The Last of Us series: How the giraffe scene came about

The Last of Us Episode 9 Comparison Ellie Joel Giraffe Game

One of the most touching and beautiful scenes in The Last of Us is the one with the giraffe. Unsurprisingly, then, it also made it into the HBO series adaptation of the game. But how did the makers make it look the way it does? Neil Druckmann explains how the cult scene came about.

The Last of Us Series: Yes, the giraffe was actually real

That’s what it’s about: One of the for sure most famous scenes from The Last of Us game is the one in which Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie meet giraffes. They just move so freely through the post-apocalyptic world and even approach the two people.

This moment is particularly emotionally touching and beautiful, because of course it is very rare in the world of The Last of Us to be able to experience such natural beauty. The giraffes seem unaffected by the problems of humans and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) sees her at a moment when she is not feeling well.

This is what the giraffe scene looks like in The Last of Us game. © SIE/Naughty Dog

Shot with real animal: In the HBO film adaptation, a real giraffe was actually used for this scene. To make this possible, a Blue screen set up at Calgary Zoo. Against this background, the giraffe was then filmed.

So, in a sense, filming was taken to the giraffe and the zoo, and not the other way around: the Giraffe didn’t need to be transported to the set. That should also have been the least harmful to the animal.

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But also CGI included: Neil Druckmann explains in the Kinda Funny screencast that while the real giraffe was used, a few technical tricks helped. So there are not all practical effectsbut also a few CGI tools.

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The Last of Us: Everything there is to know about Episode 9 and Season 2

This is what else happened in Episode 9: If you want to know what else happened (and received) in the season finale of The Last of Us season one, we’ve got you covered Episode 9 recap here.

How close is the episode to the original? Like the rest of the series, the HBO film adaptation moves very closely to the events of the game in episode 9. However, there are also some minor deviations and things that have been added.

How about season 2? Good: one second season of The Last of Us series is coming in any case. It could take a while, but the following is already certain: One Recasting Ellie will only happen on one condition.

How do you like the first season and the giraffe scene? Did you think that was a real animal?