Henry was a supporting character in The Last of Us. He appeared as a survivor from Hartford and the older brother of Sam, who he was fiercely protective of, to the point of underestimating his comprehension and capability in hostile situations. He openly chastised Sam if he believed he did something that would compromise their efficiency or, in particular, his safety.
Background and early life
Henry was only 5 years old when the Cordyceps brain infection began. When he was 12 years old, his brother Sam was born, whom he cared greatly about, becoming his guardian. As an adult, he mainly remembers the smells of barbecues and backyard cookouts from his childhood as opposed to the actual events themselves.
Events of The Last of Us
Henry and his brother were among survivors who had left Hartford, after the military abandoned the quarantine zone. On the suggestion of someone within their group, they entered Pittsburgh to search for supplies and were subsequently ambushed by the Hunters within the city.
Before they become separated, the group agreed to meet up near a radio tower just outside of the city limits. For the next few days, Henry and Sam holed up in an office building near one the Hunters' lookouts.
Henry and Sam were hiding out in an apartment building when they encountered Ellie and Joel. Assuming Joel was a Hunter, Henry attacked him, gaining a momentary upper hand before Ellie slashed him with her switchblade. Distracted, he was unable to defend against Joel’s counter and was thrown to the ground where Joel proceeded to punch him in the kidneys and the back of his neck. Ellie warned her partner about his younger brother, who had a gun trained on him. Henry assured his brother that they are not “the bad guys” and Joel backed off, allowing Henry to recover.
Winded, Henry complimented his strength. Joel bluntly stated that it was his intention to kill Henry in their altercation. The two introduced themselves and explained their situation. Henry suggested that they could help each other get out of the city, and though Joel initially rejected the idea, Ellie’s compliance changed his mind.
Henry and Sam lead the two out of the apartment to their hideout; they took cover inside a toy store when the armored vehicle patrolling the street reappeared. Though Henry was frustrated at the Hunter’s persistence, he noticed Sam fiddling with a toy. He reminded his brother that they take only what they need and lead them back to an office building where they had been staying.
Once inside, Joel questioned how Henry planned to escape the city, asking why they have not yet left. Henry replied that they were waiting for the right opportunity. He lead Joel to a window overlooking the gate guarded by multiple Hunters. He explained that he and Sam planned on escaping through the gate once the primary detail was replaced by a skeleton crew at night.
Henry told Joel they were heading West to join the Fireflies. He became defensive when Joel asked why he was "dragging" his brother across the country on the possibility of finding the Fireflies. Joel defused Henry by revealing that he too and Ellie were also searching for the rebel group.
At ease, Henry explained to Joel his group planned to meet at the military radio tower just outside the city the following day. By nightfall, the four of them make their way to the lower level of the office building. Henry and Joel killed the first two men in the skeleton crew and while avoiding the spotlight searching for Clickers, they proceeded outside. Joel created a distraction by turning off the generator, drawing the men atop the bridge down onto the ground.
Henry, Joel and Ellie killed the group but not without drawing attention. They managed to pass through the doors and lock them but they were given no reprieve. Acting quickly, Henry and Sam scaled a ladder onto the top of a truck blocking their exit. However, no sooner had Henry lifted Ellie up onto the truck, the ladder broke, stopping Joel from reaching them.
The Hunters rammed through the barricade doors with their Humvee. Prioritizing his brother's safety, Henry left Joel; Sam was shocked by his brother's actions but followed him. The two made it somewhere past the bridge where they spotted Ellie and Joel drifting through the water. They saved them and waited for Joel to regain consciousness. When Joel awoke, he attacked Henry for leaving them and threatened to kill him. Henry remained calm and reminded Joel that his brother’s safety came first; he would have done the same to Henry if their situations were reversed.
After Joel calmed down, Henry assured Sam he was alright and the two began searching for a way off the beach. They come across a large storm drain which the group entered into an underground sewer system.
While traveling through the sewers, they discovered a group of deceased survivors had attempted to make a living in the sewers but were inevitably overtaken by the Cordyceps brain infection. Henry and the others initially evaded detection from the infected roaming the sewers — however, Joel triggered a jerry-rigged door that slammed shut and separated the group.
The noise alerted a group of Clickers, forcing them to find a quick escape; Henry demanded that Joel keeps Sam safe. Shortly thereafter, Henry and Ellie reunited with Joel and Sam; the four of them reached the surface but were locked inside. Henry boosted Ellie and Sam over the window above the door in the hopes that they could unlock it on the other side. He helped Joel fend off the Clickers, Stalkers and Runners long enough for Sam and Ellie to unlock and open the door so they could escape.
Safely outside the limits of the city, Henry and the others made their way through the ruined suburbs. There, they were attacked by Hunters. Joel moved to take out the sniper while Henry and the others distracted them. Once Joel killed the Hunters, Henry, Sam and Ellie moved closer to the house. Relieved, they rest for a moment but are soon ambushed by Runners. Henry and Joel managed to kill the immediate threats before a horde of Infected ambushed the area. They joined Joel inside the sniper’s house where they all proceeded out the back, and head for the radio tower.
Later that night, Henry and Joel bonded over stories of Joel and Tommy renting a pair of Harleys. Henry remarked that he would die happy if he could just ride one around the block. When Ellie excused herself, Henry admitted to Joel that he does not think the rest of his group would be joining them; he believed the hardest part about their situation would be explaining it to his brother.
The following morning, Henry lets Sam sleep in. He was preparing breakfast when he suggested that Ellie wake his brother. However, moments after she entered the room, she was attacked by the little brother, who had become a Runner because an Infected had scratched his leg the day before.
Panicked, Joel tried to shoot Sam but Henry stopped him with a stray round from his own gun. Henry hesitated for another moment, prompting Joel to reach for a weapon. Before Joel could do something, Henry shot his brother in the head. Distraught over his actions, he aimed his gun at Joel, shouting that it's "all your fault". Joel attempted to dissuade Henry from firing at him but the grieving brother pointed the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger, much to Joel and Ellie's horror.
Dialogue during the Fall segment implies Joel and Ellie buried Henry and Sam. When Ellie brings up the fact that she forgot to put the toy robot she stole on Sam's grave, Joel sternly forbids her from talking about them.
Being his brother, Henry cared deeply for Sam, putting his safety above his own and ensured he was unharmed whenever he could. Henry even gave his gun to Sam at one point to defend himself, and even threatened Joel when the man question his decision to "drag [Sam] across the country" with him. However, this dedication bordered over-protection, Henry constantly making Sam leave anything they didn't need behind and never letting him leave his sight when he could help it. When separated from him, Henry would become frantic with worry, making Joel promise him to "keep [Sam] safe". This is done to ensure Sam isn't scared, like when Joel shoved him down; he kept his cool and remained confident to ensure Sam wouldn't become scared, even if Henry probably was.
Recognizing Sam's pessimistic outlook at times, Henry would try to cheer him up, making him hopeful that others from their group survived and "let him sleep in [when at the tower] for once." However, this could have been a delaying tactic for Henry, wanting to put off confessing to Sam that their group hadn't survived the journey to the radio tower, even saying to Joel "explaining it to Sam" would be the "saddest thing" about everything that had happened.
When forced to shoot Sam to save Ellie, Henry was initially reluctant, almost shooting Joel despite knowing Sam was no longer the brother he knew. He shot him regardless, devastating his spirit, crying that it was "all your fault". Ridden with guilt, he shot himself at the loss, unable to cope without his brother.
Although the pair initially attacked each other, Henry trying to strangle the man, they buried the hatchet when realizing the other wasn't a hunter. Although Joel was reluctant to join with him, Henry was more willing, even inviting him to his hideout. While there, he confessed his plans to Joel, desiring to form a partnership. He did grow angry at him though for challenging his reasons to bring Sam with him in his quest to find the Fireflies but realized he had misunderstood the remark, speedily settling down.
Although he abandoned Joel and Ellie when fleeing the city, he justified that he was doing it protect Sam, citing that he saved Joel from drowning, thus didn't hate him. He was also relatively calm with the confrontation, despite Joel having been seconds from shooting him.
When they reached the radio tower, the two grew close, bonding over stories of Joel renting a pair of Harleys and riding across the country. When Ellie left them, he confessed his fear to Joel of having to inform Sam of the loss of their group, demonstrating he felt he viewed Joel as someone he could open up to (the man being the only adult there, therefore the only person he could express any vulnerability to).
Despite the pair having become friendly with each other, Henry shot at Joel in order to save Sam (who had become a Runner) though soon changed his mind. Regardless, Henry pointed his gun at Joel again, shouting it was "all your fault" before shooting himself.
Henry didn't interact much with Ellie, but still looked after her when she was separated from Joel, defending her against Infected. He also kept her safe when they were faced by hunters, though didn't value her safety enough to prevent her from running back to Joel; he only really cared about Sam's safety when fleeing the city, not hers. When talking to Joel and Ellie about his love for motorcycles, he jokes about with Ellie; showing a sense of mutual respect. He later saved her from an infected Sam, choosing her over his brother despite their closer relationship.
Skills and abilities
Henry was a capable fighter, able to beat up several Hunters and Infected with Joel's assistance. He could even hold his own against Joel, a skilled combatant in his own right, only losing his advantage when distracted by Ellie. He also has a tolerance for pain, barely wincing when Ellie slashed his arm (commenting it was "nothing") and Joel heavily beating him, though he did observe that Joel "hits hard".
Henry was a strong swimmer, able to rescue an unconscious Joel and Ellie despite the overwhelming current and showed no sign of exhaustion afterwards, demonstrating considerable stamina.
Henry was also skilled with his pistol, able to kill several Hunters and Infected with it. He was even able to fire a warning shot at Joel and shoot Sam in the head, despite being distressed.
Henry could also be very persuasive, managing to convince an enraged Joel not to shoot him.
- Henry: "Yeah, I thought you were one of them too. Then I saw you. In case you ain't noticed, they don't keep kids around. Survival of the fittest."
- Henry: "There were a bunch of us. Someone had the brilliant idea of entering the city. Look for supplies. Those fuckers--they ambushed us. Scattered us. Now it's all about getting out this shithole."
- Henry: "You had a good chance of making it, and you did. But coming back for you meant putting [Sam] at risk. If it was the other way around, would you have come back for us? I saved you."
- Joel: "Dead serious. It was Tommy's birthday. That's all he wanted to do is just -- rent two Harleys and drive cross country."
- Henry: "Ah, man. I could die happy if I could just ride one around the block."
- Henry: "I don't think anyone from our group is gonna show up… worst part about it all. Explaining it to Sam."
- Henry: "Sa… Sa… Sam. It's your fault. It's all your fault!"
- Henry, and Sam were originally supposed to be Caucasian.
- There is an occasional glitch that causes Henry to wield Ellie's special Beretta Model 70-based 9mm Pistol, instead of his own Taurus Model 66 regularly used in gameplay.
- In the final conversation between Ellie and Sam, Sam mentions that Henry told him that when people died they would see their families again in the afterlife. This suggests either that Henry is religious, or that he believes telling Sam this would make his journey easier. It is unknown if he is aware of Sam's doubts concerning the afterlife.
- In the cutscene commentaries, Neil Druckmann clarified that after shooting Sam, Henry's words "It's all your fault" weren't actually directed at Joel. Rather, Henry was blaming himself for his brother's turning and demise.
- Henry's backpack is the same backpack design used by the Fireflies in Factions.
- When discussing how he conceived a back story for the character, actor Brandon Scott stated he imagined Henry was actually Sam's half-brother, a by-product from Henry's mother being raped and died during the birth. He expanded that Henry contemplated killing his newly born brother to rid himself of the rage he felt over his mother's death but changed his mind and dedicated his life to caring for Sam because he believed the suffering his family endured had to mean something.
- "The Suburbs"
- The Last of Us - Gameplay Preview - Eurogamer "Mandatory Evacuation Notice: 10/17/13"
- The Last of Us - Internet Movie Database.com
- I saved you
- I'm Henry...this is Sam
- Welcome to my Office
- What are you scared of?
- "Tommy's Dam"
- Note: creative director Neil Druckmann stated he meant it to mean Henry blaming himself, not Joel.
- The Last of Us - The Definitive Playthrough (Accessed 6th of May, 2020)