The Last of Us

The Last of Us Episode 8 Ending Explained: Why Did Ellie Kill [SPOILERS]?

The newest character quickly changed in front of our eyes, but what exactly was he planning to do?


From the very beginning, The Last of Us always had its fair share of complicated characters, and the HBO show adds even more. Episode 3 gave us a more in-depth look at Bill and Frank, and Episodes 4 and 5 introduced a brand new character in Kathleen. But in Episode 8, the series goes back to the source material with a very accurate portrait of the most confusing character in the game: David.

Don’t really understand what David’s deal was in The Last of Us? Here’s everything you need to know about the character and how he factors into Episode 8’s gripping story.

Warning! Major spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 8 below.

Who is David in The Last of Us?

In the words of another blockbusting HBO show: winter is coming. Ellie is in over her head in trying to keep herself and a wounded Joel alive. They’re fresh out of food, and Joel’s wound is definitely infected. On her first trip out to hunt, Ellie manages to shoot down an entire deer, but she can’t move it. It’s quickly discovered by David (a preacher and leader of a religious commune at a nearby resort) and his henchman James.

When they encounter Ellie, she immediately doesn’t trust them and holds the duo at gunpoint. David makes his case: he’s the leader of a group of survivors who are starving, and Ellie can’t carry all that meat herself. He offers to make a trade, and Ellie demands medicine in return for a share of the meat.

While waiting for the antibiotics, David reveals to Ellie that he found religion after Outbreak Day. He believes everything happens for a reason. All things considered, David seems on the up-and-up, and Ellie lowers her guard a bit.

Big mistake.

Why Does David Want to Kill Joel and Ellie?

David is initially a saving grace for Ellie, trading her antibiotics for the deer she shot.


Everything changes when David reveals one of his men was killed by a man with a young girl, alluding to the man Joel killed in the university at the end of Episode 6. Joel’s victim had a daughter around Ellie’s age, and David is looking for retribution. Ellie gets away, but she realizes the group is after her and they’re looking for Joel. Even in his injured state, Joel manages to defend himself, but Ellie is captured.

Ellie wakes up in a cage in the resort and realizes the cultists aren’t just cultists — they’re also cannibals, eating human flesh out of hunger. She thinks she’s next on the menu, but a conversation with David reveals her fate is even bleaker than being eaten. He signals to her that he’s interested in running the group together with her. Basically, he tries to force Ellie to be his child bride. When she fights back, he revokes her offer. Now, she’s what’s for dinner.

What Happens to David in The Last of Us?

David’s true intentions are way more malicious than you thought.


Ellie manages to escape her cage, but David is quick to follow her. She tries to use a burning ember from a nearby fire to stop him, but all that does is set the abandoned restaurant they’re in alight.

At one point, David seems to have Ellie pinned and makes some lewd comments about it, highlighting his nefarious intentions yet again, but Ellie tips the scales and jams a steak knife into David’s face offscreen over and over again. It’s a grim scene, but after everything David said about “keeping” her, it’s clear Ellie doesn’t feel remorseful, just furious.

This fury follows her even as she escapes and runs into Joel, who holds her, comforts her, and even calls her “baby girl,” the term he used with his late daughter Sarah. Now, Joel can take Ellie the rest of the way and show her what a trustworthy adult looks like.

The Last of Us Episode 8 is now streaming on HBO Max.

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