The Last of Us Wiki
The Last of Us Wiki

Here. You kept complaining about your broken watch, so I figured, you know. Do you like it?
―Sarah upon gifting Joel a new watch[2]

Sarah Miller is the tertiary playable character and a supporting character of The Last of Us. She was the 12-year-old daughter of Joel before the Cordyceps brain infection outbreak.[3]


Background and early life

Little is known about Sarah or her past prior to the outbreak except that she lived a regular, everyday life in the Austin, Texas area with her father Joel. She was on a youth soccer team at one point and won an individual award in a game/tournament, as evidenced by several pictures in their house and the picture Ellie stole for Joel. She also enjoyed hiking with her father and skateboarding[4], as shown by a skateboard leaning against the wall in her room at the start of the game.[3] It is unknown what happened to her mother, besides that they and Joel were once married "for a while".[5]

Events of The Last of Us

Sarah is first seen waking up on a sofa to find Joel talking on the phone to her uncle Tommy. Afterwards, Joel sits down on the couch and Sarah gives him a birthday present, a new wristwatch where she jokes that she bought it with the money she got from selling "hardcore drugs". After watching some TV with her father, she eventually falls asleep again and Joel carries her back to her room and puts her to bed.[2]

Later, she is awakened in the middle of the night by an urgent phone call from Tommy who instructs her to get her dad. The line goes dead, prompting her to search for Joel, passing the birthday card she made for Joel and she checks his room, seeing a news report about a gas leak that cuts dead as an explosion in the distance startles Sarah before she proceeds downstairs, seeing several police cars rush past her house.[3]

She finds her father's cellphone with eight missed calls and a text from Tommy saying "where the hell are you? CALL ME!", along with "On my way". She enters her father's study, just as Joel runs in through the open sliding door to the backyard; he is covered in blood and extremely nervous. Joel retrieves his revolver from his desk and says that their neighbor Jimmy Cooper is "sick". The man in question appears, running towards the sliding door, smashing his way through the glass and into the room, causing Sarah to jump back in fright; Joel instinctively puts himself between her and Jimmy. The man charges at the pair, forcing Joel to shoot him and Sarah is in disbelief at what had occurred, but is quickly calmed by her father.

Suddenly, Tommy pulls into their driveway and they jump into his car where they begin driving out of town to get to safety, but some routes are blocked and others clogged with traffic. With no alternative, Tommy diverts into town, narrowly avoiding an Infected patient trying to enter the vehicle. In the mayhem, a car crashes into them, injuring Sarah's leg and impairing her movement. With the car now totaled, Joel carries her whilst Tommy protects them, looking for a safe place. They enter a bar with some Infected hot on their heels. Tommy instructs them to get to the highway and he'll hold the infected back and catch up with them. They flee, closely followed by other infected.

As they approach the highway, with Infected closing in on them, a soldier saves them by shooting the Infected. The soldier radios for orders on what to do with Joel and Sarah, only to be instructed to eliminate them despite Sarah's presence. Although Joel tries to reason with him, the soldier reluctantly opens fire and Joel dives for cover, barely shielding Sarah; the girl cries out in pain as they fall down. The soldier walks up to Joel and prepares to kill him, but he falls to the ground before he can do so, shot by Tommy. The relief is short lived as Sarah begins crying; Joel sees that Sarah was shot in the abdomen, and pleads with her to hang on. She clasps her father, Joel trying to stem the bleeding to no avail and she dies in his arms.[6]

The loss of Sarah had an adverse affect on Joel as he is unable to move on from her death even twenty years later that he doesn't even speak of his daughter to anyone if he can help it and he still wears the watch she gave him, despite it breaking over the years.[7]

Design and appearance

Sarah was a small girl with short highlighted blonde hair, blue eyes and she wore a wooden cross necklace. She wore purple-checkered pajamas, a grey T-shirt over a darker-grey longer sleeved top. She was barefoot throughout her segment of the game.[3]

Personality and traits

Sarah shares Joel's sense of humor as she trades jabs with her father during the prologue without missing a beat. She cares about him, as she somehow manages to scrounge up enough money to buy him an implied expensive birthday present.[6]

Like Ellie, Sarah is mature for her age as she is calm and collected when she claims she's 'fine' to Tommy, mere minutes after Joel shot their infected neighbor. She seems to possess above-average intelligence for her age given there is an Honor Roll certificate and an additional academic award hanging above the computer in her room.[3]

Sarah is also caring and selfless as she was worried over Tommy's safety instead of her own and said that they should have stopped to help the family they passed in the road. Another possibility is that she was in shock because of the whole ordeal, and was able to compartmentalize it.[3]



The Bash.

  • Sarah is the first playable character in the game, but her interaction is limited only to moving and looking around. However, she can still interact with five items in her household.
  • In Sarah's room is a birthday card that she forgot to give to Joel and it states that even though they are almost complete opposites in what they like, Joel remains "The best dad in the world" to her.
  • Sarah appears to be a fan of a rock band called "The Bash", due to a poster on her bedroom wall.
  • Sarah is a fan of the "Dawn of the Wolf" films, a play on the Twilight saga, as seen by a poster in her bedroom. When pressed by Ellie, Joel implies that Sarah dragged him to see it, although he says that he doesn't remember that particular event.
  • Neil Druckmann stated in one of his interviews that it was intentional to open the game with Sarah's face and end it with Ellie's face.
    • He further explains that it was their purpose to create a story that linked the two girls .[8]
  • Joel affectionately calls Sarah "baby girl", which is the same endearment he later uses for Ellie, suggesting that Joel begins to see his relationship with Ellie as that of a father and his daughter.
  • The Japanese game manual lists Sarah's last name as "Miller".
    • In Sarah's room above her computer is a certificate where the last name is blocked by an award, but the first letter was identified as "M".
      • Since the release of The Last of Us Remastered and its Photo Mode, the whole award can now be visible and displays the last name of "Miller" as well. The concept of her last name was removed by Naughty Dog early in development and is not considered canon.
  • Sarah died in the early hours of September 27, 2013 as the date seen on the newspaper at the beginning of the game was September 26.
  • Sarah was a member of a girls' soccer team called "Defenders" where the name of the team appears on one of the notes in the beginning of the game stuck to the fridge, as it is pinned with the team's badge with the name Defenders. Sarah's number on her soccer team was 14; she can be seen wearing it while holding a trophy with Joel in the picture that Ellie stole from Maria.
    • The number on her soccer team shirt was the same as Ellie's age, 14.
  • In the final chapter of the game when hiking through the woods, Joel mentions to Ellie that he thinks that she would have been good friends with Sarah. He goes on to say that Ellie would have liked her, and likewise Sarah, displaying how comfortable Joel is with Ellie, as he freely discusses Sarah with her, something he had resisted doing earlier when Ellie confronted him about wanting to leave her with Tommy earlier in the game.
  • In Sarah's room, there is a giraffe toy where it foreshadows Ellie and Joel's encounter with giraffes in the later stages of the game.
  • In the prologue, if the player removes the models of Joel and Tommy, the game will crash after Sarah gets into the vehicle with them and restarting the checkpoint will allow the player to venture as Sarah into the open, passing the crashed car and Louis' burning farm .[9]