'The Last of Us' on Xbox?
Image via Naughty Dog

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II, the events the second season of HBO’s The Last of Us will be based on.

One of the reasons fans love The Last of Us is because Naughty Dog was able to make a series where you could stay attached to the characters even if they died. This was needed in the post-apocalyptic games as literally anybody could die at any moment. In fact, the second game kills people out of the blue a few times, and it is quite likely that the second series of the show is not going to be much different. 

Even the main characters weren’t safe from being killed, whether their death came at the hands of a clicker or another survivor. Be warned, the following will be spoiling the second game, and it will also undoubtedly spoil the events of the second season of The Last of Us series on HBO. Joel Miller is one of the characters to meet his end in the second game, with Troy Baker’s character and the protagonist of the first game dying early on. But, how did he die, and who, or what killed him?

Who kills Joel in The Last of Us?

Abby Anderson
Image via Naughty Dog

A new character from The Last of Us Part II is the one who ultimately kills Joel Miller. Her name is Abby Anderson, and although she was not in the first game, she was deeply connected to the events of the first game’s ending. Abby is the daughter of one of the people Joel killed in the hospital at the end of The Last of Us Part I. He was the surgeon who was preparing to operate on Ellie, Jerry Anderson.

When she finds out that Joel slaughtered the Fireflies, including her father, she beefs up her training and searches for him. He encounters her at the beginning of The Last of Us Part II, even though at that point we don’t know who she is. Joined with some of her friends who were with the Fireflies before Joel killed them, they torture both Joel and Tommy.

Ellie Williams
Image via Naughty Dog

Sensing that something has happened to the pair of them, Ellie ventures out to look for them. Unfortunately, her rescue turns sour as they grab her too and she is forced to watch as Abby takes a golf club to Joel, brutally murdering him in front of her. The rest of the game is then a revenge story as Ellie hunts Abby, and then we see everything from Abby’s perspective and come to realize why she did what she did.

This is not to say that Joel does not have a presence in The Last of Us Part II as he is in the game quite a bit, just not as the constant companion you might have hoped for. There are flashbacks between Joel and Ellie, one of which is one of the best scenes in the second game. He also does appear at the beginning as the game explores how Ellie and Joel’s relationship has changed since the events of The Last of Us Part I.

But, Joel also does not need to be in the game much for his presence to be felt throughout the entirety of it. He teaches Ellie how to play guitar and you are reminded of that every time she stops to pick up a guitar in the game. Her entire journey is shaped by Joel’s death and the entire plot of The Last of Us Part II is directly influenced by his actions in Part I. He also performs “Future Days” by Pearl Jam in yet another perfect scene. Ellie trying to deal with her grief and guilt for how she treated Joel after she found out what he did to the Fireflies makes him the first thing on her mind during pretty much the entire game. So, even if he does die, he is still very much involved in Part II.

But, if you were looking forward to more Pedro Pascal in the second season of HBO’s series, you might be a little disappointed. You can catch the entirety of the first season of The Last of Us on HBO Max. The Last of Us Part I and Part II are available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.