Tuesday, 28 Mar 2023

HBO’s The Last Of Us Made Henry A Pacifist To "Separate Him From Joel"

Now we're at Episode 5 of HBO's The Last of Us, it's safe to say that the showrunners are taking some creative liberties with the game. That's a good thing of course, as it led to a closer look at Bill and Frank's relationship and gives fans of the game something to look forward to. Another change we saw in the most recent episode was in Henry's character, who was made to be a bit more docile and tended to avoid danger rather than get stuck right in there alongside Joel.

According to series showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann in the latest episode of the official Last of Us podcast (thanks Comic Book), the decision to make Henry more of a pacifist in the show was a deliberate one. Druckmann explains that because The Last of Us was a game, Naughty Dog needed to make Henry fight alongside Joel as a result of the genre, choosing to show his moral side by making his brother Sam put back the toy robot he attempted to take. He was very similar to Joel as a character, but Druckmann wanted to "separate" Henry from him to to make their morality contrast a little better.

"We needed Henry to be able to fight and kill with you (in the game)," explains Druckmann. "And we try to give a certain morality in the game to Henry that even Joel wouldn't have, which is like– There's a part where Sam tries to steal this toy from this toy store, and Henry says, 'No, we only take what we need and no more.' And it was just a way to kind of separate them."

"Here, again, because we don't need Henry to kill, there's this beautiful choice of, like, I've never killed anybody.'….I think it just immediately separates him from Joel. And you understand why Henry is so reliant on this man that he just spotted kill a bunch of people."

Henry's lack of experience in the show also gives some of the later events much more of an impact, something I won't go into here to avoid spoilers for those thatt haven't seen the episode yet. It's just another fairly big change to the original game that elevates the story to greater heights, something we'll undoubtedly see more of as the show goes on.

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