Five Narrative Directions For The Last Of Us Part II

Elise Favis

Warning: Major spoilers for The Last of Us and the Left Behind DLC. The Last of Us is a well-crafted adventure that many believe doesn’t need a sequel. Could a continuation of this narrative diminish the impact of the original’s tense ending? Will revisiting these beloved characters, in a drastically different tone than the last game, be satisfying? It’s hard to say, but if anyone is equipped to deliver a promising storyline, it’s Naughty Dog. At PlayStation Experience 2016, we were treated to The Last of Us Part II’s two-minute reveal.

Ellie takes center stage as the protagonist, and a foreboding sense invades the teaser as piles of bodies lie in her wake. Joel stands in the doorway, but the emotional connection between the two seems to stutter. It’s clear that much is different this time around. Questions and fan theories have been rampant online, and we have some of ideas of our own. Here are five narrative directions we hope to see in The Last of Us Part II. Repercussions of the LieThe original The Last of Us ended with Joel making a tough decision and telling an irredeemable lie.

After discovering that Ellie would need to be sacrificed in order to extract a cure for the spore-borne virus turning everyone into monsters, he couldn’t face that reality. Instead, he brought her to safety, and lied by telling her that the Fireflies were no longer looking for a cure. Rather than saving the world, he saved the one person he loves. Did Ellie believe him, or is there part of her that knows he's hiding the truth? In the final scene, we see her confronting Joel again, who insists that he is telling the truth. It’s left ambiguous as to whether she believes him or not, and it’s likely we’ll see ramifications of this in the sequel.

Perhaps Ellie discovered the truth, or maybe Joel finally admitted it. Joel didn't only tell her a huge lie, but he also killed several Fireflies in the hospital, and brutally murdered Marlene. If Ellie found out, I can imagine that there would be significantly more friction in their relationship. It wouldn't be surprising to see some animosity between the two or a falling out, considering Neil Druckmann has described the sequel as "a story about hate. " Perhaps this hatred divides Ellie and Joel, but it's also possible it'll appear in the form of self-hatred. Ellie is already plagued with survivor's guilt, and if the truth came to light about Joel's…

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