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The Last of Us HBO series will give these characters an origin story

Some The Last of Us characters that aren't acknowledged so much in Naughty Dog's horror games will get more attention in the HBO series

Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us HBO series

We expect some changes to the base horror game in The Last of Us TV series. Adaptation always requires some alteration, and it’s been revealed that the drama series will actually deepen the world of protagonists Joel and Ellie

Neil Druckmann, director of The Last of Us survival game at Naughty Dog and co-creator of the thriller series, explained to IGN the opportunity television presented in terms of world-building. “The Hunters, you get to see more of like, where did they come from? Why did they bring down this quarantine zone? Who is their leader?” he explains. “Those are all things we get to see in the show.”

He points this out while going into the thematic grey area the story lives in, where The Last of Us characters are rarely purely good or evil. This is manifested in the game through reading materials the player can find, whereas the show offered greater opportunities for character work.

This means that, despite HBO’s horror series so far looking like a pretty bang-on translation of the source material, it can come at the narrative in ways players mightn’t expect. This is an ideal scenario where everyone gets something out of every version available.

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Craig Mazin, the mastermind behind Chernobyl, is Druckmann’s partner behind the show. His presence alone is something that makes this whole process intriguing indeed, and that’s before mentioning The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal and Game of Thrones actor Bella Ramsey in the lead roles.

It’s all shaping up to be something special indeed. The Last of Us premieres on January 15. Check out our guide to The Mandalorian season 3 for more of Pascal in a galaxy far, far away, and our list of the best fantasy series if you’d prefer a little more magic instead.

If you’re looking for more zombie action, though, we’ve got guides to The Last of Us cast and an article explaining exactly what the cannibalistic ghouls known as the infected really are.