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‘The Last Of Us’ Creators Revealed Their Emotional Backstory For Anna Torv’s Tess That Never Made It To Air

WARNING: Spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 2 below.

As The Last of Us proves to be a certified hit for HBO, showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have been an open book when it comes to the creative process involved in adapting the award-winning video game into a prestige drama series. Following Episode 2 and its dramatic climax, which saw Anna Torv’s Tess experience a different (and markedly grosser) fate than her video game counterpart, Mazin and Druckmman revealed that the episode was supposed to include a bleak backstory for Torv’s spin on the character.

Via Collider:

“We wrote it, we never shot it… It was a little bit of a backstory for Tess, and the fact that Tess had a kid,” Mazin revealed. “She had a husband and she had a son, and they were infected and she had to kill them. She killed her husband, but she could not kill the son. She couldn’t do it… She locked him in the basement, where theoretically he’s still a clicker.”

Druckmann, who worked on The Last of Us video game, also revealed that Tess’s backstory was originally planned as Episode 2’s cold open before going a different route.

“We had a cold open where we just, where the camera pushed on this door and you just hear this pounding coming from this basement, and then we cut out. And then later, Tess would tell the story of how she couldn’t kill her son,” Druckmann told Collider. “It just didn’t fit. But it was fun to think about.”

While Tess’s backstory sounds fascinating as hell, cutting it out of the show was probably a smart move. Mazin knows a thing or two about abandoning creative tangents or even whole pilots that just aren’t working. He had a hand in the infamously bad Game of Thrones pilot that never saw the light of day, and that experience helped him when it came to deliver his own HBO series, Chernobyl.

Judging by the success of The Last of Us so far, Mazin and Druckmann appear to be making the right calls.

(Via Collider)