Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Details You May Have Missed In HBO's The Last Of Us Trailer

Fans of "The Last of Us" have gotten to see a few brief looks at the upcoming HBO adaptation, courtesy of some still images from set and a teaser that debuted in August. The hype has only grown with the release of an all-new trailer, which gives fans a closer look at some of their favorite characters being brought to life.


The series, which follows the characters Joel and Ellie as they fight for survival and a chance to cure the infection that has decimated humanity, is set to debut in 2023. And as fans can tell from the new trailer, the show aims to bring the games to the screen in a way that is very faithful to the players' experience. In fact, there are a few small details that you may have missed in HBO's newest trailer, which appear to illustrate just how beholden to the source material the upcoming series really is.

Beware of spoilers ahead for the story of "The Last of Us."

The Fireflies can't be covered up

In the aftermath of the Cordyceps virus spreading throughout the United States, much of the country was forced into quarantine zones. The US government eventually fell apart and created a power vacuum. From there, FEDRA stepped up as the de facto authority in a post-Cordyceps world — and it ruled with an iron fist. This type of oppressive military faction divided what remained of the United States' population, prompting the creation of the militia group known as the Fireflies.


The easily distinguishable Fireflies logo can be spotted seconds into the latest trailer for "The Last of Us," when civilians in one of the quarantine zones can be seen covering up pro-Fireflies graffiti with white paint as two FEDRA agents monitor them. In the first game, FEDRA and the Fireflies are in all-out war against one another, although the Fireflies really only appear at the beginning and ending of the game. Judging from this one shot in the trailer, it's possible that the HBO series will show a bit more regarding the Fireflies and their ongoing battle against FEDRA.

Ellie's arrival may be less friendly than in the game

In the original game, Ellie is introduced to Joel and his companion Tess by the Fireflies' leader, Marlene, under mostly amicable circumstances. Though there is a slight misunderstanding on Ellie's part when Marlene arrives to their rendezvous wounded, everything is cleared up pretty quick. Some tensions exist between Ellie and Joel initially, especially after he finds out that she's infected. However, if one shot from the HBO series' trailer is any indication, things might not be as friendly in this interpretation.


Just 13 seconds into the trailer, Ellie can be seen looking over a Fireflies motto scrawled on the wall, and in the very next shot, Ellie's ankle can be seen shackled to the ground. Unlike in "The Last of Us," where Ellie was a willing participant and was shown to have a close relationship with Marlene and presumably other Fireflies as well, it seems like the series might make it so that Ellie is a prisoner of the Fireflies. After all, her immunity can lead to a cure which — even in a post-apocalyptic world — would be very valuable. Considering how things turn out towards the ending of "The Last of Us," the idea of the group keeping Ellie against her will isn't too out of character.

Riley on the carousel

The new trailer also introduces fans very briefly to a character who is hugely important to the story, although she never appears in the "modern day" sections of the games. As Ellie rides a carousel in a brief moment of happiness, we see that she's looking at her best friend Riley, played by "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Euphoria" star Storm Reid. Reid's casting was announced back in January (per Deadline), but this is the first time fans are getting to see footage of her in character. 


Riley Abel appears in the comic book "The Last of Us: American Dreams" and in the DLC chapter for the first game, "The Last of Us: Left Behind." Riley set off on her own to become a one of the Fireflies, even killing one of the infected in order to cement her membership, but tried to protect Ellie from some of the harsh truths surrounding the group. Ellie and Riley also share a kiss during the events of "Left Behind," although their would-be relationship eventually ends in tragedy.

The encounter Riley and Ellie have with the infected leads directly into Ellie's discovery that she's immune to the Cordyceps, kicking off the chain of events in the first game (and the TV series). At this time, it's unknown how much of "American Dreams" and "Left Behind" will be adapted for the show, but fans of the game will no doubt recognize the carousel from one of the DLC's most heartfelt sequences.


Winter is coming

Although it's unclear how much of the ancillary material from the games will be adapted, it sure looks like the first season of the new series will be covering a significant portion of time. At one point in the trailer, our heroes can be seen traversing a bridge covered in snow — which would seem to hint at an adaptation of the game's most harrowing section.


The main events of "The Last of Us" play out over the course of roughly a year, taking players through chapters titled "Summer," "Fall," "Winter," and "Spring." About midway through the game, Joel finds himself grievously injured. As Ellie nurses him back to health, the game shifts to wintertime, during which she has to protect herself from the elements and the advances of a band of cannibals. Much of this section of the game sees Ellie (and eventually Joel) trudging their way through the snow in a fight for survival. 

Another moment that seems to strongly hint that Ellie will face David and his horrific cannibal crew this season arrives right at the end of the trailer: As Joel attempts to calm the young woman down, her face is covered in someone else's blood. This appears to be the TV show's version of a moment that fans of the game will know all too well.