The Last of Us TV series – who is Tess?

The Last of Us TV series brings all the main characters of Naughty Dog's horror game to life, such as Joel and Ellie, but who is Tess?

Anna Torv as Tess in The Last of Us

In The Last of Us TV series, who is Tess? The Last of Us has finally been adapted to screen after years of anticipation, and that means seeing everyone we’re so familiar with from Naughty Dog’s games in live-action.

Besides Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), one of the most important The Last of Us characters is Tess, another member of the Boston Quarantine Zone. We meet her in The Last of Us TV series episode 1, and she’s a mainstay thereafter. A confidant and partner of Joel, she’s imperative to their mission in the horror series of getting Ellie away from the city and across the United States.

Many viewers of The Last of Us TV series won’t have played the original horror game, though, so we’re here to answer, who is Tess? More than that, we’ll tell you who of The Last of Us TV series cast plays her as well.

Who is Tess?

Tess is Joel’s partner in the Quarantine Zone in The Last of Us. They meet sometime in the first few years after the outbreak, forging a strong bond as competent smugglers. Eventually, they settle in Boston, where they develop a reputation for being able to get just about anything if someone has the ability to pay them.

She and Joel plan to gather equipment and make a break for it using a truck. They don’t like living under the military and FEDRA’s thumb as people are in the Quarantine Zones and believe themselves more than capable of living alone somewhere quieter. That said, Tess is not a member of The Fireflies.

YouTube Thumbnail

Her life pre-outbreak is unknown. However, there’s an implication in the thriller series that Tess lost most of, if not her entire family, due to the infection because Joel is the only person she seems to be close to in Boston.

At one point, she strikes up a friendship with Bill, a survivor who lives in a private outpost close to Boston. They trade some supplies and become mutually beneficial to each other, and Bill is instrumental in Joel getting Ellie away from the city.

How does Tess die?

Tess blows herself up after being bitten by a Clicker to save Joel and Ellie from a horde of gathering infected.

Anna Torv as Tess in The Last of Us

Who plays Tess in The Last of Us TV series?

Anna Torv plays Tess in The Last of Us TV series. Her portrayal is remarkably close to the PS5 game; a woman close to Joel’s age who has a slightly softer temperament than him.

Torv has had starring roles in a couple of high profile shows before this, most recently as Wendy Carr in Netflix series Mindhunter. Before that, she portrayed Olivia Dunham in sci-fi series Fringe.

For more on The Last of Us TV series, have a look at our guides to The Last of Us zombies, whether Ellie was born after the outbreak, and most importantly of all, does the dog survive? If you’d like to know more about the game, our sister site The Loadout reviewed The Last of Us Part 1 remake.