The Last of Us creator reveals the show almost had a much ‘sadder’ ending between Joel and Ellie

The Last of Us

The Last of Us creator Craig Mazin has revealed that the show nearly had a ‘sadder’ season ending between Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey).

Based on the 2013 video game of the same name, the season finale of HBO’s hit series The Last of Us saw Joel and Ellie fight for their lives in a dramatic showdown that left fans divided.

Having escorted Ellie to the hospital occupied by resistance group the Fireflies, Joel is informed that in order to use her immunity to develop a cure (for all of humanity, mind you), the doctors will have to perform an operation that will kill her, as Ellie’s cordyceps mutation that shields her from infection is wrapped around her brain.

Joel then proceeds to go on a Rambo-esque killing spree, slaying everyone and anyone in the hospital in a bid to save Ellie from her fate in the operating theatre.

The episode concludes with the pair walking (relatively) unscathed towards the Jackson commune, where Joel’s brother Tommy (Diego Luna) resides in some semblance of normality.

‘The Last of Us’ finale left fans emotionally devastated and split in opinion (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Speaking to GQ, co-creator Craig Mazin has revealed that the episode’s director, Ali Abbasi, originally thought of including a “sadder” ending to the episode.

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“[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.

“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.”

As it stands, the episode ends with Ellie telling Joel she believes him in his statement that there are countless other immune individuals who could help research a cure (he is, of course, lying). The viewer sees Ellie nod, say “OK”, before a cut to black, something which Mazin was satisfied with.

“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.”

Mazin and Neil Druckmann (who is co-president of Naughty Dog, the video game studio which produced the The Last of Us video game in 2013), have previously confirmed that they will not be recasting the role of Ellie for the second season of The Last of Us.

One of the doctors who finds himself at the business end of Joel’s gun in the hospital is later revealed to be the casualty that sets the entire chain of events of The Last of Us: Part Two in motion.