Joel’s reveal of wanting to be a singer is more than just a comedic moment in The Last of Us. It actually foreshadows important video game moments.

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for HBO’s The Last of Us and The Last of Us game Every detail matters in The Last of Us, so it’s likely that Joel bringing up his desire to be a singer in episode 6 is a nod to a key event from The Last Of Us: Part 2. The TV adaptation has been careful to use music sparingly, lending its viewers a taste of what it’s like to live in a world where music is a precious commodity instead of being a part of day-to-day lifestyle. But these choices also lend themselves to an important part of Joel & Ellie’s relationship.

In both episodes 3 and 4, Joel listens to music from cassettes in the car, showing a distinct interest in the songs being played, showing that the influence of The Last of Us: Part 2 has shined early in season 1. This serves as a bonding moment for the pair, as Joel can share a remnant of the old world with Ellie and a moment for Joel to reconnect with his lost passion. In episode 6, as Joel opens up more to Ellie, he tells her about his dream of being a singer, which she laughs at. While it’s hard to imagine the stoic survivor, Joel, breaking into song, it’s an important part of his video game character and serves as the basis for some of the most emotional moments.

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Joel’s Singing Hints At Ellie’s Last Of Us Season 2 Tragedy

Joel holding his guitar before he sings to Ellie in The Last of Us Part II

Joel mentioning that he wants to be a singer is one of many moments that foreshadow The Last of Us season 2 events. In The Last of Us: Part 2, one of the most touching scenes shows Joel performing for Ellie by singing and playing the guitar. He then gifts her the guitar. Ellie learns to play the instrument, which she finds again following Joel’s death. Learning to play and discovering her own interest in music allows her to connect with her adopted father.

Joel’s hints at his interest in music in The Last of Us HBO series indicate that the series will follow a similar route as the game. The relationship between Joel and Ellie is the core component of both the games and the show, and the musical scenes have a deep emotional impact in The Last of Us: Part 2. Joel’s death, which will occur sometime in the second season, is a pivotal moment for Ellie’s arc as a character, and having the guitar be his passing gift to her is essential to the nature of her grief.

Why Ellie’s Musical Scenes Are So Heartbreaking In The Last Of Us

The Last of Us Ellie Guitar

Joel and Ellie’s relationship is complicated, and his passing leaves Ellie with much emotion that The Last of Us: Part 2 will navigate. Ellie’s guitar playing symbolizes what The Last of Us is ultimately driven by, its emotional core. Ellie plays the song Future Days by Pearl Jam, the same song Joel plays with her when he reveals his musical talent. The repetition of the song has resonated with the game’s audience as a reminder of their bitter-sweet relationship.

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