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The Last of Us showrunner defends controversial finale ending

Dominic Smithers

| Last updated 

The Last of Us showrunner defends controversial finale ending

Warning: Lots of spoilers ahead, obviously

The first season of The Last of Us has come to a close, after what was a gut-wrenching finale.

Since landing on our screens earlier this year, the long-awaited series has been praised by critics and fans alike for bringing the much-loved video game to life.



As well as the breathtaking visual landscape, its success is in no small part down to the performances of its stars, Pedro Pascal (Joel) and Bella Ramsey (Ellie).

So, as you can imagine, there was a lot of pressure for the final episode to do the rest of the series justice.

The episode opened with a shaken Ellie still reeling from her horrifying ordeal with the sinister David (Scott Shepherd), the violent preacher/leader of Silver Lake.

We then learn about Ellie's birth, and how her mother was infected while in labour after being attacked by a runner, resulting in her becoming immune.

Season one of The Last of Us reached its conclusion. Credit: HBO
Season one of The Last of Us reached its conclusion. Credit: HBO

Concerned for her safety, Joel offers to take Ellie back to his brother's settlement, but she says she wants to finish what they started, and they continue to the Firefly camp in Salt Lake City.

When they arrive, though, it's not quite what they were expecting.

The pair are knocked unconscious, and when Joel wakes, he's told that they will have to kill Ellie in order to retrieve the infected cells from her brain to create the vaccine.


As you can imagine, this does not go down well with Joel at all, who kills everyone in sight before eventually rescuing Ellie from the operating table.

But while the episode has been lauded by plenty of people who've seen it already, some feel it was 'rushed' and 'disappointing', and don't agree with Joel's decision, which essentially doomed the rest of humanity.

Joel does everything he can to save Ellie. Credit: HBO
Joel does everything he can to save Ellie. Credit: HBO

Hitting back at the criticism, though, showrunner Craig Mazin told The Hollywood Reporter that it's not that surprising when you think about their relationship.


He said: "When you love something unconditionally, logic goes out the window and you will do really horrible things to protect the ones you love.

"And there's a lot of examples worldwide of this happening all the time."

He went on: "[There’s] greater and greater sacrifices Joel has to make for Ellie, and likewise what she's going through to protect him.

"I'm confused about it morally. I think it's a difficult choice. I go back and forth. I think a lot of people will go back and forth on it."

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: US News, TV and Film

Dominic Smithers
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