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The Last of Us Almost Had a Different Season Finale Ending, Co-Creator Reveals

HBO’s The Last of Us has concluded its first season. In the last scene of the season, Ellie confronts Joel and demands that he swears to her that everything he said about the Fireflies is true. She asks him to promise that there are other people like her who are immune to the cordyceps infection and that Marlene’s Fireflies stopped looking for a cure. Joel, who had killed Marlene and the Fireflies to protect Ellie, lies to her and swears that everything he said is true.This scene is a recreation of the ending in the video game. However, the series had an alternate ending in mind for the season finale. Instead of ending abruptly after Ellie says “okay” in response to Joel’s lie, the camera would have lingered on the two characters walking towards Jackson, Wyoming, but with a visible distance between them.


The idea was proposed by the show’s director, Ali Abbasi, who wanted to create a longer and sadder ending that still captured the essence of the video game. In an interview with GQ Magazine, series co-creator Craig Mazin explained that the decision to go with the original ending or the alternate one was a difficult one. The team had to consider how fans of the game would react to any changes, and whether they would be more annoyed by not getting the original ending, or by only getting a slightly altered version. Ultimately, the creators decided to stick with the original ending as it was more faithful to the game.

“The change was really more something that Ali Abbasi, our director, had been playing around with. He had this thought of just playing out this slightly longer, sadder version where Ellie says, ‘okay’, and then she turns and walks away. And Joel looks after her. We see the two of them walking, not really together but apart, down towards Jackson. It lingers and then fades. There was something beautiful about it. Everybody was like ‘what do we do?’ And there was that meta-discussion of, are the people that played the game going to be more annoyed that they didn’t get it just the way it’s supposed to be, or are they gonna be more annoyed that they only got what they had before? And then how will everybody else feel?”

RELATED: The Last of Us Showrunners Address the Call for More Infected in Forthcoming Seasons

The Last of Us Season One Finale Draws the Largest Same-Day Audience of the Series

The Last of Us-Laura Bailey

As The Last of Us season one finale recently aired, it drew in the highest same-day audience figures for the series to date, with 8.2 million people watching across both HBO and HBO Max. This marks a significant increase in viewership from the premiere episode, which was watched by 4.7 million people. The subsequent episodes of the series have seen an impressive 74% increase in same-day viewership. According to the latest figures, the average viewer volume for the first six episodes sits just over 30 million. This points to the show’s immense popularity and its ability to maintain its high rating and increase viewership week-on-week.

Based on the popular Playstation video game, The Last of Us has become one of the highest-rated video game adaptations ever. However, the show has also received some criticism from players of the game who were upset by the changes made to the storyline. Despite this, the show has continued to maintain its high rating from both audiences and critics. The show’s success has led to the production of a second season, which is already in the works.

A successful video game adaptation can be challenging to pull off, with many films and TV shows failing to capture the essence of the original game. However, The Last of Us has managed to exceed expectations and capture the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. Its success bodes well for other video game adaptations in the future and is a testament to the creative vision of the showrunners and the talented cast and crew behind it.

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