Pedro Pascal fields questions on whether Joel's arc deviates from The Last of Us Part II

"Does Joel's arc in The Last of Us Part II deviate from the video game?" is what people ask. But what they MEAN is...
The Last of Us Episode 6
The Last of Us Episode 6 /

During the 75th Annual Emmy Awards earlier this week, The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal showed up with his arm in a cast, the result of a fall he didn't go into detail on. Given that HBO is due to start filming the second season of The Last of Us in the immediate future, some were concerned that he might not be healed in time for when the cameras begin to roll. Happily, he showed up at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of his movie Freaky Tales the other night, where Deadline reports that he was cast-free.

With that out of the way, Pascal was free to field questions about what happens to his character, Joel, in the second season of The Last of Us. To fully understand why that might be of interest to people, we're going to have to get into SPOILERS. Skip past the photo below to read on...if you dare.

Pedro Pascal
29th Annual Critics Choice Awards - Arrivals / Amy Sussman/GettyImages

Why everyone wants to know if Joel's arc will be changed in The Last of Us season 2

Specifically, Deadline asked Pedro if Joel's arc on the HBO show differs from his arc in Naughty Dog's video game The Last of Us Part II. "That’s a good question," Pascal said. “I think that they’re always going to find ways to build on the incredible source material that they have, and surprise us with how they can use that material in a different format like a television show. But I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anybody, and the truth is, I don’t actually have all of the information as of yet.”

Why would someone be especially interested in this topic? Because (and this is your last chance to turn away) Joel dies early in The Last of Us Part II. He's killed by a woman named Abby, the daughter of a doctor Joel killed in the first season, the same doctor who was going to perform lethal surgery on Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in hopes of purging the world of the zombie fungus that had obliterated society. We see Joel kill Abby's father in the season 1 finale. He shoots him in the head in a pretty off-hand way:

So when outlets like Deadline ask Pascal, "Does Joel's arc deviate from the game?" what they're really asking is, "Does Joel still die?" Obviously Pascal knows better than to give a clear answer, but in all likelihood, yes, he still dies. Joel's death is the engine that fuels the story of The Last of Us Part II, so there's no way they'd change it.

Joel still shows up in a lot of flashbacks in The Last of Us Part II, so there's still a good deal for Pascal to do. But the bulk of screentime will be given over to Ellie and Abby, who will be played by Kaitlyn Dever.

The first season of The Last of Us adapted the entirety of the first video game, but it's expected that the events of Part II will be spread across multiple seasons. Things are about to get twistier, more contentious, and more ambitious. We'll probably be watching The Last of Us season 2 sometime in 2025.

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