The first official image of Joel and Ellie in HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us has been revealed. As part of Naughty Dog’s annually celebrated ‘Outbreak Day’ on September 26, HBO revealed the first glimpse of former Game Of Thrones stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey at the bottom of a valley, looking toward a crashed plane at the top of a hill.

Sadly, we don't see their faces, but the costume design is pretty spot-on. The image is striking and also wholly original from the game’s source material, as there was no scene from the game to reflect this teaser.

Whether or not the downed plane will play a central role in the first season or serve as a fleeting, yet devastating reminder of the apocalyptic world they now inhabit, it’s hard to say. It does, however, fall in line with comments Neil Druckmann made that major parts of the series would “deviate greatly” from Naughty Dog’s source material. If we’re going by what we see in the photo, it’s likely these events take place at some point after Joel and Ellie escape the Boston Quarantine Zone, supported by the absence of Tess, and take to the road, perhaps toward Bill’s town. 

“It’s funny to see my dialogue there from the games in HBO scripts. And sometimes they deviate greatly to much better effect because we are dealing with a different medium,” Druckmann added.

The Last of Us begun filming in Calgary, Canada on July 5, with an extensive shoot expected to last until June 8, 2022. The scale of the shoot was described by Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney as “the largest ever, I believe, film or television production in Canadian history."  

Last week, a production listing appeared to connect Neil Druckmann to his directorial debut on The Last of Us. The listing revealed Druckmann’s name alongside the adaptation’s other directors, including the co-creator of the series, Craig Mazin and Kantemir Balagov.