June 25, 2024

Editor’s Note: Contains spoilers for The Last of Us Season 1the world of The last of us it is all dark and dark. Humanity is scrambling to survive against the mutated Cordyceps fungus and each other. Moments are few The last of us those that allow us to breathe through its pessimistic tones are the most cherished. In the original video game and critically acclaimed HBO adaptation, Joel Miller (Peter Pascal) and Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey) will encounter a family of giraffes when they are crossing an abandoned building on their way to Santa Maria Hospital. It’s a short scene, but the relief it brings is much appreciated, as it serves as a reminder that life finds a way to move on. It also reinvigorates the spirit of hope and innocence despite the world that the Infected have left devastated and devastated.


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What giraffes symbolize in ‘The Last of Us’

Ellie feeding a giraffe in The Last of Us season 1 finale
Image via HBO

Throughout history, giraffes have been used as symbols of hope, innocence, and life moving forward. In the game, Sarah keeps a stuffed giraffe in her room in the prologue of the original source, before she gets the infection which can be interpreted as a stage symbolism of the innocence of the world. As part of the downloadable content, The Last of Us: leave behind, the giraffes can be found in the claw machine at Raja’s Arcade when Ellie and Riley escape to Boston’s Liberty Gardens mall. Here, the giraffes represent another moment of innocence, as they are both fleeing the state of the world and the militant war between PHEDRA and the Fireflies, who raised and indoctrinated them. There is also an aspiration within the escapism as we watch them deal with their feelings for each other. This carries an undertone of wanting more than what was born and a possible future together, even at such a young age.

Within the show and compared to later meaning, Ellie, Tess (Anna Torv), and Joel makes his way through the city in Episode 2 of the live-action series, they pass a stuffed giraffe toy on the floor. It’s messy and dirty, and while it may be a simple Easter egg, it can be seen symbolically in a couple of ways: It can be a reference to the effects the Infected have had on the world’s hope and innocence, or it can be a testament to the hope that can still be found in its current decrepit state.

As we travel the country with Joel and Ellie, the same use of symbolism can be found throughout the world. Within the video game, players encounter promotional posters for movies like “Giraffic Park” and zoos, all of which continue to show viewers glimpses of a bygone world untouched by mutated fungi. As we pass through Ish’s shelter in the sewers of Pittsburgh, the kids in his group have painted giraffes on the walls as decorations to keep a sense of the world they lost and want back. At the end of the game and the end of the first season of the show, fans can see it on the walls of the Pediatric Hospital of Santa Maria. This part has a deeper meaning, emphasizing Joel’s desperation to return to the life he had and Ellie’s hope to save him from the horrible future that is part of humanity.

Culturally, giraffes have many meanings that can be seen in the first season The last of us. They are often seen as restoring balance, an aspirational totem, and a safe guide through the toughest of times because of their size and keen vision. In the momentary bliss of desolation afforded to Joel, Ellie, and the audience, we see all of this come into play. It shows us the contradictory assurance that life goes on regardless of humanity, giving us hope that somewhere in this bleak world there is a glimmer of light. As we breathe in the awesome characters, it gives us comfort that beauty still exists in an otherwise wretched world.

What ‘The Last of Us’ Giraffe Scene Means for Joel and Ellie

The Last of Us Episode 9 Pedro Pascal Joel Bella Ramsey Ellie
Image via HBO

After her harrowing encounter with David and the cannibals, Ellie is understandably distraught. He is no longer the happy, cheerful kid that fans have come to know. Instead, he has become reserved and aloof, much like Joel, until something off-stage suddenly pulls him from behind. When we finally catch up, we find Ellie standing in front of a family of giraffes, something she’s probably seeing for the first time. As Joel joins her, this scene serves multiple purposes: both Ellie and Joel are offered a vivid, colorful light in the darkness after both have had almost everything, including their lives, ripped from them. Seeing this family of giraffes seemingly out of phase with an otherwise living nightmare serves as a reminder of the bigger picture and strengthens the resolve to move forward.

The moment they interact with and feed the giraffes not only strengthens the father-daughter bond between Ellie and Joel, but also affects them individually. Joel remembers how much he misses and misses being a father, as well as what Ellie’s trauma means to him. While this may seem like a good thing, the display of life moving forward regardless of circumstances gives him a false reason for making the decision he made to desperately reclaim his lost life by presenting Ellie as his own. As for her, as Ellie struggles to cope with her recent trauma, she brings herself back to herself in this beautiful experience. She emerges from her encounter with David with a sense of purpose, reminded that there is more to life than the enormous bubble they exist in and that it is the key to the survival of the human race. This flicker of hope gives him the determination he needs to carry on with his sacrifice and do whatever he can to aid in the fight against the Infected.

Will We See More Giraffe References in ‘The Last of Us’ Season 2?

In The last of us: II. the part, After the time jump where Joel and Ellie live in Jackson, players can notice a stuffed giraffe in Ellie’s house on her bed. At the same time, it can be seen as a contextual connection between him and Sarah, as well as a totem of hope, a guide to his uncertain future and a memory of a significant part of his life. Since this is more of an inference than something directly communicated to the audience, there is no guarantee that the HBO series will return for a second season. However, that doesn’t deny it or something similar. Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann They already know how to plant Easter eggs, so they can easily find a way to incorporate giraffe symbolism or something similar.

All episodes of The last of us are currently available on HBO Max.

Find out everything we know so far about Season 2 The last of usincluding how much it will connect The last of us: II. the part.

Read more about ‘The Last of Us’

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