The Last of Us episode 7 features a song with a special Part 2 meaning – and fans can't handle it

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

Warning! This article contains major spoilers for The Last of Us episode 7 and The Last of Us Part 2. If you've yet to catch up with the show or play the follow-up game, then bookmark this for later.

The Last of Us has proven already that it isn't afraid to emotionally devastate us viewers. Episode 7 was no exception, as it flashed back to Ellie's final day with her best friend Riley – but it was one particular moment that broke even those who have played the game before, and it involves a special song from The Last of Us Part 2.

Given that Ellie mentioned she was bitten in an "old, abandoned mall" in her former QZ back in episode 2, even those unfamiliar with the source material would've geared up for drama once Ellie and Riley made it to the derelict plaza. Then, in a nod to '80s means danger', Joel's code that Ellie figured out in the season opener, A-ha's 'Take on Me' starts playing as the pair descend the broken escalators and head to the shops. Ominous...

For those who have played the second game, though, the song is much more than just a warning signal. It features fairly early on in Part 2, after Ellie and Dina have set off to Seattle to track down the ex-Fireflies responsible for killing Joel. On their travels, the pair come across an old music store, where Ellie pulls out one of the guitars and shyly sings 'Take on Me' to Dina. Joel taught Ellie how to play guitar so the sweet scene already has a tinge of sadness to it. But with the HBO show having it play in Ellie and Riley's episode, which concludes with Riley succumbing to the Cordyceps infection, it draws a heartbreaking new parallel between Ellie's first and current loves – and the ultimate fate of both romances.

While Ellie and Riley's story was cut short by a tragic accident, Ellie and Dina's relationship breaks down due to Ellie's inability to see past her own grief and need for revenge. By using 'Take on Me' in both instances, it becomes less of a love song and more of a nod to lost love.

Predictably, those who have played the game were torn up by the song's inclusion in the series, with one viewer writing on Twitter: "No [because] why would they have Take on Me playing at the mall. They're SICK."

"NOT THEM PLAYING TAKE ON ME IM UNALIVING," another tweeted. Check out some more emotional reactions below...

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 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.