Well, it looks like Pedro Pascal is landing all kinds of dad roles lately. The Last of Us HBO series has found their Joel in Pedro Pascal and their Ellie in Bella Ramsey. And guess what? They’re both Game of Thrones veterans. Everyone knows who Pedro Pascal is (at least they should), but what about the young Bella Ramsey? She was actually the very badass Lady Lyanna Mormont who assisted Jon Snow in the Battle of Winterfell. I mean, how can a little girl speak so loudly and make grown adults listen to her? The girl had conviction, heart, and arguably the bravest of all the characters. I mean, she died fighting an undead giant and even killed it. How freaking awesome is that?
And what about the casting of Pedro Pascal for Joel Miller? Come on, does that really need an explanation? I’m happy that Pedro Pascal has been expanding his acting roles, because the man really deserves more recognition. After watching two seasons of The Mandalorian and Wonder Woman 1984, I’m convinced he’s more than capable of leading The Last of Us series.
Okay, so this upcoming HBO series has their leading cast members. That’s a start, but good ingredients means nothing if you don’t cook them right. In other words, this show needs to use these two talented actors to their best abilities. Give them a good script and give them a story we can get behind. Speaking of which, The Last of Us has already given us a complete story for Joel. Ellie’s story was left on a cliffhanger, but she’s sure not the same teenage girl we were introduced to in the first game.
Yeah, their stories are old news by now. Okay, I’ll be honest, I didn’t play the second game. To be honest, I just wanted to read the reviews before I spent the money. It sounds like I saved some dough, but I did check out the story on YouTube. I did like what I saw, but I understand why the game was met with some polarizing reactions from the fans. Wow, talk about dividing the fanbase. Did Neil Druckmann take creativity notes from Rian Johnson? Too soon?
So we know what happens and a good chunk of us didn’t like it. Joel was beaten to death by a character we didn’t feel sorry for with a golf club. Oh boy, did that tick many fans off. I can see why, I feel like Joel deserved better. And then what happened to Ellie? She spent the whole game on the warpath and failed to get her revenge. She found happiness, but it didn’t last. Ellie once again embarked on a quest for revenge, but she still didn’t avenge Joel. The Last of Us Part 2 then ended with Ellie returning home to find her family gone and no longer being able to play the guitar. Abby bit off her fingers, man. Jeez, way to rub salt in the wound.
Where is Ellie now? We’ll have to wait for the third game, but I can’t imagine too many fans being super excited about it. If The Last of Us wants to make a comeback, it’ll have to give Ellie a story that’s more about redemption, instead of vengeance. Can they still give us more Joel? I wouldn’t mind more flashbacks of him and Ellie together, but I wish we got to play as them when they worked together more. That’s really what made the first game work.
Okay, so what does this have to do with the upcoming HBO series? Well, the last game ticked off many fans. We love the main characters and we like to see them be treated well. Many fans feel like the games failed to do that, but the show can succeed where the games failed. Ever since the show was announced, I first wondered how The Last of Us HBO series will be different from the games. From the looks of it, I’m guessing the show will take us back to the beginning to where Joel and Ellie first met. Yeah, we’ve seen that already in the games, but the show can give us a different variation of that.
Okay, now if the show needs to do one thing, it must make the chemistry between Joel and Ellie work. That’s what made so many fans love the first game so much. Above the gameplay and the horror elements, watching Joel and Ellie interact was the highlight of the first game. No question about it, the show needs to do the same.
So that’s a step, but what will the show do with them? Will Joel once again have to take her on an extended road trip to meet the Fireflies? Or will the show give us more backstory on Joel during the early years of the cordyceps pandemic? Heck, why not do the same for Ellie? Yes, we got to experience a bit of that in a dlc, but her past did help shape who she became. If the show wants to do some filler, giving us some Joel and Ellie backstory episodes would be a great way to keep our interest.
But of course, the show will have to move forward with their stories. Personally, I would’ve like to have seen more of Joel and Ellie interact more with Tommy. If Joel and Ellie’s chemistry wasn’t good enough, the relationship both characters had with Tommy was equally amazing. Tommy may have been the younger brother of Joel, but he actually became the wiser one and worked his way to become the leader of his own community. I would like to see Tommy’s past as a Firefly and how he originally severed ties with Joel. Not only did he assist Joel and Ellie in their quest, but he actually became a bit of a caretaker for both Joel and Ellie.
It’s not just good chemistry I’m looking for, however. Tommy’s past as a Firefly can greatly explore the conflict between the Fireflies and the oppressive military. That’s a war that I wish the games went more into, but the show can give us that. If it sounds irrelevant, it really isn’t. Going more into the war would expand the world of The Last of Us by showing us how it has affected the living. It can also open the door for some new characters and Ellie can learn why the Fireflies aren’t the freedom fighters she originally thought they were.
Maybe that can be the critical difference between the show and the games. First of all, don’t kill Joel, at least not like game Joel. As for Ellie, that’s a bit more challenging. If the show takes a more origins story route, we’ll see a more naive Ellie who has faith in the Fireflies. Delving more into the war with the Fireflies can build up to Ellie’s broken faith in them and lead her to fully embrace Joel as her father.