We’ve already simplistically summarized the plot of The Last of Us for the uninitiated, and today’s much-anticipated premiere is a special event. Actors are anxious and nervous about whether passionate fans will like it, but it’s arguably HBO’s biggest bet for the year and beyond. A lucrative and (hopefully) award-winning franchise. Having the two actors that the platform’s audience loves (Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey were supporting actors in Game of Thrones, but everyone’s favorites) helps a lot, but still, without seeing the result, it really generates expectations.
HBO’s synopsis says The Last of Us takes place 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization. Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts out as a small job soon becomes a brutal and painful journey as they both must cross the United States and depend on each other for survival.
In fact, although it takes place in the year 2033, we will certainly at least have many flashbacks because Joel’s tragic story begins in 2013, when he lost his daughter, Sarah (Nico Parker) dead in his arms when Joel and his brother, Tommy (Gabriel Luna ) were trying to escape amidst the chaos when a pandemic of a mutated Cordyceps fungus devastates the United States. Infected people are transformed into aggressive, cannibalistic hosts.
Currently, Joel works as a smuggler because he is an expert at circulating in danger zones, separated between settlements and infected zones. His partner is Tess (Anna Torv), but overall he is a bitter, practical, and emotionally impenetrable man. In the midst of a mission to recover stolen weapons, they agree to “smuggle in” a teenager, Ellie (Bella Ramsey), who is the only person proven to be immune to Cordyceps and the best hope of bringing a cure to the planet. But the adventure of crossing the country and fleeing from the infected hordes will be tough and more losses will come along the way. On this journey, Ella and Joel create the father-daughter connection on an apocalyptic road trip, in the struggle for survival and dramatic turns.
The super production of the game, which has a soundtrack signed by Gustavo Santaolalla, whose opening theme will certainly be in the HBO Max series.
Joel Miller: Originally from Texas, Joel was a single father in his late 20s when the initial Cordyceps outbreak occurred. Fleeing with her brother Tommy and 12-year-old daughter Sarah, they got into a shootout with a soldier, and Sarah was fatally wounded and died in his arms, leaving him traumatized. For the next 20 years, Joel did whatever he could to survive. Bonds with Ellie and will make tough decisions to keep her alive.
Ellie is a fourteen-year-old orphan whose life before the moment she meets Joel is unknown. She survives a bite from an infected and is sought after as a guinea pig for a cure. Initially irritated by Joel’s rudeness, she gradually becomes attached to him.
Tommy: Joel’s brother who witnessed his niece’s death and tries to survive with him, but different perspectives and the change in Joel push them apart. He marries Maria and ends up helping his brother.
Sarah (Nico Parker): Joel and Maria’s daughter, dies in her father’s arms when they try to escape, causing Joel a lot of pain.
Tess (Ann Torv): is Joel’s partner. It will help Ellie and her boyfriend, but its trajectory must end in the first season.
Marlene (Merle Dandridge): Leader of the Fireflies, a militia movement that hopes to lift the military occupation of the Quarantine Zones and restore government control. A friend of Ellie’s mother, she promised to take care of her. Not everything with her is very transparent.
Bill (Nick Offerman): survivor and partner of Joel and Tess. Paranoid, aggressive, and suspicious, he lives in isolation.
Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard) are two brothers Ellie and Joel meet while trying to escape a group of hunters in Pittsburgh.
Frank (Murray Bartlett): Bill’s former partner, whose tragic fate marks Bill’s trajectory.
Riley (Storm Reid): Ellie’s best friend and love since they met at the military boarding school where Ellie was sent when she turned thirteen. They are attacked by infected, but Riley’s fate is very different from Ellie’s…