The heroes have already confirmed it.
The premiere of The Last of Us series based on the game of the same name is already the most talked about pop cultural event in January. The show is praised for everything, including its respect for the original source: many scenes were re-shot almost frame by frame. Nevertheless, some details of the plot of the film adaptation differ from The Last of Us in 2013: for example, the sinister cordyceps here infects people not with the help of spores, but with special creepy antennae.
The origin of the monstrous pandemic in the series was also thoroughly revealed. The series begins with a discussion that the cordyceps «mushroom zombie» (it exists in reality, yes) for thousands of years only affects insects and does not touch people — because it does not evolve. But in the event of climate change — global warming — Cordyceps will certainly expand the scope of its interests. What happened in the world of The Last of Us.
However, if «why?» in the series explained in plain text, the answer to the question «how?» given in a less obvious way. The most attentive viewers realized that the outbreak in the series was due to ordinary flour. Sounds crazy, but the evidence is more than compelling:
- Throughout the story’s prologue, the characters repeatedly refuse food made from flour.
- Sarah wanted to make pancakes, but there was no flour in the house — so she and Joel have scrambled eggs for breakfast.
- The main characters refuse neighbors’ cookies.
- Joel is on the Atkins diet, similar to keto: the point is to drastically reduce the consumption of carbohydrates and, accordingly, the rejection of baking.
- Joel forgets to take the birthday cake he promised Sarah.
- At the beginning of the series, the news reports of some unrest in the Indonesian capital Jakarta. It seems to be an insignificant detail, if you do not know that the largest flour mill in the world is located in Jakarta!
Showrunner Craig Mazin hinted at the veracity of this theory on HBO’s TLOU podcast. He said he left «breadcrumbs» in the first episode for attentive viewers to understand for themselves how Cordyceps spread. And the network has already published an excerpt from the second series! In him Joel says he doesn’t know exactly what caused the infections, but many believe the Cordyceps mutated into basic foods like sugar and flour.
It turns out that in the world of The Last of Us, the chance to survive was received mainly by those who watched their figure or were on a strict diet without starchy foods. It seems like it’s time to reconsider our own gastronomic habits — or just admire the showrunners’ attention to detail.