The Last of Us: What Was That Monster in the Sewers?

Be careful when leaving the QZ.

by J.R. Waugh
Image: Sony Pictures Television

The Last of Us has premiered on HBO and our hopes for a good and faithful game adaptation have been met. The series debut was phenomenal, showcasing great characters, a bleak alternate 2023, and a truly horrifying pandemic ravaging humanity. But for new viewers just getting into the show, it might be difficult to differentiate between regular infected individuals and straight-up monstrous horrors in the show. So when The Last of Us gave us a glimpse at more than one monster hiding in the dark, viewers might be wondering what exactly they are.

What Was the Monster on the Wall in The Last of Us Episode 1?

The creature we see fused to the wall an hour into the first episode of The Last of Us is a middle-stage infected, likely a stalker or clicker. This is made likely by the fungal growth binding their mummified body to the wall, and it would have had to be recent, as Tess had not seen him there before. Joel supposes this could be the location where he was infected.

The creature being fused to the wall is common for CBI-infected humans, the bodies shriveling, with fungus fruiting around it to spread more spores and infect those who encounter it.

What Are the Monsters in the Trailers for TLOU?

  • The-Last-of-Us-Monsters
  • The-Last-of-Us-Clickers

The monsters are more infected individuals, predominantly runners, stalkers, and clickers. It’s unlikely we’ll see other stages of infection too often if at all in the first season, but the clickers are the most iconic The Last of Us monster. Clickers are humans whose infection has spread for 1 year, the fungus overtaking much of their physiology, enhancing their strength while also completely blinding them, forcing them to rely on echolocation, thus the term Clicker. The stages of infection are below:

  • Runner — Recently infected individuals usually a day or 2 after exposure.
  • Stalker — Humans who have been infected for at least 2 weeks.
  • Clicker — People who have been infected and overtaken for at least a full year.
  • Bloaters and Shamblers — Advanced stage reached over several years of infection.

There is also the Rat King such as in the games, but that likely won’t appear, or if it does, it’ll be played up for the massive horrifying appeal. Given how closely the series follows the canon though, we almost definitely won’t see it in season 1. But if you follow the series, you’ll be assured that you don’t have to be infected to be a monster, with even the main characters’ integrity brought into question.

The Last of Us premiered on January 15, 2023, on HBO and HBO Max, and will air weekly every Sunday. International viewers can catch this series on Sky Atlantic and Crave.

- This article was updated on January 16th, 2023

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