The two character that this essay discusses have both similarities and differences, i will now outline and discuss these. Both characters have a big trust issue, Joel has a trust issue because he knows what this world is like and he knows how it can change a person, so he refuses to trust anyone that hasn’t earned it. Ellie has never been in one place long enough to build up that level of trust with someone and thus has a real problem letting herself trust people.
Both characters have become hardened by the way the world was ravaged by the fungal pandemic. Joel had to go from a “normal life”, to being reduced to smuggling contraband in and out of the city, and taking de-humanising jobs that cause him to become brutal and ruthless in his action. Ellie was born in this world and was forced to live in a boarding school ran by the military, this in its very nature was tough and caused everyone to become harder.
Ellie has knowledge of a world that no longer exists and is fascinated by comic books and music, she has an ability to look at the world around her and imagine what it must have been like absent the first hand experience. Joel looks at the world now and can see how tragic it is to how it was before the pandemic, this allows for some interesting dialogue between the two characters and allows Joel to enlighten Ellie in areas she has no knowledge and it allows Ellie to introduce Joel to subjects that he might have no knowledge about.
Joel’s character is scared of losing what he holds dear to him, currently in this post pandemic world the only thing he holds dear is Ellie and is willing to do anything in order to keep her safe, even if it means performing actions that will cause him to lose his grip on his morality. Ellie’s character isn’t scared of what happens to her, in the final scene she suspects that Joel lied to her and stopped them from going through with the surgery, and in those few moments she understands what would have happened to her and why Joel stopped them from going through with it, because she knows that Joel needs a reason to continue and keep fighting and surviving, and for her to die it would remind Joel to much of his past and when he lost his daughter.
Ellie knows how to handle herself in combat and would be able to survive on her own as evident in the part of the game that leaves Joel incapacitated and Ellie fending for herself and looking after Joel at the same time. Joel can also defend himself and those around him, but without someone or a reason to fight for Joel doesn’t see the point in surviving.