Why The Last of Us’ Hotel Basement Scene Was Left Out of the HBO Show
The following contains spoilers for The Last of Us Season 1, Episode 9, “Look for the Light,” now streaming on HBO and HBO Max.
The Last of Us co-creator and showrunner Craig Mazin recently explained why the HBO adaptation doesn’t include its video game source material’s scariest part.
Mazin revealed why he and The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann omitted the game’s infamous hotel basement segment from the show in an interview with GQ. “That is a terrifying sequence,” Mazin said. “But it’s harder to pull off solo sequences like that, where it’s one character alone and it’s just about action and atmosphere. What we find in the passive medium [of TV] is that those action sequences are best appreciated by us watching through the reactions and interactions of the characters. So the episode [The Last of Us co-creator] Neil [Druckmann] directed — where Tess, Joel and Ellie are in the museum and the clickers come — so much of that is about them looking at each other. And that is where the character magic happens.”
Both Mazin and Druckmann have been open about the various changes to established Last of Us canon they made throughout the HBO series. One such change appears in the show’s seventh episode, “Left Behind,” which retells the events of the 2014 DLC of the same name. In the DLC, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Riley (Storm Reid) encounter a horde of infected who ambush them. By contrast, The Last of Us Episode 7 only includes a single infected, which Druckmann insisted…