HBO revealed their first attempt at a live adaptation of a game about a father in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, The Last of Us.
We’re all used to watching zombie apocalypse movies but rarely, from the viewpoint of a parent. Published by Naughty Dog and Sony Entertainment, The Last of Us sent many gamers — both kids and parents — on an emotional rollercoaster as they played Joel, a father who lost his daughter at the very start of the zombie apocalypse when a soldier was told to shoot them both to prevent the disease from spreading. To truly enjoy the HBO series, here’s what you need to know about the game, the lore, and the series itself.
1. This is not Pedro Pascal’s first time playing a fatherly role.
Pedro Pascal may look familiar to many because he’s already performed two on-screen father roles. His first role, the one that catapulted him to fame, was in Game of Thrones as Prince Oberyn Martell, a father to eight daughters who are warriors in their own right. His second role is in the Mandalorian who plays the titular character, Din Djarin who cares for Grogu, or who the fans call “Baby Yoda” because of his resemblance to the character.
2. The Last Of Us is not a story of black and white.
What allowed The Last of Us to bag the Game of the Year award and the Best Narrative award from the Game Developers Choice Awards in 2014 was its moral complexity. Joel and Ellie had to go through a lot of situations wherein they had to choose the morally darker choice for the sake of the greater good. Even Joel’s choices began to change when he began to see Ellie as his own daughter.
The Last of Us also reveals how Joel and Ellie had to make more morally compromising decisions, revealing that there may be a chance for a Season 2.
3. Naughty Dog appears to have more investment in this series.
Many TV networks have tried and failed to create a live adaptation of a video game due to lack of reading the actual material, playing the game, and most of all — not involving the original creators. However, the publishers and developers of The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s co-president Neil Druckmann revealed that he would be working with Craig Mazin, the showrunner of Chernobyl, another HBO series that involves the aftermath of a disaster.
4. This is not the first time Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey have worked together.
Although not directly, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey were co-stars in Game of Thrones. While Oberyn Martell did not have much interaction with Bella Ramsey’s character Lyanna Mormont, Pedro did mention that it was “a great help” to work with Bella again.
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsHBO) December 3, 2022
5. Bella’s character, Ellie, has similar personalities to Lyanna from Game of Thrones.
The internet cheered Lyanna on for her sharp wit and candor, easily speaking up as the Lady of House Mormont in Game of Thrones. Her ability to convey that will also come out in The Last of Us since Ellie is by no means meek. As the show progresses, viewers will get to see her balance both the no-nonsense side and vulnerability as someone hailed to be humanity’s hope to be a cure.
6. This definitely won’t be just a shoot ’em up kind of series.
While zombie video games are known for their violence, The Last of Us came out during the time when people were getting tired of the whole “shoot-em-up” scene. The game had a lot of puzzles and objectives that focused more on survival and stealth. While it did retain some of the classic violent elements in most zombie-related media, it offered players the chance to try something else. So, HBO’s adaptation might even adapt more of the survival type strategies than the shoot them up one.
The Last of Us on HBO: Not your typical zombie apocalypse genre series!
Some of us may be getting bored by the zombie apocalypse genre because it’s usually loaded with a lot of violence. But our kids who have played the games know otherwise and will probably be telling you that it’s going to hit home especially for parents who may sympathize with Joel’s plight. It might even have parents sitting on the fence about video games change their minds!