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Who Is David in HBO’s The Last of Us? Answered

David in HBO's The Last of Us

Who Is David in HBO’s The Last of Us? Answered

I certainly wouldn’t want to go to a dinner party hosted by this guy…

The Last of Us’ eighth episode introduced a fearsome group of survivors led by a man known as David. David stumbles across Ellie while she’s out hunting a deer to feed herself and an injured Joel, and offers her some medicine in exchange for half of the deer. However, not everything is as it seems, and it turns out David had ulterior motives all along, and the longer he spends on screen, the more unhinged this man becomes. If you’re wondering exactly who David is and what his motives are, then we’ve got all the information you’ll need. Here’s everything you need to know about who David is in HBO’s The Last of Us.

David’s Role in HBO’s The Last of Us Explained

David, played by Scott Shepherd, is the religious leader of a community of survivors who also (mostly unwillingly and unknowingly) double as cannibals. When David first crosses paths with Ellie, he makes himself out to be an ally who is simply looking to get a cut of the deer Ellie had shot, in exchange for a trade offer of medicine. However, not long after Ellie accepts the trade offer out of desperation to keep Joel alive, David reveals his threatening characteristics and true intentions, which involve harming Joel and Ellie, who had a run-in with some of his community’s people and killed the man that gave Joel his serious wound.

David and Ellie in HBO's The Last of Us
Image Source: HBO

As Ellie is captured and dragged back to their cannibalistic community, David’s true persona unfolds and it becomes clear that he’s a very unhinged individual who views himself as the god of the community, even going as far as to physically abuse a young girl that speaks out against him regarding her father’s death and what she believes should be done to Joel and Ellie in return.

David notices Ellie’s strength and resilience, and even offers her a sickening spot alongside him, working as his apprentice and partner in… cannibalism. This doesn’t go down well with Ellie, who bites back against his skewed views, kicking up in protest both verbally and physically. In return, David puts Ellie up on the chopping block as the community’s next meal, but honoring Riley’s philosophy, Ellie fights back with everything she’s got, even when hope seems lost in a gut-wrenchingly horrific situation.

Ellie manages to slaughter James and make a run for it, lighting fire to the dining hall and setting it ablaze. It’s here that young Ellie suffers one of the most terrifying interactions of her entire journey, with David insisting he will keep her and teach her his ways.

This comes after a very creepy previous interaction that involved holding Ellie’s hand and speaking of building a life with her, so it’s hinted that he has an unsettling obsession with the teen, and is likely to have a romantic interest in her, showing pedophilic tendencies. This becomes explicitly clear when David mentions that fighting back is the part he enjoys the most, indicating that he was likely moving to sexually assault Ellie.

Thankfully, Ellie manages to grab a hold of the knife from the ground once more, and stabs David relentlessly, ending his life while screaming in a horrified manner the entire time. It was evident that the whole event was incredibly traumatic for Ellie, and this was easily the most shaken we’ve seen her in the whole show yet. And then finally, Joel has recovered from his wound and tracked her down, reuniting them with one another and offering a safe space for Ellie to find comfort in, even going so far as to call her “baby girl” in a very special moment that resembled his bond with his lost daughter, Sarah.

David’s Role in The Last of Us Game, Explained

David’s role in The Last of Us game plays out in a very similar fashion to HBO’s adaptation, with a few minor tweaks and changes throughout. The most significant difference found in David’s video game counterpart involving his character itself is the fact that he lacks any religious beliefs, and is not shown to be influenced by religion in any way.

The other changes made from the game involve how things play out with David. While Ellie and David do spend time waiting for James to retrieve the medicine in the game, they are also forced to fend off a horde of the undead, whilst, in HBO’s adaptation, undead appears to be lacking due to the extreme weather conditions.

Additionally, when Ellie makes her escape into the dining hall in the game, it does get set ablaze just as in HBO’s adaptation. However, during her struggle with David, he slams her onto the table, which knocks her unconscious, and then he proceeds to also pass out before the two regain consciousness and the fight continues.

Ellie stabbing David in The Last of Us
Image Source: Sony / Naughty Dog

When Ellie kills David in the video game, she repeatedly slashes and stabs at his body with the machete in a panicked manner until Joel locates her and rushes to her side, pulling her off in comforting her. This is a small difference from HBO’s version of the scene, where Ellie eventually gets up from David’s corpse and stumbles outside drenched in blood, where Joel finally stumbles across her.

That’s everything you need to know about who David is in HBO’s The Last of Us. For more helpful guides, lists, and news, check out the rest of our content. We have a variety of topics regarding The Last of Us that are sure to help you survive the cordyceps outbreak, so feel free to scroll down and have a look through the related links below.

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