In The Last of Us, Joel and Ellie are on a long trip across the country when they run into two young brothers, Henry and Sam, who are on the run from hunters and also heading west in order to join a rebel group. In the show, Henry was just 10 when the cordyceps outbreak started and 17 when his brother was born. Their parents are dead now, and Henry is fiercely protective of his deaf, 8-year-old brother Sam — but he can't protect him forever.
Henry and Sam don't initially respond well to Ellie and Joel, assuming they're hunters and attacking them. After the brothers slow down and introduce themselves, they all become friends, and everyone agrees to try and exit the city together. With knowledge of hunters in the area, they embark, but get ambushed and forced into the sewers to escape, leading to Henry's worst nightmare and Sam's life in jeopardy.
So, does Sam die in HBO's 'The Last of Us?'
The group encounters a horde of infected in the sewers, a remnant of survivors who thought to hide out and live down there. While they try to sneak out, Joel triggers a booby-trapped door, which slams shut, separating the group and alerting the infected. They rush to escape, and make it out eventually to find shelter. But the next morning, a clearly infected Sam attacks Ellie. He's stopped by Henry, who puts Sam out of his misery, killing him, before turning the gun on himself.
What happened to Sam and how did the actors react to the difficult material?
It turned out that Sam had been scratched on the leg the day before by an infected, turning him into a runner. He had revealed it secretly to Ellie, who tried using her blood to cure him in vain.
The scene where Henry had to kill Sam was very difficult to shoot. As Lamar Johnson, who plays Henry, told Variety about their quick bond, "The first day we met, we were running around the production offices playing tag." He added about Keivonn Woodard, who plays Sam, "That is how organic and easy it was to connect with Keivonn. He has such a great spirit, great energy, that it was very easy to make that connection."
Johnson also talked about the scene when Henry has to kill Sam, and what it must have been like for the character. "If I had to sum it up in one word, I would just say 'shock.' It's so much for him, especially after everything he's gone through to protect Sam and everything they have gone through that night, for Sam to die by his hand."
He continued about why Henry decided to end his own life, "He was like, 'You are my purpose. You are my will to live here, the reason why I'm living, and the fact you are no longer here. I can't be here. I'm gonna go join you."