Did Joel Doom Humanity in The Last of Us?


I know it's late, 5 years too late, but I finally got to experience this masterpiece of a game back in August.

When I finished The Last of Us, I couldn't stop thinking about that ending. How can my Joel, MY Joel, do something like that?

By the looks of it, Joel doomed humanity by saving Ellie. But I knew there was more to this than just a cookie cutter ending. There had to be more!!

After watching a dozen videos and reading several forum posts, I finally answered the question that was stuck in my head. That question being "Did Joel doom humanity?".

Throughout the game, Joel and Ellie make their way through several states to reach the Firefly lab and reverse engineer a vaccine from Ellie. A vaccine that is the only hope left for humanity.

Joel outright murdering the Fireflies seemed like you destroyed the 20 or so hours prior of reaching the ending. The game had no purpose anymore, The entire time we are told the vaccine will save humanity, and BAM, Joel steps in and destroys all hope.

After analyzing the situation, I found that Joel was not at fault for dooming humanity.

When you google the word "humanity" and check the synonyms, you would read words like compassion, brotherly love, kindness, and generosity. While playing the game we didn't see any of these.

After escaping the quarantine zone, and spend a good year, I think, traversing the country, we encounter many human groups, like the Pittsburgh hunters, Tommy's dam, as well as Davids town.

The only group who show signs of humanity is Tommy's group. The others no way fit the definition of humanity. The hunters capture, torture, and kill any outsider or "tourist" they see for resources. Hell, David's group have even resorted to cannibalism. Tommy's encampment is also being threatened and attacked by bandits on a daily basis. Even our so-called saviors, the infamous Fireflies, are known for murdering and terrorizing people. We heard the term "terrorist group" a lot during the game.

What I'm trying to say is that this vaccine claims to cure humanity when there's little humanity left in this world. Humanity has rotten beyond repair.

This is all considering the Fireflies distributing the vaccine like good people.

There's a possibility that they might keep the vaccine for themselves, sparking a war with the government. Even if there's a vaccine, a cure does not exist. Humans will be immune, but there's a million infected out there. It might take centuries to clean them out and rebuild civilization.

It seems like the game wants to tell you indirectly that humanity no longer exists. It even shows us how far humanity has fallen through David. It is nearly impossible for humans to go back to their normal and luxurious lives.

Even if Joel acted selfishly, killing the Fireflies and destroying Ellie's purpose, he isn't at fault since all that fuss is truly for nothing. You cannot save something that no longer exists.

The sequel is also shining a light on this. It is showing how far humans have fallen. They have literally created cults and disembowel people while they're being hanged.

This was a short and fun post that I decided to write while I wait for the release of Red Dead Redemption 2. I really enjoyed sharing my opinion on the ending of The Last of Us as I also fleshed out my own views.

What are you're thoughts on this matter? Did Joel really doom humanity? Or do you think he's actions were not justified? Post what you think down in the comments section and let's have a discussion!



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