A screenshot of Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey playing Joel and Ellie in HBO's new show, The Last of Us

HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ Should Excite Fans of the Video Game

Speculation about the upcoming television adaptation continues to rage on the internet, particularly from those who love the source material. Here are some things you need to know.
October 23, 2022
8 mins read

The recent trailer drop from HBO shows that “The Last of Us” TV show is coming to fans sooner than later. The award-winning game of the same name that inspired the series was developed by Naughty Dog, produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and is exclusively available on PlayStation for gamers to enjoy. In the game, which depicts a grueling quest for survival during a zombie apocalypse, two vastly different characters must travel from Boston to Salt Lake City with the promise of developing a vaccine to prevent the spread of infected creatures. Whether you have played the game or simply want to watch a new show that takes place during a zombie apocalypse, here are the things you need to know.

The Casting

When HBO announced production, fans wanted to know exactly who would be joining the cast. Many were hoping the original voice actors from the game would reprise their roles as Joel and Ellie, the main characters of the game. However, HBO found Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey to take these roles instead.

The fact that Joel will be played by Pascal, the star of “The Mandalorian,” pleased many fans, who see similarities between Mando and his character from The Last of Us. Joel is a closed-off man at the beginning of the game when he is first introduced to Ellie, who he must smuggle to a nearby Fireflies base. As for Ramsey, there has been a mix of reviews expressing their worries that she will be unable to fulfill the role of Ellie. Ellie is immune to the disease that gives the Fireflies hope for a cure, yet her fierce attitude and distinct features leave fans wondering if Ramsey can accurately portray the character from the game. Pascal and Ramsey seem fairly excited themselves due to the recent trailer drop showing fans just how realistic “The Last of Us” will be.

The Story

It’s no surprise that fans are wondering whether the TV show will follow the video game franchise’s storyline or be something entirely new. While fans continue to speculate, many are excited for the TV show’s story now that the trailer has dropped. Many scenes from the trailer are pulled directly from the game, leaving fans wanting more and keeping their hopes held high.

The trailer also includes scenes from The Last of Us: Left Behind, a DLC from the main game that explains how Ellie discovered she was immune to the infection. Since the DLC of the game came out a year after the original game, fans were over the moon to find Ellie going round and round on a merry-go-round with her friend Riley. Even though HBO has not revealed how long the show will run or how many of the games they will cover, fans are overjoyed to see the first game come to life along with snippets of the DLC making an appearance. Many people are excited to see some memorable scenes brought to life.

Character/Costume Design

Joel and Ellie have very distinct character and costume designs, from the clothes they wear to the backpacks they carry throughout their travels. Fans of the game were not necessarily concerned with costume designs but were blown away as to how similar they were to the characters’ designs from the game. Many fans have taken it upon themselves to find the smallest details and point them out to those that could have missed them. For example, Ellie’s backpack has the exact same pins and keychain from the game. Joel wears a watch that was given to him by his daughter, Sarah, that remains broken and shattered. Fans are also impressed that the actors walk and talk exactly like the characters. Joel has an accent while Ellie has her infamous scar through her eyebrow. With these minute details, HBO really brings “The Last of Us” to life.


Since “The Last of Us” takes place in a world infested with zombies, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that production would use a bit of CGI. The main antagonist of the game is the “Clicker” zombie, which can only attack and kill those that it hears, its sight obstructed by the fungus growing over its eyes, making it blind. This design from the game, and now show, forces characters to remain silent and still during the intense scenes that include these blind killers. Based on the trailer, they will look more terrifying than their video game counterparts due to the mix of CGI and human acting, making these fictional creatures come alive.

People who watched the trailer heard the zombie before seeing it, and fans of the game quickly realized it was the exact same sound used in the game — yet another fun detail for players to stumble upon. Unfortunately, there have not been any leaks about the other zombies within the game, yet fans know they must be included due to other zombies showing the stages of infection. 

The TV show is set to be released exclusively on HBO in 2023, giving the production team the time they need to make the show feel like the video game. For potential fans that are concerned that the show will be a replica of “The Walking Dead,” rest assured the plot of “The Last of Us” has its own conflict and set of characters that are vastly different. The only thing these two shows have in common is an apocalyptic setting that has fallen apart years ago. Regardless, if you’re a fan of the video game or someone who wants to watch a new zombie-infested world come to life, then HBO’s “The Last of Us” TV show will certainly leave you hungry for more.

Kirsten Kalebich, Arizona State University

Writer Profile

Kirsten Kalebich

Arizona State University
Major in English, Minor in Business

A dreamer who wants to become an author or editor. In her spare time, she writes countless stories on her phone and reads an insane amount of fiction.

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