An important rule has been put in place on the set of The Last of Us, it seems that there is a specific word that has been banned from being spoken or even referred to when it comes to the infected.
In Episode 7, titled Left Behind — which aired last weekend, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) takes us back in time to a crucial moment in her life and introduces us to a significant figure from her past just as she potentially reaches a breaking point with a significant figure from her present.
Per Deadline, the show’s first 2 episodes were viewed by over twenty million people, making it HBO’s fourth current show to average over fifteen million viewers, and now we’re on the sixth episode and it’s only growing.
It’s no wonder that they’ve already renewed it for a second season!
At the start of the year, audiences were first introduced to the HBO Max series, which 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.
For those who haven’t watched the show, 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 January 15, and has been met with rave reviews from both critics and fans, resulting in an unbelievable score of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes when it first hit screens.
Now, when it comes to the infected in the show, some might have referred to them as zombies when seeing them for the first time. However, that’s not exactly what they are, and because of that, the word has actually been banned on set.
Cinematographer Eben Bolter said that the word “zombie” was essentially forbidden throughout the series’ development in an interview with The Credits.
“There’s a lot of things The Last of Us is not,” Bolter said. “It’s not a cliché zombie movie, it’s not Hollywood backlit where everyone’s close-up is perfect. It’s a world of organic cinematic naturalism, and that’s something I could just feel.”
He later continued: “We weren’t allowed to say the Z word on set. It was like a banned word. They were the Infected. We weren’t a zombie show. Of course, there’s tension building and jump scares but the show’s really about our characters; the Infected are an obstacle they have to deal with.”
Hearing about the news, some fans took to social media to share their thoughts, with one writing: “‘zombie’ implies they were dead and came back to life.. that’s not the case so therefore they’re not zombies. why is everyone so pressed lol.”
While another commented: “The Infected in the last of us aren’t dead, the infection bypasses the brain entirely, and instead they’re simply puppets, fully conscious of their actions but completely unable to stop.
“Runners(stage 1) can be heard crying, saying “stop”, and “I don’t want to do this” if you stand close to them and listen.”
“Exactly. I had this argument with someone else in another group. They’re infected definitely, but they’re not a zombies just because they’re infected and show zombie like qualities does not mean they are zombies. They either has to be Voodoo/Hoodoo involved or they have to be dead to be zombies until someone decides to change the lore,” a third added.