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Who is Ish in the Last of Us? answered

A mastercraft in world building.

The Last of Us on HBO is riding high on success after both fans of the game and excited television viewers embraced it with open arms. The Last of Us game excelled in not only crafting an amazing narrative, but blending environmental storytelling to fill its world. In The Last of Us episode five, titled “Endure and Survive,” the group stumbles upon an underground community and a note revealing its leader, Ish. The show doesn’t dive too much who this is, but Ish and his community are one of the most beautiful, yet tragic side stories fleshed out in The Last of Us game.

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Is Ish in HBO’s The Last of Us show?

Joel, Ellie, Henry, and Sam stumble upon the ruins of a once thriving community underneath Kansas City in episode five. The walls are filled with children’s nursery art, and Joel even finds a kid’s drawing of the community protectors, Ish and Danny. The show does not go into detail on what happened here, but the game is much more in-depth.

Is Ish in The Last of Us game?

In the game, this underground community is run by Ish. However, it is also long abandoned when the player stumbles upon it. Through notes and environmental storytelling in the sewers, the player can unravel the mystery of what happened down here.

Ish is a boat captain that took to sea by himself shortly after outbreak day. While he lives alone at sea for some time, he is eventually forced to shore due to dwindling supplies. He does not relate to the hunters of Pittsburgh, who kill without remorse. Instead, he decides to take shelter in the sewers near the city.

While he thrives below by himself with no sign of infected, he eventually grows lonely. During a supply run, Ish meets Kyle, who is the leader of a group of people just trying to survive without hostilities. The group also contains children, and Ish decides to invite them all into his hideaway.

Overtime, this small community grows into a safe haven for many survivors. They manage to set up a school for the children, and grow into a sense of normalcy with Ish and another man named Danny responsible for protecting the masses. There are rules to follow, and traps set to alert the group to danger.

This sense of safety eventually leads to complacency, and a simple mistake of leaving a door open allows infected to get into the hideaway. During the chaos, Kyle and a few of the children seek shelter by locking themselves in the nursery. With no hope of rescue, Kyle shoots the children and then himself to save them from the terror of being mauled by infected. He uses chalk to write a message, telling anyone who stumbles upon the bodies that they didn’t suffer.

Ish is actually one of the few survivors that escapes from the massacre. He takes the few remaining people and children and shuts off the entrance to the sewers, leaving a warning that infected now mass below. The player enters the sewers from a different side, and never sees the warning until it’s too late.

What happens to Ish and the remaining group is never fully determined. Traces of their time outside the sewers is found in the abandoned houses, and Ish still has hope for them after seeing what they created below ground.

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Image of Michael Stoyanoff
Michael Stoyanoff
Michael Stoyanoff is a Freelance Writer for Gamepur. He holds vast knowledge on Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft among other MMO's. Bioware RPGs are also a passion. In his free time you can find him lounging with his pug or working on his fitness.