The Last of Us: 5 Major Changes Between the HBO TV Series Episode 5 and the 2013-Released PlayStation Hit

Published 02/11/2023, 1:00 PM EST

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The latest episode of The Last of Us is available on HBO Max. It covers the events of Pittsburgh from the game. But in the series, the events take place in Kansas City instead of the game’s setting. This episode was a roller coaster of emotions, as it had everything from action to tear-jerking moments. But this episode also had some significant changes to the game.

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Five episodes into this ongoing series, this is clear that it will have many changes to the original source. Even the game’s creator Neil Druckmann, who is working on the series besides Craig Mazin, has claimed that this show will feature many deviations from the 2013-released game. So let’s find out about some of them in the latest fifth episode.

Sam was deaf and younger in the series


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One of the biggest changes that the fifth episode was Sam, as he was deaf and younger than Ellie. But it wasn’t the case in the game, where Sam didn’t have any such disabilities and also he was closer to Ellie’s age. This major change was done to make the episode more dramatic and heart-breaking. This change sure did make the event more impactful than in the game.

Henry had a backstory in The Last of Us series

The creators of the series promised that the show will present more than just Ellie and Joel’s stories. So, the series has many new characters which were not there in the game. The leader of the rebellions in Kansas City, Kathleen, was a series original character. As a result, we got a backstory of Henry and why he was getting hunted.


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This change added more depth to Henry’s character, and we got to know more about him than in the game. But it also made how things concluded in the fifth episode more impactful. It sure broke many hearts or brought tears to their eyes.

Kathleen’s ruthless matriarchy had a gruesome end

Kathleen is an original character in the series. Everything surrounding her was not in the game. This new character sure did attract a lot of eyes because of her ruthless and cold-blooded attitude. We saw in episode 4 how she killed a doctor for helping FEDRA collaborators. If episode 4 was not enough, the latest one made it clear after her ordering to kill a room full of collaborators.


Further, she herself acknowledged that she isn’t great like her brother and can do anything for her revenge. In the end, we also saw her reasoning with Henry, where she claimed that he should have let Sam die of leukemia. Her ruthless matriarchy had a ruthless ending, as she got ripped by an infected girl.

The action was completely different from the game

In the game, when Joel and company came out of the sewers, they encounter a sniper and that happens too in the series. However, Joel had to take down a bunch of hunters before reaching the sniper. But in the series, he directly reached the sniper and even offered to surrender. Further, the game featured a manned turret, but the series had Kathleen’s forces.

In the series, Joel and Ellie came across a bloater for the first time in the breakout of the infected during the chaos with the hunters. But in the game, they first encountered one in Bill’s town. Further, Joel and company took shelter in a radio tower in the game, but it was a rundown motel in the series.

Ellie believed she could heal Henry


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It was another big change and the most heartbreaking scene in episode 5. In the series, Sam managed to hide the fact that he was bitten, and everyone only found out when he got turned. But in the HBO adaptation, Sam himself revealed to Ellie that he was bitten by an infected.

Sam’s revelation made Ellie also confess her immunity. She even rubbed her blood over his wound, thinking it might cure the infection. But to Ellie’s disappointment, that didn’t happen as Sam attacked her the next morning, and things unfolded similarly to the game. But the event took a toll on Ellie, who appeared to be a strong-headed girl in the series so far. She even left an “I’m Sorry” note where Joel buried Sam.


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Do you think these changes introduced in the series to the original source made the HBO adaptation more impactful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.



Written by:

Ripan Majumdar


One take at a time

Ripan Majumdar is an eSports at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Science from West Bengal State University, Kolkata. Ripan is a massive Red Bull Racing and Sergio Perez fan.
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Edited by:

Jito Tenson




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