The Last of Us episode 6 introduces Ellie's horse companion from Part 2

Shimmer in The Last of Us episode 6
(Image credit: HBO)

Warning! This article contains minor spoilers for The Last of Us episode 6 and The Last of Us Part 2. 

The Last of Us episode 6 features a bunch of nods to Part 2 of the PlayStation game in which it's based, from the self-sufficient settlement in Jackson to Dina's blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo. Another is the introduction of Shimmer, Ellie's horse from the playable sequel.

After arriving in Jackson, Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) are shown around the commune by Tommy (Gabriel Luna) and his wife Maria (Rutina Wesley). During the tour, the foursome stumble across the stables, leading Ellie to spot a cute, little foal peeking out from one of the stalls. 

"That's our newest one, couple months old. You wanna pet her?" Maria says.

"Yeah, what's her name?" Ellie asks as she'd excitedly runs over. "Shimmer," Maria replies. 

"Shimmer. You're so beautiful," Ellie adds as she lovingly presses her face to the animal's nose. 

It's an adorable moment, made all the more sweet knowing that Ellie is assigned Shimmer in The Last of Us Part 2. Most notably, she's ridden by Ellie – and Dina – as the pair set out to explore Seattle. The horse doesn't actually feature in Part 1, but showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann must have not wanted to wait to weave her into the story.

When episode 6, titled 'Kin' aired, fans of the games wasted no time rushing to social media to react to the reference. Given Shimmer's fate in Part 2, which we won't go into here, many of the tweets were emotionally charged. Check out what viewers made of the moment below...

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The Last of Us continues on Sunday, February 26 on HBO and HBO Max in the US, and Sky Atlantic and NOW the following day in the UK. Make sure you never miss an episode by checking out our The Last of Us release schedule and our breakdown of how many episodes are in The Last of Us.

For more from the series, check out our guide to the major Last of Us episode 6 changes from the games and a terrifying look at the Cordyceps fungus

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.