Why Pedro Pascal’s role in The Last of Us proves he’s perfect for Gladiator II

The Last of Us Episode 9
The Last of Us Episode 9 /

There's no argument that Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian) has portrayed a plethora of characters in television, film, and theater throughout his extensive career. While fans of The Last of Us anxiously await news on season 2's release, we believe it is his role as Joel Miller that has prepared and suited him for his upcoming role as Marcus Acacius in Gladiator II.

Who is Marcus Acacius?

Starring alongside stellar talents such as Paul Mescal, Denzel Washington, Connie Nielsen, and Joseph Quinn, Pascal's role will be that of a Roman general. According to Vanity Fair, Pascal's role is of “a man in deep regret with his life and doesn’t know where to go with it.”

Pascal states in the same article that his character is, “a very, very good general, which can mean a very good killer.” While that isn't much to go on, upon one watch of the Gladiator II trailer (with 12 million views as of this article) and we can get a pretty clear picture of who he is, which isn't far from off from his role as Joel Miller.

Similarities between Joel Miller and Marcus Acacius

The Last of Us Episode 6 /

No Joel wasn't a Roman general, but he was a man who did horrible things after the tragic death of his only daughter Sarah, at the beginning of the end of the world. In The Last of Us, an HBO TV show based on the video game of the same name, the world is still trying to recover from the apocalypse caused by fungus.

20 years pass since Sarah's death and Joel is hardly the same man he once was. While we don't know the full extent of his history before his arrival at the Boston QZ, we know he's gone to terribly low lengths to survive.

This includes his present dealings at the Boston QZ not to mention his rather short, no-nonsense, and when necessary, violent attitude. He's not one to crack a smile easily.

That is until he becomes tasked with transporting Ellie to a Firefly base (rebellion group). It is through his journey with Ellie that Joel's personality really shines through.

His old self isn't completely gone, his past has made it possible for him to survive all the challenges that lie ahead and he's regretful for what he had done. Assuming we are correct in our theory about Marcus Acacius, he is shown as a powerful and popular general who suddenly finds himself in the midst of death as a gladiator.

How does one man fall from grace so quickly? Perhaps he too was once a strong and deadly man, doing as ordered for the good of the Roman Empire and per orders of the Emperor.

It takes him time to realize that perhaps some of the wars or battles he was forced to lead weren't for the betterment of the Empire, and he's in a situation of trying to cope with it. Could it be that his decision to now refuse to follow orders or to simply retreat from battle, be the reason he's thrown into the gladiator ring?

Considering the film isn't shying away from the fact the emperor is most likely mentally unhinged and unspeakably cruel, it's not that far-fetched. Perhaps in this instance he will find his punishment fits his past crimes and in order to make amends he'll suffer a horrible fate.

We're curious to know who you think Marcus Acacius is and what fate will befall him. You can watch the Gladiator II trailer here.

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You can watch The Last of Us season 1 on HBO MAX.