Troy Baker says supporting characters in The Last of Us are a “counterpoint” to Joel

Troy Baker The Last of UsHBO

The Last of Us’ Troy Baker discusses the importance of each and every supporting character from the series in relation to how they all impact and influence the main character Joel and his evolution throughout the narrative of the story.

While The Last of Us does follow the development of the relationship between Ellie and Joel, the two meet many different people while on their travels. In an interview with Deadline, Troy Baker, who voiced Joel in the games and plays James in Episode 8 of the show, discussed the importance of the supporting characters in relationship to the protagonist.

“David is a reflection of Joel. It is the wrong side of the coin because here’s someone who is looking out for those that he cares about and is willing to do whatever it takes to do that. So is Joel.”

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One supporting character who was given more time to shine in the show is Maria, played by Rutina Wesley. Maria, who is revealed to be Joel’s sister-in-law, has a similarly tragic past to Joel in that she lost her child in the early moments of the outbreak just as Joel lost Sarah. 

How The Last of Us mirrors Joel through its supporting characters

Troy Baker The Last of UsHBO
Maria is Tommy’s wife in The Last of Us.

However, while Joel’s loss caused him to be closed off from his parental instincts as well as his emotional vulnerability, Maria represents the idea that the love a parent has for their child never goes away.

How the way she cares for Ellie immediately upon meeting her is such a stark contrast to Joel “because you see a parent who lost her son within days of Joel losing Sarah [Nico Parker]. And what does she look like 20 years on? She still is a mother. She’s still cutting Ellie’s hair, and she did not abandon and abdicate her role as a parent.” 

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Lastly, Baker then discusses how fan-favorite character Bill, played by Nick Offerman in episode 3 of the show, also has a big impact on Joel. “Look at Bill and how he’s different from Joel and what he can teach Joel. So, all these characters somehow serve as a counterpoint.”

The finale episode of The Last of Us season one is set to air later this week. For all the latest TV and movies news, be sure to check out Dexerto’s full coverage here.