The Last of Us, the long-awaited and highly anticipated series from HBO, has lived up to its hype.

On its series premiere, it achieved a remarkable feat by drawing in 4.7 million viewers across the U.S., making it the second most successful debut for HBO since Boardwalk Empire, which achieved 4.8 million viewers when it premiered over a decade ago.

The HBO Max series is the first live-action adaptation since the video game wowed audiences way back in 2013.

Just like the games, the series is set in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by an unstoppable, brain-eating, fungal outbreak that transforms humans into cannibals. 

The writers have been commended for honouring the original source material, which rapidly gathered a devoted fan base when it first came out. The engaging storylines, impressive visuals, and music propelled it to its massive success.

​​Joel, portrayed by Pedro Pascal, is a ruthless smuggler who is responsible for transporting the young teen Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey) to a medical facility situated on the opposite side of the country after it turns out she’s immune to the infection, leading him to believe she could hold the cure to the deadly parasite.

The Last of Us premiered on Sunday night, has been met with rave reviews from both critics and fans, resulting in an unbelievable score of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s clear the show is going down well with viewers, and many have taken to social media to share their thoughts…

One wrote: “I’ve been a big The Last of Us fan for years and know the story beats, but nothing in the video game introduced such scary foreboding dread than the opening scene of the show.”

While another tweeted: “As a fan of The Last of Us series for years, I have to say this adaption from the pilot alone has to be one of the best I’ve seen in ages & I just know this is going to be one of the best pieces of TV this year. I really loved it.”

Some are even claiming the show is better than the games.

The show has stuck to the gameplay religiously, in parts, recreating scenes frame by frame. And it has really paid off, as original fans are loving seeing the story come to life in a different way…

One viewer tweeted: “The Last of Us show copies all of the most important creative decisions directly from the game, and they all work better in this medium. My hot take is that TLOU should never have been a video game in the first place.”

Another wrote: “The Last of Us show is gonna be better than the games.”

“Thirty Minutes into Last of Us show and dare I say better than the game so far…?” a third chimed.

Despite its successful debut, the show just falls short of the top spot, which was snapped up by House of the Dragon last year. The Game of Thrones spinoff had a remarkable debut – making history with 9.986M viewers across linear and HBO Max.

However, HBO is clearly still impressed by its popularity…

“We are thrilled to see fans of the series and game alike experience this iconic story in a new way, and we extend our gratitude to them for helping to make it a success,” said Chairman and CEO of HBO & HBO Max, Casey Bloys.

“Congratulations to Craig, Neil, and the brilliant cast and crew who worked tirelessly to bring this show to life. We look forward to fans around the world enjoying the rest of the season.”

The creators of the show, Mazin and Druckmann, added: “Our focus was simply to make the best possible adaptation of this beloved story for as big an audience as we could. We are overjoyed to see how many fans, both old and new, have welcomed The Last of Us into their homes and their hearts.”

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