The Last of Us Creators Explain Major Change in Episode 8

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for The Last of Us episode 8!

Episode 8 of The Last of Us introduced audiences to the villainous David, a religious cult leader who turned to cannibalism to feed his flock. Before David can hurt Ellie at his settlement, she kills David’s right-hand man, James, and escape captivity. This leads to one final confrontation between Ellie and David in a burning restaurant, culminating in Ellie killing the preacher with a meat cleaver. A stunned Ellie escapes the building and reunites with Joel as he lovingly hugs and embraces her. This reunion is a major change from the video game, and a decision The Last of Us creators believed they had to make.

In the video game, Joel and Ellie’s reunion occurred inside the burning restaurant, not outside in the snow. Joel pulls Ellie off David while she’s stabbing him to death. They embrace and walk out of the building, leaving the repurposed resort for good. Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin discuss the reasons for changing the emotional scene on The Last of Us Podcast.

“We didn’t want it to happen with the fire around,” Druckmann said. “Like, there’s the danger of the fire. That just felt a little different in live action than it did in the game.”

“There was a question of, like, ‘How does Joel get inside if the keys are on David,'” Mazin added. “It was like a little bit of a logic thing, and then it was a little bit of wanting our Ellie to have completed it to the point of where she could literally walk away on her own.”

Episode 8 also marked the first appearance in the show of Troy Baker, who famously voiced Joel in the video games, as James. When asked about Pascal’s performance, Baker approved, saying he respected the Chilean actor’s” physicality” that he brought to the role.

The season 1 finale of The Last of Us airs on HBO this Sunday night, March 12.

What are your predictions for The Last of Us season finale? Let us know in the comment section below.

Recommended Reading: The Art Of The Last Of Us

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