HBO's 'The Last of Us' has some key differences from the video game. Here's how they compare.
"The Last of Us" takes place in a post-apocalyptic US after a mutant fungus leaves the world in chaos.
The show is very faithful to the game so far, but there are some key differences.
The third episode especially diverged from the game and added backstory for two characters.
This post contains spoilers for both the "Last of Us" video game and the HBO series.
HBO's "Last of Us" series starts similarly to the game, with viewers being introduced to Joel and his daughter Sarah.
The biggest difference from the beginning of the game and the HBO series' first episode is at the very beginning. The show starts off with an interview with scientists on a talk show during the 1960s. One of the scientists warns that the most devastating pandemic would involve fungus that attacks the brain, eliciting disbelief from the audience.
This scene doesn't exist in the game, which begins with Sarah giving Joel a watch for his birthday.
The first episode of the HBO series then jumps to 2003 — and the watch scene — next. Like in the game, Sarah, played in the show by Nico Parker, gives Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, a watch. In the show, we see Sarah taking Joel's busted watch to a shop to get it fixed, and it's there she gets a sense that something is wrong, as the shop owner rushes her out.
Overall, the first episode spends more time with Sarah than the game does. We even see her spend time with her and Joel's neighbors, who only appear in the game when one of them attacks Joel and Sarah in their home after getting infected by the mutant fungus.
In the game, Sarah wakes up in the middle of the night to Joel still gone, and we see signs of disturbance through her eyes.
In the game, Joel is at work late and still gone in the middle of the night when Sarah wakes up. The player wanders the house as Sarah and can look at things like newspapers that foreshadow some sort of outbreak.
In the show, Joel puts Sarah to bed before having to leave the house to bail his brother Tommy, played by Gabriel Luna, out of jail.
But like in the game, Joel returns in time to save Sarah from their infected neighbor.
In both the game and show, Sarah, Joel, and Tommy try driving as far as they can.
They pass a burning house where people they know lived, and the shot is almost identical to the moment in the game.
Like in the game, HBO's series sees the trio crash their truck and running from infected people.
The HBO series adds an even more dramatic component to this moment: a plane crashes, sending their truck rolling.
The first half of the HBO series' premiere episode is largely focused on Joel and Sarah, and Sarah's fate is just as heartbreaking.
Like in the game, Sarah is killed in the show by a soldier who is given orders to kill her and Joel out of fear that they're infected.
But Joel manages to survive.
Just as in the game, Tommy arrives in time to save Joel — but is too late to save Sarah, who dies in Joel's arms.
The show, like the game, then jumps 20 years ahead.
Like in the game, Joel is now in Boston, doing what he can to survive with his partner Tess, played by Anna Torv. The show focuses more on Joel's desperation to leave the quarantine zone and find his brother Tommy than the game does at the same point in the narrative.
In the game, Joel and Tess track down a black-market dealer named Robert to get their supplies back.
In the game, Tess kills Robert. But in the show, he's already dead when they find him, having been killed in a shootout with the rebel group the Fireflies.
When they find Robert's body in the show, Joel and Tess are confronted by the local leader of the Fireflies, Marlene, played by Merle Dandrige, who also voiced the character in the game. She promises to give Joel and Tess their supplies back, including a truck for them to escape, if they can smuggle a girl named Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, out of the quarantine zone.
Joel is incentivized by the promise of a working truck, as he wants to find Tommy, who he says he lost communication with in recent weeks.
Both in the game and show, Ellie is reluctant to go with Joel and Tess.
In both the game and show, Ellie has been infected, but hasn't turned into one of the deadly "clickers" weeks after being bitten, suggesting that she is immune and could be the key to a vaccine.
Joel and Ellie don't hit it off right away in the show, just as in the game.
Ellie tells Joel that his "watch is broken" in the show, just as she does in the game. Joel still wears the watch that Sarah gave her, even though it is shattered.
The first episode ends after Joel and Tess find out Ellie is infected.
In both the show and game, Joel, Tess, and Ellie are confronted by a soldier who Ellie stabs — only after he is able to determine that she is infected. Ellie explains to Joel and Ellie that her bite is weeks old.
The episode ends with Joel, Ellie, and Tess making their way out of the quarantine zone to take Ellie to a group of Fireflies in exchange for the truck and supplies.
Episode two, titled "Infected," followed Joel, Ellie, and Tess out of the Boston quarantine zone to the Massachusetts State House.
During the journey to the State House in the show, viewers learn that the infected are connected. Disturbing one can trigger a response in another miles away, alerting them to a person's location. This is a new aspect to the show that doesn't exist in the game.
This moment from the game, where Ellie says, "You can't deny that view," while she and Joel look out at the State House in the distance, is recreated almost line-for-line in the HBO series.
In both the game and show, it's the first hint of bonding between Joel and Ellie.
Before getting to the State House, Joel, Ellie, and Tess make their way through a museum where they're attacked by the infected — just like in the game.
Tess is bitten, off-screen, during the attack, and hides it from Joel and Ellie until they get to the State House.
In both the game and the TV series, Tess reveals that she's infected when they make it to the State House.
The trio finds that the people they were supposed to hand Ellie off to have all been killed.
Tess pleads with Joel to keep Ellie safe, because she believes that Ellie is immune. In both the game and TV show, Tess compares her bite to Ellie's. After just a few hours, hers is worse than Ellie's is after a few weeks.
Tess sacrifices herself in both the series and game.
In the video game, Joel and Ellie escape, and Tess stays behind to fend off soldiers who are looking for them.
In the TV series, Tess tries to thwart a a horde of infected so that Joel and Ellie can escape. She douses the floor with gasoline and grenades, drops a lighter, and blows herself up along with the infected.
In episode three of the series, titled "Long, Long Time," viewers meet Bill and Frank. In the game, only Bill is introduced.
In the video game, Joel and Ellie meet up with Bill, who is a smuggler, to get a car.
This is where the HBO series diverges most from the game so far, as it provides a backstory for Bill, who is played by Nick Offerman, and his lover Frank, played by Murray Bartlett. In flashbacks, we see how the two met and fell in love. Their relationship is only hinted at in the game.
The game shows hints of what might have been Bill and Frank's life together.
But by the time Joel and Ellie come to Bill for help in the game, Frank is out of the picture.
In the game, Joel and Bill find Frank's body, and a note from Frank to Bill saying, "I hated your guts."
The HBO series takes Bill and Frank's relationship in a completely different direction. As old men, Frank is dying from a disease and wants to end his life on his own terms.
Not wanting to live without Frank, Bill decides to do the same, and they die in each other's arms in bed. When Joel and Ellie come to their house, they're already gone, with Bill leaving Joel a note telling him to take what he needs, including his truck.
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