The Last of Us series could get mutation even worse than clickers and bloaters
The HBO series The Last of Us will begin airing sometime next year. 2023 is still a while away – so there is plenty of time for those responsible to send us official information. So far we have had to be content with set pictures and small breadcrumbs that we can piece together to form theories.
Now we have something tangible: Thanks to a role description, there are new clues to what is happening. The description suggests that the show is making a major change in regards to the infected as well. Apparently the next evolutionary stage of the mushroom zombies is waiting for us.
These are the four stages of fungal infection in The Last of Us
It’s all about this: Casting The Last of Us series has one role out of the ordinary: Connor Stanhope as “Infected Man Level 5” (via IMDB). Those of you who played the games will probably ask themselves: “Infected level 5? They don’t even exist.” And that’s exactly what makes the statement so exciting.
This is how infected people develop: In the The Last of Us universe there have been four official stages of development so far and a few special characteristics such as the Rat King from The Last of Us Part 2. After being infected with the fungal spores, people go through several stages, which we will briefly introduce to you again here ( via thelastofus.fandom):
- Runner: The runners still behave like humans, are very fast, and tend to attack in large groups.
- Stalker: After a while, people become stalkers. This form mostly lurks in the dark, waiting for a victim to cross its path.
- clickers: The clickers are probably the most well-known infected. They have lost their sight and are relying on echolocation. Their physical strength is well above that of a human.
- Bloaters or Shamblers: After years of infection, a human becomes a bloater, extremely strong and well armored due to the fungal growth. An alternative form is the poisonous shambler, found in humid areas.
All important information about the Last of Us series can be found in our overview article:
more on the subject
HBO’s TLoU: All the info
The role can mean anything or nothing: What would a fifth stage of Cordyceps look like in humans? If we look at the shambler and the bloater, i.e. the fourth evolution, it will probably go even further. The power should also continue to increase. So Ellie, Joel and the other survivors could face a whole new threat.
But of course we can’t be sure exactly what “Infected Male Level 5” means. Neil Druckmann’s contribution at least suggests that we may indeed be seeing the next form of fungal infection.
In the video you can learn more about the parasitic fungus:
The Last of Us – Video: The fungal infection and its role model from nature
More news from the TLoU universe:
The Last of Us show will differ from the games
Those responsible have made it clear several times that the series will not adhere to Naughty Dogs The Last of Us in all respects. Instead, it will be a reinterpretation that should also surprise those who know the original.
As pictures from the set tell us, an important setting from the game appears to be completely swapped out, and the apocalypse takes place ten years earlier. But that also applies to the characters. Lead actor Pedro Pascal, for example, wants to play his own Joel and not copy Troy Baker’s performance.
How do you imagine the fifth stage of the fungal infection?