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TLOU: The Show's Version Of David Might Have Come From Unused Game Dialogue

In apocalyptic media, it's become commonplace for the scariest thing around to not simply be the monsters lurking about but what remains of humanity's basest instincts. That's on full display in HBO's "The Last of Us," which has been rather light on clickers and bloaters but has showcased some truly demented human beings trying to carve out a life for themselves in this strange new world. 

Arguably, the worst human of the lot so far is David (Scott Shepherd) in Episode 8, a preacher leading a destitute group of survivors who have resorted to cannibalism to survive. As the episode goes on, David's true dark nature gets more and more revealed as he slaps a young girl who's part of his group. And while he initially seems kind toward Ellie (Bella Ramsey), wanting to spare her life, his true intentions are revealed. He ends up attacking Ellie as the lodge burns around them, almost assaulting her sexually before Ellie gains the upper hand. 

In the game, David is definitely a bad person, but the series takes him even further. As it turns out, there may have been a version of the game that presented this darker version of the character, as there's some unused dialogue that hints at his true nature. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Unused dialogue reveals David originally leaned more into cult-y facets

A lot of time and energy goes into making a video game. Much like a film, not everything recorded or created ends up in the finished product. However, in the aftermath of "The Last of Us" Episode 8 coming out, Redditor u/-anne-marie- brought up this little tidbit they had discovered years earlier: "Fun fact: about 6 years ago, I went through 35,000 sound files from the first game to compile an unused dialogues playlist that were recorded by the voice actors but never used in the game. David's character in the game originally had a lot more of the Christian cult-y lean that we just saw in the show, which I thought was a cool detail for them to expand on."

Going back to the original post, most of the snippets sound fairly inconsequential, like Joel making a fuss over his flashlight. But the David dialogue suggests there was always supposed to be more to this character than what players got in the game. And seeing how the game's director, Neil Druckmann, also worked on the HBO series, it makes sense that he'd want to perhaps incorporate some of his original ideas into the show to better flesh out the character.

The result is one of the most unsettling characters in a TV show ever and someone who will remain in Ellie's psyche and inform her decisions for some time to come. "The Last of Us" comes to a head this Sunday night on HBO with the final episode of Season 1 airing.