4. The Plot
The plot synopsis that WarnerMedia gave in hews very closely to the game’s plot: “The story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”
According to Mazin, one of the is to show us events and characters that we didn’t experience or meet in the game–implying that they will not alter the game’s central plot, only flesh them out and give them additional context.
If you’re a Stephen King fan, a good way of thinking about this is by thinking about his post-apocalyptic novel The Stand, first released in 1978, and later re-released in 1990 as a “Complete and Uncut Edition.” In his preface for the latter, King made the following explanation to readers who were thinking about purchasing the latest edition:
“You will not discover old characters behaving in new ways, nor will the course of the tale branch off at some point from the old narrative, taking you, Constant Reader, in an entirely different direction. This version of The Stand is an expansion of the original novel. As I’ve said, you won’t find old characters behaving in strange new ways, but you will discover that almost all of the characters were, in the book’s original form, doing more things, and if I didn’t think some of those things were interesting—perhaps even enlightening—I would never have agreed to this project.”