My cause is my family now.
— Tommy talking to Joel
Tommy is a character who appears in The Last of Us. He is Joel's younger brother, Sarah's uncle, the husband of Maria and a former member of the Fireflies. He is voiced and mo-capped by Jeffrey Pierce.
Background and early lifeEdit
Tommy was born sometime during the 1980s, in Texas, where he grew up alongside his older brother Joel who raised him. Although not much is known regarding Tommy's early life, the brothers rented two Harley motorcycles and went on a cross-country ride for Tommy's birthday. Through hints between Joel and Tommy's brief conversations in the game, it is likely that they both shared an interest in college football.
Judging by dialogue heard between the two, Tommy and Joel worked alongside each other. Tommy also regularly went with him and Sarah to several events and carnivals, evidenced by the photos in her room.
Events of The Last of UsEdit
Outbreak day Edit
Tommy first appears when he talks to his brother Joel on the phone, discussing the matter of Joel's job in architecture and a contractor, though the conversation is cut short when Joel hangs up. In the early hours of the morning the next day, Sarah finds Joel's cell phone, finding a concerned text message from Tommy asking "where the hell are you? Call me!" and eight missed calls from him.
He appears in person during the first moments of the cordyceps brain infection outbreak, picking up Joel and Sarah to get them to safety. The three drive through the town with a plan to get to the blockade that the military set up. They witness streets filled with newly infected Runners, people fearfully running through the streets and fires engulfing multiple buildings.After reaching Texas State Highway 71 they encounter a traffic jam which turns into mayhem when Infected start attacking the car in front of them. They quickly turn around, pursued by several Infected, and attempt a detour. Among the chaos, a vehicle crashes into the side of Tommy's car. They all survive the crash but Sarah's leg is broken, causing Joel to carry her and Tommy to cover them with Joel's revolver. Tommy manages to circle back for Joel and Sarah after being separated at a bar, just in time to save Joel's life from a soldier who preparing to execute him, but Sarah is shot in the abdomen. As Joel tries to apply pressure to Sarah's wound, he looks at Tommy, who responds with an uncertain, nervous stare. Indeed, Sarah dies in front of her uncle, in her father's arms.
In the years following the outbreak, Tommy and Joel made their way to the Boston Quarantine Zone but the actions committed by the brothers in order to survive caused Tommy to suffer "nightmares from those years". Sickened by Joel's growing inhumane activities and the military's tyranny, he decided to join the Fireflies, after being convinced by Marlene. He was filled with hope that the world could get better, which led to an argument between him and Joel which ended with them parting ways, Tommy's last words to Joel being, "I don't ever want to see your goddamned face again."
He spent a long time with the Fireflies, even visiting the group's main research lab in the University of Eastern Colorado. Tommy eventually left the Fireflies after becoming disillusioned with their cause. Before he left, he informed Marlene she could rely on his brother if she was ever in need of assistance. He left a strong impression on her, causing her to remark years later "he was a good man".
Tommy eventually reached Jackson County, where he helped to make it into a safe haven. He married a woman named Maria and they become the leaders of the settlement while trying to get the generator fixed. The hydroelectric plant is under constant attack by bandits. For a few months Tommy traveled back to the brothers' hometown in Texas; most of their things were long gone, though he retrieved a slightly faded photo of Joel and Sarah at a soccer match.
During the Fall of 2033, Joel and Ellie stumble upon a seemingly abandoned power plant in Jackson City while trying to find Tommy. To their surprise, Tommy, Maria, and many of their men were trying to get the power plant up and running again to power their settlement electricity.
Tommy greets his brother with open arms and welcomes him into the plant, introducing him to Maria. After showing Joel around and getting the power back on, Joel gives Tommy the information regarding Ellie's immunity to the CBI, expecting Tommy to heed to his order to take over the delivery of Ellie. Due to leaving the Fireflies and their cause behind him and the danger of the journey, Tommy refuses to deliver Ellie to the group, realizing that Joel hasn't changed since he last saw him. An argument ensues, in which Joel indirectly insults Tommy's community and the memories of their dark past resurface, leading to an enraged Joel shoving his brother, but they are interrupted by a bandit attack.
Tommy, with help from Joel and some of his men, fends off the attackers. Tommy reconsiders his decision to take Ellie to the Fireflies' lab after seeing her interactions with Joel. Maria is understandably upset when Tommy tells her this, knowing that she may end up being a widow if Tommy made even one mistake.
Before he can leave with Ellie, she steals a horse and runs away. Joel and Tommy give chase and find her at an abandoned ranch, where they are attacked by more bandits. They fight their way out and arrive back at the plant, where Tommy shows them how he has turned Jackson County into a small fortified town, now with electricity, enabling the children to watch television. Joel tells Tommy he will take Ellie and Tommy can go back to Maria. Tommy tells them that the Fireflies' lab is in the University of Eastern Colorado. As Joel is about to leave with Ellie, he offers them both sanctuary in his town, saying there is always a place for Joel. Joel doesn't answer, giving the impression of acceptance, and instead bids Tommy farewell before riding off.
Months later, after Joel rescues Ellie from the Fireflies in Salt Lake City, they return to Jackson County, intending to live in Tommy's settlement. When Joel does return, Tommy accepts them as he promised, giving them a room each but has them working on fortifying the defenses while they live there. He introduces Joel to a woman named Esther, Joel believing that he intends to have them "hitched".
Tommy was with Joel for the initial years after the outbreak and aided him in ambushes and raids. It is also very likely that Tommy himself had killed innocent people, as he claims to still suffer nightmares from the years he spent with Joel and all the horrible things they did. Tommy has been seeking redemption for his past crimes by helping Maria build safe havens and communities throughout Wyoming. He cares about those under his charge and puts their well-being before his own.
Like Joel, Tommy has a short temper, but his is much quicker to diffuse than that of his brother, due to him being generally more sympathetic. His sympathy is shown early on when he tries to stop to help a family during the outbreak but stops when Joel insists they don't; Tommy likely yielding due to a 'big brother knows best' view. Tommy also takes the time to scavenge a photo of Joel and Sarah from what remains of their home, being especially sympathetic to his brother through such.
Tommy becomes frustrated when Joel brings up his past and blames him for most of it, indicating that Joel may have led a lot of their activities. However, he is surprisingly quick to forgive his brother when they meet again after many years, and despite being more averse to violence, he is capable of violence when he has to be and still loves and cares for his brother Joel.
Tommy, in contrast to Joel, tends to be reasonably optimistic, believing he can make things better with cautious, hard work, and thus is not plagued with the same unrelenting pessimism and apathy that his brother harbors. This was his impetus for joining the Fireflies at one point, as well as why he left them to build a new life. He prioritizes his family, declining Joel's offer to take the profit from Ellie's deliverance in favor of his new family with Maria. It's rather symbolic that he married the leader Maria, emphasizing how he views the community just as (if not more) important than his brother Joel. However, after seeing his brother care for Ellie's safety, he sympathizes with the man and changes his mind, wanting to spare Joel the pain he suffered years before.
Skills and abilitiesEdit
Tommy appears to be quite skilled with handguns even before the outbreak, as he kills many Infected in the first portion of the game with Joel's revolver and killed a soldier with a bullet to the head. He was also skilled in physical combat, able to kill a Runner by hitting it with a brick, and even kicked one to the floor despite it grappling Joel. Tommy also displayed great strength, being able to force a door shut despite several Runners pushing against it.
20 years later, he appears proficient with a hunting rifle against bandits, and could ride a horse at great speed and repair it's hooves when injured. He also possesses good leadership abilities, as he helps create and drive a new, less-violent community forward, being very respected within this group, while proceeding with enough caution to keep the place in order. This also affords him protection as the settlers would protect him from anyone with hostile intent, even Joel.
Tommy and Joel, being brothers, were deeply close to one another but had their moments of ruptures in their relationship. Having been cared for by Joel during their childhood, Tommy's first priority during the outbreak was to reach his brother.
Tommy protected his brother during the outbreak, even using Joel's own gun to save his life when a soldier attempted to shoot him. He also helped Joel as best he could when Sarah died, staying with the man for most of the post-apocalyptic years. Evidently Tommy put great stock in Joel's way of thinking, the elder brother leading Tommy during the apocalyptic years given how Joel states "[Tommy] survived because of [him]".
However, Tommy grew to hate Joel, mentally scarred by the actions the two committed in the name of survival. As Joel stated, "[Tommy] saw the world one way. [Joel] saw it another". Tommy eventually chose to try to save humanity over his own brother, abandoning him to join the Fireflies. Even after he "grew tired of that too", Tommy didn't return to Joel but left for Wyoming, not desiring to see his brothers "goddamed face again".
Despite their relationship having been strained to the breaking point, their time apart mended most of the wounds. Upon seeing his older brother again years later, Tommy welcomed him with open arms, the hostilities buried. However, there still were some outbursts, the pair arguing heavily when left alone in Tommy's room, almost resulting in a fight. He also threatens Joel's life during their conflict, despite years earlier saving him from certain death.
Tommy soon forgave his brother, willingly agreeing to look after Ellie in his place, likely to avoid the damage losing her would do to him. This even lead to him choosing his brother over his wife, Maria, despite her being his new family.
When Joel and Ellie left his settlement, Tommy understood Joel and offered him a place should he ever return, displaying their relationship was repaired despite all of the things they had done over the years.
Tommy cared greatly for Maria, so much that he married her, much to the surprise of his brother Joel, and wanted to protect her people and family. The two formed a strong partnership, Tommy assisting her in fixing the dam and even offered to do her jobs for her, such as surveying the repairs on the generator. He also had a deep sense of trust in her and was weary to part with her, especially when Joel demanded he take Ellie for him, stating "my cause is my family [Maria] now".
Although he loved her, he was willing to obey his brother after some persuasion, informing her he "had to do this" despite her bring struck with grief of what could come of him.
Having been a member of the Fireflies, Tommy met the leader of the group; Marlene. The woman was partly responsible for him leaving Joel, persuading him to join her group despite Joel's pessimistic view of them.
Tommy grew close to her, having a profound effect on the woman. Even when he left the group, he informed Marlene she could count on Joel for help if she was "ever stuck in a jam". Marlene even remarked years later that "he was a good man" despite him abandoning the Fireflies' philosophy.
Tommy seemed to be close with his niece Sarah, going with her and Joel to carnivals and soccer matches over the years before the outbreak. He appeared to support Joel in raising her, since the girl's mother had left them by that point.
During the outbreak, Tommy was protective of Sarah, using Joel's' revolver to protect the pair from Infected. When picking them up in the car, Tommy toned down his language around the girl and affectionately called her "honey". When they were cornered in a room due to oncoming Infected, Tommy forced Joel to run on because he was carrying Sarah, putting the child's life above his own.
He appeared saddened by her death, but more so for Joel due to how much the man cared for her.
Although he only knew her a short while, Tommy looked after Ellie due to her association with Joel. He was initially unwilling to "take that girl off of [Joel's] hands" but he agreed to do so after recognizing her importance to his brother.
When at the ranch, he offered to help her up one of his horses and even let her keep the horse when she left the settlement. As with Joel, he promised her a place in his community when she returned.