This LAST OF US article contains spoilers.
The Last of Us' superb second episode was certainly not lacking in suspense, though it's safe to say that no scene in the show generated more interest than Tess' apparent death. Some viewers even wondered whether or not Tess is really dead.
Tess is gone, barring a truly bizarre twist, and that's the last thing we'll see of her until later in the game. Fans of the games know that Tess's death is a painfully necessary part of Joel and Ellie's future adventures.
Those same fans may also be aware that Tess' death in the HBO series and her death in the The Last of Us game are somewhat different. Here's all you need to know about those differences and why those changes were made.
What Is The Difference Between Tess' Death and the Last of Us Game in the Last of Us HBO Show vs. The Last of Us Game?
Tess recounts to Joel and Ellie that she was bitten during their journey out of the quarantine zone. She urges Joel to finish their assignment and accompany Ellie. Shortly thereafter, one of the infected attempts to give her a "kiss" that will hopefully complete the assimilation process.
Tess manages to hold off the infected long enough to trigger an explosion that consumes her, the infected, and a good portion of the Massachusetts State House. Joel and Ellie escape as a result of her sacrifice.
In both the show and the game, many of the main details about Tess's death are the same. The location is (roughly) the same, Tess is bitten in both scenarios, and Tess tells Joel that she wants him to complete their assignment without her. In the games, though, Tess doesn't kill the infected (or an explosion) at all.
Tess is actually shot and killed by a group of FEDRA soldiers who have been following Tess, Joel, and Ellie since they left the quarantine zone. Tess, aware that she has been bitten, urges them to continue on while she is away to help the FEDRA soldiers escape and buy them the time they need to escape.
Although it isn't a major change in the show's epic narrative, it is a minor change that does make a difference in a beloved character's destiny. So why did the show's writers make that decision? I'm glad you answered...
Why Was Tess' Death Changed For The Last of Us HBO Show
Craig Mazin, the series' creator, revealed that they decided to alter some of the details surrounding Tess's death in order to correct a plot inconsistency in the game and to ensure that the vital moment fits better with some of the show's new themes and details.
“What is the point of having FEDRA in the game?” asked Mazin about Tess' death in the game. “We wanted a chance to demonstrate how connected they were.
Neil Druckmann, series co-creator who directed and directed the Last of Us game, elaborated on this topic during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, in which he said that "these things don't have to get violent unless you're preventing them from spreading" the infection further.
The Last of Us HBO team previously stated that they wanted to alter the way that the Cordyceps infection is shown in the show vs. how it is shown in the games.
Although some of the changes may be attributed to logistical demands, others are more a reflection of the team's desire to change how the infected are both perceived and utilized in the program. There's also the aforementioned perceived plot inconsistency that Mazin wanted to address.
In any case, it will certainly be interesting to see what other changes (both minor and major) the show makes to the games in the future.