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TLOU Episode 8: Fans Are Glad HBO Skipped This Minor Death From The Game

This article contains spoilers for "The Last of Us" Episode 8, titled "When We Are in Need."

"The Last of Us" has made considerable changes to its source material in its first season. While the larger narrative and character arcs are mostly 1:1, the television series does feature a wide variety of differences from the video game. With the penultimate episode, for example, audiences were treated to a more sinister and sadistic version of David (Scott Shepherd) than the one seen in the game. While character changes are expected (and definitely welcome), series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have gone so far as to make core changes to how the series is presented.

Take Melanie Lynskey's angered and powerful Kathleen, who rules the Kansas City quarantine with an iron fist. The character, who serves as a foil to Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Montreal Woodard) was solely for the television series. Even with a few changes here and there... Mazin and Druckmann are still preserving all the deaths in the game. Unfortunately, in the world of "The Last of Us," audiences have to worry more about their favorite characters dying than the existential threat of the infected. No one is safe. Not the courageous Henry. Or the artistic and kind-hearted Sam. Even the more-than-capable and totally bad-ass Tess (Anna Torv) didn't make it past Episode 2. All these deaths, and many more, are in line with the narrative first introduced in PlayStation game.

However, Episode 8 did a major switch-up on fans by not highlighting a (minor) death from the game.

The bunny is safe and most fans are OK with it

In the penultimate episode, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) goes on the hunt to catch some game for her and Joel (Pedro Pascal). She comes across an innocent white rabbit, minding its own business. Ellie goes for the kill, only to trip and fall, letting the critter hop away to safety. While in the series this little mishap suggests that Ellie isn't as capable with a weapon as she thinks she is (the end of the episode says otherwise), in the game... she kills the rabbit with an arrow. It's certainly a contentious moment for fans of the game, as they've previously expressed displeasure at Ellie going after a rabbit. Several YouTubers and streamers have gone viral for their devastating reactions to the dead bunny.

"Bunny won this time," cheered Reddit user u/OldTrailmix at the mammal making it to another day. "I guess everything happens for a reason." Another fan expressed mixed emotions at not seeing the rabbit die, seeing as in the game, the bunny's death signals the opening of the winter section. "I was very excited to see that scene, and then my heart got broken in a way I wasn't expecting tonight," they wrote. "Was almost certain they would include that scene as the opening." 

User u/Miniimillie said that they knew the bunny would live after seeing Ellie without her bow and arrow, suggesting that killing the rabbit would have been too much for HBO. Meanwhile on Twitter, user @karadykers joked that everyone on the series is dying except the bunny. While most fans were relieved the bunny could go home to their family, user @AvidSky1999 despised the change. "The Last of us didn't open with a rabbit getting shot," they shared. "My disappointment is immeasurable and my night is ruined."