The Last of Us HBO cast: All actors & characters

Sam Comrie
the last of us

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. And now HBO Max is taking on that same task, with the TV series nearing its emotional climax.

Now, if you’re not sure which characters will appear or who is portraying them, here’s your guide to the major The Last of Us HBO show cast members.


Warning: Some slight spoilers for The Last of Us to follow…

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, in the HBO show.

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.

Pedro Pascal famously plays the titular role of The Mandalorian and has enjoyed success in movies such as Kingsman: The Golden Circle and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us HBO series
Joel Miller is the lead of The Last of Us.

Ellie Williams: Bella Ramsey

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.

The Last of Us TV show
Ellie Williams is the crux of The Last of Us.

Tommy Miller: Gabriel Luna

Tommy Miller, brother of Joel, used to be very close with the latter. However, the pair’s actions after the outbreak led to them parting ways. Tommy, who wishes to be a hero, became a member of the Fireflies militia, before later giving that up too.

Gabriel Luna is best known for Bernie, Terminator: Dark Fate and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

an image of tommy in the last of us show
Tommy is the brother of Joel Miller.

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 fighting against FEDRA and their military dictatorship. She tasks Joel with escorting Ellie across the country, in the hopes that a cure for the infection will help bring the world peace again.

Merle Dandridge, who voiced Marlene in the game, is also 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.

an image of marlene in the last of us show
Marlene leads the militia group, the Fireflies.

Tess Servopoulos: Anna Torv

An ally of Joel Miller, Tess Servopoulos aids Miller in their smuggling endeavours, and the two share a somewhat romantic connection. Also sharing a similar ruthless mentality to Joel, Tess joins him in escorting Ellie across America.

Anna Torv is best known for her roles in Netflix’s Mindhunter and Fringe.

an image of tess in the last of us
Tess is an ally of Joel Miller.

Sarah Miller: Nico Parker

Sarah Miller is the daughter of Pedro Pascal’s Joel Miller. He cares a lot about her, and in their scenes she is often looking out for him as if she’s the parent. She is also 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.

sarah the last of us
Sarah is the daughter of Joel Miller.

Bill: Nick Offerman

Bill’s role differs in the game and the show. In the game, he 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. He is similarly competent in the show, but we see far more of his backstory, namely his relationship with Frank.

Nick Offerman depicts Bill in the show and is known for his role as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recs.

Elden Ring adaption body
Nick Offerman portrays Bill in The Last of Us show.

Frank: Murray Bartlett

Frank is Bill’s partner, living with him in Lincoln. The pair ensure that dangerous survivors do not enter their town, having spent years fortifying it from numerous threats. Franks has a much larger role in the show, as we never actually get to meet him the game.

Murray Bartlett is known for TV shows Tales of the City and The White Lotus.

frank the last of us
Frank is Bill’s partner.

Riley Abel: Storm Reid

Riley Abel is one of Ellie Williams’ closest friends, and a large part of her backstory. Forming a bond through their years in the Boston Academy’s education and training, Riley has distaste for the military and 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.

riley the last of us
Riley is Ellie Williams’ best friend.

Henry and Sam: Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard

Henry is a struggling survivor who is extremely protective of his younger brother Sam. They maintain a tight-knit relationship as they attempt to survive a large group of thugs, before meeting Joel and Ellie in their adventure.

In the show, they are also on the run, but this time from a group that overthrew FEDRA, as the leader of the group, Kathleen, holds a grudge against Henry. Sam is younger and also deaf in the show, which somewhat changes the nature of their relationship.

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.

henry and sam the last of us
Henry and Sam become good allies to Joel and Ellie.

Kathleen Coghlan: Melanie Lynskey

Kathleen Coghlan is an antagonist in The Last of Us, and she is a show-only character, having not existed in the game. She is the leader of a resistance group in Kansas City that managed to overthrow FEDRA, but Kathleen is similarly as ruthless, now bent on destroying anyone that wronged her.

Kathleen is played by Melanie Lynskey, who can also be seen in Heavenly Creatures, Two and a Half Men, and Yellowjackets. It’s also worth noting that her right hand man, Perry, is played by Jeffrey Pierce, who voiced Tommy in the original game.

Kathleen in The Last of Us
Kathleen is a dangerous obstacle in the show.

David: Scott Shepherd

David is an antagonist of The Last of Us, who runs a cannibalistic group that captures Ellie. David is a very interesting villain, as he does have seemingly good qualities to him, but those qualities are used to hide other very dark intentions.

David’s casting had been hidden like it had in the game, but now it is clear that he is played by Scott Shepherd, who can also be spotted in Bridge of Spies and The Young Pope.

The Last of Us David
David is a major antagonist in The Last of Us.

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 thankfully graces us with their presence.

Johnson is playing Ellie’s long-gone mother Anna Williams, and Baker is playing James, who is David’s right hand man.

the last of us cast
Baker and Johnson will appear in The Last of Us HBO show.

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.

You can find out more about HBO’s The Last of Us here.

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