As season one of HBO's The Last of Us draws to a close, both old and new fans are left eagerly awaiting the next season. The show did an excellent job at adapting the original game, and over 8.2M people tuned in to watch the final episode. We also finally got to see a long-awaited scene that longtime fans have been ecstatic to see on the big screen – but the poignant moment has divided viewers.
In the original 2013 game, there is a lovely moment of bonding between Joel and Ellie where they meet a giraffe as they arrive in Salt Lake City. Formerly residents of the city zoo, the herd now wanders the dilapidated streets freely. It's one of the most memorable from the game, and considering how many nerdy Easter eggs the producers have slipped into the series it makes sense that HBO would go all out and hire a real giraffe to keep fans happy.
So why the confusion? For the surrounding ruins of Salt Lake City, a blue screen background was used to later add visuals. Joel, Ellie and the giraffe were all real, but fans are speculating that the use of the blue screen and therefore the addition of artificial lighting at a later date has left a bizarre tinge to the giraffe's fur that made it look out of place.
Behind the scenes of the Giraffe scene#TheLastofUs #TheLastofUsHBO #TheLastofUsEp9 #TLOU #HBO pic.twitter.com/99RyG3jUFnMarch 13, 2023
Was the giraffe in the last of us finale real or CGI?March 13, 2023
I'll admit – I also thought the giraffe was fake. With so much conversation (and surprise) happening online at the realisation that the creature was indeed real and not animated, it makes you wonder if it was worth using a real giraffe in the first place. Saying that, I'm happy they did go that extra mile for such a poignant moment by using the real deal – and apparently his name is Nabo. Good to know, right?