One of the most iconic games is getting its very own show on HBO Max—releasing Jan 15th, 2023—and I am super excited for it! Here's what I know about the show, and my thoughts on the trailer and what's been released to the fans so far.
The Last of Us has been my favorite game since its release almost 10 years ago. The story is top tier, and the character development is stunning, only getting better in the second game. As far as the show goes, we know that the show will be featuring the DLC "Left Behind" where we get to meet Riley (Ellie's Best Friend) and the moments that lead up to Ellies realization of them being Immune. Riley will be played by Storm Reid, and Ellie will be played by Bella Ramsey. The trailers, so far, have shown that these actors seem to play their roles perfectly together. The chemistry between them explodes out of the screen throughout the trailers. And, yes, we will be getting a photo booth scene!
We're seeing in the released scenes the beginning portion of the game where we meet Joel (Pedro Pascal) and where we play as Sarah (Nico Parker), Joel's daughter. We can assume this means we will see the most heart wrenching part of the game—Sarah's death. Still, to this day, any time I play the game, I cry during this part. I think it will always hurt in the saddest and darkest way. This really sets the darkness tone of the game. I am hoping they do this scene justice and it's shown on the show the same as it's portrayed in the game. I am hoping it takes us on the same emotional rollercoaster and resentment towards the world for taking such a precious life.
Something I'm very excited about is that Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker will be making cameos in the show as different characters! If you don't know who they are, Ashley Johnson is the voice actor for Ellie, and Troy Baker is the voice actor for Joel. Apparently, Ashley Johnson will be playing Ellie's mother. If this is true, it means we will get extra context in the show that wasn't in the game. We do not experience Ellie's mother in the game, so this will be an interesting aspect of the show. This might also mean we'll learn about Ellie's mother dies and have a few more answers to our questions around Ellie's family and how she got to where she was in boarding school.
It has been confirmed that there will be things added to the show that were supposed to be in the game but didn't make it. Who doesn't love a thickened plot?! At this point, I'm not certain what will be added, but I'm excited for it and, personally, hope it has something to do with Marlene, the Fireflies or Bill.
Before watching the show, I want to share my true thoughts about the show before it airs. I understand it can't be a second-by-second play through of the game, and I understand that means things will either be added or removed from the game—to be determined if that enhances the show or ruins it. Overall, I don't have much faith in the show. I feel this way because usually adaptations for video games end up being a let down. I don't want them to ruin my favorite franchise. I am excited to see all the characters and have the ability to watch them over and over again. However, I haven't seen much emotion in the trailers from anyone except Joel. One of the first trailers released showed a scene from one of the best scenes in the game and it had zero emotion. I'm left wondering if this is what the entire show will be like or if there is a reason behind their heartlessness. I guess we'll find out soon!
I want raw, unfiltered emotions from the show because I'm looking for the the same sense of comfortability I get from the game. It's scary walking in on something like this, so I'm going to try not to judge it too harshly until I watch the show. I know at this time my opinions are limited, but I am excited to share my thoughts after it's released. There are a few rumors I've heard about the show that I hope are not true... specifically that they are taking away spores... which is the entire premise of the story. I am looking forward to seeing Bella, Ramsey and Pedro Pascal be totally chaotic on the screen together. Don't forget, the show will premiere January 15, 2023 on HBO Max!