The Last of Us fans can't praise OG Joel actor Troy Baker's role in the HBO show enough

Troy Baker as James in The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

Warning: This story contains spoilers for The Last of Us episode 8.

The Last of Us episode 8 featured a familiar face to fans of the original Naughty Dog game. Troy Baker, who voices Joel in the original story, made a cameo as James, a right-hand man to the evil cult leader David.

He's one of the Silver Lake cannibals who helps David run the commune before becoming embroiled in the plot to kidnap Ellie. Near the end of the episode, he meets a grisly end after Ellie stabs him with a cleaver in the neck.

Since the episode aired, viewers have been reacting to Baker's involvement in the show. Some loved his inclusion, with one posting on Twitter (opens in new tab): "Troy Baker was so f...ing great in the show, I was really impressed by how well he portrayed James, much better than I anticipated."

Another agreed, adding (opens in new tab): "I also enjoyed Troy Baker's James – nice that he was a fleshed-out character, and not just a cameo." While a third loved the twist that Ellie was the one to kill his character in the episode. "Ellie killed Joel, by the way. Y'all pick up on that?" they tweeted (opens in new tab).

"Seeing Troy Baker as James was so jarring because I associate him with the safety of game Joel, so him being on the opposing side was so hard," tweeted another (opens in new tab). "I'm so glad he used a different accent than in the game. He did an amazing job though. I love that guy… Troy, not James."

However, not everyone was such a fan of his inclusion, with some wanting to see more of him. Posting on Reddit (opens in new tab), one argued: "I do wish Troy Baker would have been given a more meaningful role in the show than Buddy Boy. He did fine but his character just didn't really matter."

For more from Baker, check out our exclusive interview with the actor where he talks about working with Bella Ramsey and his thoughts on Pedro Pascal as Joel. Check out our The Last of Us release schedule to make sure you don’t miss an episode, as well as our breakdown of all the changes from the game to the show in episode 8.

Fay Watson

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.