HBO Max The Last of Us goes viral and does videogame justice

Audrey MacGills '25, Staff Writer

After the season finale aired March 12, HBO Max’s newest hit The Last of Us arguably became a worldwide phenomenon.

Based on the video game produced in 2013, The Last of Us is a story about survival and love in times of uncertainty. The show starts off with the first episode at the beginning of an apocalypse, and for the rest of the series, time skips ahead 20 years into what we can see as a destroyed society. While it can be a bit slow at times of heavy plot, the show is a grasping and entertaining watch.

The Last of Us follows along with the main characters of Joel played by Pedro Pascal, and Ellie played by Bella Ramsey. Throughout the series, viewers are introduced to many characters that interact with Joel and Ellie along their journey. In each episode, these characters have a different and specific impact on Joel and Ellie, as well as further the narrative of The Last of Us.

Just as quick as they meet them, these characters are gone from Joel and Ellie’s storyline. The monsters these characters face were people who were once just normal citizens, giving viewers a deeper emotional tug on the uncertainty of the apocalypse. Every encounter is reflecting on the risk of losing their lives, making The Last of Us, a story set apart from the rest.

Throughout the series, we are also able to see the character growth of the main characters Joel and Ellie, and how they form their father-daughter relationship that started as strangers. We are able to observe the safety and comfort they learn to find in each other, even when they don’t want to find it. They soon learn that they are all each other has, bringing them closer together, but also putting each other in potential danger.

What keeps the viewer intrigued is the overall theme of the story. Even in this time of uncertainty and risk, the characters have always found means of survival. Some of my favorite characters from the show have been good people who do bad things, which makes their characteristics all the more interesting to the overarching theme.

Initially a game, The Last of Us, had strong similarities to its original adaptation. From fan-loved scenes in the games, to small details such as Ellie’s pun book, the television adaption was a close match to the game, even with its own spin on some episodes.

Season two of the show has already been greenlit by HBO Max, and after watching the first season and seeing what it had to offer, I am all the more excited for the next. This show did not disappoint, and I highly recommend it to people interested in stories of survival.

And as a fan of the game myself, it did it justice.