The Last of Us star explains their off-screen fate in episode 7's emotional ending

Bella Ramsey as Ellie and Storm Reid as Riley in The Last of Us
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us episode 7. If you've yet to tune in, turn back now!

The Last of Us episode 7 adapts Left Behind, the acclaimed add-on for those who complete the original PlayStation game. In the source material, we see via flashbacks how Ellie, who's played by Bella Ramsey in the show, spent her final day with best friend Riley – and how she wound up getting bitten.

Given the fact that that happened, even those who have not played Left Behind or watched episode 7 can assume the story ends in tragedy, with the friends-turned-lovers having been attacked by an infected while exploring the old, abandoned mall in their Boston QZ. 

In both the DLC and the show, we don't see Riley turn and Ellie, who's immune, forced to kill the person closest to her. Now, Ramsey has explained why, telling Variety (opens in new tab): "I'm sure they talked about that possibility, but the first scripts that we got, you didn't see it. 

"I think sometimes the things that you don't see are more impactful, because then it's left to your imagination, which can sometimes be even darker than what maybe you'd see on screen. I like that it ends so poetically. I think it's more heartbreaking, Riley saying, 'Let's be all poetic and lose our minds together," it's horrendous to then know what happens after that. 

"The fear and the confusion that Ellie felt, and the survivor's guilt. There's so much that comes with that. I think it's actually more impactful that it wasn't shown," they continued. "You see the effects of that on Ellie throughout the rest of the season."

The Last of Us continues on Sunday, March 5 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 7 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.