Who is James in The Last of Us? Answered
A familiar face with a familiar voice.
The Last of Us has some deeply compelling and dark moments. During the events of winter in both the game and the show, Ellie comes in contact with a community of survivors who are vile and desperate. Their leader, David, takes a repulsive interest in Ellie. His right hand man is named James, and is a familiar face in the HBO show amongst this utterly tragic moment during the narrative. Let’s discuss just who James is in The Last of Us.
Note: The following post details various sensitive topics, such as sexual violence, cannibalism, and more. Reader discretion is advised.
Who is James in The Last of Us?
James is played coyly by actor Troy Baker in HBO’s The Last of Us. Troy is better known as the performance actor for Joel in both parts of The Last of Us game series. During the behind the scenes episode, Baker reveals how thrilling it was to play this character as he originally thought he would only feature briefly as a Clicker.
Related: Who is David in The Last of Us? Answered
Ellie encounters David and James during the winter in Colorado while Joel recovers from his injury received at the Colorado University. She hunts a deer and manages to kill it, but is forced to chase it until it finally gives up. This is where she meets the two men.
James is portrayed as having doubts in David’s leadership, but he still follows orders without question. He is hellbent on getting revenge for their fallen comrade that Joel killed at the university, and wants nothing to do with Ellie except to execute her. David makes James fetch medicine for Ellie, and he does as he is told. These scenes play out the same in the game, but James is just an unassuming NPC with no characterization.
David does not allow James to kill Ellie, but lets her go to have her unknowingly guide them to Joel. She tries to lead them away, but her horse is shot in the process. David starts to reveal just how vile he is after capturing Ellie. It is made a gross reality that he and his community thrive on cannibalism, though David hesitates to turn Ellie into food as he wants her to join him. When Ellie shuts him down, breaking his finger in the process, he quickly starts to realize that he can’t keep his crew from enacting their vengeance for long.
Does James die in The Last of Us?
Once the decision is made to kill Ellie, David brings James with him to hold her down on a table, but Ellie manages to escape by revealing that she is infected. This causes the two men to hesitate, giving Ellie an opening to grab the machete and hack it into James’s neck, killing him and allowing her to escape.
Related: Can Ellie infect others in The Last of Us?
David pursues Ellie, and he eventually corners her in the upstairs steakhouse. A sick game of hide and seek plays out, with David eventually finding Ellie and attempting to rape her. Ellie, however, manages to grip the fallen machete and hacks David to death before Joel finally manages to find her. Visibly shaken, Joel consoles her and the two eventually continue their trek toward Salt Lake City. This is a horrible and lingering moment for Ellie, and one of the darkest moments in both mediums of The Last of Us.