Events of The Last of Us
Sometime after the initial outbreak of the Cordyceps brain infection, Maria and her father ran a settlement in Jackson, Wyoming, using a hydroelectric power plant to generate electricity for the settlement. They soon became the leaders of their settlement as more families settled down in their safe haven. Maria would later meet Tommy after he left the Fireflies and his brother Joel in Boston. The two grew close, eventually getting married. However, the dam suffered daily attacks from a group of bandits, making them rather hostile to strangers.
In the Fall of 2033, Maria noticed two strangers, a man and his teenage companion Ellie, as the pair attempted to enter the plant. Initially thinking they were hostile, she threatened them with her men, only calming down when Tommy explained the stranger was his brother, Joel. At the time, the group of workers were finishing their attempts to repair one of the turbines to generate electricity for the settlement.
While the brothers went off to talk, Maria ate with Ellie and told the girl about Joel's deceased daughter Sarah and showed her a photograph of the pair together; unbeknownst to Maria, Ellie stole the photo. Later, a group of bandits attacked the plant. The women were barricaded in the dining hall until Tommy and Joel arrived and finished off the bandits.
After the fight, Tommy pulled Maria aside to tell about the settlement he and Joel worked out. At hearing this, Maria was fiercely opposed to Tommy delivering Ellie to the Fireflies, fearing that she would become a widow like the other women of their settlement. She confronted Joel, asserting that, should anything happen to Tommy, it was "on [him]".
Ellie, overhearing this conversation, flees on a horse to a ranch. After having a conversation on how she doesn't want to go with Tommy, they are attacked. After that, Joel, Ellie and Tommy ride back to the settlement. Joel decides to take Ellie to the Fireflies on the verge of entering the place, telling Tommy that Maria "kind of scares him".
Maria is briefly mentioned again when Ellie and Joel talk in Jackson. She and Tommy were trying to get Joel interested in a woman within the community while also having him and Ellie do maintenance work for them. Maria eventually found out about Ellie's immunity and kept it a secret.
Events of The Last of Us Part II
During a community event in March, 2038, Maria noticed Seth insult Ellie and Dina. Before she could intervene, Joel rushed over and shoved the man, ordering he leave the party. Maria and Tommy split the pair up and took Seth outside to talk with him.
The next morning, Maria was at Seth's bar, having convinced him to apologize to Ellie. When Ellie arrived with Jesse for her briefing about that day's patrol, Maria had her come over and allow Seth to apologize. When Ellie didn't pick up the sandwiches Seth offered, Maria picked them up for her and thanked Ellie for letting Seth apologize.
Later, she reveals Joel and Tommy have been at the ski lodge since the early hours to assess sightings of infected, asking Jesse to take his patrol team to switch out with them. To replace Jesse's route, she partners Ellie with Dina instead. Before letting Ellie go, she asks if Ellie and Joel are on good terms, to which Ellie apathetically confirms.
That night, having heard news of Joel's murder, Maria had an argument with Tommy. He wanted to take a group to chase down Joel's killers to avenge him but Maria refused, citing that would leave Jackson vulnerable to attacks from hunters. That night, Tommy left Maria a note revealing he was going to find the Washington Liberation Front in Seattle alone and asked Maria to stop Ellie following him.
The next day, Maria found Dina and Ellie at Joel's house planning to run away also. Despite her reluctance, Maria allowed to pair to take Ellie's horse Shimmer and pursue Tommy, so long as Ellie promised to return with Tommy alive.
When the trio did return, with Tommy blind in one eye and struggling to walk, Maria and Tommy decided to end their relationship.
Maria loved Tommy dearly, marrying and running her community with him. She took his word that Joel wasn't a hostile survivor, putting great trust in him.
When Tommy rescued her from the bandits that tried to attack her, she embraced him in relief. However, she then irately scolded him for agreeing to take Ellie off of Joel's hands, ordering him to "find someone else". When Tommy stood firm on his decision, she gave in but was too overcome with grief to stay around him.
When Tommy didn't end up taking Ellie, Maria continued to love him, the pair still being married months later when Joel and Ellie returned.
Maria was instinctively hostile towards Joel, presuming he had malicious intent when trying to get into the dam. Once Tommy assured her the man didn't mean any harm, she buried the hatchet and allowed him into their settlement. She admitted her embarrassment for having almost shot him, due to the two being indirectly related.
She was grateful for Joel's assistance in defending the dam, only to become enraged when Joel revealed he had only come to the dam to have Tommy escort Ellie for him. She was so angry at him that she threatened to kill him if anything happened to Tommy, making Joel joke to Tommy that he was scared of Maria. It's likely she was so aggressive due to the stories Tommy would have told her about Joel's life after the outbreak, leaving Maria with a very incomplete view of Joel; she only knows the hunter side of him.
Months later, Maria appeared to have forgiven Joel, providing a place for him in the community when he and Ellie returned.
Years later, the pair got on well, with Joel serving as one of Maria's best patrolmen. When Joel died, she was shocked by his death but not to the extent Tommy was, deeming avenging Joel's death was not worth the lives of her people facing the WLF would cause.
Maria and Ellie got along well in their short time around each other. She noticed her outside of the dam, initially being hostile towards her, though she calmed down when Tommy recognized Joel.
Maria, wanting to give the men some alone time, took care of the girl shortly before the bandit attack. She shared secrets about Joel's past with Ellie, understanding Ellie's desire to learn more about the reserved Joel.
When the dam was attacked, Maria protected Ellie, hiding out in an office. However, she began to dislike Ellie due to how she indirectly caused Tommy to express his need to leave Maria. She was clearly upset by this, but appeared to be angry at Joel more so than Ellie; the girl didn't want Tommy to go with her either.
By 2038, Maria and Ellie got along well with one another. Maria deemed Ellie a valuable member in Jackson, and worked hard both to assist Ellie in her role as a patrolman but also to console any animosity that rose between her and Joel. When Joel was murdered, Maria conceded to Ellie's desire to pursue his killers to avenge his death. When Ellie returned, Maria set her up on a farm outside Jackson to allow her to live in relative peace as a thank you for having returned Tommy to her alive.
- Joel sarcastically mentions to Tommy that he is scared of Maria coming after him with her people if Tommy were to die. When conceiving ideas for the game, Tess was initially planned to pursue Joel with her group for causing the death of her brother, much like what Joel theorizes about Maria.
- Ironically, this story idea was eventually recycled for use in Part II, where Abby finds, tortures and kills Joel in much the same manner.
- Her name "Maria" comes from the Latin word "Of the sea" or "bitter," which describes her tough exterior character. Plus, Joel and Ellie first met Maria in the dam, which was nearby the water.
- She is the only adult female character who appeared from the first game to still be alive.
- In the Model Viewer, Maria's model includes Tommy's letter to her, which can be read by the player themselves if the camera is positioned correctly.