The Last of Us Had An Alternate Season Finale Ending, Showrunners Reveal

WARNING: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for The Last of Us Episode 9, so read at your own risk!

The Last of Us Episode 9 just showed HBO fans on the controversial ending for the Naughty Dog video game, which features Joel Miller choosing to save Ellie rather than providing humanity with the vaccine for the cordyceps virus. As you may be well aware, showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin had maintained a consistent and faithful adaptation of the game throughout the live adaptation, and the season finale is no different.

It’s no secret though that the showrunners do change things up a little bit to add some spice to the HBO series. The Last of Us Episode 9, where Ellie finally wakes up and asks Joel whether he was telling the truth behind having no hope of saving humanity with her immunity, the scene was supposed to be far more heartbreaking than it already was.

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“The change was really more something that Ali Abbasi, our director, had been playing around with. There was something beautiful about it,” Mazin told GQ Magazine in a recent interview, noting that the scene was supposed to linger more with a sadder version where Ellie walks away from Joel in the scene towards Jackson.

Mazin continued on to say, “Does Ellie walk away from Joel, does she walk with him, how does she feel? That moment gets suspended permanently.”

MORE THE LAST OF US NEWS: The Last of Us Fans Defend Joel Miller's Controversial Season Finale Decision

Although the showrunner was quite nervous on how the audience and fans would take the ending, suspecting anger and disappointment on its controversy, ultimately, Druckmann said: “When we made the game, and that ending hit, no one knew if we were gonna make another game. So I think it was easier for people to accept it’s not a cliffhanger, it’s a proper ending.”

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It’s a curious matter as to how The Last of Us Episode 9 could’ve ended differently in the HBO series, despite it being a pivotal moment that pushes The Last of Us Season 2 to happen. However, Druckmann and Mazin did reveal that the second season is not going to be as faithful to Part 2 as Season 1 was, indicating that The Last of Us will be having more than two seasons.

What did you think of the season finale?

In the meantime, all nine episodes of The Last of Us are now available to stream on HBO Max. Meanwhile, The Last of Us 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD will be available for purchase on July 18, 2023.

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