The Last of Us episode 2 features large elements of Tess’ story from the original game, but how does HBO’s adaptation compare to the source material?

Warning! This article contains spoilers for both The Last of Us episode 2 and the original game.The last of us episode 2 featured the culmination of Tess’ story, leading to the question of how it compares to the original games. So far in both The last of us episodes 1 and 2, HBO has shown how faithfully the network is adapting the game through the involvement of original game creator Neil Druckmann. Through Druckmann and his close collaboration with co-creator Craig Mazin, The Last of Us is not only faithful to the game, but is widely regarded as the best video game adaptation ever made.


Despite this faithfulness evident throughout The last of us so far, the showrunners have made it clear that they are not afraid to deviate from the known story if necessary. From Jakarta the opening of The last of us episode 2, which changes the game’s infection origins or the extended elements of Sarah’s story shown in The last of us episode 1, the changes have often gone to develop on what was already present in the game’s story. This was also the case with Tess’s story, where some elements changed and some remained the same too The last of us section 2.

Related: These Scary Zombies in The Last Of Us Episode 2 Explained

How Tess’ Death In The Last Of Us Show Is Different From The Game

Tess Death Last of Us Game Show

First, Tess’s death itself changes in a few notable ways from her final scenes in The last of us game. Some elements that remain the same include Tess’ bite that she got from the Clickers when she and Joel were separated. The heightened desperation to find the fireflies after finding them dead at the State House also remains the same as the bite in both mediums makes Tess unequivocally believe Ellie’s The last of us immunity. Much of Tess’ dialogue is similar, such as her questioning how Ellie’s condition is real and begging Joel to continue their task, albeit with the slight changes that come from adaptations.

However, some of the notable differences include how the fireflies at the State House were killed. In the game, FEDRA agents killed the fireflies and stormed the building to find Joel, Tess, and Ellie. IN The last of us episode 2 however the fireflies were killed by each other after some were infected. This leads to the change of an infected horde hitting the statehouse instead of the FEDRA squad. This causes Tess’s means of death to change as she puts in a final showdown with the infected zombies That Last of us section 2.

In the game, Tess holds off the FEDRA agents for as long as possible before being shot and killed. In the show, on the other hand, Tess spills oil on the floor as well as a belt of grenades. As the infected horde rushes into the State House, Tess drops her lighter in the oil and blows up the building. In this way, her death is much more cinematic than in the game and gives Joel and Ellie a means of safe escape, rather than the game having Joel and Ellie fight their way through the soldiers who killed Tess.

Why Tess had to die in The Last of Us

Joel and Tess in HBO's The Last of Us

Tess’s death means a lot going forward The last of us, especially in its impact on the other characters. First, Joel’s decision to continue with the mission to deliver Ellie to the Fireflies is because Tess’s death led them to Bill and Frank and the ominous radio song of Last of us episode 1. If Tess had never made Joel promise to take Ellie after her death, it is unlikely that Joel would have continued with Ellie alone.

Related: Is Ellie Gay In The Last Of Us TV Show?

Also in relation to Ellie, it helps contribute to the survivor’s guilt the character will feel later in the story. A likable character trait for Ellie is how she views her immunity. With so many people she cares about losing their lives to the infected when she is unable to be affected by it, Ellie feels a great sense of guilt, something that can be traced back to Tess’s death and even before that .

Why Tess’s death is better in The Last Of Us Show

Last of Us poster and Tess episode 2

As for which version of Tess’ death is better, HBO’s The last of us takes the crown. While the game scene is definitely emotional due to the implications of the relationship between Tess and Joel with her last words, elements of her death were added or changed in The last of us episode 2 pushes HBO’s adaptation above its gaming counterpart. The explosion is much more cinematic and climactic than Tess simply being shot by soldiers. This alone is an improvement and gives Joel and Ellie the means to escape, meaning that Tess’s death meant something more, unlike in the game where the soldiers have to be dealt with by Joel.

Also the horrifying zombie kiss element makes it one of the The last of us’ best body horror aspects shown to date. This not only furthers the terror of the infected for the future The last of us episodes, but makes Tess’s death that much more heartbreaking to watch her go through. All of this means the death of Tess in HBO’s The last of us is an improvement over its gaming counterpart due to its changes.

New episodes of The last of us released every Sunday on HBO.

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