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Ellie and Riley Fan Art Can Mend Your ‘The Last of Us’ Broken Heart

We can be all poetic and lose our minds together.

Ellie and Riley being cute in Halloween masks.

Every week we turn on The Last of Us to have our hearts broken. I’m not exaggerating when I say I have cried at least once during every episode. I think I sobbed for at least half of “Long Long Time.” Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t always sad tears. The story of Bill and Frank was lovely in all the best ways.

Another episode that brought on happy tears was episode 6, “Left Behind.” Most of the story focused on Ellie (Bella Ramsey) before she met Joel (Pedro Pascal). Back in the Boston QZ, Ellie attended a FEDRA school meant to train children into being soldiers. Ellie’s only friend, Riley (Storm Reid), had gone missing, leaving Ellie alone. One night, Riley popped back into their dorm room to whisk Ellie away to see the four wonders in an abandoned mall. Before turning tragic, it was a beautiful episode showing the blossoming love between the two teenagers.

Related: What Is Bella Ramsey’s Height in HBO’s The Last of Us? on Twinfinite

Fan art remembers the good times

Ellie and Riley explored the mall and wondered at things we find mundane. It was a glimpse into how children would grow up in the post-apocalyptic world. The episode also provided insight into the characters themselves. Ellie is less guarded than we had ever seen her and more vulnerable. The two played video games, rode a carousel, and share a first kiss. It was adorable. Of course, these were moments that fans of the show wanted to immortalize with their art.

Most of the fan art replicated scenes from the episode where Ellie and Riley looked cutely at each other.

One of my favorite parts of “Left Behind” was when Ellie and Riley used the photo booth. They were just as awkward and endearing as any other teens using the machine with their crushes.

One thing I loved about this episode was that they didn’t make us live through the horrible part. An infected attacked the two while they were enjoying themselves in the Halloween store. Even though they take out the creature, both Ellie and Riley end up bitten. Both can see the writing on the wall, yet we know that Ellie actually made it out alive. Cutting Ellie’s flashback before we see Riley’s ultimate demise let some of the happiness we saw remain, without taking away from the loss.

With fan art, we can remember the good times and how wonderful Ellie and Riley were together, even if it was brief.

(Featured image: HBO)

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D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a freelance pop culture writer. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. She fangirls over the X-Men, folklore podcasts, and historical fantasy. When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse and offspring.