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The Last Of Us Episode 8 Finally Introduces The Games’ Joel Actor


The Last of Us episode 8 introduces David and his group to the show, with one of David’s men being played by Joel’s actor from the original game.

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us episode 8.The Last of Us episode 8 introduces a new group of antagonists in David and his men, with one of David’s lackeys being played by Joel’s original Last of Us game actor. Thus far in The Last of Us on HBO, there have been many hints, references, and even near-identical scenes to the original source material. However, no Easter eggs have been more overt than the inclusion of some of the game’s original actors.


The first game actor introduced was Merle Dandridge, the actress who played Marlene in the original The Last of Us game, who returned to reprise her role. In The Last of Us episode 4, Jeffrey Pierce played Perry after his original role of Tommy Miller in The Last of Us Part I and The Last of Us Part II. With The Last of Us episode 8, HBO’s show introduces yet another original game actor linked to the character of Joel.

Related: The Last Of Us’ 2 Best Episodes Aren’t About Joel (& That’s The Point)

Troy Baker Plays James In The Last Of Us Season 1, Episode 8

Troy Baker next to Joel's character model from The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us episode 8 introduces the character of James – who has the trust of the episode’s main antagonist David – who is played by none other than Troy Baker. In both original The Last of Us games, Troy Baker portrayed Joel Miller. In both voice work and motion capture, Baker brought Joel to life for the first time before the role was taken over by Pedro Pascal for HBO’s TV video game adaptation.

Given that Neil Druckmann, the creator of both original The Last Of Us games, is one of the co-creators of HBO’s show alongside Craig Mazin, it makes sense for various game actors to be included. With actors like Dandridge, Pierce, and now Baker having grown close to Druckmann during the development of the original Last of Us games, their inclusion in HBO’s adaptation albeit in more minor roles was expected. With Baker’s appearance in The Last of Us episode 8, the question turns to whether other game actors will appear in The Last of Us’ season finale.

The Last Of Us Episode 9 Will Have Another Important Game Actor

A screenshot taken from a trailer for The Last of Us' HBO adaption, showing Ellie's mother Anna, as portrayed by Ashley Johnson. 

As is known from the official trailer for HBO’s The Last of Us, there is still one prominent game actor yet to be included in the show. Given how there is only one episode left before the culmination of The Last of Us season 1, Ashley Johnson will appear in the final episode. Ashley Johnson provided the voice performance and motion capture for Ellie in both The Last of Us Part I and Part II.

Johnson is seen in the official trailer as a mother, holding a young baby shortly after giving birth. Many theories were formed upon the release of the trailer that Johnson is playing Ellie’s mother in a neat way of connecting the original actress for the character to the HBO version. Whether this is the case remains to be seen, yet Johnson’s inclusion in the very last episode of HBO’s show must mean she is vital to the story, characters, and journey of The Last of Us as she was all those years ago in 2013.

New episodes of The Last of Us release every Sunday on HBO.

More: The Last Of Us’ Episode 7 Riley Twist Sets Up Ellie’s Season 2 Downfall


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