The Last of Us HBO Series Creators Explain Episode 2’s Ending

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This article contains major spoilers for Episode 2 of HBO’s The Last of Us and for The Last of Us video game.

The second episode of The Last of Us aired on HBO on Sunday and some fans have been left a bit confused by its closing scene.

Creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann always claimed to stay largely loyal to the original PlayStation 3 game’s story but also said they’d mix it up when necessary, and the first of these major shifts arrived at the end of episode two.

It may have come as a particular surprise to some, however, as the scene was set up almost exactly the same as the game. Here’s one final spoiler warning before we discuss the ending of HBO’s The Last of Us episode two.

Tess basically being kissed by an infected actually makes more sense than it ripping apart her apart according to Mazin.

“We were already talking about tendrils coming out [of the infected’s mouths] and we were asking these philosophical questions: ‘Why are infected people violent? If the point is to spread the fungus, why do they need to be violent?,'” he said. “We landed on that they don’t. They’re violent because we resist, but what if you don’t? What does it look like if you just stand perfectly still and let them do this to you?

“Then we landed on this nightmare fuel. It’s disturbing and it’s violative. I think it’s very primal in the way it invades your own body.”

Druckmann added that the departure from the game – where Tess is killed in the same scene, in the same building, but by soldiers – was also to fit in with the episode’s theme, which is blatantly titled Infected.

“Because we’re cruel to the characters we love so much, it felt like she knows she’s done for, and then the lighter doesn’t work, and we take her all the way to the edge of horror before we finally give her an out,” he added.”

Episode two also introduced clickers and brought one of the game’s scariest scenes to life, and despite the departure at the end, also shared a ton of other similarities.

In our 9/10 review of the episode, IGN said: “A fantastic blend of edge-of-your-seat tension, memorable character moments, and engaging backstory, episode two of The Last of Us opens up the horrors of its world for all to see.”

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer and acting UK news editor. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.

This post was originally published on IGN

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