Image via HBO

All differences between The Last of Us TV show and game

It's not ever a one-to-one conversion.

The Last of Us Part I is one of the most beloved video game stories ever told. It’s hard-hitting, emotional, and has some very tense moments that people love. With its transition to a series on HBO Max, a lot of that is maintained, but there have been some alterations to the formula. Here are all of the changes made in The Last of Us TV show.

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Related: How many episodes is HBO’s The Last of Us TV series?

Warning: significant spoilers for The Last of Us show ahead.

All The Last of Us changes from the game to the show

How the pandemic started

Image via HBO

In episode 2, a university professor who studies fungus was brought in to look at one of the first infected in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is never revealed in the game. From this cold open, we are able to recognize that the Cordyceps fungus became ingrained in a flour plant here and infected an untold amount of people as the tainted food was sent to companies around the world. From there, people began biting and spreading the infection further. Joel and Sarah nearly avoided being infected multiple times by not buying pancake mix, getting a birthday cake, or eating the neighbor’s food.

Also, The Last of Us show takes place ten years before the game. The infection started in 2003 in the show and in 2013 in the game. This gives the show a chance to feel “current day” with its 2023 present setting instead of the 2033 timeline in the game.

Tess’ death

Image via WarnerMedia

While Tess is still bitten by a Clicker and sacrifices her life to let Joel and Ellie escape, the group coming is completely different. In the game, military soldiers are hunting them down. Tess stays behind to kill a couple but winds up being shot before she can turn.

In the show, Joel kills an infected on a network patch that calls all nearby infected to that location. Tess stays behind to cause an explosion that she triggers just as the fungus takes control of her brain.

No spores, just mycelium networks now

Image via HBO

Carrying on from the previous entry, mycelium networks relay information to infected in a large area if it feels threatened or finds new hosts. It can call them all to a precise location to begin spreading the infection faster.

In the game, airborne spores were found in certain locations that, if someone breathed them in, would infect you and take over your brain very quickly. This change was made so the actors wouldn’t constantly be stuck behind gas masks for the entirety of the show.

Bill’s life with Frank

Image via HBO

In the game, Joel and Ellie seek out Bill, a loner prepper who despises everyone. He mentions that he had a falling out with his partner, Frank, who they find had hung himself to keep himself from turning after being bitten. Bill helps Joel and Ellie get the truck started and be on their way and is never heard from again.

In the show, Bill is still a loner prepper who essentially makes his hometown into a safe haven for himself until Frank falls into one of his traps. The two fall in love and live a life with each other. After 20 years, Frank is struggling with ALS and tells Bill to give him one last good day and to finish it by pouring a bunch of pills into his wine to kill him. Bill also snuck a bunch of pills into his own wine so that the two of them could both die with each other. They greatly expanded on Bill’s character here and showed much more of his side.

The Kansas City revolution group and Henry and Sam

Image via HBO

In The Last of Us Part 1, Joel and Ellie travel through Pittsburgh and are attacked by raiders. There is nothing special about this group, but they constantly show their faces and attack them along the way as they move through the city and meet up with Henry and Sam. The two brothers were separated from their group when attacked by the raiders and team up with Joel and Ellie.

In HBO’s The Last of Us, Joel and Ellie go through Kansas City and are attacked by the surviving revolutionary group that recently took out the oppressive FEDRA forces ruling the area. They are trying to kill all outsiders and traitors that helped FEDRA. They are led by a new character named Kathleen, who is a ruthless leader, who has only has one thing on her mind, finding and killing Henry for giving her brother to FEDRA so he could get medicine to treat Sam’s leukemia.

Sam is deaf

Image via HBO

In both stories of The Last of Us, Sam and Henry are brothers who just have each other to look after. In the game, Sam is a normal kid that feels like he is letting his brother down. In the show, Sam is deaf, and completely relies on Henry for everything.


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Author
John Hansen
John Hansen is a Full-time Staff Writer for Gamepur as well as a host for the YouTube channel Pixel Street Videos where he co-hosts a weekly gaming podcast and more. His favorite games include Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Breath of the Wild, Left 4 Dead 2, and Overwatch. He covers Overwatch 2 and other FPS titles, Minecraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, Legend of Zelda, and whatever zombie games are placed in front of him.