Emily Irish

Troy Baker Stands Firm on The Last of Us Part 2's Story Decisions


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The Controversial Destiny of Joel in The Last of Us Part 2: Troy Baker Speaks Out

In the making-of documentary titled Grounded 2, surrounding the creation of The Last of Us Part 2, actor Troy Baker, the voice behind Joel, addresses the heated debates surrounding his character's polarizing fate. Throughout the game's narrative, Joel meets a gruesome end at the hands of Abby, sparking widespread discussion among the franchise's passionate fanbase.

Joel's death early in the game was a shock to fans who had journeyed with him through the treacherous landscape of The Last of Us Part 1. This pivotal moment, while upsetting to some, was defended by Baker during his appearance in Grounded 2. "There's not a single aspect of Part 2 that I'd change," he expressed, urging those disappointed to conjure up a superior narrative twist. Yet, fans have struggled to present such alternatives.

The decision to conclude Joel's arc so dramatically was not taken lightly by the game's creators. Neil Druckmann, the mind behind The Last of Us series, alongside Baker, views the choice as essential to advancing Ellie's story and deepening the thematic cores of the franchise. The aftermath of Joel's demise catalyzes the events of The Last of Us Part 2, merging loss, vengeance, and reconciliation in a narrative that has profoundly resonated with audiences.

Defending Joel's storyline, Baker emphasized the narrative's insistence on authenticity and emotional impact. The ambush that led to Joel's end, while contested by fans who believed Joel would be more cautious, was justified by Druckmann. He explained that Joel's guard had been lowered by years of relative peace, setting the stage for the tragic turn of events. This rationale underlines the story’s commitment to portraying its characters as deeply human, flawed, and impacted by their environments.

Beyond stirring past controversies, Grounded 2 also hinted at future excitements. Druckmann shared insights into the developmental stages of The Last of Us Part 3, revealing his struggles and eventual breakthrough in envisioning a narrative strong enough to follow the acclaimed second installment. The teasers about the upcoming storyline, while sparse, suggest a continued commitment to delivering a story as emotionally compelling and challenging as its predecessors.

As the debates on Joel's fate continue, Baker and Druckmann's defenses highlight a story that refuses to compromise, aiming instead to challenge, move, and ultimately transform its audience. With The Last of Us Part 3 on the horizon, fans can only speculate on how the next chapter will navigate the legacy of Joel and Ellie's intertwined destinies.


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