The Last Of Us Episode 9 Ending Explained (In Detail)

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 9 and The Last of Us Part II.The last of us Episode 9 rounds out Season 1 of the HBO adaptation with an ending full of spectacular twists and turns. With the core plot of The last of us since episode 1 about Ellie’s immunity and Joel’s mission to deliver her to the fireflies, The last of us The circle closes in the end. After dealing with various threats as they travel across the post-apocalyptic United States, Ellie and Joel finally reach Salt Lake City and the Fireflies’ home base.


At the beginning of The last of us Episode 9, Joel and Ellie venture into the heart of Salt Lake City to find the freedom-fighting militia. While Ellie is obviously still reeling from her traumatic events with David The last of us At the end of Episode 8, Joel shows how much more open he is to Ellie after the two have overcome their need to hide the bond that has formed between them. That being said, the finale takes its first twist when the fireflies capture Joel and Ellie beforehand The last of us The end of Episode 9 culminates with many more twists.

Related: The Violence of The Last Of Us Episode 8 Sets Up Ellie’s Season 2 Change

Could Ellie really have been used for a cordyceps cure?

Ellie's character poster and a clicker yelling at Ellie, Joel and Tess from The Last of Us on HBO

One of the biggest questions that arise The last of us The end of Episode 9 is whether a cure for Cordyceps really could have been made. After Joel wakes up in the hospital, Marlene shares the hopes of the Fireflies’ lead surgeon. Marlene states that the surgeon believes Ellie’s immunity comes from the cordyceps that has been in her system since birth, since Ellie’s mother Anna was bitten during labor. This Cordyceps strain acts as a kind of barrier, a “chemical messengers‘ that lures any new cordyceps into entering their system – such as the bites The last of us Episodes 2 and 7 – think she’s already infected.

Marlene then explains that the surgeon plans to remove the cordyceps that have been in Ellie’s system, multiply the cells that act as chemical messengers, and develop a vaccine to make these cells available to the wider population . However, the reality is that both episode 9 and the original The last of us Spiel remains unclear whether a cure is actually possible. Regarding why it could As is possible, Ellie is seemingly the first person in history to be immune to the infection, meaning her immunity will give hopes of a cure the extra boost needed.

Conversely, Marlene’s words make it clear that the fireflies are grasping at straws. Marlene says that the surgeon “thinks“He can make a cure, which means even he’s not sure if it will work. Regardless, it’s clear from the bleak state of the world that someone as immune as Ellie offers even the slightest morsel of hope means any surgeon would at least try to formulate a cure. Though it remains that The last of us The ending of Episode 9 is intentionally unclear about the status of the Cordyceps cure, due to the uncertainty viewers are meant to feel about Joel’s controversial decision to save Ellie.

Why Joel kills so many people and how he prepares season 2

Joel Last of Us final scene

One more question The last of us The ending of Episode 9 is why Joel kills all the fireflies, the answer being relatively simple given his character arc so far: Joel loves Ellie like his own daughter Sarah. After the loss of Sarah, Joel’s grief over it, and the 20-year time warp that transformed him into a cold, broken man, Ellie was the person who brought him back. Joel’s experiences with Ellie led to her becoming his surrogate daughter, meaning he would do anything to keep her alive and overcome his “failures” to save Sarah and Tess.

See also: David’s cordyceps obsession is very important to Ellie in The Last Of Us

So Joel murders all the fireflies in it The last of us The end of episode 9. When they intend to kill Ellie to synthesize a cure, he vows to save them and kill them all so they don’t go after her. The decision is controversial and lays the foundation for Season 2. The last of us In Season 2, Joel is killed by Abby, the surgeon’s daughter, five years after this point The last of us Episode 9. This, in turn, prompts Ellie to seek revenge in a harrowing tale of love, loss, and how the cycle of revenge can cloud the mind with sheer darkness.

Why Joel lies to Ellie (twice) in Episode 9 of The Last Of Us

Joel and Ellie stare at each other in Episode 8 of The Last of Us

At the end of The last of us Finale lies to Joel Ellie on two separate occasions. First he tells her that there are many other Immunes like her out there and that the Fireflies have stopped looking for a cure The last of us’ Cordyceps as a result. Then, in the very last scene of The last of us In Season 1, Ellie breaks his bluff and asks him to swear to her that everything he said is true, which Joel does with minimal hesitation. Joel lies to Ellie, fully aware of the selfish nature of his decision.

Ellie’s survivor guilt — which Joel is well aware of — means she would undoubtedly have chosen to do whatever it took to cure Cordyceps. Joel knows this, but he made the decision for her and saved her life by ruling out any possibility of healing due to his own trauma and incredibly understandable hesitation in losing another daughter. Joel also knows that if he told Ellie the truth, she might never forgive him, something that will be a major plot point The last of us Season 2.

How The Last Of Us Episode 1 announced Marlene’s death

Character posters of Marlene and Joel for HBO's The Last of Us

Just before Joel evicts Ellie from the hospital, he murders Marlene, who corners him in the parking garage. This – along with his massacre of all the other fireflies – was actually implied by Marlene herself The last of us Episode 1. When Marlene asks Joel and Tess to take Ellie, Marlene says “What I have is you. And I know what you are capable of. For better or for worse.” This establishes Joel’s ruthless nature as he proves Marlene is right The last of us Episode 9 through his Firefly rampage in the hospital.

Also Read: Joel’s brutal kill in Episode 8 of The Last Of Us is a foreshadowing for Season 2

What Happens Next With Joel & Ellie – SPOILERS on the game

tlou Episode 6 - Joel and Ellie

Warning: This section contains SPOILERS for the Last of Us game.With The last of us Season 2 already confirmed – no doubt based on The Last of Us Part IIThe answer to what happens alongside Joel and Ellie can be found in the sequel to the original game. As indicated at the end The last of us In episode 9, Joel and Ellie return to Jackson to live as part of Tommy’s community. The last of us Season 2, if indeed it follows the events of the second game closely, will begin almost immediately thereafter, with Joel telling Tommy the truth about what happened at the hospital.

Joel will then grow closer to Ellie, who only begins to move away from him as her growing distrust of his lies is shown. The Last of Us Part II — hence likely Season 2 of HBO’s television video game adaptation — then jumps five years into the future. Joel and Ellie settled in Jackson, although their relationship deteriorated due to Joel’s decision at the end of the first game. Joel will face cruel retribution for this decision as the surviving fireflies track him down and kill him, fueling Ellie’s vendetta that will take center stage thThe last of us Season 2.

What we know about The Last Of Us Season 2

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsay as Joel and Ellie in the HBO adaptation The Last of Us, alongside promotional artwork for The Last of Us Part 2 showing Ellie playing the guitar while sitting by a tree.

As far as what is known The last of us Season 2 the information is a bit sparse. While Season 2 has been confirmed by HBO, a release date has yet to be announced. However, comments from co-creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin make this clear The last of us Season 2 – probably post-Abby – will follow the events of the second game. Similarly, Mazin revealed in an interview The Last of Us Part II will likely be on TV for more than one season, which means the story of the second game could go down in history The last of us Season 3, although that’s unconfirmed at the time of writing.

Regarding when The last of us Season 2 could start filming, Joel actor Pedro Pascal revealed some information in an interview with Joel colliders. Pascal explained that there is a possibility that Season 2 could start production in late 2023, with Mazin and Druckmann currently hard at work on pre-production for The last of us’ second outing. With The last of us Episode 9, which brings Season 1 to a close, it’s likely more information will come to HBO’s last of us Season 2 in 2023.

See Also: The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 8: 13 Easter Eggs & Hidden Game Details

The true meaning of The Last Of Us season 1 finale

Joel hugs Ellie in Episode 8 of The Last of Us

In conversation with Eurogamer shortly before the release of The Last of Us Part IICreator of the two original games, Neil Druckmann, has accurately explained the true meaning of The last of us was, and thus the end of The last of us Season 1. Druckmann said that The last of us’ The story is all about how far people are willing to go for someone they love unconditionally. In this case the The last of us The finale is about just how far Joel is willing to go to protect Ellie and the hard, morally gray areas that love can take away from him.

More: Riley Twist episode 7 of The Last Of Us sets up Ellie’s downfall in season 2 The Last Of Us Episode 9 Ending Explained (In Detail)

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