Henry & Sam’s Story Is Even More Tragic In The Last Of Us Show

The Last of Us episode 5 culminates Henry and Sam’s story, somehow managing to make it even more tragic than it already was in the original game.

This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us episode 5 and the original game.The Last of Us episode 5 rounds out the Kansas City arc, and with it Henry and Sam’s story which is somehow made more tragic than the original game. The Last of Us episode 5 picks up directly where episode 4’s cliffhanger ending left off, with Sam and Henry holding Joel and Ellie at gunpoint. After a brief stand-off, the two pairs agree to help one another as they are both enemies of Kathleen and her Hunters.

In adapting the Pittsburgh arc from the original game, only setting it in Kansas City for the HBO show, The Last of Us episode 5 contains many familiar elements to players of the game. However, once again HBO is proving that its TV video game adaptation is making improvements to the original for the better, as was shown with Bill and Frank’s changes from The Last of Us episode 3. This is best demonstrated by Henry and Sam’s story in The Last of Us episode 5, and both the subtle and overt elements co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann employ to make their tale much more heartbreaking than it already was.

Related: The Last Of Us May Have Confirmed A Massive Joel & The Hunters Theory

Sam’s Changes From The Last Of Us Game Make Him Much More Sympathetic

Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Keivonn Woodard as Sam in HBO's The Last of Us official character posters

While Sam’s death in the original game was already one of the saddest elements of the story, The Last of Us episode 5 makes some major changes to his character that only go to make it that much worse. The first of these is evident within the opening scene which flashes back to the night FEDRA lost control of Kansas City thanks to Kathleen and The Last of Us’ Hunters. In this scene, Henry and Sam are caught in the middle of the violence, and Henry tells Sam to look at him rather than the Hunters. However, Henry signs this to Sam, alerting the audience that Sam is deaf.

In the original game, Sam is not deaf and is slightly older than HBO’s version, and both changes subliminally make the audience instantly care for Sam. Another reveal about Sam which marks a departure from the original The Last of Us game comes later in the episode when Henry tells Joel that Sam was diagnosed with leukemia when he was younger. Even more so than the reveal that Sam is deaf, knowing about his difficult past only makes his eventual fate that much more harrowing.

Henry’s Character Has Much More Depth Than In The Last Of Us Game

Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, and Lamar Johnson as Henry in their Last of Us character posters

While the changes made to Sam’s character make his story more upsetting, Henry’s character also receives much more depth than in The Last of Us game. While he is still a compelling character in the original, mainly due to his intense protection of Sam, the addition of tying Henry closely with the Hunters allows for a much more complex character. It is revealed in The Last of Us episode 5 that Henry looked up to Kathleen’s brother more than anyone in his life, yet still turned him over to FEDRA in order to save Sam’s life when the latter was diagnosed with leukemia.

This development not only ties into the overall themes of The Last of Us of people doing both good and bad things to survive but establishes the protection and love Henry feels for Sam better than the original game already did. It even goes to further Henry’s complexity, when he talks to Joel about not wanting to be the bad guy even though he has done things that would define him as such by his own standards. All of this just goes to make both his, and Sam’s, tragic fate at the end of The Last of Us episode 5 much more mournful.

New episodes of The Last of Us release every Sunday on HBO.

More: The Last Of Us Episode 4’s Pun Book Is More Important Than You Think

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