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The Last Of Us Episode 6's Joel Isn't The Same One From The Games

The HBO adaptation of "The Last of Us" has remained remarkably faithful to the source material, incorporating numerous lines and shots taken directly from the game. This meticulous attention to detail is widely regarded as a key factor in the show's success. However, a few changes have been made to transition the game's story to the silver screen. For instance, the car crash scene in the show's premiere was altered in a big way. And the team behind the HBO series has made it clear that they will continue to alter the source material as they see fit, with the sixth episode being no exception.


Episode six of "The Last of Us" presented a different version of Joel, unlike the one in the game. Many have called this new version of Joel a more relatable and fleshed-out character because of it. But as it turns out, this "new Joel" was actually referenced in the game via a small, often overlooked easter egg that only keen-eyed gamers spotted.

Joel's panic attack adds a new layer to the character

Spoilers ahead for HBO's "The Last of Us"

During the opening of Episode 6, as Joel and Ellie are exiting the cabin of the couple that warned them of the "River of Death," something unexpected happens. Joel loses his breath and becomes disoriented, to which Ellie responds, "Holy s*** are you dying?" But Joel wasn't dying. Instead, the protagonist was suffering from a panic attack, and fans quickly pointed out that this scene showcased a different side of Joel.


Although in "The Last of Us part 1," gamers can spot anti-anxiety medicine in Joel's house, this is as far as the game goes at exploring the topic. On the other hand, the show takes a more direct approach to the issue, further fleshing out Joel's character. "We wanted to explore the impact of what's happened to Joel in the wake of Henry and Sam, despite time having passed significantly," the HBO showrunners explained on "The Last of Us Podcast." The team then discussed how the experience might feel relatable to some. And that it was.

Fans praised the scene for its relatability and accurate portrayal of a panic attack. In addition, the internet did what it does best and memed the scene to death, with many fans using it as a template for anxiety-riddled experiences in their own life. Most fans were just pleased to see a side of Joel that wasn't showcased in the game.