The Last Of Us Season 1 Episode 7 Ending Explained

Episode 7 of The Last of Us tells the heartbreaking story of Ellie and Riley that happened before Episode 1. Here's everything about the ending.

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us episode 7 and the original game.

Episode 7 of The Last of Us follows Ellie and Riley's story, which ends in predictable tragedy for the HBO show. While The Last of Us episode 7 opened with Ellie trying to get Joel to safety, it quickly shifted the focus to Ellie's experience with Riley at the Boston QZ. The episode mostly takes place in this scene, roughly three weeks before the events of The Last of Us Episode 1.

As such, the episode jumps between Ellie and Riley's journey and Ellie's attempt to save Joel's life in the future. The decision to focus on Ellie's backstory could come as a shock due to the cliffhanger ending of The Last of Us Episode 6. That being said, Episode 7 of The Last of Us continues in the footsteps of its predecessor, expertly written, acted, and directed to tell an almost self-contained story, but with yet another tragic ending.

What Happened To Riley At The End Of Last Of Us Episode 7?

Much of Episode 7 of The Last of Us focuses on Riley and her relationship with Ellie, and it may come as a surprise when the ending doesn't properly reveal what happened to her. The last time I saw Ellie and Riley Episode 7 of The Last of Us takes place after they both get bitten by an infected host and they decide to sit together and wait for the Cordyceps infection to take hold of them. As we learned from The Last of Us Episode 1, Ellie ends up in the hands of Marlene and Firefly, but it's unclear what happened to Riley.

The obvious answer is that Riley turned into an infected monster after The Last of Us Episode 7, but the subtle hints of Ellie's role scattered throughout the show are truly heartbreaking. In episode 4 of The Last of Us, Ellie says that shooting Hunter wasn't the first time she hurt someone before deflecting Joel's problem. It can be deduced that Ellie was talking about Riley, and that Ellie was likely forced to shoot Riley after she transformed and the former discovered her immunity to The Last of Us.

How Did Ellie End Up With Marlene In Last Of Us Episode 1?

Another lingering question at the end of The Last of Us Episode 7 revolved around how Ellie ended up with Firefly during the events of The Last of Us Episode 1. From the latter it's clear that Marlene knew Ellie in The Last of Us Firefly's connection to Ellie's mother, Anna. However, this doesn't explain how Marlene found Ellie, which is neatly answered in episode 7 of The Last of Us. In that episode, it was revealed that Riley joined Firefly and was stationed at the mall to guard some of Firefly's supplies.

It is likely that Fireflies, including Marlene, ended up heading to the mall to retrieve their supplies or contact Riley after not hearing from her. Despite being bitten, Marlene finds Ellie alive here. This echoes the conversation between Marlene and Ellie in Episode 1 of The Last of Us, where Marlene reminds Ellie that she told Firefly not to shoot her after seeing her bitten. Then jump right into Episode 1 of The Last of Us, which kicks off the events of the series.

Does Ellie Save Joel’s Life In Last Of Us Episode 7?

Episode 7 also focuses on Joel's injuries in Episode 6 of The Last of Us, and Ellie's attempts to save his life. While much of the episode focuses on Riley and Ellie, the final scene sees the latter start stitching up Joel's stab wound. This is the setting for Episode 8 of The Last of Us, where Joel's wound becomes infected. Ellie will then meet David to get antibiotics and ultimately save Joel's life. That being said, the stitches in Episode 7 of The Last of Us went a long way toward reducing Joel's blood loss and helping the tissue heal heading into Episode 8. ^One aspect of episode 7 of The Last of Us that was very interesting was the way the show flipped the story of Joel and Ellie in episode 6. The entirety of Episode 6 of The Last of Us showed Joel's growing fear of his relationship with Ellie, and how his drive to save her from a previous loss stemmed from that. Episode 7 of The Last of Us, though, turns that around by focusing on Ellie's drive to save Joel as she grieves over the loss of Riley. It's a great way to show how each character feels about the other while making both parties more empathetic in the process.

The Last Of Us Episode 7 Flips Joel & Ellie's Story

"The Last of Us" episode 7 ends with Ellie stitching up Joel's wound, with the looming question of what happens next to the character. As previously mentioned, Ellie will eventually venture out into the cold to find food for her and Joel. If the HBO show continues to focus on The Last of Us games as closely as it currently does, Episode 8 of The Last of Us will see Ellie meet David. David is the leader of a community that offers to trade some of Ellie's antibiotics for Joel's infected wound in exchange for a deer she has captured.

What Happens Next To Ellie & Joel

However, it is revealed that the people who attacked Joel and Ellie at the end of The Last of Us Episode 6 were members of David's community. As it turned out, David took Ellie just to convince her to join his team, while at the same time sending someone to kill Joel, who did the same to his men. This leads to what is sure to be a climactic confrontation between Joel, Ellie, and David in Episode 8 of The Last of Us, which will change the main character dynamic forever.

With Riley's hints in The Last of Us finally paying off, the question of why the story is worth telling on the show remains. The importance has to do with Ellie's character arc, especially going into The Last of Us and the season 2 finale. The crux of Ellie's character arc throughout the series centers on Her immunity and how it often leads her survivors to feel guilty. This guilt also contributes to Ellie's main fear, which she describes to Sam and Joel in Episode 6 of The Last of Us, her fear of being alone.

Why Riley & Ellie’s Story Is Important To The Last Of Us

Both of these things—her survivor's guilt and fear—come from her experiences with Riley. Riley was Ellie's first love and the first person to tragically die of an infection after Ellie discovered she was immune. This affects the future of The Last of Us, explaining both why she's so close to Joel now and doesn't want him to leave her, and why she's so committed to her dream of a Firefly synthetic cure. All of which will play a big part in the last two episodes of The Last of Us, and even into season 2.

New episodes of The Last of Us air every Sunday on HBO.

More: Where did the fireflies go (and why they left) in The Last of Us Episode 6

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