** This article contains spoilers **
For many fans of The Last of Us, the best episode of the first season was 'Long, long time'.
The episode was a deviation from the arc concerning main characters Joel and Ellie, with the focus instead being on two men named Frank and Bill, who were played by Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman respectively.
Long, long time was critically acclaimed and is actually regarded as one of the best television episodes of all time. It told the story of Bill, a survivor of the outbreak living an isolated existence in his home fortress who comes in contact with Frank, a fellow survivor.
As time passes, the pair eventually fall in love before Frank succumbs to a degenerative disease, leaving him on the cusp of dying. Bill, not wanting to live without his love, poisons himself as the two die peacefully in their bed.
Crucially, the bodies of the men were not shown in the episode, and there was a reason why, as explained by director Peter Hoar.
“That was always on the page, never to show the dead bodies. It’s also something we discussed as a group at the very beginning. It’s not gratuitous," he told Deadline.
"I think what EP Neil Druckmann would’ve would probably say is that the world of 'The Last of Us' is a very brutal one. And in brutal world, people are gonna get hurt and people are gonna experience horrendous trauma to their bodies and their minds. I think Craig thought we just didn’t need it. It wasn’t necessary."
Bella Ramsey on casting trolls
For the lead characters of Joel and Ellie, hundreds of actors were reportedly considered before Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey were eventually selected. For Ramsey, in particular, the online trolls were out in full force, criticising the casting decision as the actress does not look exactly like the video game version of Ellie.
Ramsey previously admitted she had the scathing comments online, telling the New York Times:
“It’s the first time I’ve ever had a negative reaction to something. There would be times I’d find it funny. Then I’d get to the end of a 10-minute scrolling session, put my phone down and realize: Maybe that was a bad idea.”
Ramsey, who has been acting since the age of 11, found major fame with a role in Game of Thrones before appearing in projects like Catherine Called Birdy and His Dark Materials.
The 19-year-old admits that she only now feels comfortable in the role of Ellie, but the feeling may be temporary once the trolls start attacking again.
“It’s only recently that I’ve accepted I am Ellie, and I can do it, and I am a good actor,” she said.
“But this will last for a few weeks and then I’ll think I’m terrible again. That’s just the process.”
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