HBO's The Last of Us Changes How The Infected Operate in the Series

The Last of Us undeniably introduced a different breed of zombies — they call them the “Infected”, in which the people who have contracted a parasitic fungal infection, otherwise called the cordyceps brain infection, transform into the body of “Clickers” whose sole purpose seems to be transmitting the disease to spread the virus. The showrunners, Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, had one main goal and that is to adapt a game-accurate series akin to the Naughty Dog video game. However, the HBO series made one clear distinction on how the Clickers operate in the video game versus in the series.

HBO’s The Last of Us: The “Infected” Explained

expand image

In an interview with, Mazin details one thing they changed about The Last of Us virus in the series: the existence of spores in the air. The co-showrunner said that putting in spores would make it almost difficult for any character in the series to remain human, seeing as the in-game spores require merely inhaling the fungus to turn into Clickers. Check out his full quote below:

“For instance, little things like the spores,” Mazin said, “In the game, there are these where you encounter spores and you need to put a gas mask on. In the world that we’re creating, if we put spores in the air, it would be pretty clear that they would spread around everywhere and everybody would have to wear a mask all the time and probably everybody would be completely infected by that point.”

expand image

In The Last of Us Episode 2, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) shared a theory that the Infected must be connected in some way. Tess (Anna Torv) notes that the Infected must be a part of a hivemind in which the living cordyceps fungus connects them all. In the same episode, when Tess shoots an Infected, a horde of Infected comes running their way, the “hivemind theory” acting like a tripwire that triggers the group towards the source.

The Last of Us Episodes 1 and 2 are now available to stream on HBO Max. Meanwhile, you can expect The Last of Us Episode 3 on January 29, Sunday.

ALSO READ: The Last of Us Broke A Video Game Taboo, Show Co-Creator Reveals

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

The Last of UsHBOGeek Culture