What if they're still in there without any control of their body? I'm afraid of that happening to me.
— Sam in his last discussion with Ellie at the safehouse.
Sam was a character who appeared in The Last of Us. He was a thirteen-year-old survivor from Hartford. He was the younger brother of Henry, and was born seven years after the cordyceps brain infection outbreak. He is voiced by Nadji Jeter.
Background & Early lifeEdit
Sam was born sometime around 2020. He and his brother lived in Hartford’s quarantine zone until the military abandoned the city. With their safety no longer guaranteed, they and a group of survivors moved on in search of a secure home. The group’s intention was to meet up with the Fireflies somewhere out west. On the suggestion of another person in their group, they venture into Pittsburgh for supplies. Their group scatters after being ambushed by the Hunters who have taken over the city. Prior to splitting up, they all agreed to meet up again at a military radio tower just outside the city.
Events of The Last of UsEdit
Meeting Joel and EllieEdit
Sam remained at his brother’s side; the two manage to escape detection for a time by hiding in an abandoned office building somewhere near the Hunters' lookout. He is negative of their group still being alive, Henry trying to keep him positive. When his brother is overpowered by Joel in a fight, Sam is quick to train his gun on him, causing Ellie to stop Joel’s attack. He is hesitant to relax until his brother assures him that the newcomers are not Hunters.
When Joel and Ellie agree to work with them to get out of the city, Sam apologizes to Ellie for pointing his gun at Joel. Ellie dismisses the apology, saying she would have done the same in his situation if their places were reversed. Sam and Henry lead the two down from the apartment into a toy store. They take cover from the armored vehicle searching for Henry and Sam’s party. As Henry begins to explain their situation to Joel he notices Sam fiddling with a toy robot. Despite his protests, Henry reminds him that they do not take what they do not need. Frustrated, he drops the toy and follows his brother and the others to the office building.
Just as Henry goes inside, Sam asks Ellie's age. Ellie says she is 14, to which Sam quickly responds that he is 14 too. Henry then jokingly says "You're 14?" to which Sam tries to say he is but just leads to Henry saying that he is almost 14. Once inside, Sam and Ellie take a moment to gorge themselves on berries smiling while doing so. Henry mentions how Sam hadn't done that in a long time. After Henry explains to Joel that he and his brother plan on escaping during the night, when the patrols around the gate leading out of the city are at their smallest, they rest until nightfall.
Escaping to the sewersEdit
Sam and Ellie keep their distance as they follow Joel and Henry. Henry and Joel take out the guards and create a distraction to get the gunmen down from the top of the gate. They succeed, but are spotted by another patrol. Henry and Joel close and lock the gates behind them.
Sam and Henry are the first to scale the truck, then they prepare to help Ellie up but the ladder breaks as she's on it. Henry hesitates to reach Joel, however as the armored vehicle begins to break through the gate, he panics. He apologizes and runs; though Sam is shocked by his brother’s actions, he follows suit.
Somewhere below the bridge, Sam and Henry spot Ellie and Joel floating in the water. They rescue them from certain death and wait for them to recover. Ellie forgives them for their actions, but Joel is quick to attack Henry and threatens to shoot him. Sam prepares to attack Joel, but his brother warns him away as he reminds Joel that Sam’s safety came first before anything else. After Joel backs down, Sam asks if his brother is all right. Henry assures him that he is fine and the two proceed to search for a way off the beach. They find a storm drain that leads into the sewers. Sam questions if they can trust Joel, Henry replying they can. The deeper inside the sewers they go, the more remnants they find of a group of survivors that tried to live in the sewers. When they are attacked by a Clicker, they all assume the survivors succumbed to the cordyceps brain infection.
Sam and the others manage to avoid detection from the Clickers and other Infected for a time. However, when Joel triggers a jerry-rigged door, he separates Sam from his brother and Ellie. The noise attracts more of infected, forcing Ellie and Henry to run. On the other side of the door, Sam and Joel fight their way past a group of Infected that have gathered around their area. They come across an abandoned play and school area. Sam wonders why they were not able to keep the sewers safe. Joel is unable to give him an answer. Climbing up the ladder, they reunite with Henry and Ellie on the other side of the wall.
They run, the Infected close behind. They manage to barricade themselves in another room but are unable to move the obstacle that blocks the door to their escape. Sam slides under an opening in the wall nearest to the door, alarming his brother and Ellie. He ignores his brother’s demands and tells him he’s trying to get them out of the sewers. He removes the pipe from the door and they’re able to reach the top of the sewer system. Blocked again by a locked door, Henry helps Sam and Ellie through the window just above it. The two manage to unlock the door, allowing Henry and Joel to join them on the other side.
Crossing through the suburbsEdit
In the suburbs, Sam asks how Ellie ended up with Joel. Ellie dodges the question slightly and tells him that a friend of hers needed him to take her to the Fireflies. As they continue through the suburbs, he and Ellie listen to his brother recount stories from before and during the outbreak; cookouts, the smell of food and the looting that proceeded when the infection began to spread. The two find an ice cream truck, Sam telling Ellie what it did, Joel supporting his claim. They also find a set of darts in a house and proceed to play a quick game. Although Sam scores the overall highest score, Ellie believes it is a tie, as her first dart scored higher than Sam's first dart but lower with her second dart than his. Joel and Henry discuss how, one day, Sam and Ellie can be children all the time.
Near the outskirts of the neighborhood, they find a Firefly symbol and discuss how they will find them. To brighten the mood Ellie takes out her joke book and tells several bad puns. Once done, shares one of his own which Ellie finds amusing but "dumb". After reaching the last street to the radio tower, the four are attacked by a sniper. Joel moves off to kill the sniper and the surrounding Hunters while Sam and the others distract him.
Eventually, Joel fights his way into the house the sniper is in and kills him. Joel then takes up the Military Sniper just as a second, larger group of Hunters appears from the end of the street. Sam, Henry, and Ellie move forward and take cover behind a few cars and a washing machine. After Joel dispatches this group of Hunters, a third one appears along with the armored truck from the city. The group changes cover yet again, to avoid the attackers. As soon as Joel kills the last Hunter on foot, one of the truck passengers begins throwing Molotov Cocktails at Sam, Henry, and Ellie. As he begins to throw a second bottle, Joel shoots him, causing the man to drop the Molotov into the truck. The vehicle then goes out of control and crashes into a nearby house as the passengers attempt to escape the blaze.
The relief is short-lived as two Infected emerge from the house and attack. Sam is scratched by a Clicker before Joel can kill it with the Military Sniper though he does not inform the others. A large horde of Infected then emerges from every direction. Realizing they can't take out all of them, the group reunites in one of the houses and escapes the neighborhood, heading to the radio tower.
Reaching the tower and deathEdit
Later that night, Sam is taking stock of the food and supplies they scavenged on their journey. Ellie enters his room and tries to keep the conversation light, but Sam is suspicious of her reasons for seeing him. Ellie asks if he is all right and Sam answers in the affirmative. He asks her what she is scared of, but when she tries to make light of the question, he prepares to ignore her. She is then quick to tell him she is scared of being alone. He tells her he is afraid of the Infected and becoming one of them. He wonders if they are still people underneath the infection, but Ellie is certain that they are dead. Sam is doubtful that they have "moved on with their families" as his brother put it and Ellie reveals she is not certain of the afterlife herself. Before she leaves, Ellie gives Sam the toy robot he picked up in Pittsburgh and suggests that he hide it. Sam tosses the toy aside and sits down. He pulls his pant leg up to regard his scratch before presumably going to bed himself.
The next morning Ellie goes to check on him. Sam has already succumbed to the fungus. The next instant, he lunges at her in an attempt to kill her, forcing both of them through the door. However, before he can do any actual harm, Henry shoots and kills him. Upon doing so, Henry threatens Joel, claiming that Sam's death was his fault, but then proceeds to kill himself out of grief. He was later buried by Joel and Ellie at an unknown location. Ellie means to leave the toy she stole for Sam on his grave, but forgets to and instead holds onto it as a reminder.
Meeting Sam profoundly affected Ellie later on in the game, having kept his robot toy with her throughout the rest of her journey. She even comments on how she should have said something different to him the day he died, deeply upset during the winter when out hunting. Ellie also mentions Sam as being a reason for her survivors guilt, as he died of infection, but she didn't despite being bitten.
- 9mm Pistol- (Temporarily; Sam pointed this weapon at Joel in an attempt to stop him from beating Henry to death. Henry took the weapon from him shortly after)
Unlike his older brother Henry, he is rather pessimistic about their group being alive, being rather cold about it even when Henry tries to convince him otherwise. He also displays it physically, appearing genuinely scared in most cutscenes, whereas Joel, Henry and even Ellie seem more fearless.
In trying to be like Henry, he setups his own little stall to check through how much food he and the others found, trying to be mature. He also greatly fears the Infected, desiring to find hope in that there is more to the world than life and death, even though he doubts things like "Heaven" even exist.
Despite his pessimism, Sam still maintains his child-orientated traits, being attracted to playing with a toy robot undeterred by Henry's rule of "only tak[ing] what [they] have to". He also tells jokes and plays games.
Later on, however, after being bitten, his pessimism reaches its extremity. He no longer enjoys playing with the robot and isolates himself from the others, staying in a room alone the entire night.
Due to the pair being brothers, Sam is greatly protected by Henry, though this has repercussions. Henry's protectionist attitude prevents Sam from being a child around him, unable to carry toys and be away from Henry's supervision if the man can help it, effectively "stick[ing] to [him] like glue". This inadvertently rubs off on Sam, making him more mature at times such as when he takes stock of the food at the radio tower and tries to protect Henry when he is overpowered by Joel. It also makes him less confident, constantly worrying he is "fucking up somehow" because Henry is always coddling him to the point where he loses hope that he can survive the disease because of what Henry has always said about them; he will "move on" when as one, effectively dying.
Undeterred by this, he still wants to be with his brother, worrying about him when separated with Joel. He even displays concern, not liking the idea of leaving Henry alone to hold off Infected while he and Ellie open a blocked door.
Sam's death had a great impact on Henry, who committed suicide after shooting his Infected form.
Although Sam doesn't interact a great deal with Joel, having been hostile to him initially, he soon feels safe around Joel, being protected by the man when separated from Henry. He also, like Ellie, asks Joel questions about the world before the outbreak, demonstrating a belief that he views Joel as knowledgeable.
Sam is pleased to have Ellie as a friend, able to spend time speaking to someone his own age and who also had lived their childhood in the apocalyptic world. He is able to forget about the troubles of the world around her, laughing when they try to catch blueberries in to their mouths, tell each other jokes and play darts and football. Although Sam sees himself as scared most of the time, Ellie tries to compliment him, stating "we did good today, especially you".
He can also confess his fears to her and displays a sense of trust in her. When close to becoming a Runner after being bitten, he tries to find solace and hope through Ellie, trying to get her to convince him that everything will be okay though he doesn't get the response he desired.
Ellie later remarked how she "should have said something different to [him]" indicating Sam had a deep impact of Ellie when she herself realized what he was trying to do the night he turned.
- Like Ellie, Sam has not had the opportunity to learn how to swim.
- He was born after the outbreak, and as such he shares Ellie's detached view of what life was like before then.
- In the Sewers, when the player passes the nursery/school area after being separated from Henry and Ellie, Sam can remark that he used to draw a lot while looking at various educational illustrations in the room.
- There is an optional conversation later when Ellie and Joel are in Wyoming; Joel finds a small grave with a teddy bear on it and Ellie remembers that she forgot to put the "stupid robot" on his grave, Joel tells her to leave the past alone. Later, in the epilogue, Ellie mentions Sam when she refers to the people she cared about who have died from the infection.
- Furthermore, if Ellie examines the Sam's Robot artifact when the player controls her, she will lament her final choice of words to him, saying "I was so stupid. I should have said something different to you."