Preparing for ‘The Last of Us’ finale? Here’s our guide to the season’s key moments

A man and a teenage girl on a horse in the woods.
Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in “The Last of Us.”
(Liane Hentscher / HBO)

An adaptation of an acclaimed video game, HBO’s “The Last of Us” has managed to do what once seemed impossible: expand a beloved story into a series that appeases longtime fans and appeals to new viewers.

The post-apocalyptic survival drama is set in a world that has been ravaged by an outbreak of a mutant cordyceps fungus that transforms human hosts into mindless and terrifying monsters. The series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), a survivor still mourning his greatest loss from the day everything changed, and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a teenager born into this dangerous world who may be the key to saving it.

Created by “Chernobyl’s” Craig Mazin and Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, the creative director of the original game, “The Last of Us” has been hailed as “a gripping tale of survival because it makes ample room for savagery and love, desperation and selflessness.” At times, the series is so faithful to the original game that it re-creates scenes nearly shot-for-shot. But it has also played to television’s strengths, adjusting details both big and small to tell a better story. “The Last of Us” creatives break down key aspects of the series in the coverage below.