We Hope It’s Not The Last: The Last of Us Overview

Side-by-side comparison of actors Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal as Ellie and Joel to the game characters.

HBO;Naughty Dog

Side-by-side comparison of actors Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal as Ellie and Joel to the game characters.

Lindsey Morrison, Editor-In-Chief (23-24), Online Editor (22-23)

The highly anticipated 2023 HBO show The Last Of Us has caught the attention of the internet. Produced by the creator of its video game counterpart, Neil Druckman, and Emmy award-winning director of “Chernobyl” Craig Mazin, The Last of Us is a strong adaptation of the game. Video game adaptations have a notoriously bad reputation for angering fans, but, with the game’s creator being deeply involved as a co-director and writer, the show is bound to appease the masses. 


The Last Of Us follows Joel and Ellie as they traverse a post-apocalyptic landscape infested with a disease named Cordocypes. In search of the headquarters of the Fireflies, a resistance militia group, Joel makes it his mission to get his cargo – who may be humanity’s last hope – to safety. Joel is tasked with traveling with Ellie and during this time we learn more about their intricate backstories. Ellie is played by Bella Ramsey, known for her smaller movies and role as Lyanna Mormot in HBO’s famed Game Of Thrones. Coincidentally, Joel is played by Pedro Pascal, who is also known for his role in Game Of Thrones as Oberyn Martell. This fun fact has been the topic of conversation during interviews as the pair were on the same set, but their characters never interacted due to the large scale of the plot.


Showrunner Craig Mazin is a huge fan of the game and realized that, “it would be a ‘mistake’ to try to replicate the way the game is played on the show itself” (Variety). Knowing when to deviate from the game with plot and characters is an extremely important skill for creating a successful adaptation. Student Nick Hendrickson explains that “even though I knew the entire story, the show still gave me the emotions of the game and sometimes I was even more emotional. I think this was due to Pedro Pascal’s and Bella Ramsey’s amazing performances and also the small changes that they did to the show where they fleshed out the characters that weren’t super detailed during the game.” This video game adaptation does justice to its source because the creators of the show recognized how to adapt the video game while keeping the parts they and the fans loved. Although the show could not exactly recreate the game, their changes were widely accepted and loved by fans.


The Last Of Us game has been enjoyed ever since it was released, and played by millions. The game enticed viewers because of the free-realm play-style, story-based plot, and the intricacies of a post-apocalyptic world. Physics teacher and avid video game player Mr. DeSalvo admits that “Honestly, I wasn’t really hoping for anything from the show. In fact, when I first heard about it, I was hoping that it would be canceled. Like I said before, I didn’t believe that a show adaptation would contribute anything of significance since the game already told a fantastic story, and was already so cinematic.”


You can watch The Last Of Us on HBO services and play the first and second game on PS5, soon coming to PC late March.