We’ve Hit Peak Pedro Pascal

Pedro Pascal has conquered The Mandalorian, The Last of Us, SNL, and countless social media feeds, as memes, flattering photos and gushing praise for Pascal flood TikTok, Instagram and Twitter; we’ve hit peak Pascal, and are fast approaching the singularity.

Google Trends show that worldwide searches for “Pedro Pascal” spiked after the pilot for HBO’s The Last of Us aired on January 15th, exploded mid-February, and is set to rise again.

When a single celebrity oversaturates social media to this degree, it’s usually due to being unmasked as a bigot, a sex predator, or a crypto bro. Thankfully, Pascal is trending for purely positive reasons; the Pascal hype train is like the internet’s boundless affection for Keanu Reeves, as both actors seem to radiate good vibes.

Pascal has been building goodwill ever since his memorable appearance on Game of Thrones as swashbuckling bisexual, Oberyn Martell, one of the show’s biggest personalities (in true Thrones fashion, Oberyn was violently murdered, but at least managed to poison his opponent first).

Pascal then settled into the role of the stoic gunslinger, hiding a heart of gold under a gruff exterior; watching Pascal play babysitter to Baby Yoda and Bella Ramsey won him the adoration of the internet, as the masses crowned him “internet daddy.”

Pascal has happily embraced the title, despite having no children:

Pascal’s popular roles have seen him as an agent of violence, by necessity, always with a sensitive side. Currently, the most popular Pascal meme is a 3-image post of Joel (The Last of Us) suffering a terrible panic attack, which was deemed “relatable.”

Perhaps it’s Pascal’s signature brand of masculinity, a blend of steely toughness and raw vulnerability, that the masses find so appealing; long before that much-memed panic attack, a clip of Pascal performing a reading of the play, “I, My Ruination” went viral; the clip sees Pascal laughing hysterically, before transitioning into inconsolable sobbing.

The clip remains a popular meme, having distilled the essence of Zoom-infused pandemic blues.

A popular TikTok meme both acknowledges and embraces the internet’s Pascal obsession, featuring a clip from The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, combined with Mama Cass Elliot’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music.”

The clip sees a concerned Nicholas Cage turning to Pedro Pascal, who gives him an unhinged grin as they drive together. The meme is all over TikTok, and quickly became meta, often used to refer to Pascal overload we’re all seeing on our timelines.

While sparking a daily deluge of “thirst posts,” Pascal also has a glowing reputation as an outspoken ally to the LGBTQ community.

Pascal famously had a word with former Mandalorian co-star Gina Carano about respecting preferred pronouns, after Carano publicly mocked the concept. Carano, who was fired by Disney after an offensive Instagram post, had no hard feelings towards Pascal; Carano later said that the two had an “agreement” despite their clashing political perspectives, and called Pascal a “sweet person.”

When Pascal’s sister, Lux, came out as a trans woman, Pascal enthusiastically supported her on social media, and according to Lux, was just as supportive in private, noting that Pascal “was one of the first people to gift me the tools that started shaping my identity.”

Pascal’s Last of Us co-star Bella Ramsey, who is non-binary, told GQ UK that Pascal was “super supportive” of their identity, and that the two shared many conversations around gender. Ramsey detailed: “And they weren’t always deep: they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum. We were just very honest and open with each other.”

The wholesome bond between the Ramsey and Pascal, on screen and seemingly behind the scenes, was recently highlighted by a viral Twitter post that compared the age gap between Leo DiCaprio and his alleged girlfriend to the Last of Us paring.

The tweet didn’t make a moral judgment, but the implication was enough; DiCaprio’s reputation seemed to take a serious hit, while elevating Pascal’s role as “internet daddy” (DiCaprio’s team later denied that DiCaprio was dating a teenager, a clarification that, hopefully, Pascal will never have to make).

Pascal has spoken before about his personal values, and comes across as refreshingly grounded. In an interview with Wired, Pascal said:

“My entire heart is set on, you know, the marginalized underdog. It’s not a choice. Like, how dare anyone not support the people that are deserving of support, and are deserving of protection and need more of it than you do … The truth is that I don’t think I do nearly enough. I’m, like, a LIB-ER-AL, but there are contradictions there as well, because we live capitalistically. I guess we carry, you know, the weight of that shame?”

The Pascal hype train isn’t likely to lose momentum any time soon, as The Mandalorian is returning for season 3 on March 1st, while The Last of Us is still going strong (but set to conclude mid-March).

Rest assured, we’ve not seen the last of “internet daddy.”