When is Outbreak Day in HBO’s The Last of Us TV show? Answered

The day when everything ended.

Image via HBO

HBO’s The Last of Us TV series is well underway, and the release of the first episode, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” has left many questions unanswered regarding the futures of our two main protagonists, Joel and Ellie. However, viewers are also curious about many other details of the show that weren’t explicitly stated during the opening installment, such as the date when the Cordyceps outbreak started. Luckily, we’re here to provide all the information you need regarding the beginning of the fungal-borne pandemic.

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When was Outbreak Day in HBO’s The Last of Us TV show?

Outbreak Day in HBO’s The Last of Us most likely took place on September 26, 2003. The events that occur in the TV series happen 10 years before that of Naughty Dog’s title. Since Outbreak Day in the video game came about on September 26, 2013, the spread of the Cordyceps infection happens much earlier in the adaptation.

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It’s worth noting, though, that the different timelines don’t exactly change the surroundings or the outcome of events within the world of The Last of Us. The post-apocalyptic environment that the show’s story is set in and the brilliant performances of the main cast still capture the true essence of the original creation.

An advanced form of the Cordyceps brain infection caused Outbreak Day in both the video game and its TV adaptation. The Cordyceps, in real life, is a type of fungus that can infect specific types of insects, which then forces them to perform unpredictable actions. Although harmless in reality, this was Neil Druckmann’s main inspiration for the creation of the widely beloved 2013 Naughty Dog title.

What year does The Last of Us take place?

The main plotline in HBO’s The Last of Us takes place in the year 2023, two decades after Outbreak Day’s occurrence in 2003. However, the events in Naughty Dog’s title happen in 2033, which stays true to the 10-year difference between both forms of media.

Though as previously mentioned, the discrepancy between the show and the game are trivial because it doesn’t affect the protagonists’ story and the overall setting of the series itself. This is further proven by the opening sequence of the first episode, which accurately depicts what transpires in the beginning of the game as Joel, Tommy, and Sarah go through a tumultuous and heart-wrenching experience.