Here. You were always complaining about your broken watch, so I figured you know. Do you like it?
— Sarah upon gifting Joel a new watch
Sarah is the tertiary playable character and a supporting character of The Last of Us. She was the 12 year old daughter of Joel before the cordyceps brain infection outbreak. She is voiced by Hana Hayes.
Background & Early LifeEdit
Little is known about Sarah or her past prior to the outbreak except that she lived a regular, everyday life in the Austin, Texas area with her father, Joel. She was on a youth soccer team at one point and won an individual award in a game/tournament, as evidenced by several pictures in their house and the picture Ellie stole for Joel. She also enjoyed hiking with her father and skateboarding, as shown by a skateboard leaning against the wall in her room at the start of the game. It is unknown what happened to her mother, though it is known that her mom and Joel were once married "for a while".
Events of The Last of UsEdit
In the prologue of The Last of Us, Sarah wakes up on a sofa to find her father Joel talking on the phone to his brother Tommy. Afterwards, Joel sits down on the couch and Sarah gives him a birthday present, a new wristwatch. She jokes that she bought it with the money she got from selling "hardcore drugs". After watching some TV with her father, she eventually falls asleep again. Joel carries her back to her room and puts her to bed.
She is awakened in the middle of the night by an urgent phone call from Tommy instructing her to get her dad. The line goes dead, prompting her to search for Joel. She checks his room, finding a news report about a gas leak that cuts dead as an explosion in the distance startles Sarah. She proceeds downstairs, seeing several police cars rush past her house.
She finds her father's cellphone with eight missed calls and a text from Tommy saying "where the hell are you? CALL ME!". She enters her father's study, just as Joel runs in through the open sliding door to the backyard; he is covered in blood and extremely nervous. He says that their neighbor, Jimmy Cooper, is "sick". The man in question appears, running towards the sliding door, smashing his way through the glass and into the room, causing Sarah to jump back in fright; Joel instinctively puts himself between her and Jimmy. The man charges at the pair, forcing Joel to shoot him. Sarah is in disbelief at what had occurred, but is quickly calmed by her father.
Suddenly, Tommy pulls into their driveway and they jump into his car. They begin driving out of town to get to safety, but some routes are blocked and others clogged with traffic. With no alternative, Tommy diverts into town, narrowly avoiding an Infected patient trying to enter the vehicle. In the mayhem, a car crashes into them, injuring Sarah's leg and impairing her movement. With the car now totaled, Joel carries her whilst Tommy protects them, looking for a safe place. They enter a bar with some Infected hot on their heels. Tommy instructs them to get to the highway and he'll hold the infected back and catch up with them. They flee, closely followed by other infected.
As they approach the highway, with Infected closing in on them, a soldier saves them by shooting the Infected. The soldier radios for orders on what to do with Joel and Sarah, only to be instructed to eliminate them. Although Joel tries to reason with him, the soldier opens fire and Joel dives for cover, barely shielding Sarah; the girl cries out in pain as they fall down. The soldier walks up to Joel and prepares to kill him, but he falls to the ground before he can do so, shot by Tommy. The relief is short lived as Sarah begins crying; Joel sees that Sarah was shot in the abdomen, and pleads with her to hang on. She clasps her father, Joel trying to stem the bleeding to no avail, and dies in his arms.
The loss of Sarah had an adverse affect on Joel, as he is unable to move on from her death even twenty years later. Joel doesn't even speak of his daughter to anyone if he can help it. He still wears the watch she gave him, despite it breaking over the years.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Sarah seems to have a similar sense of humor to Joel, as she trades jabs with her father during the prologue without missing a beat. She obviously cares about him, as she somehow manages to scrounge up enough money to buy him a (presumably) quite expensive birthday present.
Sarah also seems to be mature for her age, like Ellie, as she is calm and collected when she claims she's 'fine' to Tommy, mere minutes after Joel had shot their infected neighbor. Sarah is also caring and selfless, as she had worried over Tommy's safety instead of her own, and says that they should have stopped to help the family they passed in the road. Another possibility is that she was in shock because of the whole ordeal, and was able to compartmentalize it.
Design and AppearanceEdit
Sarah has short, highlighted blonde hair, blue eyes, and wears a wooden cross necklace. Sarah is seen wearing purple-checkered pajamas, a grey T-shirt over a darker-grey longer sleeved top, and is barefoot throughout her segment of the game. She is quite small for her age.
- She is the first playable character in the game, but her interaction is limited only to moving and looking around. However, she can still interact with five items in her house.
- In her room is a birthday card she forgot to give to Joel. It states that even though they are almost complete opposites in what they like, Joel remains "The best dad in the world" to her.
- She also appears to be a fan of a rock band called "The Bash", due to a poster on her bedroom wall. "The Bash" may be a reference to the real British punk rock band .
- She appears to be a fan of the "Dawn of the Wolf" films, a play on the , as seen by a poster in her bedroom. When pressed by Ellie, Joel implies that Sarah dragged him to see it, although he says that he doesn't remember.
- The opening shot of Sarah's face is later paralleled by the last shot of the game showing Ellie's face, emphasizing the resolution of the story.
- Joel affectionately calls Sarah "baby girl", which is the same endearment he later uses for Ellie, suggesting that Joel begins to see his relationship with Ellie as that of a father and his daughter.
- The Japanese game manual lists Sarah's last name as "Miller".
- In Sarah's room above her computer is a certificate. The last name is blocked by an award, however the first letter was identified as "M". Since the release of The Last of Us Remastered and its Photo Mode, the whole award can now be visible and displays the last name of "Miller" as well. The concept of her last name was removed by Naughty Dog early in development and is not considered canon.
- She died in the early hours of September 27, 2013, as the date seen on the newspaper at the beginning of the game was September 26.
- Naughty Dog developer Mark Richard Davis confirms this date.
- She was a player of a girls' soccer team called "Defenders". The name of the team appears on one of the notes in the beginning of the game stuck to the fridge, as it is pinned with the team's badge with the name Defenders. Sarah's number on her soccer team was 14; she can be seen wearing it while holding a trophy with Joel in the picture that Ellie stole from Maria.
- Joel, in the final chapter of the game when hiking through the woods, mentions to Ellie that he thinks that she would have been good friends with Sarah. He goes on to say that Ellie would have liked her, and likewise Sarah. It shows how comfortable Joel is with Ellie, as he freely discusses Sarah with her, something he never would have done before, as shown when Ellie confronts him about wanting to leave her with Tommy earlier in the game.
- Neil Druckmann stated in one of his interviews that it was intentional to open the game with Sarah, and end it with Ellie. He further explains that it was their purpose to create a story that linked the two girls.
- In Sarah's room there is a giraffe toy, foreshadowing Ellie and Joel's encounter with giraffes in the later stages of the game.
- In the prologue, if the player removes the models of Joel and Tommy, the game will crash after Sarah gets into the car with them, and restarting the checkpoint will allow the player to venture as Sarah into the open, passing the crashed car and Louis' burning farm.