The Last of Us: Every Major Difference Between the Game and the Show

Joel’s Breakdown When Talking to Tommy

The scene in the show where Joel asks Tommy to escort Ellie the rest of the way also happens in the game, but the conversation between the brothers plays out slightly differently in the show. For instance, Joel is much more open with Tommy in the show regarding both his fears that he can’t get this job done and the ways he now sees Ellie as so much more than just a package that needs to be delivered. Again, the game heavily implies that Joel has these same concerns but Joel doesn’t outright state his concerns in that game at that moment in the same way he does in the show.

Ellie Stays in Jackson

In The Last of Us game and show, Ellie overhears Joel’s conversation with Tommy. In the game, though, Ellie runs away when she learns that Joel intends to hand her off to Tommy. That leads to Joel finding and confronting Ellie. In the show, though, Ellie just heads back to her room and waits for Tommy to pick her up. Along with showcasing Ellie’s increasingly hardened soul, this change allows the show to move at a slightly brisker pace by skipping the sequence where Joel has to look for Ellie and gets into some trouble along the way.

Joel’s Wound

In both the game and show, Joel is wounded while trying to escape the Eastern Colorado campus. In the show, though, Joel is wounded by a raider. In the game, Joel falls onto a metal rod and must fend off several raiders while his wound worsens. It’s likely the showrunners just wanted to simplify this sequence for runtime purposes. It also would have been hard to recreate the full impact of the in-game version of events given that viewers obviously can’t participate in that shootout the same way they can in the game. 

The Last of Us Episode Seven: “Left Behind” Differences

There Is No Mall

After Joel is wounded, Ellie tries to find the basic supplies needed to keep him alive. In the show, she finds a needle and thread in an abandoned house. In the game, though (or at least the Left Behind DLC), Ellie looks for supplies in a nearby mall filled with raiders she must fend off. The sight of that mall triggers the flashback sequence that follows. 

Again, this change was likely made for logistical reasons. Simply put, it’s easier to shoot in a house than it is to find yet another mall set (and film yet another action sequence). It’s also worth noting that Ellie’s flashback in the show is partially triggered by Joel telling her to leave him and go off on her own. The scene where Joel asks Ellie to leave him to die was also not in the game. 

Fast Times at FEDRA High

While this episode largely focuses on Ellie’s pre-Joel adventures, the show expands on that portion of her life more than the original Left Behind DLC did. Specifically, it includes a few scenes of Ellie’s time at a FEDRA academy that weren’t included in the games. Those scenes show Ellie being reprimanded for attacking another student while also being reminded that she has the potential to be a leader in FEDRA. 

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