6 The Last of Us 2 Scenes Fans Won't Let HBO Get Away with Messing Up

6 The Last of Us 2 Scenes Fans Won't Let HBO Get Away with Messing Up
Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, HBO

Well, just try not to let your guard down, HBO.

As HBO dives into the intricate world of The Last of Us 2, fans are expecting more than just copy-paste scenes — they want an emotional rollercoaster that mirrors the depth and brilliance of the game.

Naughty Dog's original masterpiece set a high bar, and fans of the game won't settle for anything less from the small-screen adaptation. While Season 1 successfully blended faithfulness to the game with additional narrative layers, the multi-layered characters introduced in the second installment, exploring the nuances of revenge, add a new level of complexity.

The game's ability to blur moral lines and evoke empathy for once-hated characters raises the bar for adaptation, especially given its penchant for intense, boundary-pushing moments, leaving HBO with the challenging task of bringing these scenes to life on the small screen.

Here are 6 iconic TLOU2 scenes that fans are holding their breath for and hoping HBO doesn't miss a beat.

Joel and Ellie's Falling Out

The emotional gut-punch between Joel and Ellie is at the heart of The Last of Us 2. Discovering Joel's lie about the murder of the scientists who were going to sacrifice Ellie for a cure leads Ellie to break up with her savior, setting the stage for many tense moments in Jackson, Wyoming.

It's not just a disagreement, it's a raw and visceral breakdown of trust that needs to be conveyed with the same intensity that Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson brought to the game. Fans are hoping that Bella Ramsey, who portrays Ellie, can authentically convey the mix of frustration and love for Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, in this poignant moment.

The Rat King

The Rat King was a nightmare that came to life in the game — a creature that kept the players on the edge of their seats. A super-organism made up of various infected beings connected by the Cordyceps fungus, this nightmarish creature's intricate design presents a challenge for the HBO adaptation.

The Rat King, a massive and relentless entity, chases protagonist Abby through the dark, flooded hallways in one of the game's most intense sequences. The scene concludes with a battle against smaller infected that have fallen from the Rat King. It will be a visual and storytelling challenge to recreate this experience for the HBO adaptation.

The Sacrifice in the Forest

The Seraphites, or Scars, followers of their Prophet, prove to be dangerous enemies for Abby and Ellie. In a harrowing encounter, Abby is captured by Seraphite leader Emily, who intends to ritually kill her by hanging and disembowelment. Threatened with gutting, Abby is on the verge of death before being rescued by a young ex-Seraphite.

On the run, the siblings guide Abby through a dark forest, warning of "demons" lurking in the shadows. In a tense and chilling scene that has no right to be ruined on screen, these demons turn out to be hordes of the infected, and Abby must stay in the torchlight to avoid being consumed by the darkness of the rainy trees.

Ellie Tortures Nora

Ellie's descent into darkness after losing Joel is symbolized by the intense interrogation when, in her quest for revenge against Abby, Ellie encounters Nora, a trusted ally. In a relentless chase, Ellie interrogates Nora, dying from spore exposure. In a fit of rage, Ellie brutally beats Nora to death with a pipe, making the player complicit in this ruthless act through quick-time actions.

Nora's demise, driven by Ellie's pursuit of Abby, plays out in a horrifying sequence marked by cruel jokes and a gruesome beating. This moment stands out as one of the most brutal scenes in the game, intensified by its dark atmosphere and Ellie's fall into post-traumatic stress.

Final Showdown

A culmination of emotions and narrative threads, the showdown between Ellie and Abby stands out as one of the most brutal video game fights ever. This revenge-fueled, rain-soaked battle is a brutal and bloody confrontation that mirrors the rest of the game, including highly intense moments such as Abby biting off two of Ellie's fingers.

While an inevitable fight is expected in the HBO adaptation, the emotional depth and impact of Ellie's final battle, as she recalls her last conversation with Joel, must promise fans a powerful scene portrayed by Bella Ramsey and her onscreen ultimate foe.

Joel’s Death

The death of Joel was a heart-wrenching moment that left players all over the world speechless. In TLOU2, playable flashbacks complement the game's present-day focus, taking place several years after the conclusion of Season 1. The narrative begins with a strained relationship between Joel and Ellie, stemming from Joel's daring decision to free Ellie from the Firefly Hospital.

The plot takes a dark turn when Abby, seeking revenge for her father's death during Joel's rescue from the hospital, brutally murders him. This act of vengeance, driven by an eye-for-an-eye mentality, intensifies the emotional impact, especially given the players' pre-existing affection for Joel. HBO's challenge is to do justice to this pivotal scene and capture the proper range of emotions felt by the fans, as it is the most challenging of all.