Joel is a male Mini Schnauzer born January 27, 2013
and last adopted April 17, 2013.
He is 7 years and 6 months old.
Joel was born on September 26, (most likely 1984 or 1985), and grew up in Texas with his brother Tommy. It is also stated during the ‘Fall’ section of the campaign that Joel raised Tommy and that they both struggled with it.
Sometime in his youth, Joel had a daughter named Sarah and was married to his wife for a short period of time. Saddled early in life with the responsibilities that come with being a father, he never had the opportunity to attend college. No mention is given as to the fate or whereabouts of Sarah’s mother. However, it is revealed in a conversation between Joel and Ellie that the subject of whatever happened is very painful for Joel to talk about, and that he raised their daughter as a single parent for most of her life. They live in a typical two story single-family home somewhere in or around Austin, Texas. This is learned in the opening scenes when Tommy and Joel state they need to leave Travis County by taking Texas State Highway 71.
Joel worked in construction, possibly as a carpenter. In the prologue, during a phone conversation with Tommy, he mentions desperately needing to keep his job with a contractor. Building plans lay on his bedside table and several copies of a book called Construction Regionalism can be seen on top of his bookshelf.
Music was an interest to Joel in the years prior to the outbreak; he has a guitar and an extensive music collection (both CD and vinyl) in his room. He mentions to Ellie that in his younger years he wanted to become a singer.
He seems to have ambitions of starting his own business before the outbreak, with “Everything You Need To Know About Creating A Startup” also on a table next to his bed. His job kept him fit, and he also owned a treadmill (seen in his bedroom). Additionally, he tells Ellie that he often went on hikes with his daughter, reinforced by pictures of hiking scenery in his house.
Despite his long working hours he still found time to spend quality time with Sarah, as seen in photographs displayed throughout their home showing the two on a cruise, at a carnival with Tommy and at one of Sarah’s soccer matches. In the hours leading up to the outbreak, Sarah gives him a new watch as a birthday gift to replace the one he had broken months before. This becomes a cherished memento he manages to keep in the turbulent years ahead.