HBO’s The Last of Us has enjoyed huge success, even though only three episodes have been released so far. This success is largely due to HBO’s faithful adaptation, as the series has stayed true to the source material. As such, both game fans and new viewers are pleased with The Last of Us.
It’s interesting to see all the things HBO’s The Last of Us has retained from the games. This gives fans a sense of what elements are unique to the HBO show and where following the games was the right thing to do. It also goes to show that video game adaptations can work very well, especially when the source material is beloved and popular.
10 Joel’s Initial Lack Of Care For Ellie
Joel and Ellie are initially apathetic toward each other, but they slowly develop a compassionate relationship. The HBO series has retained their apathy for each other to highlight how reluctant Joel was to take care of her. This helps The Last of Us, as it makes their separation even more heartbreaking in the show’s climax.
The protagonists develop from two people who don’t want to be around each other to a surrogate father-daughter pair. The best way to convey this change is through Joel’s initial lack of care for Ellie. HBO has retained this element to show just how much their relationship grows.
9 Ellie Has A Snarky Attitude
Bella Ramsay has won fans over with her perfect portrayal of Ellie. The character is known for her smart-mouth behavior, which the HBO version carries as well. The series could have portrayed her in a sadder context, but the decision to keep her snarky attitude works better.
Not only does this enable Ellie to have a memorable personality, but it also shows how she uses sarcasm as a defense mechanism. Ellie is inherently afraid of what the Fireflies have in store for her, and making wisecracks is how she masks it.
8 The Clickers Are Blind With Bulbous Heads
Clickers are the most distinct variants of the zombies in The Last of Us. It was always going to be a challenge to accurately portray them, but HBO managed to create an exact likeness to the Clickers in the games. The series instantly gets the desired effect through the Clickers’ introduction as terrifying foes.
This particular type of zombie has the same blindness and bulbous head as in the video game. The appearance of the Clickers will be familiar to fans of the source material while capturing the attention of new viewers. They’re the sort of enemies that makes The Last of Us a successful horror video game.
7 Tess Sacrifices Herself For Joel And Ellie
While there are some differences between The Last of Us game and the HBO series, the crucial element of Tess’ sacrifice is preserved. Tess’ last stand is what makes her so memorable, as she allows Joel and Ellie to continue. Furthermore, her death is the first one that hits Ellie hard in her journey.
Tess’ demise also establishes that the story is about Joel and Ellie’s encounters with various humans. The character’s passing remains with Ellie, who mentions this at the end of the game’s events. It’s likely that the HBO series will end on the same note.
6 The Outbreak Is Shown From Sarah’s Point Of View
Few games are as scary as The Last of Us, which starts with the beginning of a zombie outbreak. The HBO series kicks things off the same way after an additional sequence about how Sarah spent her last day. This was the best route to take because Sarah represents lost innocence.
By showing the outbreak through an innocent child’s eyes, HBO’s The Last of Us displays the helplessness that people felt. There’s also a glimmer of hope through Sarah’s point of view because of her optimistic nature. The change in tone after her demise lets viewers know that the world is now completely ravaged.
5 Ellie Hides Her Association With Riley
Ellie conceals Riley’s involvement when she discovered Riley’s immunity. The HBO series adapted Ellie’s similar reluctance over the matter. Ellie only shares Riley’s identity when she’s become comfortable enough around Joel to tell him how important Riley was to her.
Ellie deflects Tess’ questions about a supposed boyfriend, which also ties into her feelings for Riley. The Last of Us is set to adapt the Left Behind arc, which depicts Riley and Ellie’s time together and their last moments. Viewers will get to see their full story, and it will be great to see this explored.
4 Merle Dandridge Portrays Marlene
Merle Dandridge is the only actor from The Last of Us to reprise her role in the HBO series. Her involvement brings authenticity to the TV show. In addition, fans of the source material can see Dandridge as a bridge that connects the games with the live-action series.
Troy Baker doesn’t resemble Joel in real life, and Ashley Johnson is in her thirties and can’t play the teenage Ellie. It leaves Dandridge as the logical choice to play her video game role, which she does very well. Marlene will return for the high-stakes climax where Dandridge will finish off the character’s arc.
3 Joel Holds On To His Watch To Remember Sarah
Unlike The Last of Us video game, Sarah’s efforts to get Joel’s watch fixed were seen in detail in the HBO show. However, its importance and sentimental value are seen in the show and the game, as Joel is seen with the watch 20 years later. Viewers needed a hook to keep Sarah fresh in memory, which the watch accomplishes.
The watch is used as a bonding point between Joel and Ellie. When Joel tells Ellie about the watch’s significance, it shows how Joel’s affection for her is growing. It also symbolizes his reluctance to let go of the past due to his guilt and sorrow over the way he lost his daughter.
2 Tense Moments Are Depicted With A Video Game-Style Camera
The Last of Us games often use third-person point of view to let the players feel like they’re on the journey with the characters. The uniqueness of The Last of Us’ apocalyptic world is also shown whenever enemies like Clickers show up. The game makes sure to highlight just how much danger the characters are in.
The HBO series switches the camera style for tense moments. This is seen when the characters face the Clickers, and the camera points over the protagonists’ shoulders, which fully immerses the viewer in the scene. The car scene at the beginning of the apocalypse has a similar direction of the camera. Using a video game-style direction has helped HBO’s The Last of Us become a great adaptation.
1 The Post-Apocalyptic World Appears In Ruins
Zombie shows have a habit of showing the damage from the apocalypse purely at a surface level. The Last of Us has taken a page out of the source material’s book and fully explored the apocalypse. This is seen through the ruins of the city, as the HBO series went as far as to show collapsed skyscrapers.
The Last of Us also adapts the characters’ venture into these ruins. Such sequences really drive home the scale of the devastation that has occurred. Part of The Last of Us’ identity comes from shots like the vegetation that has formed around cities, and the HBO series captured this well.
NEXT: 10 Zombies Scarier Than The Clickers In Last Of Us