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  • Although I dont have a lot of evidence (this is mostly just a hunch) to support this theory, but could Joels wife had possibly died during childbirth? The fact that he rarely, to almost never, mentions her is insane. If it was divorce, dont you think he may have mentioned her to Ellie/Tess a couple of times? And this may be a bit of an overstretch, but could Sarah possibly be named after her "deceased" mother? Tell me what you think, please? Have you sometimes wondered this?

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    • It's all speculation, but it is plausible to think that. However, Joel has been crafted as a very reserved person, if he could open up about his dead daughter, I imagine he could do the same for his wife. Plus, he apdoesnt come off as depressed when Tommy tries to get him with a new woman at the dam, so I'd personally put it down to "she broke his heart" more so than died.

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    • Good point ;) And its literally been 3 years since I've played the game so I forgot all about the little details (oops...) like that.

      What you're saying does make sense, though. I wont disagree with it.

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    • You could try to challenge me though :) ahah

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    • Nah, Im good ;) Havent played the game in forever and Id rather not be crushed by facts and look like an idiot, haha.

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    • Ahh fair enough, maybe some other time

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    • Queen.Of.Cringe wrote:
      Although I dont have a lot of evidence (this is mostly just a hunch) to support this theory, but could Joels wife had possibly died during childbirth? The fact that he rarely, to almost never, mentions her is insane. If it was divorce, dont you think he may have mentioned her to Ellie/Tess a couple of times? And this may be a bit of an overstretch, but could Sarah possibly be named after her "deceased" mother? Tell me what you think, please? Have you sometimes wondered this?


      I'm not sure she's dead, but I do think they got divorced. If it was a marriage of convenience, or they were forced into it by their parents, it wouldn't stand much of  a chance in the long run. I've had friends get married quickly and get divorced quickly, and most rarely speak of it now.

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    • One thing I liked, if you can call it that, about their situation was that Joel has Sarah not his wife, despite the stereotype usually being the male who leaves the woman with the child. A nice touch by Naughty Dog.

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    • Yeah i really want to know more about her.

      Here's what we do know:

      They married quite young (before their 20s?)

      They had Sarah very young, perhaps before marriage.

      Joel finds it too difficult to talk about Sarah's mother.


      I think she clearly meant a lot to him, i think she either abandoned them completely or died soon/ a few years after sarahs birth. I doubt she is alive/ involved in any way because when they are running away to saftey Sarah doesnt say anything like "wheres mom? we should go get mom" You'll notice there are no pictures of her throughout Sarahs house, though there are plenty of Tommy, and Joel and herself.

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    • Indeed, she's certainly someone who ran out on them, either betrayed Joel for another man or just flat out left. No way she died because he'd open up about her or at the very least have a picture of her somewhere in the house. Man, Joel takes things to heart, I reckon we can all relate.

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    • IIRC, the most common fanon about Sarah's mother is that Joel and her had a relationship whilst in senior year at high school. She didn't want to be 'saddled' with a baby but Joel fell in love with Sarah on first sight and willingly dropped out of school to care for her. If this is correct, then Joel's never actually been married (unless he and Tess once did something whilst drunk and we don't know about it).

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    • BenRG wrote:
      IIRC, the most common fanon about Sarah's mother is that Joel and her had a relationship whilst in senior year at high school. She didn't want to be 'saddled' with a baby but Joel fell in love with Sarah on first sight and willingly dropped out of school to care for her. If this is correct, then Joel's never actually been married (unless he and Tess once did something whilst drunk and we don't know about it).


      I suspect that their parents might have made them get married, but it (predictably) didn't last long.

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    • he was deffinitely married to sarahs mother, he says so at the colorado university ellie asks "what happened to her?" joel i think says nothing, ellie says, "too much?" joel replies "too much."

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    • Yeah, he outright admits he was married "for a while"

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    • how long do you think a while is? a few years? :3 im sure they had sarah and then got married after sooo she didnt abandon them because of the baby, makes more sense to me

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    • What evidence do you have for that though? All we know is it was a young love, they got married "for a while", had a kid, and the wife abandoned them.

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    • because most high schoolers dont decide they're just gunna get married and have a baby right then and there in high school -__- all joel says is he couldnt go to college because he had sarah young, not "i didnt want to i wanted to have a baby!" you think thats more likely than oh shit you're preggers lets get married?

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    • But then why the hell would she have abandoned them then if not for that? It could have been either of them, one with a moral obligation the other stupid teenage naivety.

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    • eh? dunno what the last part means?

      same reason anyone walks out on their partner and kids which is- a bunch of reasons.. often maybe they feel like the pressure is too much or they would be better without them.. its usually the father..

      hmm if she didnt die, or walk out on them, can you think of anything else that might have happened?

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    • She was away on a business trip? But then he never would have felt such pain, so it goes back to earlier points.

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    • yeh that came to mind, she moved country for work and joel was not happy about it, but no contact with sarah? naah.

      maybe she had drug problems and joel had to kick her out, but again surely she'd try to stay in contact with sarah a little bit.. 

      its just hard for me to imagine a mom, at least sarahs mom, just willingly leaving her only daughter and lovely joel..so lovely 8)

      i imagine them just so perfect and cute little family, all happy.. happy joel! and she was really kind and awesome.. im thinking she died.. joel does keep a picture of her somewhere, but only he knows about it ;)

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    • Meh, sometimes women are as bad as men. Women leave men stranded with a child just as much as women. Plus, the game's needs at least one female character who is "bad" (seriously, no woman in the game is not likeable for at least something I don't think: Sarah, Ellie, Marlene, Maria and Tess are all strong, heroic, relatable and justifiable in their own sense)

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    • Snivystorm wrote:
      But then why the hell would she have abandoned them then if not for that? It could have been either of them, one with a moral obligation the other stupid teenage naivety.


      Like the anon below you said, there are tons of reasons for someone to walk out on their family, but rarely are they good ones. The most common is that the person just wasn't ready to settle down and have a kid; parenting is a lot of stres, and it kinda consumes your free time. This would be especially common for teenagers that were coerced into getting married, since the average 17/18/19 year old isn't known for their decision making skills.

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    • As I said, ^^^^, teenage naivety. ^_^ its cool.

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    • psh wish i hadnt read this thread, you guys are making me hate sarahs mom :P 

      before i just assumed she died when sarah was young but she was beautiful, a lot like sarah, and kind and happy and fun, and joel totally loved her loads but then she died and he was crushed buut he had sarah, to fight for..

      and you think joel would be talking about her to sarah? PAH he'd avoid it every time and she learnt never to bring it up and be happy to have her father...

      YOU GUYS RUINED IT :PPPP can we just go with my version please? can we have some happy for joel? 

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    • Let's face it, it's a rare relationship that ever brought 'happy' into Joel Miller's life! ;-)

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    • Joel deserves sexy nice lady ;_____; he's so.. nice....

      and ya know she does die in my version so you still have your way ;____;

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    • Joel stating he married and had Sarah young combined with the fact that there are no pictures of anyone that could be her anywhere in their house, makes me think she abandoned them. If she'd died or they simply divorced and she remained in Sarah's life in some capacity, there would be pictures of her.

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    • why do you assume there would be pictures of her upon her death? we know joel doesnt look on death, he runs, he wouldnt even have a picture of his daughter. he wouldnt have any mention of tess's name, henry, or sam. he would have pushed the memory of her away for both himself and sarah im sure :3

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    • 95.150.229.139 wrote:
      why do you assume there would be pictures of her upon her death? we know joel doesnt look on death, he runs, he wouldnt even have a picture of his daughter. he wouldnt have any mention of tess's name, henry, or sam. he would have pushed the memory of her away for both himself and sarah im sure :3


      Good point. While I think that Joel's fear of death/loss stemmed from Sarah's death during the start of the Outbreak, it's entirely possible that he had a bit of that before it, too.

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    • 95.150.229.139 wrote: why do you assume there would be pictures of her upon her death? we know joel doesnt look on death, he runs, he wouldnt even have a picture of his daughter. he wouldnt have any mention of tess's name, henry, or sam. he would have pushed the memory of her away for both himself and sarah im sure :3

      Joel was a very different person 20 years ago than he is now. The hugely different reactions he had to Sarah's and Tess' deaths is proof of that. So why do you assume there wouldn't be pictures?

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    • 95.150.230.125 wrote:
      Yeah i really want to know more about her.

      Here's what we do know:

      They married quite young (before their 20s?)

      They had Sarah very young, perhaps before marriage.

      Joel finds it too difficult to talk about Sarah's mother.


      I think she clearly meant a lot to him, i think she either abandoned them completely or died soon/ a few years after sarahs birth. I doubt she is alive/ involved in any way because when they are running away to saftey Sarah doesnt say anything like "wheres mom? we should go get mom" You'll notice there are no pictures of her throughout Sarahs house, though there are plenty of Tommy, and Joel and herself.

      i noticed the same thing about the pictures. In their house, there is only pictures of Sarah (with her friends), of Joel and Tommy. No woman (mother), no grand-parents. So we can assume that his wife left them. Joel was very young (and so certainly his wife) when they had Sarah, and they were living in Texas which is one of the most religious states in United States (11th). I don't see Joel as a religious person, but maybe his wife or their family or friends were and had influenced their choices. 


      @A FANDOM user 

      "why do you assume there would be pictures of her upon her death? we know joel doesnt look on death, he runs, he wouldnt even have a picture of his daughter. he wouldnt have any mention of tess's name, henry, or sam. he would have pushed the memory of her away for both himself and sarah im sure :3"

      not exactly true. he didn't had a picture but he still kept his broken watch which mean a lot to him! And no, i don't think if she was dead that he would have pushed the memory of her mother away. Seem very cruel for Sarah and Joel was a very good father. 


      This is the problem with The Last of Us. Naughty Dog has created very interesting characters but without real past. Tommy or Joel never mention their parents, when both brother were living in the same city, so their parents were certainly living in Austin too. Both brother were certainly single too, as none of them had mentioned a girflriend and Tommy arrived alone at Joel's house.

      Ironically it reminds me a lot Teddy in Westworld when Anthony Hokpins/Robert Ford tells him something like "do you know why you have a mysterious back story? because we have never actually bothered to give you one, just a formless guilt you will never atone for."


      Of course, too much informations in same time about their back stories could confuse the players. The game is about Joel and Ellie and not about Joel's ex wife or his parents. But from time to time, I would enjoy small details, subtilities, to make his mysterious back story interesting and not empty. 

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    • Maseflakeza wrote:

      This is the problem with The Last of Us. Naughty Dog has created very interesting characters but without real past. Tommy or Joel never mention their parents, when both brother were living in the same city, so their parents were certainly living in Austin too. Both brother were certainly single too, as none of them had mentioned a girflriend and Tommy arrived alone at Joel's house.

      Ironically it reminds me a lot Teddy in Westworld when Anthony Hokpins/Robert Ford tells him something like "do you know why you have a mysterious back story? because we have never actually bothered to give you one, just a formless guilt you will never atone for."

      Of course, too much informations in same time about their back stories could confuse the players. The game is about Joel and Ellie and not about Joel's ex wife or his parents. But from time to time, I would enjoy small details, subtilities, to make his mysterious back story interesting and not empty. 

      You know what they say, the less you know about a person the more you invest in them because you want to know more. That's the beauty of this game, because we know so little it gives the writers loads of room for them to play with and (by keeping their past vague/generic) we are able to place ourselves on this template of the playable characters and further immerse ourselves in them; make them relatable.

      Perhaps the sequel will shed more light on their past, but doing so may spoil the adventure. I remember when I first played The Walking Dead and how the fact that I knew so little about the playable character Lee helped me shape him into how I would play even more so. I think that's one of the great things about video games; the protagonist is us, the player, so we truly feel involved in the game more so than any other medium. ^_^

      Plus, it leads to great debate and theorising like we do here, so (for all we know) our personal view of Sarah's mother is the "true" interpretation.

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    • IMO, unless there is a specific DLC adventure (maybe Joel, Tommy and Ellie travelling to Austin to visit Sarah's grave), I don't think that we'll learn more about the Miller boys' past. The focus of the franchise is definitely moving more to Ellie now.

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    • Snivystorm wrote:

      Maseflakeza wrote:

      This is the problem with The Last of Us. Naughty Dog has created very interesting characters but without real past. Tommy or Joel never mention their parents, when both brother were living in the same city, so their parents were certainly living in Austin too. Both brother were certainly single too, as none of them had mentioned a girflriend and Tommy arrived alone at Joel's house.

      Ironically it reminds me a lot Teddy in Westworld when Anthony Hokpins/Robert Ford tells him something like "do you know why you have a mysterious back story? because we have never actually bothered to give you one, just a formless guilt you will never atone for."

      Of course, too much informations in same time about their back stories could confuse the players. The game is about Joel and Ellie and not about Joel's ex wife or his parents. But from time to time, I would enjoy small details, subtilities, to make his mysterious back story interesting and not empty. 

      You know what they say, the less you know about a person the more you invest in them because you want to know more. That's the beauty of this game, because we know so little it gives the writers loads of room for them to play with and (by keeping their past vague/generic) we are able to place ourselves on this template of the playable characters and further immerse ourselves in them; make them relatable.

      Perhaps the sequel will shed more light on their past, but doing so may spoil the adventure. I remember when I first played The Walking Dead and how the fact that I knew so little about the playable character Lee helped me shape him into how I would play even more so. I think that's one of the great things about video games; the protagonist is us, the player, so we truly feel involved in the game more so than any other medium. ^_^

      Plus, it leads to great debate and theorising like we do here, so (for all we know) our personal view of Sarah's mother is the "true" interpretation.

      Very good point! The problem is, I've never needed to feel personally involved to enjoy a story. :(

      I also realize that The Last of Us is strongly influenced by Cormac McCarthy, and in the novels like The Road or Blood Meridian, we almost know nothing about the protagonists back stories. Could "kiddo" be a reference to "the kid" ?


      @BenRG. true, the part two will be about Ellie.

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    • Maseflakeza wrote:

      Very good point! The problem is, I've never needed to feel personally involved to enjoy a story. :(

      I also realize that The Last of Us is strongly influenced by Cormac McCarthy, and in the novels like The Road or Blood Meridian, we almost know nothing about the protagonists back stories. Could "kiddo" be a reference to "the kid" ?

      I believe Druckmann himself stated that The Road was a direct inspiration for the game along with some other novels whose names escape me. Wish I'd had the chance to study that novel in school.

      Edit: No Country For Old Men was the other novel which inspired Druckmann's writing in The Last of Us 8)

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    • Yes, i know about No Country for Old Men. Both novel and movie are pretty good.

      The Road only makes something like 250 pages. It's not very much. One hour per day during a week and it's done. If you don't like to read, you should check youtube. maybe you could find an audiobook. 

      there is a lot of similarities between this novel and the Last of Us. in The Road the mother has committed suicide shortly after giving birth to their son. there again, the mother is "gone" when the child was very young.


      ps : i've just found an audiobook of The Road on youtube. the name of the video is "Cormac McCarthy Audiobook 2017". :)

      PPS : I was looking for old interview talking about the books who influenced them for the created of Last of Us and i've found this answer of Neil Druckmann about Joel's wife. 

      https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1jg952/hi_were_neil_druckmann_creative_director_and/

      "The backstory was that she left Joel after Sarah was born. Not someone he looked up to to keep a picture around."

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    • I do like to read, but I meant about studying The Road more so than merely reading it ^_^

      Hmm, are we sure we can rely on a reddit comment regarding Sarah's mother?

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    • sorry, me bad, i misunderstood you. Well, you can find plenty of analysis on internet, but honestly, i don't know what they worth.

      http://kmckean.myteachersite.com/teacher/files/documents/god,%20morality,%20and%20meaning.pdf

      http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/reviews/two-views-the-road-by-cormac-mccarthy/

      Yes, i'm 200% about this answer. It was a live chat interview on Reddit and someone asked him the exact same question about the photos of Joel's wife in his house. You can read the full interview in the link above in my previous comment.

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    • Hmm, it is certainly a source, might be worth something as trivia on here somewhere, but then it wasn't in the actual game so it's still officially non-canon. Nice find though.

      Cool articles you found about The Road but then I meant studying it as in how one would do in school/college etc. I was a lover of English Literature but sadly lack the time now to devote more to it. Plus, I like to have my own opinion on a novel before I consult another's. I may come back to those articles you suggested one day though so thanks in advance :D

      Also, don't worry about your English; it's pretty good considering you primarily speak French.

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    • Queen.Of.Cringe wrote:
      Although I dont have a lot of evidence (this is mostly just a hunch) to support this theory, but could Joels wife had possibly died during childbirth? The fact that he rarely, to almost never, mentions her is insane. If it was divorce, dont you think he may have mentioned her to Ellie/Tess a couple of times? And this may be a bit of an overstretch, but could Sarah possibly be named after her "deceased" mother? Tell me what you think, please? Have you sometimes wondered this?

      Joel said, during the fall scene at the college, that he was"married for a while" Ellie asks what happened but he doesn't answer, so she could have left him, he left her, or she died. I don't think she would have died, because that happened with Ellies mother, but maybe. I think it'd be cool if we got to meet her in the second game , like if she was alive.


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    • A FANDOM user
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