Here is a list of all the differences between the HBO The Last of Us show episode 1, When You're Lost in the Darkness, and the video game.

After several years in development hell as a now-canceled movie, The Last of Us is now an HBO series. While it follows the story of the game pretty closely, there have been a few changes right from the first episode, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness.” Here is a list of all the differences between the HBO The Last of Us show episode 1 and the video game.

A List of All the Differences Between Episode 1 of The Last of Us Show and the Video Game

None of these differences turn the show on its head — some, for example, are there to dial up the drama, while others add a little more context to the show’s events. Here’s what we’ve spotted in episode 1, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness.” Since episode 1 is 85 minutes long, we’ve split the differences between the HBO show and The Last of Us the game into two sections — Outbreak Day and Post-Outbreak.

Outbreak Day (2003)

  • The show features a chat show-style cold opening that suggests that global warming is, in a roundabout way, ultimately responsible for the cordyceps outbreak. The game doesn’t offer a specific explanation.
  • Outbreak Day takes place 10 years earlier than in the game. This is presumably to set the show in 2023, instead of 2033.
  • We get to see Joel’s daughter, Sarah, go about her day in the show, instead of just meeting her when she gives Joel his gift in the game.
  • Tommy lives with Joel and Sarah, and while he works in construction with Joel, he’s less independent than in the game.
  • A sticker on Joel’s truck suggests that either he or Tommy was in the military during the first Gulf War.
  • The game doesn’t explain why Joel leaves Sarah alone, but in the show it’s because he has to bail his brother out of jail.
  • As in the game, Joel’s neighbors become infected, but instead of their breaking into the house like in the game, Sarah goes to their house and encounters them there.
  • The infection isn’t transmitted by spores — instead, the infected put out tendrils.
  • In town, Joel, Sarah, and Tommy’s truck isn’t hit by another truck. Instead, it’s debris from a plane crash that smashes into the truck and flips it over.

Post-Outbreak (2023)

  • We meet FEDRA before we re-encounter Joel, and we get to see them use the test device on a young would-be refugee.
  • Joel sells smuggled pills to a FEDRA soldier — in the game, the only thing you see him smuggling is Ellie.
  • Instead of meeting Ellie at the same time Joel does in the game, we see her chained up by the Fireflies. She is not happy about it.
  • The show confirms Joel and Tess are currently in a relationship. The game implies there’s something other than friendship between them (or has been in the past) but never confirms it.
  • Joel and Tess are buying a car battery, not weapons, off Robert. This is because, instead of being safe and sound in Jackson, as in the game, Tommy is potentially in trouble. Joel wants to drive out of the city and rescue him.
  • Aside from being in regular contact with Tommy — when things are going well — Joel also communicates with Bill and Frank via a radio code.
  • In the game, Tess kills Robert for double-crossing her. In the show, it’s Marlene’s team of Fireflies who kill him, though most of them end up dead.
  • Instead of a whole FEDRA patrol, Joel and Tess run into the soldier that Joel was selling pills to.

And those are the differences between HBO’s The Last of Us show season 1, episode 1, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” and the game.

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