Does [Spoiler] Die in The Last of Us?

You get her there. You keep her alive. And you set everything right.

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell

Are you wondering if Tess dies in The Last of Us HBO series after watching the second episode? There is an unspoken rule with HBO series that if you don’t see a character die offscreen, they are most likely still alive, so it is only natural that you wonder if she died. You may also wonder if she dies in the video the show is adapted from and if the details surrounding her death differ. For example, does she blow herself up or transform into one of the infected? Here is everything you need to know on if Tess dies in The Last of Us and how her relationship with Joel and her death differs from the video game.

Does Tess Die in The Last of Us?


Yes, Tess dies in The Last of Us HBO series and the video game. Her relationship and death catalyze Joel’s meeting and transporting Ellie West. However, the details surrounding the two differences between the series and the video game.

Is Tess’ Death Different in the Show Compared to the Game?

The Last of Us HBO series and the game differ in how they handle the relationship between Joel and Tess. In the series, we see that their motivation for transporting Ellie is to get the car battery so Joel can find Tommy. However, in the game, they agree to transport Ellie because Marlene says she will give them double the weapons owed.

In the show, Tess’ death serves to prove that Ellie is, in fact, immune to the infection. Joel was hesitant to continue transporting Ellie west and considered her as cargo. Joel would have likely just left Ellie and found another way to get a car battery to get to Tommy. When Tess dies in the game, it is because of her final request to get Ellie to his brother Tommy, an ex-firefly, that Joel decides to head west to find his brother Tommy.

There are also differences in how Tess dies. In the show, Tess is infected and decides to go out in a blaze of glory by sacrificing herself against a horde of infected. In the game, however, she is killed by soldiers while fighting them so that Joel and Ellie have time to get away. As a result, we don’t see Tess’ corpse in the show (at least not yet), but Joel sees it as confirmation in the video game.

The Last of Us will have new episodes released weekly exclusively on HBO starting January 15, 2023.

- This article was updated on January 23rd, 2023

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