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Brutal Moments From The Last of Us That The Show May Include

Brutal moments from The Last of Us

Brutal moments from The Last of Us are not in short supply. The universe portrayed throughout that franchise is a bleak, post-apocalyptic nightmare where death waits around every corner. Across TLOU Parts 1&2, this hostile environment leads to a number of violent set-pieces and shocking acts being witnessed by the audience.

The upcoming TV adaption’s showrunners recently spoke about how they didn’t want to litter the show with relentless violence just for the sake of it, instead being more sporadic with those outbursts, causing them to have more of a visceral impact when they do occur. If those moments are indeed as sparse in the adaption as the showrunners claim, they will likely cherry-pick the most brutal moments from the show to incorporate. Below are some of the most brutal moments from The Last of Us that the show may include:

The Death of Riley

Playing through this sequence when you knew what was coming was tragic.
Playing through this sequence when you knew what was coming was tragic.

The death of Riley Abel is referenced in the first Last of Us game, however we never actually saw it play out until the Left Behind story DLC for TLOU dropped following the game’s release. Even then, we never actually saw Riley die onscreen; we see the lead up to the event, but we never actually see Riley succumb to the infected bite that we see her receive.

Also read: Things that HBO’s The Last of Us Can Learn From Other Video Game Adaptions

Therefore, you may be wondering why we chose to include an event that occurred off-screen as one of the most brutal moments from The Last of Us. The death of the young girl itself isn’t actually important in the grand scheme of things, instead it is what this death represents. Witnessing the trauma of your best friend dying in front of you at such a young age would be bad enough, but the fact that both of the girls got bitten and Riley died whilst Ellie lived; means that this is the origin of Ellie’s survivor’s guilt.

Riley’s death signals the death of Ellie’s childhood and that is what makes this one of the most brutal moments from The Last of Us.

Straight-Up Cannibalism

This guy is responsible for so many brutal moments from The Last of Us.
This guy is responsible for so many brutal moments from The Last of Us.

Even before we meet David and his band of evil henchmen, the audience has already been put through the emotional wringer whilst playing through that first game. Everything from sacrifices, to suicides, to the death of a child has already been witnessed by the player. And yet, when we first see David chopping up another human being in order to consume them, it still packs such a punch.

Also read: 5 Heart-Breaking Moments from The Last Of Us That We Aren’t Ready To Relive

Even in terms of the messed up standards of The Last of Us universe, David is a truly horrid individual. Between his willingness to eat another person in order to survive, to his clear pedophilic tendencies, David is a despicable character with absolutely no humanity left within him whatsoever. We never actually see what David was like before the outbreak, but one would be safe to assume that he was always an evil, horrible man before the world went to the dogs.

David’s cannibalism is the main reason that the winter period is the darkest portion of the first game and seeing him carve up that corpse is undoubtedly one of the most brutal moments from The Last of Us.

Joel’s Brutal Interrogation Techniques

The moment that Joel crossed the line.
The moment that Joel crossed the line.

Throughout the course of the first game, we hear a lot about Joel’s morally dubious exploits in the interim years between the current day and the date that the outbreak began. Although no specifics are revealed, there is enough implied to suggest that Joel has committed some morally corrupt deeds in order to survive over the years.

Although we are made aware that Joel is an adept fighter with no problems with killing right from the offset, it isn’t until Ellie is in jeopardy that we see the full extent of his ruthlessness. We first see him torture and kill two of David’s men during the winter segment of the game, however these were clearly bad people, given that they were part of a cannibal crew who held information regarding a kidnapped child.

Also read: 5 Apocalyptic Games to Play to Get Your ‘The Last of UsFix

The second time that we see Joel display such passionate violence in pursuit of information on Ellie’s whereabouts, is during the game’s final act. This time, he tortures and kills a Firefly soldier to gain the knowledge he desires. Whilst there is likely no purely, ‘good,’ people left in the world at this stage of the game, we have no way of knowing what sort of person this soldier was.

He wasn’t a cannibalistic cult-member, he was a soldier following orders. We do not know if this individual deserved to die. He was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time. He got in the way of a damaged individual committing a selfish, murderous act through pure happenstance. Seeing Joel murder this unnamed soldier is definitely one of the most brutal moments from The Last of Us.

Did we miss out any brutal moments from The Last of Us?
Did we miss out any brutal moments from The Last of Us?

What did you make of our list? Are there any other brutal moments from The Last of Us that you would like to see be included in the upcoming HBO adaption? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by Daniel Boyd

Daniel is a 27-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.