The Last Of Us Episode 7 Dropped A Hint About The Origin Of Ellie's Eyebrow Scar

There's a lot to love in the latest episode of "The Last of Us," but for those who want to learn even more about Ellie's past, there was a quick line thrown in that might've piqued your interest. After nearly getting spotted by FEDRA officers, Riley (Storm Reid) remarks to Ellie (Bella Ramsey), "Could've been worse, though. Could've been a 7-Eleven situation." Ellie responds, "No thanks. I'd like to keep my other eyebrow in one piece."

The episode never elaborates on this exchange, leaving us to wonder just what exactly happened. For showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the latter of whom also created the video game, the origin of that scarred eyebrow is still a mystery. As Druckmann explained in a recent HBO podcast episode about the show:

"You know, I get this question so many times of like, 'How did Ellie get her scar?' ... Craig and I discussed it, and I told him, like, just some thoughts I had about it. So I was like, 'I don't necessarily want to answer that, at least not yet. And like, we could just hint that there is a story there.'"

So far at least, the 7-Eleven story serves the main purpose of making it feel like Riley and Ellie have a history together. By having them reference meaningful moments we've never gotten to see, it creates a stronger sense that these characters genuinely do keep existing even when the camera isn't on them. When the two refer to each other as long-term best friends, we believe them because of little details like this. 

It should probably stay off screen

On the podcast, Craig Mazin gave us his own general idea of what the 7-Eleven scene must've looked like: "So something happened in a 7-Eleven that obviously is in the QZ and abandoned, where, in my mind, it happened together, right? Ellie and Riley must've been together. They must have broken in. They must have had to run out fast. There was some glass, they go in through a window. Something happened."

But although both showrunners can imagine how it went down, the show likely won't flash back to the scene anytime soon. Just like how the many years of Tess and Joel's adventures are left implied, the stories behind all the scars these characters have at the start of the show are often better left unshown. Sometimes, they don't need to serve any other purpose beyond making these characters feel lived in, and reinforcing the idea that this is a dangerous world.

"We also don't know exactly how Joel got his scar," Mazin explained, referring to the scar seen on the bridge of Joel's nose. "So we're hinting at these things. But what we are saying explicitly is, violence is permanent and leaves marks. And sometimes, the only way to close up a wound is to stitch it."

With only two episodes left in the season and a lot of material left in the game to cover, it's unlikely the show will include any more flashbacks. The first season of this show has given us some great, meaningful dives into so many of its characters' past lives, but ultimately the show is about moving forward; not backward. We'll likely never get to know the exact origin behind so many different character details, and that's probably for the best.