How Old Is Joel In ‘The Last of Us’?

Image via HBO Max

HBO’s adaptation of the Sony video game The Last of Us is shaping up to be one of the biggest TV shows of 2023 so far with the show receiving stellar reviews from both critics and audiences. 

The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller and Bella Ramsey as Ellie Williams, respectively, and follows their characters’ journey across a United States that has been ravaged by a world-ending pandemic. Joel finds himself a job transporting Ellie across the country to a group of scientists, who believe the young woman could potentially be the key to curing the virus which leaves its victims in a zombie-like state. 

There’s an interesting character dynamic to be seen between the pair of lead characters, given that Joel knew the peace and domestic bliss of the world before it ended, whereas Ellie grew up in, and has only ever known the world in the post-apocalypse. This begs the question: exactly how old is Joel? We did some digging for you. 

Joel’s age in The Last of Us

How many episodes of ‘The Last of Us’ will there be?
Image: HBO

While Joel’s age is never explicitly stated in The Last of Us game, some eagle-eyed sleuths across the internet have been able to put a few puzzle pieces together thanks to Joel’s passport. Due to the original game’s technical limitations, the details on the document weren’t quite visible. In The Last of Us: Part One remake for PlayStation 5, however, the enhanced visuals allowed for a Reddit user to glean that Joel was born on Sep. 6 1981, making him 52-years-old during the events of the game.

It should be noted, however, that the time skips were adjusted for the purposes of the HBO adaptation. While the initial outbreak occurs in 2013 for the game, The Last of Us TV show has it set in 2003. Both then jump 20-odd years into the future, so the bulk of the game takes place in 2033, but the show is in 2023. With that in mind, we can likely surmise that Joel as played by Pascal is the same age, albeit born a decade earlier in 1971.