“The Last of Us” series, created by Craig Mezin and Neil Druckmann, has finally graced HBO Max after a long wait. The series features the likes of Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Anna Torv, Nick Offerman, Ashley Williams, and more. Joel, played by Pedro Pascal, and Ellie, portrayed by Bella Ramsey, serve as the show’s protagonists. Many might call this an overstatement, but Ellie, in my opinion, is one of the most multi-layered and developed characters ever written, not just because she has taught herself how to safely navigate the alleys of the broken world but also because, even after losing everything, she still hopes for a better future.
A Tragic Past
Ellie never knew her family; her mother, Anna, died minutes after bringing Ellie into this world that is now infested with flesh-hungry zombies. The only family she ever knew was Marlene, who referred to herself as Anna’s friend. Marlene took care of Ellie’s education, ensuring she learned how to survive in the new reality. Although Marlene became fond of Ellie, the former was nonetheless prepared to pay the ultimate price for the sake of finding a cure. In “The Last of Us” video game (the source material for the show), she apologized to Joel for her actions, saying that her experiences were worse than his. To save Ellie and make sure she’s never hunted again, Joel shoots and kills Marlene in cold blood.
Ellie still looks for the most rudimentary forms of emotional connection with many of the individuals she encounters, notwithstanding or perhaps due to this. This is one of the reasons why her bond with Joel is so interesting. Ellie, in particular, is someone from whom Joel tries very hard to isolate himself. The tragic loss of Sarah almost a decade ago has shaped the person who he is now and driven him to withdraw emotionally from his relationships with others. Joel is someone who believes that the world is broken and anyone who harbors feelings and affection is a fool and weak person. Ellie, on the contrary, often seems to find happiness in little things and firmly believes that the darkness will shift and the sun will shine on them again. Having grown up in society after the virus, this is a remarkable facet of her personality. She is aware of the threats present inside the quarantine zone and has an understanding of what lies outside its limits.
The Embodiment Of Optimism
And yet, despite this awareness, she continues to hold fast to her faith. She is hopeful that her natural resistance to cordyceps will pave the way for a cure, which in turn would put a stop to the menace presented by the affected. And after the undead are gone, mankind will have a chance to rebuild. The human race has the potential to revive itself and begin again. Although this is plenty for anybody to handle, this teenager does very well under the circumstances. Ellie is protected from the infection, but her susceptibility also leaves her feeling alone. Marlene and then Joel both tell her to keep it to herself. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who knows there is yet a chance for mankind but who has no one with whom she can communicate this promise. Because of having to keep such a huge secret, I believe Ellie’s need for connectedness is amplified. She will feel safe disclosing her susceptibility if she finds somebody she begins to respect and who eventually grows to love her like his/her own. Regrettably, Joel fits that description. Ellie meets Joel, who has been tasked by the Fireflies to sneak her out of the quarantine zone. At first, Joel sees her as a burden, a dead weight, a piece of cargo, but after time, he too develops empathy and compassion for her, something he discarded after the tragic demise of his daughter Sarah. Ellie is more likable and sensitive compared to Joel. It’s clear to her that Joel is reluctant to have stable relationships. However, she is still unaware that, like her, Joel has also lost someone who meant the world to him. Ellie’s enduringness stems from the fact that she, like Joel, has suffered a significant tragedy. But instead of withdrawing from society like Joel, she has come to terms with the fact that death is an inevitable truth. She gives herself permission to mourn before moving on in the hopes of finding a community where she will feel at home and secure. Ellie says her greatest worry is that she will be abandoned. Given her experiences and observations, she is well aware of the dangers of being abandoned in a zombie-infested world. There’s no denying Ellie’s intelligence or wit; she’ll use either to the furthest extent necessary to protect Joel and herself. She harbors a strong will to live and can find ways to get by with less. She obeys Joel’s instructions but insists she doesn’t need protection.
See more: ‘The Last Of Us’ – Everything You Need To Know About The Character Joel