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HBO's The Last Of Us finally explains exactly how the outbreak started

HBO's The Last Of Us finally explains exactly how the outbreak started

Some small changes have been made to the infected from the game.

The Last of Us does deviate slightly from the game in a small number of ways, such as the inclusion of new characters never before seen in the original. And, while we do get a sense of how the infection spread so devastatingly, the show starts with an interview with a scientist who hypothesises how a strain of the Cordyceps fungus might mutate.

The fungus is not spread by bites in HBO's The Last of Us and is instead transmitted through contact with one of the tendrils as the showrunners aimed to ground the adaptation in scientific fact. The Cordyceps fungus is a real thing that infects insects, invading their bodies to eat and to reproduce, causing the host to seeks out a humid microclimate for perfect fungal conditions. How the disease managed to cross species and bring about an apocalypse is never specifically stated by the game, but combining both the game and the show's stories paints a clearer picture.

For those of us in the UK, The Last of Us premieres tonight - check out the trailer here!

Playing as Sarah in the game, you are able to spot a copy of the Texas Herald, the local newspaper in The Last of Us, with a front page story on the oncoming pandemic. "Admittance spikes at area hospitals! 300% increase due to mysterious infection," reads the title with a follow up stating that the infection might have been sourced from South America, carried on crops that were then imported worldwide. Then, it takes only a few months for 60% of humanity to be killed or infected with this new deadly Cordyceps strain, with victims becoming aggressive in order to spread the disease at any cost to the host.

While the game's opening scenes are set in 2013, the show turns back time to 2003, meaning that the time skip makes the year 2023 when Joel and Ellie meet. Funnily enough, actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey took time to warm to each other too. “It was very brief and special,” said Ramsey of the first time they met in preproduction. “We got on but were shy of each other because of how much was riding on our relationship. We got to know each other as Joel and Ellie got to know each other.”

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: The Last Of Us, TV And Film