It wouldn’t be an episode of The Last of Us if it didn’t leave viewers sobbing, and Episode 7 was no exception. To close out February, the HBO series aired a throwback episode showing the friendship between Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Storm Reid’s Riley. As the episode showed us, an adventure into a shopping mall is what gave Ellie the bite on her arm, one which she was able to miraculously survive. Riley, on the other hand, succumbed to her injuries off-screen.
As Ramsey recalls on the latest episode of ComicBook.com and ET’s The Last of Pods, there’s a heartbreaking scene somewhere out there—not necessarily filmed, of course—where Riley ultimately died as a result of her bite.
“I did think about that quite a lot. Because it also was going to inform how Ellie is going forwards. I don’t know, depending on the level of trauma, it’s going to be different,” Ramsey says on the podcast. “But there was conversations that happened around that actually, and I think we agreed on… I don’t know whether to say because, it’s like, I think it’s up to people’s imaginations really. But from our point of view, I think Ellie probably had to make a really hard decision, and do something she really didn’t want to do, and experience great loss.”
Ramsey then goes on to recall a line in an earlier episode where Ellie says she remembers the first person she called, hinting that kill could have been Riley. Regardless, the actor adds the filmmakers ultimately opted to keep that plot thread unresolved.
“I don’t know if we ever did explicitly agree, and I think it’s more powerful that it’s kept unspoken, and kept to people’s imaginations,” Ramsey concludes. “Because I think the imagination can often be darker than reality.”
For more Last of Us content, check out ComicBook and Entertainment Tonight’s new podcast: The Last of Pods. The podcast will include breakdowns of each episode, interviews with special guests from the show, and more. The Last of Us airs on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. Eastern every Sunday with The Last of Pods debuting immediately following each show.