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Is Joel Deaf in The Last of Us? Answered

Joel and Ellie
Image Source: HBO

Is Joel Deaf in The Last of Us? Answered

No Listen Mode to help Joel out here.

While HBO’s TV adaptation of The Last of Us has been largely faithful to the source material for the most part, showrunner Craig Mazin and series creator Neil Druckmann have taken this opportunity to expand on the world a little, and even sprinkle a few more character details to flesh them out. If you’re wondering whether Joel is deaf in The Last of Us, here’s what you need to know.

Is Joel Deaf in HBO’s The Last of Us TV Series?

In episode 4 of the HBO series, it’s revealed that Joel is actually partially deaf in one ear. Towards the end of the episode, Ellie asks him about it, and says that she’s noticed that he seems to be a little hard of hearing on one side.

Joel reveals that his partial deafness in one ear is the result of having been exposed to too many close gunshots over the past 20 years, and it’s affected his hearing as the result. This is meant to showcase the toll the apocalypse has taken on him physically.

Is Joel Deaf in the Original Game?

And in case you’re wondering, no, Joel did not suffer from partial deafness in the original The Last of Us. This is likely because it would’ve been difficult to showcase his deafness in a video game, not to mention the fact that players could collect supplements and improve his Listen Mode capabilities to detect the infected through walls more easily.

In that scenario, it wouldn’t have made sense to include his partial deafness as part of the story, as it ultimately wouldn’t have added anything of value.

That’s all you need to know about whether Joel is deaf in The Last of Us. Be sure to search for Twinfinite for more news and information on the show.

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