Why Infected People Are Not Called "Zombies" in The Last of Us (and Never Will Be)
The infected in The Last of Us were never called zombies, but that was beyond a set decision and part of the story itself.
The Infected in The Last of Us share some similar properties to traditional zombies, but the term is never used in the show to refer to them. In fact, the game deliberately doesn't refer to them as zombies. With all the hype surrounding the post-apocalyptic series, the natural inclination of many viewers is to compare it to The Walking Dead. That comparison can be misleading, though, because while the shows share elements, The Last of Us isn't a zombie show.
The Last of Us earns its reputation as a story-driven video game primarily because it focuses on its two main characters, and is actually rather vague and limited in terms of worldbuilding. Through the flashbacks in the TV series, viewers can better understand the origin of the epidemic, as well as better show the background stories of different characters and regions of the world. However, many of these side stories carry information about Joel and Ellie, since they are the main focus of the show. Whether zombies or infected, the human connection between Joel and Ellie is a central theme of the series.
Infected From The Last Of Us Aren't Technically Zombies
Although an infected person may have The Walking Dead or other zombies in pop culture, it's not correct to call them that. They may want to devour humans, but the main difference is that the infected are not reanimated corpses, and they have no intention of cannibalism. Instead, the Infected in The Last of Us are living victims infected with the Cordyceps fungus with the goal of spreading the disease, which is what viewers see in Episode 2 after Tess dies. Additionally, the infected are linked by a shared consciousness based on their area, which makes them even more terrifying, as Cordyceps presents an interconnected network that can revive an infected from miles away.
Also, some people persist when infected, such as Sam's deafness. The origin of the infection in The Last of Us is a different idea than the TV adaptation, with the addition of a backstory in Jakarta, Indonesia. The series provides the scientific backdrop for the infection to make it more grounded and realistic, adding to the horror in a way that the usual zombie shows might not. Cordyceps whole delivery The world's methods of infecting its victims, in its food supplies like flour and sugar, in common items like bread and rice, make it more likely and make civilizations change in a flash. The series even tries to root out this cause in reality by suggesting that the fungus is mutating to infect humans due to global warming.