Does Marlene Die in The Last of Us on HBO?

Merle Dandridge plays Marlene in both versions of The Last of Us

Source: HBO

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Spoiler Alert! This article provides plot details for the season 1 finale of The last of us on HBO.

Defying all expectations of live-action video game adaptations, The last of us has become a critically acclaimed series that lives up to its source material. Like the award-winning video game, the series follows Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) who is asked to protect a young girl named Ellie whose immunity to a monster Cordyceps Viruses could save the world.

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Throughout the season, Joel and Ellie have been traveling to find doctors who could potentially do tests on Ellie’s immunity. As they finally approach their destination in Utah, they encountered many difficulties along the way. However, they are not the only ones who have done the cross-country trek. marlene (Merle Dandridge) also meets Joel down the street. However, she brings Joel some news that shakes him to the core.

Marlene dies in The last of us?

(lr) Merle Dandridge and Natasha Mumba

Source: HBO

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Does Marlene die in The Last of Us?

In case you don’t remember, Marlene is the leader of the Fireflies, a rebel group fighting FEDRA forces in quarantine zones across the United States. She is the one who hires Joel to escort Ellie in Episode 1, although her ultimate destination has taken her much further afield than Marlene expected.

A flashback in episode 9 also reveals that Marlene was the one who dropped off Ellie’s infant at FEDRA to fulfill Ellie’s mother’s dying wish to protect her.

Marlene arrives in Utah in time to meet up with Joel, although some of their forces accidentally ambush them, unaware that Marlene was expecting them. She informs Joel that Ellie is Cordyceps will be surgically removed so her doctors can attempt to develop a cure for the infection and put an end to her post-apocalyptic nightmare once and for all. Unfortunately, she also reveals that extracting the Cordyceps leads to Ellie’s death.

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Marlene wants to go through with the procedure because she believes that the end justifies more than the means. However, Joel is not ready to accept this result. He manages to arm himself and shoot down several fireflies around the building while trying to save Ellie. He finally manages to carry her out, but Marlene is the only one standing in his way.

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Marlene makes a last desperate request to Joel. She argues that Ellie at least has the right to choose whether or not to sacrifice her life. She even agrees to spare Joel, even after all the murder he just wrought, promising they would find a way to fix it all. However, Joel responds to their deal with a bullet in her side. As she begs for her life, Joel finishes the job and makes sure no one is after her.

Marlene’s death in the show is virtually identical to the game.

With all the creative liberties the show has taken to deviate from its source material, Marlene’s death is more by the numbers. Her death in the original game is almost identical to the show’s version, where Marlene is still willing to sacrifice Ellie for the greater good. Similarly, Joel actively resists her wishes and ensures that Marlene has no further chance to pursue Ellie.

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Marlene as seen in The Last of Us: Part I

In both versions, Marlene also reveals that her own overland journey was fraught with hardship and tragedy, having lost several men along the way. Although the show had the opportunity to expand Marlene’s story a bit further, her role seems to be in it The last of us is still tragically short.

Season 1 of The last of us now streams in full on HBO Max. Does Marlene Die in The Last of Us on HBO?

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