Artist Lwandile Maphongwane exhibits the sweet relationship between Ellie and Riley in their beautiful fanart of HBO’s TLOU.
After a few days of speculation, HBO recently confirmed it Euphoria The actor Storm Reid will actually play Riley Abel in The last of us. Although no official trailer has been released yet, fans are excited to get more looks at the upcoming live-action series.
It seems that HBO will include both the original The last of us the game and its prequel, Left behind. We’ve already seen pictures of the abandoned mall, and with Reid playing Riley, there will definitely be more of their story in the show. Riley plays a pretty significant role in Ellie’s story, but HBO has to unveil their plans for the character.
To celebrate Reid’s casting, artist Lwandile Maphongwane recreated Riley and Ellie’s cute snapshot from Left behinds campaigns.
ELLIE AND RILEY IN LWANDILE MAPHONGWANE’S HBO TLOU FAN ART
Riley Abel was originally a character from The last of us‘s prequel, Left behind. A sixteen-year-old survivor living in Boston, Riley met and became attached to a young Ellie, and the two quickly became close. In a heartbreaking moment, Riley and Ellie are both bitten by Infected – but only Ellie survives. It was Riley’s tragic death that caused Ellie to discover her immunity to the infection, which set the stage for the rest of The last of us.
Maphongwane used a beautiful painting style to draw Bella Ramsey (Ellie) and Storm Reid (Riley) smiling together. The pieces of moss that creep across the picture suggest the abandoned surroundings and make an otherwise sweet picture feel just a lot more heartbreaking.
What makes Maphongwane’s work particularly beautiful is their use of lighting. When you cast an almost golden glow over the faces in the picture, there is a real feeling of nostalgia and warmth. Their soft expressions are lovely, and the framing of the dark and mossy apparently heralds the premature end of their friendship. Maphongwane’s work goes back to a happier time for the two girls, where they were not so burdened by tragedy and loss.
Riley and Ellie’s story also plays a central role in Ellie’s personal character arc. The kiss the two share was a “breakthrough moment” for both The last of us and for video games as a whole. Their kisses were sweet, conscious and meaningful. At its heart, it was a representation that LGBTQ + players have wanted deeply for a while.
In addition, their representation of Reid and Ramsey makes them look completely at home in the city TLOU universe. It’s easy to see how perfectly both actresses fit into their characters, and that only makes me more excited about the HBO show. Reid himself had shared Maphongwane’s highly emotional portrait of Riley to announce his role!
To see more of Lwandile Maphongwane’s amazing work, check out their ArtStation page, their Twitter, or their Instagram.
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