What Happened To Riley In The Last of Us? Explained

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The Last of Us character Riley
The Last of Us character Riley

HBO’s hit series, “The Last of Us,” has captivated audiences with its gripping storyline and intense action. Set two decades after a deadly pandemic ravaged the world, the show follows the journey of two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they navigate a dangerous and unforgiving world.

One of the standout features of the show is its use of flashbacks to flesh out the characters’ histories. While this narrative device may not have worked in the original video game on which the show is based, it adds a layer of depth and emotional resonance to the series.

In particular, the story of Riley, a key character in The Last of Us prequel DLC, is explored in greater detail through these flashbacks. Her experiences and interactions with Ellie are shown to have had a significant impact on the young girl’s development and outlook on the world.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the series, The Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a deadly fungus has all but wiped out humanity. Those who are infected become mutated and aggressive, known as “the infected.” Joel, a seasoned survivor, is tasked with escorting Ellie, a young girl born after the pandemic, out of a quarantined zone. What follows is a harrowing journey that tests both of their limits and forces them to rely on each other for survival.

The relationship between Ellie and Riley, explored in episode seven of the series, is a pivotal moment in the show’s storyline. Their bond and the events that unfold between them have a profound impact on Ellie’s character and motivations and serve as a reminder of the importance of human connection in a world that has been torn apart by tragedy.

What happens to Riley in The Last of Us?

Fans of The Last of Us may remember the fate of Riley in the game’s DLC released in 2014. While discovering the city out of the Boston quarantine zone, Riley and Ellie were attacked by Infected, leading to a devastating turn of events.

The Last of us
The Last of us HBO series

The two characters met while attending a FEDRA-operated military school, both having lost their parents to the outbreak. Despite the harsh circumstances, they bonded over their adventurous spirit and love for exploration. Their journey took them to an abandoned mall outside the quarantine zone, where they indulged in arcade games like Mortal Kombat.

It was in a decrepit Halloween store where the pair shared a kiss, a tender moment that would ultimately be overshadowed by the tragedy that followed. Riley revealed that she had joined the Fireflies, a group of resistance fighters, and had been assigned to another quarantine zone by their leader Marlene.

The Last of Us
The Last of Us HBO Series

The scene, which closely followed the Left Behind DLC, saw the characters dance to the tune of Etta James’ “I Got You, Babe” before the action kicked off. During the chaos, a runner woke up, and two characters were viciously attacked. To make matters worse, one of the main characters, Ellie, discovered that she had been bitten by the virus. However, the tension escalated when her companion, Riley, also revealed that she had been bitten.

In the face of such dire circumstances, Riley proposed two options to her friend. The first option was to take the easy way out and end their lives quickly and painlessly. However, Ellie was not keen on this idea, prompting Riley to suggest a second option: to fight and make the most of the time they had left.

In a poignant speech that mirrored the game, Riley urged Ellie to fight for every second they had together, whether it was two minutes or two days. Despite the overwhelming odds against them, Riley was determined to stay with Ellie and face the challenges together.

This gripping scene from the Left Behind DLC was a faithful adaptation of the original material, as noted by Bloody Disgusting. It showcased the gritty and emotional struggle that the characters faced in a world overrun by a deadly virus.

Does Riley die in The Last of Us?

There has been no official confirmation that Riley died in the finale of “The Last of Us.” In the game, Riley was a close friend of Ellie and a fellow survivor who accompanied her on a pivotal mission that revealed more about Ellie’s backstory and personality. However, their journey ended tragically as Riley was bitten by an infected person and succumbed to the disease, leaving Ellie to mourn her loss and reflect on the harsh realities of their situation.

Riley from Last of Us
Riley from Last of Us

Although the show’s creators have not confirmed Riley’s fate, it is widely assumed that she will meet the same fate as in the game, given the established rules of the fictional universe. Moreover, the show’s focus is primarily on Ellie and Joel, played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, respectively, as they encounter new challenges and allies on their way to a potential cure for the pandemic.

One of the key factors that set Ellie apart from other survivors is her immunity to the fungal infection that has decimated most of humanity. As the show progresses, viewers will see how Ellie copes with this gift and the responsibilities it brings. As well as the dangers she faces from those who seek to exploit or eliminate her for it.

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By Ritik Jain

Movieholic is the word that describes me best. Love to read and write about movies, tv shows and web series. A bit of a gamer as well as an anime and manga fan.

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