The Last of Us: [Spoiler] Reflects On Their Heartbreaking Death

The Last of Us star Anna Torv and creator Craig Mazin explained that shocking episode two death, detailing how the moment from the HBO show differs from the video game.

By JD Knapp Jan 23, 2023 4:41 PMTags
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Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode two of The Last of Us.

Another one bites the dust, so to speak.

Over the course of just two episodes, HBO's The Last of Us has already proven that nobody is safe in the world of deadly clickers, runners and bloaters. And the latest example is Anna Torv's Tess.

Despite being introduced as a main character who, alongside Pedro Pascal's Joel, is tasked with smuggling Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out of the quarantine zone so they can use the teen's Cordyceps immunity to find a cure, Tess sacrifices herself during the show's second outing.

As Torv explained in a behind-the-scenes featurette from the episode, Tess' sacrifice was in some ways an act of redemption. She explained, "I think Tess goes, if they do this one thing that can potentially save everyone, she can be, in some way, redeemed for all the sh--y things that she's done."

"I had imagined that the scene was gonna be very different to the way that it actually turned out. I thought it was gonna be much slower and I thought it was gonna be this magnetic kind of pull," Torv shared. "And then when we came to do it, I don't know, it was just so not what I had thought it was gonna be."

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While fans of the original 2013 video game were aware that Tess was not long for the world, her death on the show was noticeably different this time around. Not only was Tess infected as opposed to being killed by authorities, she also exploded herself to give Joel and Ellie a chance to escape the horde.

"Tess was a character that we did quite a bit of expansion on. She doesn't have any particular emotional connection to the world, as far as we know, so in that regard, she's kind of a perfect survivor," series creator, writer and EP Craig Mazin echoed Torv's sentiments. "Once she understands what Ellie is and that Ellie represents some modicum of hope for the world, you see that there is something in her that was always there, that is ready to come back out."


Mazin shed further light on Tess' sacrifice, adding, "Even in getting bit and understanding that her life is gonna end, she is even more committed to hope and inspires Joel to move on with Ellie for just a little bit longer."

See how Ellie and Joel's story unfolds when The Last of Us airs Sundays on HBO.

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