The Last of Us fans are stunned by the original Joel’s cameo in episode 8: ‘F**ked me up’

Troy Baker – the original Joel Miller – made a cameo appearance in the latest episode of The Last of Us. Please note that spoilers are ahead.

Baker voiced the character in the 2013 video game of the same name and its 2020 sequel, The Last of Us: Part Two – and fans have reacted with delight at his return.

The episode, “When We Are in Need”, sees Bella Ramsey’s Ellie encounter a group of cannibalistic settlers led by the charismatic preacher David (Scott Shepherd), while trying to find medicine for a seriously wounded Joel (played in the TV adaptation by Pedro Pascal).

Baker plays James, David’s right-hand man, but while he gets the chop – literally – in the episode (in a slight departure from the source’s storyline), he lives on for fans on Twitter.

Baker won awards for his performance in the video game, so it’s not surprising that his voice was instantly recognised in the TV series, despite the fact that he was playing an entirely different character.

Some fans have taken joy in comparing Pascal and Baker’s portrayals of Joel, given that the two actors appear in the same episode.

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Baker told Vulture that he enjoys Pascal’s Joel. “He brings this vulnerability that I don’t think we could’ve done in the game because of the nature of it,” he said. “Every episode, there’s some moment where I go, ‘I didn’t think about that. I didn’t see that’. It catches me off guard in the best way.”

The episode features Ellie and Joel once again fighting for their lives, with the teenager eventually taking a meat cleaver to James’ neck, prompting a host of Twitter memes.

“On a scale of one to 10, how crazy is it that Ellie’s first human kill in the TV show was Troy Baker?” one wrote.

In an interview with Deadline, Baker has become the latest to add his voice to the long list of Bella Ramsey stans, telling the publication: “What I’m most excited to see is this episode where Bella really gets to flex and show you exactly what [Ellie’s] capable of, and it is terrifying!”

The Last of Us continues on Sunday on HBO in the US and on Monday on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in the UK.