... Hm. I have to say, everything Tom said I actually disagree with largely. I didn't think it was going to be to the extent that it is, but dang. I feel like Chris and Shaun understood what was going on in the game better. Tom seemed to be jumping to weird conclusions, that could be possible, but I think somewhat unrealistic. One thing I didn't think about, and I've heard once before from IGN, that Chris brings up was how Sarah and Tess are kind of the the two sides of Ellie for Joel, I find that interesting, and it makes sense.
I realize that Chris is right- at the end Joel's just screwed over the rest of mankind just so that he can have something to hold onto in Ellie- even though she was the one who was determined to get all the way to begin with- so she could help mankind. And when he lies to her face on that hill at the very end, I'm pretty sure by her reaction that she doesn't believe him, she just accepts this is how it has to be.
Also, when I burst into THAT hospital room at the end, I only shot the one doctor with the scalpel. I left the other two because they weren't armed, and it didn't feel right (even though I'd murdered about two dozen Fireflies to get that far but they were shooting at me...).
I really enjoyed hearing your different interpretations of Joel's motivation. My thoughts on his motivation go like this. After the prologue, Joel is so broken after the death of his daughter that he really has no motivation what-so-ever. He is just a skilled survivor who gets pulled into different situations by those around him. Tess is the one who seems to call the shots in the beginning, and Joel just goes along for the hell of it. When Ellie enters the picture, I thought that there was a bond between him and Ellie almost instantly, though Joel would NEVER admit it. I don't think he welcomes it, and because he is so broken, he constantly pushes Ellie away. I don't think he meant any of the verbal abuse he hurled at her. Joel is so afraid of caring for someone else that he pushes everyone away. So after Tess dies, protecting Ellie is his only motivation, though I still don't think he'd even admit that. He takes her to Tommy because he thinks that is the best thing for Ellie. The scene after Ellie runs away was when Joel finally dropped his guard, if only a little. After she tells him that she doesn't feel safe away from his side, Joel was shocked. He never considered that she would want to stay with him. There bond strengthened a lot then. Now his motivation is to also help Ellie with her journey, not just protect. Protecting Ellie was everything for Joel. I felt the same way. I was not going to let Ellie die. The finale was a rush for me. I didn't hesitate with the surgeons. I shot all three in the head because if I failed to get Ellie out, I didn't want there to be anyone to perform the surgery. It did make me feel ill, but Ellie was all that mattered. I'll remember that ending for a long time. I was curious if there was an alternate ending after, but saving Ellie was what I was going to do first. At the very last scene, I don't know if Ellie thinks Joel was lying or not. I felt she believed him because she trusts him. Though if she ever finds out the truth it would destroy her. I think Joel lied to her because deep down he knows that Marlene's last words to him were true. If Ellie knew that her death would mean humanities salvation, she would sacrifice herself. Keeping her alive is all that matters to Joel.
@bonander couldn't agree more. I didn't want to kill the surgeons as they could be the last few doctors on earth the cure this thing. (also they were unarmed and not 100% going to kill me.) At the end of the day for Joel, Ellie became his life. In the same regard that Ellie was able to name all of the people she has loved and lost in her 14-15 years on the planet Joel probably has way more including a daughter, wife and almost a brother (emotionally) So for him those final scenes were about saving the world, his world. Ellie became everything to him and that nothing in this world not even the end of the world could every come between the bond between a father and daughter. Great game, so happy i finally beat it.