The Last Of Us: 10 Unpopular Opinions About Joel, According To … – Screen Rant

With the release of The last of Us Part 1, there’s never been a better time to consider the internet’s hot takes about the game’s iconic protagonist.
For fans who missed Joel in The Last of Us Part 2, the remake of The Last of Us Part 1 couldn't have come at a better time, with everyone's favorite morally grey protagonist now back and looking better than ever. Of course, it's also reignited debates and hot takes about the nuanced and complex character of Joel within the franchise. A debate that will probably involve new people when HBO's The Last of Us series debuts.
As with any complex and morally grey character, there are plenty of opinions that are debated and discussed on Reddit. From whether he made the right choice to save Ellie to whether his death actually mattered that much, these are some of Reddit's unpopular opinions about Joel Miller.
Brutally and suddenly killing off the face of the franchise at the very beginning of The Last of Us Part 2 was a bold choice that divided fans, a lot of whom felt that he deserved a far better send-off considering how much he had gone through and how much he had grown. Redditor Nacksche argues that that's the entire point though.
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As they put it, "You were supposed to feel robbed of your time with him." In their view, fans who say they were okay with him dying but think it should have happened later or in a more heroic, self-sacrificial manner don't understand that that is exactly the point. It only gives his death a more bitter impact on both Ellie and the player.
The impact of Joel's decision to save Ellie and rob the world of any hope of a vaccine in the process is one of the most-discussed points of the first game, with many still questioning the integrity of the main character ever since. Some consider Joel a hero because he chose to save someone he loved but Redditor DrunkBeardGuy disagrees.
However, they say that even though "Joel DIDN'T make the hero choice," the game is actually "better because of it." Whilst helping find a cure and saving humanity would have made Joel a great hero, it's also been done countless times before. Instead, the conclusion of Joel's arc was a far more human one that subverted expectations satisfyingly.
Pedro Pascal will have to work hard to capture all of Joel's unique mannerisms in The Last of Us show but there's one that he might do well to ignore. Whilst it's more of a minor gameplay issue than a character flaw, Redditor Metalgearmetalgear's unpopular opinion about the Part 1 protagonist involved his habit of holstering his gun.
In particular, they don't like the fact that he "puts in back in the holster if you're not using it for a while," because they would almost never want to have it holstered "in that messed up situation." This isn't a Joel-exclusive issue, but it is a case of the gameplay not quite reflecting the paranoia of the character.
It's easy to feel that Joel's death was unnecessarily brutal given how much fans love the character but some argue that it was a necessary step to make The Last of Us Part 2 the hard-hitting revenge story it turned out to be. That's not just because it gave Ellie her motivation either.
RELATED: 10 Unpopular Opinions About Ellie, According To Reddit
Redditor RAA94 agrees that the "shock, sadness and anger" it caused helped set the bleak tone of Part 2. Whilst it was clear before that things were awful, plot armor usually means the player doesn't have to worry about protagonists. By killing Joel off so quickly, however, it hammered home that this is really the apocalypse and anyone can die at any time.
Regardless of whether the player agrees with Joel's choice, it's definitely shocking how quickly he comes to the decision to save Ellie from the fireflies. Redditor Zchutle's hot take isn't about the choice being wrong but the fact that he wasn't shown to "struggle a bit with the decision."
They dislike the way this is "portrayed as a foregone conclusion," and he begins "immediately treating the fireflies with the same disregard as he showed David’s men." Even though it was the climax of his character arc, the fact he had no trouble coming to the decision almost gives it less weight and makes Joel somewhat less relatable.
Many fans were happy to express their unpopular opinions about the way Joel was treated in The Last of Us Part 2 but Redditor AliLivin went even further in arguing that "another Joel and Ellie adventure" would have made for a better game. Whereas Naughty Dog wanted to tell a new story in the sequel, they think that more of the same would have been better.
Given Joel is one of the most popular The Last of Us characters, it's no surprise that fans wanted more of him, and it was his relationship with Ellie that brought out his best qualities. That's why it's understandable that some players just wanted to spend more time on the road with the two of them.
Joel's death early on in The Last of Part 2 cemented it as a game for players who don't mind crying a bit as it formed an unforgettable emotional moment for many. Not to undercut that emotion, but Redditor cc124f thinks it's fair to say that Joel "had it coming" when Abby murdered him with a golf club.
Given Joel's checkered past before he even met Ellie and the way he indiscriminately murders those who he sees as threats to them, including Abby's father who was trying to save humanity, there is definitely an argument to be made that he set up his own death. Additionally, given the number of times he survived by the skin of his teeth, it makes sense that he would run out of luck eventually.
Whilst Joel, Ellie, and Abby are more like the faces of The last of Us, Tommy is quietly a very interesting character. Joel might be the more well-liked of the brothers and take the spotlight more often but Redditor No_Victory9193 thinks that's a shame as they "much prefer Tommy to Joel."
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Even with just as patchy a past as Joel himself, Tommy doesn't seem to let it affect his present as much, managing to be caring and empathetic to everyone whilst leading the town of Jackson. As an uncle to Ellie, he might not always be a positive influence, but arguably he's done just as much for her as Joel.
Given all of the time that fans have spent discussing the true impact of Joel's death in The Last of Us Part 2, one Redditor's opinion that it wouldn't actually have made that much difference if he'd survived is a real hot take. They think that Joel's injuries would have made him completely infirm and Ellie would "feel torn," not knowing whether to stay with him or seek revenge.
However, if Tommy still went out seeking revenge then it's likely Ellie would have followed in the end, "so Seattle proceeds, at least for Ellie, in a very similar fashion." Whilst this doesn't take into account the emotional impact of Joel dying, it's certainly an intriguing way of looking at the events of Part 2.
Many fans and supporters of Joel are happy to admit that he's by no means perfect, and they can't justify all of his violent actions. However, the consensus is still that he's a sympathetic character. Redditor giantgoose thinks this doesn't accurately reflect the character's true nature though.
According to them, the awful things he did "before meeting Ellie" means that, even if you defend the character's ultimate choices, Joel "wasn't this great dude that everyone always seems to think he is." His relationship with Ellie does give the player a strong bias towards Joel, so it's easy to see that some fans do ignore that he just isn't that good of a person.
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A freelance list writer for Screen Rant, Jordan Woods has already written well over 100 pieces for the site since he began in 2021. Though he has been writing for most of his life, having been a content writer in the past and had his work featured in magazines, it was only recently that he combined this with his keen interest in all things film, TV, and video game-related. He enjoys the research side of writing for Screen Rant, as that often means watching the TV and movies he wanted to anyway. Though he has been writing ever since he first found inspiration in the fantastical worlds of the Star Wars movies and The Legend of Zelda games, he was able to hone those skills during his time studying English and Creative Writing at Coventry University. These days, he mixes writing about movies with writing his own, often spending his free time drafting screenplays based on movie ideas he has.


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