Image via HBO
The following article contains major spoilers for HBO’s The Last of Us in its entirety
The Last of Us concluded its two-month, nine-episode run on HBO last week, officially and satisfactorily closing the curtains on its debut season while also leaving some threads hanging for the inevitable second installment. After Ellie took a meat cleaver to James’ neck and decimated David’s body (well-deserved, we think) in “When We Are in Need,” Joel makes a split-second, life-altering decision that means all the senseless violence and brutal killings amount to exactly nothing.
Unable to bring himself to stand idly by and let Ellie die from the cure extraction process, Joel takes matters into his own hands to save his surrogate daughter. He grabs a rifle, breaches the hospital, and makes quick work of slaughtering anyone and everyone that stands in his way — including Marlene. When a shadowy figure flees the massacre with what appears to be braided hair, The Last of Us fans assumed the survivor to be a character from Naughty Dog’s source material.
Fans thought the faceless figure to be Abby Anderson, the antagonist of The Last of Us: Part II and presumably the second season of HBO’s hit adaptation. The blink-and-you-miss-it snapshot sparked discourse on Reddit as users slowed the shot frame by frame to decipher (with nothing but a bunch of pixels) whether the “braid” was even a braid at all. Some comments thought it to be a coincidence and that the ‘braid’ was, in fact, a bag strap. Whether it was intentional or not, the camera…