The Last of Us: Pedro Pascal stars in episode two trailer

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The original video game kicks off when a fungal infection starts taking over the world, creating terrifying zombies which Joel (played by Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) must avoid. While the virus in the PlayStation version of The Last of Us spreads through the air, fans think HBO’s adaptation will take a very different route and have already spotted a number of clues supporting their theory.

Viewers are convinced The Last of Us’ infection spreads through flour as opposed to the video game’s airborne spores.

In both PlayStation titles, the survivors must navigate a world plagued by zombies and avoid areas with toxic air.

However, this element won’t be present in the new series, and fans think this could be due to the infection spreading through food this time around.

A recent thread on Reddit has exposed a number of clues which have already been spotted in the opening episode, When You’re Lost in the Darkness.

Redditor u/anagnost speculated: “I wonder if the initial cordyceps outbreak in the show is spread by contaminated flour.”

While flour being the source of the outbreak would be a dramatic departure from the original games, it’s hard to argue with the long list of clues in the premiere.

They continued: “There are too many coincidences that have our main characters avoid eating objects with flour.

“Sarah has no flour for pancakes so they make eggs. They refuse the biscuits.”

“Joel is on the Atkins diet (similar to the keto with no carbs). Sarah doesn’t take any cookies because of raisins. Joel forgets to get a birthday cake.”

Although Sarah (Nico Parker) clearly has a strong relationship with her father, their biggest point of conflict in the episode happens when Joel neglects his birthday.

Joel and his brother Tommy (Diego Luna) spend most of the day working, meaning he forgets to buy anything to celebrate the special occasion.

Thankfully, it appears his bad memory – as well as Sarah’s aversion to raisin cookies – may have saved them from the initial outbreak.

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This viewer also highlighted a clue from showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann to support the theory.

“I just listened to the after-episode podcast and [they] said right after a mention of biscuits that there are a lot of breadcrumbs for people to pick up on, which I’m taking as all but confirmation of this,” they said.

Plus, as /u/RealSteamedHam pointed out: “It just so happens the world’s largest flour mill is in Jakarta.

“It’s where we first know the outbreak happens on the radio while Joel, Sarah, and Tommy are eating breakfast.”

“Others have pointed out that in the games it spread from contaminated crops from South America,” the post concluded.

As the series continues, Joel and his companions could be seen avoiding foods like bread and cake to ensure they remain uninfected.

Although die-hard fans of the game might be disappointed to see the spores axed from the live-action adaptation, the change is undoubtedly a great way to keep them guessing over the coming weeks.

The Last of Us continues Sundays on HBO in the USA and Sky Atlantic and NOW on Mondays in the UK.

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