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The Last Of Us Episode 9's Giraffe Scene Is Taken Straight From The Game

Contains spoilers for "The Last of Us" Season 1, Episode 9 — "Look for the Light"

Over its nine episodes, HBO's "The Last of Us" has put viewers through a wringer. From the deeply moving, largely self-contained love story of Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) and the doomed teenage mall date Ellie (Bella Ramsey) has with Riley (Storm Reid) to Tess' (Anna Torv) horrifying last moments and the walking can of worms that's the extremely scary David (Scott Shepherd), the show has maintained a laser-like focus on the game's biggest story beats — expanding and condensing the original tale where necessary, and thankfully sparing the viewers from the majority of the game's pallets-and-ladders puzzle action. 

The final episode of the show's inaugural season, "Look for the Light," manages to cram in no less than two of these huge story beats. The endgame of the episode concerns itself with Joel's (Pedro Pascal) fateful rampage that saves Ellie's life, but may deprive humanity of its last chance to beat the Cordyceps infection. However, before the morally complex ending, we get the live-action version of a decidedly more light-hearted moment: Joel and Ellie's chance encounter with a herd of giraffes. The game's version of the event is easily one of its most touching moments, and fans are no doubt delighted to see that the show's take on the giraffe scene is taken straight from the source material.

The giraffe scene is as accurate to the source material as it gets

In the game, the memorable giraffe encounter is so effective because it initially plays out like a setup for one of the many dangerous situations the player's been forced to face at this point of the story. Lost in her thoughts and trauma, an unusually quiet Ellie (voiced by Ashley Johnson) suddenly perks up during one of the many ladder puzzles, and starts rushing further into the building while calling out for Joel (voiced by Troy Baker). The worried Joel chases after Ellie, bracing for the worst — when suddenly, he finds her standing in a wall-less room, facing a massive and friendly giraffe. 

Save for the addition of some pallets (gotta have those) and some minor changes in the building's architecture and with how the duo approaches the animal, the HBO version plays out in almost the exact same way as the game, right down to the way the giraffe encounter serves as a tonic that cheers Ellie up and helps her regain composure. 

The giraffe scene is a pivotal moment in the game, as well as one of the rare truly happy surprises "The Last of Us" has in store for its protagonists. As such, it's easy to appreciate how faithfully the experience translates to live action.