Spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2 ahead.
Discussion of The Last of Us Part 2‘s violent sequences.
Adapting chilling scenes from
The Last of Us Part 2
for the TV series will be a challenge due to their harrowing and ultra-violent nature.
- The brutality of Abby killing Joel and Ellie killing Mel will be difficult to recreate, especially considering the emotional connection players have with these characters.
- The complex design of the rat king and the depiction of animal cruelty, such as Ellie fighting against dogs, may be challenging to translate from the game to the TV series.
For various reasons, there are some truly chilling The Last of Us Part 2 scenes that will be hard to recreate in HBO’s The Last of Us season 2. Adapting video games to TV is no easy feat, but co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann managed to make a faithful-to-the-game season 1 that, at the same time, added more to the series’ canon. In TLOU season 1, episode 3, “Long, Long Time,” for example, the show expanded upon two of the game’s side characters, Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), giving them a post-apocalyptic love story for the ages.
Although The Last of Us season 1 had a lot of difficult material to bring to the screen — both original and adapted content — The Last of Us Part 2‘s characters make things even more challenging. A story centered on the nature of revenge, TLOU2 blurs moral gray areas, prompting players to feel for characters they once hated — or second guess characters they feel a connection with. Given the unique narrative and the game’s tendency toward harrowing, ultra-violent moments, it’ll be hard for even HBO to adapt certain chilling scenes, especially those that already pushed boundaries in their original video-game iteration.
10 Abby Brutally Kills Joel (At The Very Beginning Of TLOU2)
Although The Last of Us Part 2 incorporates playable flashbacks into its story, the majority of the game is centered in the present — just a few years after the events of The Last of Us season 1’s ending. Right off the bat, the player learns Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) are distant from each other, due in large part to Joel’s decision to break Ellie out of the Firefly hospital. Abby, whose father was killed in Joel’s rampage through the hospital, brutally murders Joel. Abby’s eye-for-an-eye approach results in a truly savage moment, which is made all-the-worse due to the player’s preexisting fondness for Joel.
9 Ellie Kills Mel (& Then Learns The WLF Medic Was Pregnant)
Abby, a soldier in the Washington Liberation Front (WLF), avenges her father’s death by killing Joel at the beginning of The Last of Us Part 2, sparking Ellie’s own quest for revenge. Along the way, Ellie kills several of Abby’s comrades, including Mel, a WLF medic. At one point, Ellie finds Mel and her boyfriend, Owen, and holds them at gunpoint in order to learn Abby’s location. After shooting Owen, Ellie overpowers Mel and brutally stabs her in the neck. With his dying breath, Owen tells Ellie that Mel was pregnant; it’s a horrifying realization for Ellie, especially considering that her own girlfriend, Dina, is pregnant.
8 The Appearance Of The Last Of Us 2’s Rat King
The Last of Us Part 2 features plenty of new enemies to square off against, including a new type of infected creature: the so-called rat king. A super-organism that’s composed of stalkers, clickers, and a bloater, the rat king’s many disparate pieces are connected together thanks to the Cordyceps fungus. A horrifying encounter in the game, the rat king poses a challenge for HBO’s adaptation, namely because of its complex build. While the show’s practical effects and makeup have blended well with CGI in the past, it’s hard to imagine the rat king looking as good as the game’s version.
7 Yara’s Death At The Hands Of The WLF
While Ellie and her comrades hunt down Abby and the WLF, there’s another group that has a huge presence throughout The Last of Us Part 2: the Seraphites. Also called the Scars, the Seraphites are a cult that’s at war with the WLF. As per their Prophet’s teachings, the Seraphites don’t rely on technology and adhere to strict hierarchical and gender-normative roles. At one point, Yara, a Seraphite warrior, helps her trans brother Lev escape the cult, which eventually leads to the siblings meeting up with Abby. At one point, the trio square off against WLF soldiers, prompting Yara to sacrifice herself so that Abby and Lev can escape.
6 The Last Of Us 2 Uses Dogs As Enemies
One supposed innovation in The Last of Us Part 2‘s combat is that Ellie is forced to face off against trained-to-kill dogs. For the faint of heart (or animal lovers), it’s a not-so-great game mechanic, especially since Ellie often snaps the animals’ necks in order to escape their onslaught. In general, depicting animal cruelty of any kind is a turn-off to many viewers, so it’s possible TLOU season 2 will skirt around the introduction of dog enemies, even if they’re a key part of the WLF’s squad.
5 The Seraphites’ Torture Of Abby
Pushed to kill in the name of their Prophet, the Seraphites pose quite the threat to both Abby and Ellie throughout The Last of Us 2. At one point, Abby is knocked out by a group of Seraphites and captured. When Abby comes to, she realizes that Emily, a Seraphite leader, is about to ritually kill her. Not only is Abby hanging by her neck, but, before she can suffocate, Emily plans to disembowel the WLF soldier. Thankfully, Yara and Lev rescue Abby before that can happen. Still, it’s an incredibly chilling moment that makes it abundantly clear that the Seraphites have few moral boundaries.
4 Abby’s Continued Slaughter Of Fan-Loved TLOU Characters
There’s no doubt that Ellie kills her fair share of Abby’s companions; Ellie kills Abby’s ex-boyfriend, one of her best friends, and her dog. It’s incredibly brutal, to say the least. Of course, for the player, the loss of Joel is still in the front of the player’s mind. He’s the character players grew to know in the first game, making his death the weightiest of all. That said, Abby’s continued slaughter of Ellie’s companions hits hard. In particular, Jesse’s death stings; he’s Dina’s ex, and the father of Dina and Ellie’s child, and spends the bulk of his on-screen time being nothing but a supportive pal.
3 When The Rattlers Capture Ellie
The final faction introduced in The Last of Us 2, the Rattlers are a bloodthirsty group who enslave people they come across. Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Rattlers come to blows with both Ellie and Abby. The haunting enemies set up traps to catch infected, which they use as guard dogs, as well as humans, who they enslave. For the Rattlers’ core members, this ensures they’ll have all the food and other resources they need. At one point, Ellie stumbles into a Rattler trap, though the group also catches and beats Abby to near-death. Sadistic and bereft of morals, the Rattlers will be a challenge to bring to TV.
2 Ellie Tortures Nora To Find Abby’s Location
Another member of the WLF, Nora is one of Abby’s most trusted allies, which, ultimately, leads to her death. When Ellie tries to get Nora to give up Abby’s location, Nora makes a cruel joke about Joel’s death. Furious, Ellie chases after Nora, only to pull her into a spore-infested room. Ellie, of course, is immune, but Nora is immediately infected. If that wasn’t bad enough, Ellie chases Nora again and beats her near to death with a pipe. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the most brutal moments in the game. While the red lighting makes it look less gruesome, it adds a chilling air to the unrelenting sequence.
1 Ellie & Abby’s Final Showdown
One of the most savage video-game fights of all time is Ellie and Abby’s final showdown in The Last of Us Part 2. Having mirrored each other throughout the game, the two revenge-driven counterparts go through hell — at each other’s hands and at the hands of others, from the Seraphites to the Rattlers. Even so, their final fight is full of punching, kicking, and scrambling. At one point, Abby even bites two of Ellie’s fingers off. While an Ellie vs. Abby showdown in HBO’s The Last of Us is inevitable, it wouldn’t be surprising if it looked a bit different from the game’s version of events.