Here’s your comprehensive guide to all the characters and actors in the cast of The Last of Us, the HBO adaptation of Naughty Dog’s popular game franchise.
There have been dozens of adaptations of revered games on the big screen before, but The Last of Us surprised fans when it was revealed to take on an episodic format.
Ripe with cinematic influencers and nuanced storytelling, Naughty Dog’s 2013 action-adventure title redefined how narratives could be portrayed for thousands of players the world over. HBO Max will debut the TV show next year, which features music from the game’s composer alongside the involvement of Naughty Dog’s co-president Neil Druckmann.
If you’re not sure which characters will appear or who is portraying them, here’s your guide to The Last of Us HBO show cast members.
- The Last of Us cast: Every actor and character
- Joel Miller: Pedro Pascal
- Ellie Williams: Bella Ramsey
- Tommy Miller: Gabriel Luna
- Marlene: Merle Dandridge
- Tess Servopoulos: Anna Torv
- Sarah Miller: Nico Parker
- Bill: Nick Offerman
- Frank: Murray Bartlett
- Riley Abel: Storm Reid
- Henry and Sam: Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard
- David: Scott Shepherd/Nelson Leis
- Supporting roles: Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson
Warning: some slight spoilers for The Last of Us to follow, if you’ve not played the game…
The Last of Us HBO cast: Every actor and character
You’ll be seeing some fan-favorite characters appear in the show, alongside some original ones too.
Based on the first game in the franchise, the show will feature “Joel and Ellie, a pair connected through the harshness of the world they live in, are forced to endure brutal circumstances and ruthless killers on a trek across post-pandemic America,” the synopsis reads.
These are all the major characters that we’ve seen so far, meaning the glimpses we’ve gotten in the trailers.
Joel Miller: Pedro Pascal
Joel Miller is a survivor of the Cordyceps apocalypse that swept America. Following the tragedy of the outbreak, he focuses his effort on becoming a skilled smuggler. Joel eventually meets Ellie Williams and the pair reluctantly form a strong bond in their adventures. Miller also works for Militia group the Fireflies, which is lead by Marlene.
Pedro Pascal famously plays the titular role of The Mandalorian and has enjoyed success in movie’s such as Kingsman: The Golden Circle and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.
Ellie Williams: Bella Ramsey
Ellie Williams early life in the Boston Quarantine zone led to her friendship with Riley Abel. At age fourteen, Ellie was infected with the Cordyceps virus but discovered she was immune. Fireflies leader Marlene believes Ellie is the key to reverse engineering the virus, tasking Joel Miller with escorting her out of quarantine in hopes of developing a cure.
Bella Ramsey previously appeared in Game of Thrones as Lyanna Mormont.
Tommy Miller: Gabriel Luna
Tommy Miller, brother of Joel, fights alongside Joel in the Fireflies militia. However, an argument between the pair led to them parting ways. Meanwhile, Tommy continued to travel across America and enhance his place within the militia.
Gabriel Luna is best known for Bernie, Terminator: Dark Fate and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marlene: Merle Dandridge
Marlene leads the fierce militia group, the Fireflies. A close friend of Ellie’s mother Anna, Marlene played a key role in establishing quarantine zones to form the basis of a new government. She was once romantically linked to Joel’s brother Tommy, though this connection dwindled when Tommy gave up on the Fireflies cause.
Merle Dandridge is known for portraying the character Alex Vance in Half-Life 2, as well starring in several Broadway musicals such as Rent and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Tess Servopoulos: Anna Torv
An ally of Joel Miller, Tess Servopoulos aids Miller in their smuggling endeavours. Sharing a similar ruthless mentality to Joel, Tess joins him in escorting Ellie across America.
Torv is best known for her roles in Netflix’s Mindhunter and Fringe.
Sarah Miller: Nico Parker
Sarah Miller is the daughter of Pedro Pascal’s Joel Miller, and he cares a lot about her. She is with him during the initial outbreak.
Nico Parker is the daughter of Westworld star Thandie Newton and has been seen in Tim Burton’s Dumbo and Reminiscence.
Bill: Nick Offerman
Bill is a mysterious presence in The Last of Us, who forms a fractured alliance with Joel and Ellie in their travels. With great knowledge of mechanics, Bill is able to forge useful items for scrap, making him a competent survivor.
Nick Offerman will depict Bill in the show and is known for his role as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recs.
Frank: Murray Bartlett
Frank is Bill’s partner, living with him in Lincoln. The pair ensure that survivors do not enter their town, having spent years fortifying it from numerous threats. Franks seems to have a larger role in the show than he does in the game, which will be interesting to see.
Murray Bartlett is known for TV shows Tales of the City and The White Lotus.
Riley Abel: Storm Reid
Riley Abel is one of Ellie Williams’ closest friends. Forming a bond through their years in education and training, Riley has distaste for the military but praises the Fireflies’ actions.
Storm Reid made her acting debut in 12 Years A Slave and has since appeared in The Invisible Man and Euphoria.
Henry and Sam: Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard
Henry is a survivor from Hartford and is extremely protective of his younger brother Sam. They maintain a tight-knit relationship as they attempt to survive, before meeting Joel and Ellie in their adventure. It seems that Sam has been de-aged and will be played by a deaf actor, which will likely affect the nature of the characters and their dynamic.
Lamar Johnson can be seen in The Hate U Give, Brother and Kings, while Woodard is known for Seeds of Hope: The Andrew Jackson Foster Story.
David: Scott Shepherd … or Neilson Leis
David is an antagonist of The Last of Us, who runs a cannibalistic group that captures Ellie, as shown in the trailer.
Now, this casting is a little mysterious. David’s casting had been hidden like it had in the game, so take this entry with a grain of salt. Many assume the role to be played by Nelson Leis, who is listed in the cast as playing Jesiah. Jesiah is a biblical name, belonging to the House of David, hence our assumption.
However, the actor in the trailer doesn’t appear to be Leis, but rather Scott Shepherd, who’s actions very much align with David’s. Some fans suspect that the trailer is trying to throw us off, or that even Troy Baker, who is the original voice actor for Joel and also pictured below, could be playing him. Guess we’ll have to wait and see for certain.
Nelson Leis is known for his role in Prey, while Scott Shepherd can be spotted in Bridge of Spies.
Supporting roles: Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson
For those who are fans of the game, you may have been waiting to see if the game’s character actors, Ashley Johnson (Ellie) and Troy Baker (Joel) would make an appearance, and the show’s most recent trailer has shown just that.
We see in the trailer that Johnson is playing Ellie’s long-gone mother, and Baker will be playing one of David’s men, likely his right-hand man James – if not David himself.
And there you have it – that’s all the major characters to be aware of in The Last of Us TV show…so far, at least. The newest Last of Us trailer has given glimpses of new show-only characters, so we will update this list as we find out more about them.
You can find out more about HBO’s The Last of Us here.