The Last of Us series decided to focus its chapter 3 on the story of Bill and Frank, characters who have some weight in the game, but who star in a secondary story that was not fully developed in Naughty Dog’s work.
Without going into any type of spoilers, the HBO series decided to explore the relationship between these characters in greater depth. The interesting thing is that he made some changes to his story compared to what is narrated in the game. So Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin, creators of the series, decided to explain why they made these modifications and what they mean.
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Why is Bill and Frank’s story different in the series?
In the game, Bill and Frank are introduced as partners who formed an alliance to survive the aftermath of the outbreak. In the series, their love relationship is explored and its ending is modified with one objective: to give Joel a message.
According to Druckmann, Mazin raised the changes as a kind of moral for the protagonist where he would reflect on what he can gain or lose on his journey. The Naughty Dog creative stated that he could have rejected the idea, but in the end he agreed since one of his goals is “to be open to new ideas.” In the end, he accepted as he found the story great and moving.
“In a way, it’s also a warning sign for Joel (…) In the TV series we could get out of the perspective of our main character, because in the game we are very attached to purely Joel or purely Ellie. Here, we could see what happened to Bill in the outbreak,” Druckmann said.
Without going into details of the story, the changes were positive for Mazin, because from his perspective they led to a happy ending despite everything that happened. This is in contrast to the game and Joel’s story in the series, which has had major flops.
“I’m especially pleased with the way that Bill…has managed to inspire Joel to take Ellie west. He’s given Joel this posthumous instruction that men like you and me are here for a reason, to protect the people we love, and may God help anyone who gets in our way,” Mazin said.
Finally, Druckmann explained that these types of changes are not born with the idea of surprising fans familiar with the game, as they actually originate from a reflection on the narrative of the series and on its contribution to the main story. Mazin applauded Druckmann’s decision to allow for changes like these from the source material.
“He, it seemed to me, always understood that it would be cool to see it on TV, and the world he created with the script he wrote for the game… As far as I’m concerned, it’s complicated enough and broad and interesting enough. and philosophical enough to be flexible to changes in [cómo] adapts to a different medium”, concluded the creative.
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