Last of Us Zombie Kiss: Showrunner discusses the character’s death

Anna Torv as Tess.

Anna Torv as Tess.
Image: HBO

After only two weeksit should be pretty obvious that HBO’s The last of us is catch on with the public. From the spot-on adaptation of elements of the video gameuntil are dark extensions of that lore the terrifying reality of it world, fans and non-fans of the game seem to eat it all. And in the last episode there seemed to be less to eat and more… kiss, which some may have found strange.

Image for article titled About that last of us Zombie kiss everyone is talking about

As discussed in our in-depth summaryepisode two from The last of us ended with Tess (Anna Torv) sacrificing herself to save Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey). She had to because she has been bitten and will surely turn into a mindless killer soon enough. But as the Infected storms her location, and one of them notices her, instead of running furiously toward her, he slowly approaches and gives her an open-mouthed zombie kiss, his living, twisting tendrils moving in her mouth.

It’s a moment that’s curious for a few reasons. Firstly, it is not in the game, so it was decided to do this specifically. Second, we are used to the infected being incredibly violent with their victims, and this one is just the opposite. And three, if Tess was already infected, was there really any point?

That third point can’t really be answered (maybe the kiss sped up the transformation or was it just cool-looking), but the first two can and in a new interview, co-showrunner Neil Druckmann talks about it. “These things don’t have to get violent unless you keep them from spreading [the infection] further,” Druckmann countered Weekly entertainment. “That is realized in this beautiful, but horrific way with Anna.”

So since she’s made peace with becoming a zombie, she’s brought into the mix in a non-violent way. Of course we can buy that. But what about the tendrils themselves, which are also a new addition?

“Craig [Mazin] smartly said, “What can we do to further separate our infected from zombies?” It’s more than just a snack. Something else is going on,” Druckmann added. “I wish we had that aha moment right away, but we brainstormed about so many different things they could do. Some of them were pretty bizarre.

And if you thought this act of violence/romance was a thing, you haven’t seen anything yet. Watch the moment in the last episode of The last of us.


Want more io9 news? See when to expect the latest Miracle, Star Warsand Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TVand everything you need to know about the future of Doctor who.

Leave a Comment