When you first watched the reveal trailer for The Last of Us, what was your impression of Joel? Did you think he was a kind soul looking out for this young girl? If you did, then you may be surprised to find out that you were completely wrong. Joel’s voice actor has stated in an interview that people are getting the wrong idea of the relationship between the two characters.
“People think they know who Joel and Ellie is, and the relationship between the characters. It’s fun to watch from this side because I don’t think anyone really knows.”
Now, a new video has surfaced showing off the motion capture process – starring Troy Baker as Joel and Ashley Johnson as Ellie – for the VGA reveal trailer and it further supports the previous statement. The significant part of this video is that it includes narration that didn’t make the final cut.
Ellie says the following in the beginning:
“He’s been called a violent thug, a brutal killer and a torturer. Me? He’s just Joel to me. Back in his day you weren’t afraid of being hunted by other people, and it wasn’t normal for a girl to scavenging the dead and you sure as hell didn’t have to worry about them.”
So, it seems Joel isn’t the selfless hero after all. It could be that Joel sees Ellie as his last means of redemption for the life he has lived so far. This stems from hints dropped by the developers stating that Ellie was in someway “Joel’s salvation.”
Speculation is all we have to go on for now. We won’t know the true history and connection between these two until Naughty Dog decides to feed us a little more info.