The Last of Us viewers left ‘devastated’ and ‘sobbing’ just 30 minutes into new HBO series

HBO’s new series The Last of Us left viewers “devastated” and “sobbing” after just 30 minutes of its opening episode.

Adapted from the acclaimed 2013 video game, the series is set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been taken over by a zombie-like fungal plague.

Pedro Pascal stars in the series as Joel, while Bella Ramsey plays the character Ellie.

Spoilers follow for the first episode of The Last of Us – you have been warned!

In the series prologue, set 20 years before the main story begins, we see Joel’s home life with his teenage daughter Sarah (played by Nico Parker, the daughter of actor Thandiwe Newton).

However, their hometown quickly descends into chaos after the fungal cordyceps outbreak begins to spread.

Joel and Sarah manage to escape from a number of infected people, before encountering a law enforcement officer, who shoots at them. Sarah then dies in Joel’s arms.

The harrowing twist – which arrived around half an hour into the episode – caught many viewers unfamiliar with the game by surprise.

Viewers shared their emotional reactions on Twitter.

Nico Parker as Sarah Miller and Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller in ‘The Last of Us' (HBO)
Nico Parker as Sarah Miller and Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller in ‘The Last of Us' (HBO)

“Bruh that first episode of The Last of Us was AMAZING!!!!!!!! They did such a good job omg – and that beginning hit so hard literally sobbing,” one person wrote.

“I would just like to report that I am physically unwell from the first episode of the Last of Us show, meaning yes, i have been sobbing, but i am also in a pure state of bliss because of how well done it is,” another wrote.

“Just like the game, the first 30 minutes or so of The Last of Us absolutely gutted me. Devastated,” someone else commented, while another person wrote: “I cannot breathe with how hard I am sobbing.”

It’s not just viewers who have been drawn into The Last of Us’s story. The series has drawn rave reviews from critics, setting a new record for video game adaptations on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

The Independent’s Nick Hilton was among those to praise the series, writing in his four-star review: “Right now, HBO is simply operating on a different level to any other network. With The Last of Us, it has another monster hit on its hands.”

The Last of Us is released on Sky and NOW in the UK and HBO in the US. New episodes arrive each Sunday evening at 9pm EST.