The Last of Us episode 8 attracts 8.1 million viewers and marks a series record for HBO
Episode 8 of The Last of Us drew 8.1 million viewers Monday on HBO and linear shows. The numbers mark a 74% increase from the series’ debut in January – 4.7 million viewers – making Episode 8, “When We Are In Need”, the most-watched chapter, according to WarnerMedia. Figures were calculated based on Nielsen and first-party data and do not include details of Disney+ Hotstar, which is the Indian destination to watch The Last of Us. The record was previously held by Episode 4 , which attracted 7.5 million viewers. HBO did not reveal viewership data for The Last of Us episodes 5, 6, and 7.
According to HBO, The Last of Us was also the top overall title on HBO Max for the eighth consecutive week, with all episodes ranking in the top 10 individual assets for the week. Watching the first five episodes, the average viewership is approaching 30 million on HBO cable and HBO Max. By setting these records and winning over fans of the original PlayStation video game, creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have managed to secure a second season in January, which will focus on the events of The Last of Us Part II – the polarizing sequel and extremely bloody, chasing after a 19-year-old Ellie. The Last of Us was an instant hit for HBO, with the pilot marking the network’s second most-watched debut. The first is the Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon with nearly 10 million viewers.
The Last of Us then built on that achievement, gaining 5.7 million viewers in Episode 2, which was a 22% jump from the pilot. It then reached a new milestone with 6.4 million in episode 3 and 7.5 million in the fourth chapter. There was a little shakeup after that, thanks to the Super Bowl LVII event, which caused HBO to air The Last of Us Episode 5 two days early. No viewership numbers have been released since then – until the final episode was dropped. The penultimate episode portrays Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in a more serious tone, alienating preacher David (Scott Shepherd) and his gang of cannibalistic survivors from an injured Joel. The episode also marked a significant moment in The Last of Us, where Joel (Pedro Pascal) formed an emotional attachment to Ellie – akin to a father-daughter relationship.
As the final episode of The Last of Us approaches, as usual, HBO has released a preview trailer for the same. In it, Joel and Ellie are seen approaching Camp Fireflies in Salt Lake City, hoping to use the latter’s immunity to develop a cure for the fungal outbreak. The last time our duo arrived at a Fireflies base, it was evacuated and ended up with Joel being stabbed by a raider. From the looks of the final trailer, it looks like something sinister is afoot, as we’re treated to footage of a grenade being thrown at them. Episode 9 of The Last of Us might also be the first (and last) time we’ll see Ashley Johnson, Ellie’s voice actor in the original game, appearing as on-screen mother Anna.
In a recent interview, actress Ramsey spoke briefly about The Last of Us finale, saying, “It’s going to massively divide people — massively.” While not explicitly mentioned, it could mean the show is going to deviate heavily from the video game, which may or may not appeal to avid gamers. For what it’s worth, some of the changes were the best parts of the series, in my opinion.
The Last of Us finale airs Monday, March 13 at 8:30 a.m. IST / March 12 at 9 p.m. PT on Disney+ Hotstar and HBO Max respectively.
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