I have no proof, but also no doubt that the 3 chapter ‘The Last of Us’ was the best way to explore Bill’s arc and end it, as it is much better than what happens in the game.
HBO’s The Last of Us series, an adaptation of the acclaimed video game of the same name, has exceeded all expectations. The series follows Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), an unlikely duo trying to survive on a road trip through post-apocalyptic America.
The series, which premiered in January 2023 and has garnered critical acclaim, has gone out of its way to tell a story that respects the source material and carves out its own legacy as part of ‘The Last of Us’ franchise. Episode 3 is a clear example of this, as it expands the story of Bill (Nick Offerman), a secondary character in the game who, as we had mentioned at the beginning of the article, his story arc had not been explored until now.
It is also worth mentioning that this episode is a completely original story that did not appear in the game, in which Bill manages to have an emotional love story with another survivor.
Does Bill die in the game?
Bill’s fate is a bit different in the game. As Bill meets up with Joel and Ellie after the latter group travels to their town. Joel tries to call in some favors for Bill by asking him to ride a working car. Bill agrees to do so, if Joel helps him retrieve the necessary parts.
On the way to the garage, they discover Frank’s body hanging from the ceiling with infected bite marks all over it. Bill then reveals that he lived with Frank for a while before they got into a fight. Bill even reads a suicide note Frank left him, revealing that he still despised him even in his decisive moments.
In the end, Bill helps them, arranging a car for them, driving off, and leaving Bill to his fate. He manages to survive, although he is visibly troubled by Frank’s death and his dying message.
But, wait a minute… Is Bill gay in the original ‘Last of Us’ game?
Although not explicitly stated, the game drops many hints to imply that Bill is gay. For example, after Joel and Ellie go out in one of Bill’s trucks, Ellie rummages through the back seat and discovers an old adult men’s magazine that belonged to Bill.
Even his sexuality was confirmed by the game’s director and co-creator of the series, Neil Druckmann. In a 2014 interview with Gay Gamer, Neil revealed that Bill’s sexuality was something he wanted to incorporate more overtly in the game, but that the final product left it ambiguous.
Bill story in the show ‘The Last of Us’
Episode 3 retrospectively chronicles Bill’s life as he survives the Cordyceps pandemic. In 2007, four years after the initial outbreak, as an avid doomsday prepper, he isolates himself in his small town with heavy weaponry and supplies. Eventually he meets a straggler named Frank (Murray Bartlett) and soon the two find themselves falling for each other.
In their relationship they learn to love and appreciate each other. So much so that Bill even learns to open to others, and ends up befriending Joel and Tess (Anna Torv), who trade with each other while avoiding the military.
In the present, after 16 years together, Frank has long been suffering from a degenerative disease, and Bill cares for him when he needs it most. In his final days, Frank asks Bill to marry him, while urging him to euthanize him shortly after the impromptu ceremony. Bill accepts his proposal and reluctantly agrees to poison him, but decides to die with Frank.
Bill and Frank are supposed to die together in each other’s arms, Bill leaving Joel all his supplies.
If you ask my opinion on this subject, I enjoyed Bill’s ending to the series more, as he was able to be able to live a full life with the man he loved and passes away peacefully in a series that death is just around the corner.