There is a human element to The Last of Us that somehow preserves the story of the video game from which it has been adapted while going above and beyond in tuning into the audience’s emotional range even when it diverges from the game’s established plot. Why else would the viewers unilaterally praise Episode 3 (after aggressively bawling their eyes out, of course), especially when it managed to stray so far off from the plot’s natural arc of progression?
Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have remained fiercely relevant to the narrative throughout its ups and downs even while taking vast creative liberties with the source material that was given to them. As a result, what the audience at HBO landed up with was an absolutely undeniable experience that will forever be engraved in history as one of the best works of art to exist in modern television.
Also read: The Last of Us Gets Rare and Valid Criticism for Skipping Major Plot Device Despite Massive $15M Budget Per Episode Ahead of Season Finale
Fans Praise The Last of Us Surpassing House of the Dragon
HBO is on a roll this year. With The Last of Us and Succession making splashing headlines on the covers of magazines and publications, one has hardly cared to remember the other great namedrop that was released not too long ago. The Game of Thrones prequel spin-off, House of the Dragon did make an enormous (and fiery) entry when it launched in mid-2022. At the time, the series was going toe-to-toe with its faux opposition, The Lord of the Rings prequel spin-off released by Amazon, The Rings of Power. The audience was somewhat merry at the fanmade competition to see which secured a greater viewership and audience/critic scores at the end of the day.
Also read: “If he has a story that he wants to tell, I am there”: The Last of Us Original Joel Star Troy Baker Addresses Part 3 Amidst Rumors of Sony Eyeing PlayStation 6 Release
While House of the Dragon did surpass its contemporary, it isn’t until now that the marker of true greatness is being perceived by the very same audience who once cheered at dragons and dark sorcerers. The Last of Us now sits comfortably at the top after debuting at HBO with a record 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, after its 9-week-long harrowing journey, it ranks at a solemn 96%. House of the Dragon, on the other hand, trails behind at 93%.
And although both are drastically different with regard to content and structural theme, the core quality of the video game adaptation (on the basis of plot and gravity) makes it a far superior show compared to the high fantasy spin-off.
The Numbers Are In – TLOU Fans Troll HotD Viewership
Also read: The Last of Us Sets New HBO Record After House of the Dragon Beats Zendaya’s Euphoria Benchmark
The season finale of The Last of Us has polled at a record high on its premiere night with 8.2 million viewers clocking in to watch the epic showdown and Season 1 curtain call. The number is almost twice as high as the viewership registered on the series’ opening night on January 15 early this year – 4.7 million. According to reports from HBO, the series is averaging a cumulative eye count of 30.4 million viewers for The Last of Us Episodes 1 to 6. The number is way higher than House of the Dragon‘s average count of 29 million across all platforms.
‘THE LAST OF US’ has surpassed ‘HOUSE OF THE DRAGON’ in viewership.
— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) March 13, 2023
the superior showpic.twitter.com/zBFzifR1mj
— Joré (@venusions) March 13, 2023
PEAK TELEVISION pic.twitter.com/P4xQibBPiP
— 🦇 (@generalkenobix) March 13, 2023
Can’t wait for season 2. pic.twitter.com/qBuCnRPPly
— Joe G (@joegeis115) March 13, 2023
I’m so glad! Tlou is peak television and truly worthy of all the praise and success because it’s the representation of real source material unlike HoTD where the writers played with the original plot and fill in the blanks with scenarios that never took place in the book.
— Lena 🗡️ (@antiheroestan) March 13, 2023
See what happens when you do quality over quantity, Netflix take notes
— bee (@miudosmimados) March 13, 2023
— beza ▪︎ tlou spoilers (@ciastobezowe) March 13, 2023
Over the course of HBO’s expansive and wildly successful existence, this era has been the best in its incursion into genre-bending creativity. Craig Mazin’s contribution with his 2019 horror tragedy, Chernobyl, and Mike White’s comedy satire dissecting the world of the elite and the wealthy, The White Lotus, are truly peak creations. And even though House of the Dragon is currently being subjected to trolling, this too has been a worthy expansion of the inimitable universe established by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s Game of Thrones.
House of the Dragon and The Last of Us are currently available for streaming on HBO Max.