Why David Is The Most Evil Character In The Las...

Why David Is The Most Evil Character In The Last Of Us

David The Last Of Us

Ok, so when we look at The Last of Us, I think a lot of us are hit with just how morally gray it is. Joel’s actions are questionable, Ellie ends up treading down a dark path, and people have to do bad things to get by, but all in all, we can understand why this is. No matter how dark things get with the protagonists, there is at least some debate in it, with even the ending of the first game being like, “Well, I get it.”

However, in the case of David, I don’t think there’s any point where you can actually sympathize with him. A devious and manipulative man, he attempts to groom Ellie into joining him and his cult. In both the show and game, we learn minor things about them, and in case you didn’t know, David is one of the main antagonists in both. I think he’s been put in place to show that man is the worst predator of them all, and in this new world he’s managed to abuse people and do what he wants.

David is far worse than the infected, and he even sees them as something to admire.

Who Was David In The Last Of Us?

Before the world fell apart, he would’ve had to have moved silently and likely would’ve evaded the law due to his manipulative abilities. Though he definitely twists situations to his benefit, post-apocalypse he has even more power because the world has fallen apart. He has taken away his followers from the overly appealing guise of Fedra and isolated them far away from everyone else in a habitat that not many people would venture to due to the weather there.

Here he’s very much built a cult around him, and like most cult leaders, he’s abused this power to allow him to carry out his dark fantasies.

Describing himself as a man with a dark heart, we see how he’s led his flock into a life of cannibalism and that they’ve been shunned into silence even when witnessing abuse.

Now In the show, we learn a little bit about his past and discover that he actually used to be a teacher. Knowing what we know about him, this has an extra layer to it as he could’ve used this role to prey upon people. This very much plays into why he likely became a preacher as well. These positions of power give him access to young girls, and it also means that people will listen to him and turn a blind eye to what he’s doing. When all the issues happened with the Catholic Church, we discovered that many people knew about them but just covered them up instead of actually damning the person committing the indefensible acts.

Religious figures are often thought to be very much a vessel for God, and thus, in this position, few people question them, and I think that this is why David chose to become a holy figure. Due to what he says, I don’t get the feeling that he’s even religious, and instead he views the Cordyceps as the higher power.

David The Last of Us
Credit: HBO (The Last of Us)

He is a charlatan, masquerading as the leader of a cause that he doesn’t believe in because it makes him untouchable amongst his people. At one point, James questions whether it might be God’s will to let Ellie die, but we see his own choices overriding that so that he can get her.

David is pretty much using the perfect portrayal of his character to get what he wants as well.

I think both the show and the game do an excellent job of painting him out as being a very meek and meager character who’s completely unassuming. When playing as Ellie, you end up fighting alongside him, and due to how valuable he is, I think that many players will see him as a great ally in these moments.

Hell, he even fooled me, and upon my first playthrough, I was thinking that he seemed like, quote, “one of the good ones. Up until this point, we’d fought against Fedra, bandits, and some of the worst people imaginable who were happy to kill a kid to get just an extra bit of food.

On the other hand, David seemed like he genuinely wanted to help Ellie, and he even sent off his right-hand man to get medicine for her.

As players, we’re very much meant to see him as the people in his town do and be on his side.

How Did David Know Who Joel And Ellie Were?

However, the turn comes early on when he actually plays his hand slightly and reveals that his men have had run-ins with Joel and Ellie in the past. Now, though people might not think it’s smart to overplay this, he’s doing it because he realizes Ellie is on her own. Had Joel been in fighting shape, she wouldn’t be out there getting medicine for him, and thus, he wants to offer her something away from him.

In this world, most people are in it for themselves, and in the game, we even get the feeling from Joel that he’s ditched people when they’ve slowed him down. We saw this with Henry and Sam too when the Run truck was chasing them, and on the hole, staying with someone if they’re wounded is the exception and not the rule.

David incorrectly assumes that Ellie is like this too, but getting someone away from their family is also a tactic that abusers use.

Psychologists have outlined patterns like this before, and in toxic and abusive relationships, there tend to be some key characteristics.

These involve getting the victim away from their friends and family, and thus they are more likely to stay with the person because they have no one to turn to.

In David’s town, Ellie would also be very much viewed as the enemy. The stories of her and Joel will have circulated at this point, and I can’t imagine that the townsfolk will take kindly to her around these parts.

Thus, Ellie will very much be stuck in a strange place that she doesn’t know with no one to turn to.

David will be the only person that she has, and thus he’ll be able to manipulate and bully her without anyone stepping in to help her out.

It’s a sick and sadistic plan that puts Ellie in the most danger that she’s ever been in.

Whereas she found a surrogate father in Joel, David is very much a dark version of that, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he refers to himself as that in the entry.

David The Last of Us
Credit: HBO (The Last of Us)

We watch as a girl named Hannah mourns her father, who was killed by Joel. David has done a similar thing to what he planned to do with Ellie, and we see that he might have control over her too. I think that she is very much used in the episode to show what could potentially happen with Ellie. We watch as the congregation refuses to speak up even though he’s hitting her in front of them, and it’s likely that they would never speak up to him.

You really feel for this girl in the moment, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this interaction comes the night after he’s just met Ellie.

This slap is very much him casting her to the side because he has a new target that he can control.

It’s got just a creepy subtext to it, and the people just eat down on their meals without speaking up.

They are just happy to have something to eat, and if it’s a choice between a hot meal and speaking and starving, then they’d clearly rather go with the former.

David has weaponized this, and often in cults, you will find behavior that fits this too.

One of the first things that people do is restrict food, as it allows them to control those they seek to. Nexium did it, R Kelly did it, and pretty much every figure like this carries out something similar.

We do know food is scarce, so it might not be intentional, but potentially David chose for them to settle here because of that reason.

There’s also the fact that it’s out in the snow, so anyone who tried to leave would have to deal with the environment too. So your choice is to stay there and be fed or face the harsh frozen landscape that surrounds the town.

I think all of these aspects are what make David the most evil character in the game because of how devious he is. Appearing as a mild-mannered man, he’s managed to manipulate people into thinking that he’s not a threat, when in reality he controls every aspect of the life that people have in his town.

Is David A Cult Leader In The Last Of Us?

If you put yourself in their shoes, you can easily see why some have just chosen to stay silent, and he’s preyed upon this weakness to mean that he can basically do what he wants.

If they speak against him, they could be speaking against God; if they stop him, it might mean that they’re unable to eat; and if they try and leave, then they have to contend with what lies around them. They’ve already lived through Fedra and several raider attacks, and now they just want some safety and security in exchange for their silence.

It adds so much complexity to the show, but either way, I think we can agree that David is a sick and evil man.

I think most people would rather face off against the infected that be stuck in a town with him as the leader but he’s used fear to control them.

Masquerading as a religious man, he’s tapped into people’s fears and used them as a way to control how they live. It’s a harrowing thing, and had Ellie ended up stuck with him, then who knows what would’ve happened.

His death scene is meant to be brutal for a reason, and seeing her cut away from him is done by the creative team to show just how evil he is.

It’s complete overkill, and yet you can definitely understand why his death is portrayed like this.

David The Last of Us
Credit: HBO (The Last of Us)

In the end, he’s one of the most evil characters I think I’ve seen in video games before, and the worst thing is that most players wouldn’t have suspected a thing on their first run through. Now I think that when making this video, something that stuck with me was just how much this actually translates to real life. Things like clickers and blowers don’t exist in our world, but people like David do. Put in a position of power, they can destroy someone’s life worse than an outbreak like this ever could, and in fact, it would make them more powerful. Without law enforcement and having people in a vulnerable position, they can thrive and get what they want.

It’s terrifying to think about, and I think it’s a reason why David sticks with so many people long after they finish the game. To me, he’s the most dangerous character we come across, and he’s a chilling and evil villain with or without the infected.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the character and what you think about David in the show and game.

Comment below and let me know, and if you want something else to watch, then make sure you check out the video on the screen right now. If you want to support the channel, then please join our membership program by clicking the link below the video. It gives you early access to some videos, and we’re also going to start doing exclusive polls so you can choose our classic movie breakdowns.

Hopefully I’ll see you over there, and with that out of the way, thanks for sitting through this; I’ll see you next time. Peace.

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