- "Everything happens for a reason."
- ―David's beliefs
David is a character that appears in The Last of Us. He is the leader of a group of survivors and acts as the primary antagonist of Chapter 9: Lakeside Resort. He is voiced and mo-capped by Nolan North.
Background & Early lifeEdit
Nothing is currently known about David's life prior to the cordyceps brain infection outbreak.
Events of The Last of UsEdit
Ellie first encountered David when she was hunting a deer during the winter. She was immediately cautious around him and his friend James. David offers to exchange supplies for a share of the meat from the deer that Ellie had tracked and killed. Ellie demanded antibiotics in return, threatening them with her bow if they tried anything. James left to get antibiotics at the group's settlement, and reluctantly left David alone with Ellie.
David and Ellie then took refuge in a barn from the cold weather. David asked Ellie's name, but she, being cautious, didn't give it to him. Their shelter soon gets attacked by the Infected. David helped Ellie fight them off, complimenting her skill with a rifle. As they worked their way through the nearby buildings, fighting off several waves of Infected, Ellie's attitude towards him softens slightly. After completely clearing out the buildings, he and Ellie return to their original refuge. He discusses the philosophy that everything happens for a reason, to which Ellie disagrees.
David decides to prove his theory by revealing that it was in fact his men who attacked Joel and Ellie at the university. A returning James overhears the conversation and holds Ellie at gunpoint, but David demands Ellie be given the medicine and set loose, and James reluctantly complies. David, having let Ellie leave, has his men to track her down. His men mention that they are under strict orders from David to keep her alive, but these orders were refuted when they found out from James that Joel slaughtered half the raiders at the university. Ellie proceeds to run away from David's group and they begin tracking her. While trying to flee, David finds her and chokes her to unconsciousness.
When Ellie regains consciousness in her holding cell, she witnesses James chopping up a corpse on a bench, and discovers that David and his group are cannibals. Ellie is visibly disgusted and hostile toward David. They argue and Ellie reluctantly eats the food that David gives her, claiming that it is just deer, nothing more. David pleads to Ellie that he has her best interests in mind, and offers her a place in his group. He then affectionately touches Ellie's hand (he is most likely implied to be a hebephile). Now realizing his intentions, she tries to take advantage of them and plays along by placing her other hand on his. Then she suddenly breaks his finger, and attempts to grab his keys, but David slams her against the cell bars and threatens her life.
The next day, David and James arrive and pin Ellie down onto the table attempting to slaughter her for food. Just before David strikes her, Ellie exclaims she is infected and states that David is infected too because she bit him before she was thrust upon the table. David at first is skeptical, but Ellie insists that he should roll up her right sleeve to show him her bite wound. Upon finding out from Ellie that she is infected, James becomes frightened and disgusted but David claims it must not be real because she would have turned sooner. James weakens his grip on Ellie's left hand and David begins to observe his bite from Ellie. Ellie takes this chance to grab a butcher knife with her left hand and strikes it towards James' throat, killing him. James' death infuriates David, where he retaliates by firing at Ellie with his revolver, missing every shot. Ellie escapes from the room with a switchblade, while David grows increasingly frustrated and proceeds to hunt her down again, asking her where she is going and boasting "This is my town" in a demented tone.
David eventually finds Ellie at a decayed restaurant, struggling with her as she attempts to escape from his people out the back door and commenting that she is easy to track. He holds her at gunpoint after throwing her to the ground, asking her how she managed to escape alive. He is momentarily distracted as the building starts to catch fire, due to a lantern shattering during their struggle. As the restaurant slowly becomes engulfed in flames, he locks the exit and taunts Ellie, telling her that she has nowhere to go and would need to take the keys from him if she wanted to leave. David proceeds to stalk her throughout the restaurant, all the while mocking her and expressing his disappointment that she did not accept his offer to join the group. Ellie simply expresses more of her revulsion towards David, and his obvious insanity as she hides behind the dining booths attempting to take the keys from him by sneaking up on him and stabbing him.
After Ellie stabs David from behind once with her switchblade, he throws her off and attempts to shoot her with his revolver, missing as she takes cover. He then draws a machete from a back sheath and continues to stalk her, attempting to shoot or slash her to death. He made use of the broken glass plates on the floor throughout the building to track and find her if she stepped on them. She managed to elude David and stabbed him two more times, causing him to panic and bash her into a table behind him before grabbing her hair and throwing her to the floor. He and Ellie then black out beside each other.
When they regain consciousness, David is the first to recover. He ridicules a weakened Ellie as she crawls towards his machete, saying that it is okay to give up. David hits Ellie again, pins her down and grabs her firmly by the throat and nearly strangles her to death (it is also likely that David intended to rape Ellie, having stated "you have no idea what I'm capable of!" and by Ellie's later confiding in Joel, "He tried to--", before bursting into tears) Ellie manages to reach the machete and slashes his arm. Gaining an advantage, Ellie proceeds to violently hack at David's head multiple times, until Joel arrives and pulls her away from his corpse, consoling her.
David's actions affected Ellie long after his death, as she is shown to be more distant and quiet, but more determined than ever to reach the Fireflies, claiming that what she had done and been through "It can't be for nothing."
Ellie's relationship with David has been the source of a traumatizing experience for her. It is also rife with tons of ironies. For example, David allows Ellie to leave with the penicillin, which she uses to heal Joel, who later goes on to help Ellie kill most of David's group. David also tries to keep Ellie alive, which is ironic when Ellie later kills him.
David often talks to Ellie in a patronizing tone and treats Ellie like a child. For example, when they first meet, David offers to exchange supplies for a share of the meat from the deer that Ellie had tracked and killed, saying that his group needed the meat because they had many women and children to feed. He emphasizes the phrase "Women and children." several times in the hopes that Ellie, being a young girl, would naturally feel sympathy for them. Also, when Ellie is captured by his group, he offers Ellie a place in his group. When Ellie reacts with rage and disgust, he tries to calm her down like he was talking to a wild animal. He ignores the fact that Ellie doesn't like him and tries to touch Ellie, calling her "special."
Eventually, David loses his faith towards Ellie when she breaks his finger and attempts to steal his keys. As Ellie kills more and more of his men, (including his partner and implied right-hand man James), David grew more fixated on her and made several attempts to kill her but eventually, David met his demise when he was violently hacked on the head with his own machete by Ellie. Considering his violent death, his actions left a mark on Ellie, making her distant and quiet towards Joel yet more determined to reach the Fireflies.
He does show some guilt when he decides to try to kill Ellie. He tells her he's sorry about Callus's death, (caused by his cannibals when they shoot him in an attempt to capture Ellie), and that if she gives up now, he promises he will make her death as quick and painless as possible.
James is implied to be David's right-hand man and is a cannibal like David and his group. Unlike David, James is not seemingly as kind-hearted and does not always agree with David's decisions. Knowing that a group of David's men were killed in the University by a man and a little girl, he overhears David's conversation with Ellie about the incident and is reluctant to let Ellie leave.
When James heads a group of men to track down and find Ellie, he disobeys David's order to capture the girl alive and elects to have her killed, with the others following his lead after learning that she was the girl at the university. When James is killed by Ellie though, David indicates sadness for his death. He says that James was just trying to do his job, and Ellie shouldn't have killed him.
Personality and TraitsEdit
David initially comes off as a kind man who does not easily resort to violence. At first, he shows concern over Ellie and does his best to help her and it is hinted at that he cares for the people in his group and their well-being, as early on he is shown hunting for food with his partner James instead of having someone else do it. His true colors are shown, however, when he reveals that he is the leader of the group of men that Ellie and Joel had fought at the University. He then is revealed to be a cannibal.
It is implied that David is willing to have sex with Ellie as a result of the altered post-Apocalypse world. This is supported by his touching Ellie's hand and called her "special."
Ellie is also mentioned as "David's newest pet" by one of the cannibals that Joel interrogates. Joel discovers clothing folded while searching for Ellie, more than likely victims of cannibalism.
When David is attempting to murder Ellie, he paces around in a hurried, slightly jerking manner and he sounds almost insane as he stalks around looking for her. His manic movements could also be the result of his possible infection, as Ellie had bitten him earlier that day and could have given him the infection.
- It has been confirmed that David has sexual intentions towards Ellie due to a lack of surviving females. He shows affection towards Ellie by holding her hand and initially wanting to only capture her, rather than kill her.
- In an interview with IGN, Nolan North said that he wasn't trying to "rape her, or anything like that... at first". He felt, as the actor that portrayed him, that David wanted to repopulate the Earth and would not miss an opportunity to impregnate a woman, especially one talented in survival, as few still remain. When Ellie kept refusing, Nolan also stated that David was a type of person who always tried "to get what he wants."
- David appears to be ambidextrous, however using a revolver can be done with your non-dominant hand without much of a problem as well. His machete is at his left side, but he picks it up with his right hand.
- David is one of the few, if not only, antagonists that Joel does not meet in person.
- David claims to have women and children in his group. However, there were no sightings of either of them at his camp. One is overheard by Ellie, however, saying that she will get the children to shelter.
- David has a very high pain tolerance able to fully sprint even when stabbed twice by Ellie and still get up after the third stab.
- David seems to be losing control of his group, as you can hear some of his men say that after they kill Ellie they are going to put his leadership up to a vote because they are tired of him and his "hobbies." Also, they disobeyed his orders and attempted to kill Ellie, even though he wanted her alive.
- Nolan North revealed at SacAnime 2013, in the Q & A panel, that in certain scenes between David and Ellie, he and Ashley Johnson actually swapped roles, with North mo-capping Ellie and Johnson mo-capping David.
- There are two visual errors in the restaurant boss battle: David's broken right finger is no longer in a splint and perfectly normal. Also, the scabbard for David's machete in does not appear until the cutscene where Ellie kills him, the machete simply appearing idly on his back before this.
- When he gives food to a caged Ellie, she asks whether it is venison or human flesh, to which he responds that it is just deer; however, his suspicious grin seems to be hinting the opposite.
- This could be a nod to the story of Ed Gein, a serial killer and a cannibal who used to give "deer meat" to his neighbors as a gift, only to reveal in court after he was caught that he had never even touched a deer, thus implying his neighbors unknowingly ate human flesh for years.
- There is a possible coding error as after stabbing David for the first time in his boss battle, his AI will sometimes revert back to an ally and will continuously say "Lord forgive them." and not attack Ellie. The reason for this is unknown and will be fixed after stabbing him again.
- David: "I'd say we make a pretty good team."
- Ellie: "Psshh. We got lucky."
- David: "Lucky? No, no... No such thing as luck."
- "This is my town!"
- "No, you see I believe that everything happens for a reason."
- "I know you're not infected. No one that's infected fights this hard to stay alive."
- "And get this, he's — a crazy man traveling with a little girl."
- "Now don't get upset. It's not your fault. You're just a kid."
- "You know I love how you think that you're better than this. Better than us. But you're not."
- "I gotta admit. You had me back there. For a second you shook my faith. But only for a second."
- "Oh, hey, Ellie? I'm sorry about your horse. I truly am. I hope you take comfort in knowing we won't waste any part of him."
- "It's a shame you wouldn't come around. But it's too late now."
- "You give up now and I promise to be quick. Promise."
- "Run little rabbit, run."
- "You can try beggin'."
- "You think you know me? Huh? Well, let me tell you somethin'. You have no idea what I'm capable of." (Last words)