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The Last of Us’ Tess has a very different story in the video game

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HBO’s last of us is a surprisingly believable adaptation of its video game source material. Aside from a few minor changes, most of the show feels like the game has been directly translated to the screen, at least in the first two episodes. There are even moments that feel like almost perfect re-creations of frames from the game.

But a point of total divergence came at the end of the show’s second episode when Tess’s (Anna Torv) storyline got a major update.

[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for The Last of Us the game and the first two episodes of the series.]

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Tess stands with her bags in an abandoned lobby, once used a makeshift hospital in The Last of Us

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Photo: Lianne Hantscher/HBO

Tess’s death at the end of Episode 2 isn’t a total shock, of course. While this may come as a surprise to first timers, players of the game knew she would die from the start, though not necessarily the way the show plays out. while Tess dies at roughly the same point in the 2013 storyline last of usThe actual events surrounding it are very different.

In the game’s story, Tess is actually killed by FEDRA soldiers, although the fact that she is already infected and fends for herself is still the same for Ellie and Joel. On top of that, Joel (and therefore the player) actually witnesses Tess’s death, whereas in the show he apparently only sees its ensuing explosion.

There are a few reasons the show could have had this change, one of which is that FEDRA is only barely established in the drama of the series. While the government’s response has played a small role in the story so far, it certainly hasn’t been enough to make FEDRA’s presence felt. Tess’ death at the hands of the infected also serves to make the virus and its host seem genuinely dangerous, especially since they were largely absent from the show’s pilot.

Aside from the games, the execution of Tess’s death on the show is disturbing and strange. While the show clearly loves its weird, gross infected, with their tendril-y fungi that constantly flit and fly, always looking for new hosts, the prolonged voyeuristic “kisses” almost pander to a show. Which doesn’t happen often and doesn’t need to happen. Seeing a mushroom zombie infected Tess doesn’t do much to advance our understanding Cordyceps The curse that killed humanity or Tess’s death made for a more impactful experience.

According to showrunner Craig Mazin, the goal with this was to explore what happens when someone becomes infected peacefully, and that everything doesn’t have to be violent. “What would it look like if you stood completely still and let them do this to you?” Mazin asked in an interview with Variety. “Then we landed on this nightmare fuel. It’s disturbing and it’s transgressive. I think the way it invades your own body, it’s very primal. Probably the best explanation for the scene. For Mazin has his own description: “To use an overused word, it is triggering.”

While there may have been more unspecified, practical reasons for the change, showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin proved with Episode 2 that they still have something in store for viewers and veterans coming to the story for the first time through the show. wonder. Video game.

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