As an adaptation, HBO’s The last of us was a fairly faithful recreation of the original Naughty Dog game. However, during yesterday’s first season final, “Look For The Light,” the HBO series explored a character the game had only mentioned in passing. In doing so, the show reveals a long unanswered question from the source material: why is Ellie immune to the cordyceps fungus that destroyed the rest of the world?
Why is Ellie immune?
The episode opens with a flashback of Ellie’s mother, Anna, portrayed by Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie in the games. She flees an infected person while giving birth. She holes in an old farmhouse with only a switchblade for protection. Eventually the infected finds her and the two have a piece on the ground that Anna is bitten into, but she also giveses birth to Ellie in the process. Anna cuts the umbilical cord, but this happens after being bitten and begins to succumb to the infection herself. When Marlene, a lifelong friend and leader of the Fireflies, arrives, Anna lies and says she cut the cord before she was bitten, and asks Marlene to find a home for Ellie and give her the switchblade. to remember her.
Fast forward to 14 years later, and Ellie is in the care of the Fireflies doctors, and Marlene explains to Joel de Pedro Pascal why they think she is immune.
“Our doctor, he thinks Ellie’s cordyceps has grown with her since she was born. It produces a kind of chemical messenger. This tricks a normal Cordyceps into believing that she is a Cordyceps. That’s why she’s immune. He’s going to take it from her, multiply the cells in a lab, produce these chemical messengers, and then we can give it to everyone.
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Marlene goes on to say that it could be a cure for the infection, but this process would require Ellie’s death, as cordyceps grows throughout the brain. Due to Joel’s violent intervention, this never happens, but it’s the most important context we’ve gotten for Ellie’s immunity in the decade since the original game. . This scene from the game simply describes Ellie’s resistance to the infection that ended the lives of so many others as a kind of mutation, but she never got too into science.
Is this conclusive, or is this just speculation from Marlene?
Despite this, series director Neil Druckmann said The edge this isn’t necessarily meant to be a conclusive line between the circumstances of her birth and why she’s immune, though we (and Marlene) can speculate. Instead, he says revisiting Anna’s story was meant to build on his relationship with Marlene, which, again, was only explored by passing mentions during games and American dreams comic books.
“Knowing how close she was to Anna and that Anna’s dying wish was like ‘take care of my child’, I think gives more weight and maybe more tragedy to Marlene and the sacrifice she’s trying to do for the good of mankind,” Druckmann said. The edge.
Notably, the circumstances surrounding Ellie’s birth seem a bit different from the games. In the first game, Anna was able to write a letter to Ellie, which is visible in her inventory during the segments where you play with her. It’s clear that she died shortly after delivering it, but it’s unclear if that fight with an infected was one of them.
Anna’s scene is one of the few deviant moments in the finale, which takes place pretty close to the game’s story beats. working for contextualize Joel’s actions in the final moments.