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    "Don't let your kids watch it!" - Robbie Rotten

    This article contains potentially sensitive content that may be discomforting or upsetting to certain users. Reader discretion is advised!

    Reason: Intense violence, blood, and swearing. The Last of Us is also Rated M, and its TV series is rated TV-MA.

    Joel Miller
    I've struggled for a long time with surviving. But no matter what, you keep finding something to fight for.
    Gender: Male
    Type: Apocalypse veteran
    Zombie apocalypse survivor
    Father figure
    Age: 51-52 (Part I)
    56 (Part II)
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: Troy Baker (Part I and Part II)
    Pedro Pascal (TV series)
    Status: Alive
    Deceased (Part II)
    Media of origin: The Last of Us


    Joel Miller is the main male protagonist of The Last of Us, and a supporting character in The Last of Us: Left Behind and a key character in The Last of Us Part II, in which he is briefly playable. Joel was a survivor in post-apocalyptic America that has been ravaged by the cordyceps brain infection, which has decimated 60% of mankind globally.

    After losing his only daughter Sarah in the early stages of the outbreak, Joel became a ruthless and cynical smuggler eventually tasked with smuggling and protecting Ellie, a young girl who was the key to mankind's survival. Joel eventually formed a strong bond with her.

    Why He Rocks

    1. While his goal of being a father living after the loss of his family member surviving in a harsh world isn't anything new, it was executed very well. It also makes him more human as the game develops.
    2. Joel is a very cautious man, he would do a lot of things in order to survive the zombie apocalypse, sense suspicion with other survivors that pretend to be friendly with him and Ellie.
    3. He is an expert in survival, hand-to-hand combat, weapons crafting, skill in guns, and listening.
    4. Speaking of which, the bond between Joel and Ellie is what made The Last of Us itself a timeless video-game.
      • Joel didn't fully trust Ellie when he first met her, since he's had second thoughts about delivering Ellie to the Fireflies or was sent on a wild goose chase.
      • As months go on, he seems to develop a reliance with her, building a trust the same way with Tess, and Joel starts to see the spirit of his late daughter Sarah inside Ellie, and uses this second chance in becoming a good father again.
      • He has also comforted Ellie after she has killed David, which gives a realistic depiction of both Joel and Ellie are scarred and invulnerable people being affected in an apocalypse and can change for the worst.
      • He's become more gentle after the events of the first game, is now fatherly, and keeps his promises about teaching Ellie how to swim, use the guitar, study about dinosaurs and outer space.
    5. While many consider Joel saving Ellie from the surgery might be a selfish move, it really shows that Joel doesn't want to lose another daughter after the incident with Sarah. After everything that has happened throughout the game, the experiences and growth both Joel and Ellie have spent all year, the bond that the two has shared with together, how his hope and happiness for himself has been brought back after 20 years of pain, and wants to save her instead of developing a cure for humanity, and Joel would eventually risk his life to keep Ellie safe at all costs, even if it meant being hunted down by the Fireflies.
      • It also gives Joel a sense of desperation, of how Ellie means much to him, no matter how much he'll have to keep hiding the truth from her that he stole humanity's only chance for a cure.
      • It also begs the player a question: "Would you sacrifice your child to save the world? Why, or why not?"
    6. He has one of the coolest moments in the game, where he interrogates two of David's men about where they are keeping Ellie.
    7. He has a cool character design.
    8. Troy Baker does an excellent job at voicing him.
    9. Pedro Pascal's performances as Joel in the TV series was also great.
    10. Joel has plenty of badass quotes that make him a strong character:
      • It is over, Tess!
      • (sobs) It's okay, baby girl.
      • And just so we're clear about back there... it was either him or me.
      • You're treading on some mighty thin ice here.
      • You have no idea what loss is.
      • Focus right here. Right here. Or I'll pop your goddamn knee off.
      • Now you're gonna mark it on the map. And it better be the same exact spot your buddy points too.
      • That's all right. I believe him.
      • Yeah, you keep telling yourself that bulls**t.
      • I ain't got time for this.
      • You'll just come after us.

    The Only Bad Quality

    1. He was done dirty in The Last of Us Part II:
      • His death in the sequel was not only brutal, but an insulting and a disrespectful way to give him a send-off.
        • Both, he and Tommy saved Abby from a horde of infected, blindly trusted the WLF, and even gave out their real names to invite them to Jackson, which felt really out of character for them, because both of their moral codes are to never trust anyone in the apocalypse. And those actions have been led to Joel's demise.
      • Joel was treated as the main villain for saving Ellie from the Fireflies, when he actually had good reasons for doing so since the surgeons are actually terrorists that plan to rush out the surgery on a 14 year old girl without even asking her for a choice.

    Trivia

    • His English voice actor, Troy Baker, also voiced Booker DeWitt in Bioshock: Infinite, Erron Black in Mortal Kombat 11, Talion in the Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor series, Snow Villers in Final Fantasy XIII, Pain/Yahiko, Yamato from the Naruto series, Kanji Tatsumi from Persona 4, Sam Drake in the Uncharted series, Jack Mitchell in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and many others.
    • His weapon of choice appears to be the revolver.
    • He was officially ranked as the sixth sexiest male video game character of all time.
    • Joel was named after Joel Coen, who famously directed No Country for Old Men and True Grit.
    • Initially, Neil Druckmann took inspiration from Josh Brolin's portrayal of Llewelyn Moss upon writing the character, whom he noted for being "very quiet, very cool under pressure".
    • Joel is a fan of music, and stated as a child he wanted to become a singer, and can play guitar. This a reference to his voice actor, Troy Baker, who is signer and guitar player in real life.
      • Interestingly enough, Baker also played another character who could guitar the year The Last of Us came out, Booker DeWitt in Bioshock: Infinite.

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