The Last of Us season 1 ending explained: Why did Joel lie to Ellie?

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO
Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

The Last of Us season 1 is a wrap! I don’t know about you, but time went by a little too fast. As much as we were looking forward to the finale (especially those who are fans of the game), we have also been dreading the end. That was an intense season 1 finale and we have all of the questions, starting with — why did Joel lie to Ellie in The Last of Us season 1 finale?

Spoiler alert! Please note there are spoilers ahead if you have not yet watched the season 1 The Last of Us finale or are not caught up on the series. Go stream the finale on HBO Max before reading ahead. 

In the final episode, Joel delivers Ellie, not fully knowing what to expect. Joel and Ellie assumed that Ellie would be safe, so Joel was shocked to learn that Ellie would have to die in order for the doctors to attempt to find a cure. Key word is “attempt,” because not only is Ellie not given a choice, but there’s no guarantee that this will even work.

Sure, Ellie’s DNA may have the answers, but it’s not her job or responsibility to save the world. Ellie isn’t even getting a say in this matter. So, yes, Joel understandably went ballistic. That’s his baby girl, ya’ll! However, instead of explaining things to Ellie after it was all over, Joel does something else.

Why did Joel lie to Ellie in The Last of Us season 1 finale?

Joel could have carefully explained things to Ellie, but he instead chose to lie. Why? Simply put, Joel doesn’t believe Ellie will forgive him for what he did. Joel also doesn’t want Ellie to worry or feel bad about what happened. He is protecting her! Now, does that mean he did the right thing? No. And this decision is going to cost him dearly in the future.

I don’t even think Ellie believes Joel, but she loves him too much to question him and is just glad it is all over. Season 2 is going to be intense! Joel is like an entirely different person.

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