The Last of Us season 1 almost had a different ending

·2 min read

The Last of Us spoilers follow.

Joel and Ellie's final scene in The Last of Us season 1 almost unfolded differently, series co-creator Craig Mazin has revealed.

Played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, the apocalypse survivors were fresh off a heart-pounding Fireflies wipeout, which saw Joel take down a whole hospital to save Ellie from certain death as the doctors tried to find a cure by removing Cordyceps matter from her brain.

Awakening in the back of a jeep, a confused Ellie confronts Joel about what had happened, but he lies, telling her that there is no potential antidote. After a pause, she accepts his words, and the two drive off into an uncertain future.

Related: The Last of Us boss responds to the divisive finale and Joel's big decision

"[Episode director Ali Abbasi] had this thought of just playing out this slightly longer, sadder version where Ellie says, 'okay,' and then she turns and walks away. And Joel looks after her," Mazin told GQ of the team's alternate plans.

"We see the two of them walking, not really together but apart, down towards Jackson. It lingers and then fades. There was something beautiful about it."

Further along, the Chernobyl writer went on to add that honouring the first video game's original ending was ultimately the best choice.

"Everybody was like 'what do we do?'" Mazin explained. "And there was that meta-discussion of, are the people that played the game going to be more annoyed that they didn't get it just the way it's supposed to be, or are they gonna be more annoyed that they only got what they had before? And then how will everybody else feel?"

bella ramsey, the last of us

Related: The Last of Us releases surprise extra season 1 episode

Mazin continued: "In the end, there's something very specific about ending on that close-up of Ellie. Not knowing what comes next. Not knowing what she does. Does she walk away from him, does she walk with him, how does she feel?

"That moment gets suspended permanently."

The Last of Us airs on HBO in the US, and on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in the UK.

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