HBO edited a recent episode of The Last of Us after a production mistake appeared in the final cut.
Over the past 25 years or so, HBO has had a near-spotless record, producing prestige TV shows that transport viewers to whole new worlds, whether it be the fantastical Westeros of Game of Thrones, the criminal underworld of The Sopranos, or - most recently - the post-apocalyptic wasteland of PlayStation video game adaptation The Last of Us.
But the network has not been immune to fumbling the ball occasionally. One of the most notorious of these instances came in the final season of Game of Thrones when a Starbucks cup made an episode, sitting alongside a number of the main characters in the halls of Winterfell.
HBO spends a lot of money to make sure these sorts of mistakes do not happen, and then when they do, the company is quick to scrub them from existence.
HBO Edits The Last of Us
As pointed out by Naughty Dog Central on Twitter, HBO has edited Episode 6 of The Last of Us in lieu of fans spotting a small error in the prestige PlayStation adaptation.
After the release of Episode 6 (titled "Kin"), audiences were quick to spot two production mistakes that had made the final cut of the show.
The first could be seen when Pedro Pascal's Joel and Bella Ramsey's Ellie were across a snow-covered bridge on their way to Jackson, Wyoming. Off to the left of said shot a production crew can be seen nestled amongst the trees, cameras and all.
The other gaff came later in the episode when Ramsey's Ellie meets her horse Shimmer (a name that fans of The Last of Us Part II will know). As the camera locks on Ellie and the horse, a glove of the animal's handler is present, something that surely was not intentional.
Both of these errors have been removed from the HBO Max versions of the episode, with the only evidence of these two post-production mishaps being the countless photos that fans have online.
Even HBO Makes Mistakes
While HBO and The Last of Us team are getting a few snarky tweets levied against them, this sort of mistake was ultimately not a big deal.
There were many fans that watched the episode, so enthralled in this journey across the continental United States that they probably did not even notice that anything was amiss.
But, in the world The Last of Us finds itself releasing in, surely these slips were going to be spotted by someone. But even the creative behind a show as celebrated as this one are human, and everybody makes mistakes.
This is not the first time a streamer has gone back and made changes to something shortly after its premiere. Even The Last of Us itself made news recently with an edited trailer being posted online.
Disney has done this a number of times on Disney+, fixing continuity errors in Ms. Marvel, adjusting names on credits in WandaVision, and even - at one point - removing blood in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
That is the power these streaming services offer these studios. Sure, as Uncle Ben always said, "With great power, comes great responsibility," and these editing abilities should not be used frivolously.
But to fix tiny things that may have fallen through the cracks like this, ultimately making the series a better experience for anyone watching later, is not the end of the world.
What is the end of the world is The Last of Us which airs on HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.