Pedro Pascal’s casting as Joel Miller in HBO’s The Last of Us series has fans of The Mandalorian pretty excited, but there are many Game of Thrones fans feeling disappointed that it wasn’t Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Last week, word broke that Pascal had officially been cast as Joel to co-star in the series alongside Bella Ramsey as Ellie. Like Coster-Waldau, both are also oddly enough Game of Thrones alum.
Prior to the recent casting news, many fans were campaigning for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to land the role of Joel. In addition to proving his acting chops on Game of Thrones, the actor is also widely perceived to look a lot like the original video game version of the character. As perhaps the frontrunner with a lot of fans of The Last of Us to play the part in the HBO series, Coster-Waldau had also been featured in a variety of fan art imagining him as Joel Miller.
“Pedro Pascal is an amazing actor no question (I really loved his performance as Oberyn Martell), but I also wish they considered Nikolaj Coster-Waldau,” a fan on Twitter wrote. “I often see him voted by TLOU fans to play Joel. I hope this adaptation still turns out great though.”
“I wanted Nikolaj to be Joel,” another fan puts it, adding a crying face emoji.
“Hugely disappointed that #Pedropascal is playing Joel! My favourite choice was always Nikolaj Coster-Waldau,” another tweet reads.
Others are more optimistic about Pedro’s casting, even if they’re disappointed that Nikolaj wasn’t picked. As one fan tweeted, “Watched Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in The Silencing. He would have made a great Joel for The Last of Us on HBO. No offense to Pedro Pascal though, I’m sure he’ll be great as well.”
And another fan writes, “I loved Pedro in GoT, but still believe Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would have been a way better Joel, a practical cynical sorta broken old man who learns how to care & love again with Ellie.”
For what it’s worth, there’s still a chance Coster-Waldau could appear in The Last of Us. Some fans say that the next best thing would be to still cast him in the role of Tommy, Joel’s brother in the original game. At this time, there’s no indication that Tommy will even be included in the series or that Coster-Waldau would be in consideration for the part, but some fans are nonetheless calling for his casting as Tommy.
“I’m amped that Pedro Pascal is gonna be Joel in The Last of Us but Nikolaj Coster-Waldau better be Tommy,” said one fan.
Another tweet reads, “at least nikolaj as tommy? Please?? :(“
HBO’s The Last of Us is being written by Neil Druckmann, the original game’s writer and creative director, alongside Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin. Kantemir Balagov is also set to direct the first episode of the adaptation. It’s not yet clear when filming will begin or when the series will make it to HBO. For more from Coster-Waldau, he can be seen in last year’s The Silencing and will also star in the upcoming movie Against the Ice.