Does Riley die in The Last of Us? Answered

Let’s get poetic.

Image via HBO

HBO’s The Last of Us hit fans with all the feels during episode seven, titled “Left Behind.” Keeping the same name as the DLC from The Last of Us game, the episode gives viewers a look into Ellie’s past the night she got infected. The episode revolves around her night in a mall with her best friend, Riley. Riley recently left FEDRA school to join the Fireflies, and their perfect night is cut short by disaster. Let’s discuss the fate of Riley in The Last of Us.

How does Riley die in The Last of Us?

Episode seven of HBO’s The Last of Us plays out very close to the Left Behind DLC in The Last of Us game. Riley shows up late one night in Ellie’s room and brings her to the Boston QZ mall, which is supposedly locked down. There, she reveals to Ellie that the mall still has power, and shows her the wonders that the two have never experienced in this post-apocalyptic world.

Image via HBO

The two play on an escalator, ride a carousel, and even use a photo booth to take pictures in an almost exact recreation from the game, minus the Facebook jokes. Riley then shows Ellie the arcade, and eventually the two end up in a Halloween store after Ellie finds out that Riley is leaving with the Fireflies once the night is over.

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After a kiss that reveals the two share feelings for each other, they are interrupted by an infected that ends up biting both of them in a struggle. The event plays out the same, with Ellie getting angry whilst Riley sits in silence. The two talk about their options, with Riley stating that they should be poetic and lose their minds together, taking every last minute they have to spend together.

This scene is almost exact to the game. The only difference is that the Left Behind DLC includes a chase scenario where you play as Ellie as you and Riley flee from multiple infected. They almost escape via a paint scaffolding that leads out of an open window, but it gives way when Ellie climbs it. Riley jumps down to save Ellie, and they are both bit at this moment.

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Riley is an important character in Ellie’s life, and the title of “Left Behind” is extremely direct. While the two wait to turn into monsters together, it never comes for Ellie. Riley is not seen dead in either the game or the show, but it is implied that she turned while they waited and Ellie did not. She is literally left behind as her best friend and love interest is infected, and it is just as heartbreaking to witness in the show as in the game.