Spoilers for HBO’s The Last of Us ahead.

Well, that was … heartbreaking! Anna Torv brought all the emotions as Tess in The Last of Us as she was taken from the humans and accepted into the Infected during the show’s second episode, which aired on Sunday, January 22.

Amid their journey to get Ellie (Bella Ramsey) into the capable hands of Firefly doctors who are looking for a cure, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess come face-to-face with the Clickers — a particularly nasty type of Infected who’ve lost their sight and use echolocation to get around. It’s during that fight in which Tess gets bit. While keeping it a secret from her two counterparts as they travel around a decrepit version of Boston, Ellie finally figures it out and Tess sacrifices herself for their safety.

“As far as what she does, I believe that that’s probably a conversation that Tess and Joel had many, many, many, times,” Anna told TV Guide in an interview following the episode’s premiere. “Like, if one of us gets bit, I’m sure they would have had it — like, please don’t let me turn out like them.”

Keep reading for more details about Tess’ death and how it differs from The Last of Us video game. 

How Does Tess Die in ‘The Last of Us’ Show?

After successfully moving Ellie out of the QZ to the drop off location where Fireflies are supposed to be waiting, the trio discovers that the Fireflies have been attacked by Infected. After realizing that a swarm of Infected are coming for them, Tess reveals that she has been bitten and sacrifices herself in order for Joel and Ellie to get away. Tess pours gasoline all over the floor and drops a lighter as the Infected swarm the courthouse. While struggling with her lighter, one of the Infected gives her a pretty vile kiss full of fungus tendrils — seemingly accepting her into their species.

How Does Tess Die in HBO's ‘The Last of Us’? Differences Between the Show and Video Game
Liane Hentscher/HBO

“It’s just revolting. That scene when I read it, I thought it was going to be a very different thing,” Anna told TV Guide. “All of that is effects, except the guy — as far as the Infected goes, a lot of it was makeup. But all of the tendrils and the rest of it is in special effects. It’s just bleugh, gross.”

How Does Tess Die in ‘The Last of Us’ Video Game?

There were some differences in terms of the show and video game. While Tess sacrificed herself to a swarm of Infected in the HBO series, that’s not what actually goes down in the video game.

Instead of the Infected, Tess sacrifices herself to a group of FEDRA soldiers so Joel and Ellie can get away.

The Last of Us premieres new episodes on HBO Max every Sunday at 9 p.m.



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Tyler Cowan