The Last of Us series: What illness did Frank have?

The Last of Us series: What illness did Frank have?

In the successful series The Last of Us we get a deep insight into the relationship between Bill and Frank. This inevitably raises the question of what actually made Frank so seriously ill – because in contrast to the popular game template from Naughty Dog, showrunners Craig Mazin (“Chernobyl”) and Neil Druckmann have planned a different fate for Frank (and Bill).

After much wild speculation from TLOU fans, the series makers are now reacting and providing an explanatory answer to the question about Frank’s illness.

Is Frank suffering from ALS or AIDS?

In the series takes a dangerous Fungus called Cordyceps a central part that is held responsible for the fact that a large part of humanity was swept away in an outbreak and the spread.

Those dealing with the aggressive fungus infected have, mutate to zombie-like monsters (called runners, stalkers, clickers and bloaters).

In the games it also applies Frankwho escaped from the city of Lincoln is bitten and summarily takes his own life before he has to go through the transformation into a monster.


In the series, however, TLOU creator and Naughty Dog boss Neil Druckmann is the showrunner different fate for Bill and Frank intended, changing the original story for the better.

Yet Frank gets sick here too and in the course of 3rd episode long long time you can see how his strength is fading and he ends up in a wheelchair. Although the two series makers do not go into detail about his illness, the symptoms and clinical picture make it clear that it is by no means a Cordyceps fungal infection.

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Series maker rejects references to ALS or AIDS

Initial assumptions by numerous fans about Frank’s mysterious illness indicate multiple sclerosis (MS) or early amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and AIDS is also brought into play.

Now Craig Mazen speaks up and expressly emphasizes in the HBO The Last of Us series podcast: “We didn’t necessarily want to spell it out for the audience. It was either MS or early ALS, but it was one degenerative neuromuscular disease.”

He also dismisses any speculation about AIDS as an absurd idea and total nonsense.