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‘The Last of Us’ most loved characters revealed as smash series sparks social media frenzy following final

The Last of Us has been the television event of 2023. The HBO drama, based on the video games of the same name, has been one of the most viewed and critically acclaimed shows in recent memory, and it’s largely due to the popularity of its characters. The Last of Us features a sprawling cast of characters who are pushed to the absolute limit in order to survive a deadly outbreak. In the process, their moral boundaries are tested, and their bonds with their loved ones are fortified.

The Last of Us is unique in that characters who rank among the most beloved may only appear in an episode or two, whereas characters who are less linked by fans are constant presences throughout the season. It all depends on perspective, of course, as all art does, but it has been interesting to crunch the numbers now that season one is over and take stock of which characters were the most popular with fans.

Fan favorites

Social media reactions were taken into account when crunching these numbers, and it may surprise you to learn that Frank was the most loved character on The Last of Us! That’s right, a character who appeared in only one episode managed to win over the hearts of fans so intensely that he earned the top spot. He comes in with a whopping 30% of the total positive social media reactions, which places him a couple percentage points ahead of the second place winner: Bill! He nets 28% of the overall reactions.

It’s a testament to the power of the episode “Long, Long, Time” that both of the most beloved characters in the show are only in this single episode. Frank and Bill are, of course, lovers, and the episode charts their multi-decade romance against the backdrop of the outbreak. It’s a unique episode in the overall structure of The Last of Us, relying heavily on flashbacks and interpersonal connection instead of the action and shifting alliances of the rest of the story.

Maximizing screen time

The popularity of these characters can also be attributed to the staggeringly emotional performances given by Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman, as Frank and Bill, respectively. They give it their all, resulting in characters who we feel incredibly familiar with despite only knowing them a short time. 

Check out the full Betway breakdown of the list here:

Frank 30.1%

Bill 28.2%

Ellie 27.0%

Joel 20.7%

Tommy 20.2%

Sam 17.8%

Henry 16.5%

David 15.7%

Tess 12.0%

Star power

It should come as no surprise that the two leads of the show: Ellie and Joel. They are the heart and soul of The Last of Us, and once again, the chemistry between the actors (Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal) goes a long way in selling us on their humanity. Pascal continues his impressive run of television, after making iconic appearances in Game of Thrones, Narcos, and The Mandalorian. If any actor can play claim to being the king of the small screen in recent years, it’s him. If anything, we’re surprised he’s all the way down at number four! 

The fifth spot goes to Tommy, who’s played by Gabriel Luna. He’s one of the quieter presences on the show, but he did appear in two episodes, so we can at least understand his connection with fans on that front. Luna is perhaps best known for playing the titular cyborg in Terminator: Dark Fate. We suspect that when awards season comes around, all of these actors will be getting attention from organizations like the Emmys and the Golden Globes. 


Was your favorite character represented on social media? Do you feel like any of the Last of Us characters were overlooked or overrated?

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