Hey everyone! ^_^ It’s me, Snivystorm, back again with another blog.
Now I don't know about you, but that new trailer at PGW has got me psyched to talk about The Last of Us Part II. In fact, I'm gonna delve into some theories. We all know the obvious ones, Joel likely being dead, the unnamed woman from the recent PGW trailer likely being Ellie’s mother Anna and that the game very well could be occurring in Seattle given the similar appearance of the road signs and such in the trailers. I could do a massive blog about each of these individual theories and even things I personally want to occur in the game (above all a new type of Infected to fight :D). However, I want to focus on just one specific theory, namely: the theme of parental conflict. I'll try to keep it short this time around ^^.
The first game made a big deal about how far a parent would go to save their child, as depicted through Joel and Ellie’s relationship. Now we know Joel is still alive, or he very well should be unless Naughty Dog have been lying to us that Joel and Ellie are both required for the game to work. Now what defines Joel as a character? Well a lot of things do but the biggest one has to be his protecting nature, particularly when it comes to his daughters. We saw how far this man would go to defend them, culminating in him murdering Marlene in the climax of the first game to save Ellie. He even lied to her so she wouldn’t have to suffer the burden of what Joel did. Joel would do absolutely anything to ensure Ellie’s safety. Who else would do that?
The answer is Anna, Ellie’s biological mother; along with Joel, she too would destroy all of humanity to protect her daughter. Let’s assume the unnamed woman is actually Anna. But let’s consider the possibility that Anna may actually still be alive and that she is searching for Ellie, her long lost daughter. Now, although it’s more plausible to believe Anna would simply act as a playable character for flashback sequence and Anna is actually dead but let’s have some fun and think outside the box? Back to the theory, now I am speculating here, but I think we can safely assume the biological mother would be willing to do as much as if not more than the father would for their child. The problem is, Anna was seemingly a Firefly given how close she was with Marlene… and Joel killed them all at the hospital and Marlene herself. He even lied to Ellie about it.
Can you imagine how this would make Anna feel? To know this man effectively stole your daughter from your best friend, no less killing her and crippling her organisation to do so and then outright lied to your daughter to make himself feel better? Yeah, I’d be beyond angry too.
But then look at Joel: he spent the entire first game bonding with Ellie, who gradually redeemed him and shifted him back from a cold-blooded killer into a caring father, albeit he still has the potential to lapse back into that ‘hunter’ side at a moment’s notice. Then a woman comes out of nowhere to steal his new daughter from him, his last beacon of hope. He too would destroy Anna before he lost his daughter again.
Ideally, we would want these two to come together to raise Ellie but the problem remains that, the last time Ellie’s surrogate parents (Joel and Marlene) met to discuss Ellie’s fate, it resulted in a huge argument that set in motion the events of the final chapter in the game and Joel ruthlessly ending Marlene. So it’s safe to assume a similar situation would arise if Anna met Joel.
Can you imagine the scene playing out as Anna reveals Joel’s lie to Ellie, Joel’s reaction and the subsequent conflict that would occur if this hypothetical scene became reality. If the creators really wanted to kill Joel in the sequel, a scene like this would be beyond powerful if done this way. Or better yet, Joel kill’s Anna in a similar manner to how he murdered Marlene, what a poetic call-back to the first game and the emotional conflict this would create between Joel and Ellie would fuel the theme of hate beyond comparison.
The world of The Last of Us is far from ideal, but the potential Naughty Dog has now to make us suffer is a high testament to the characters they have created. Their only obstacle now is choosing the right way to tell this story and, if they did craft this conflict between parents, they’d have to do a pretty good job of making us care for Anna more than Joel. Simply, they best not screw this up. I could go on forever about this, but I want you guys to have your say.
Who do you feel has better right as Ellie’s carer? Who would you choose? Only you can decide. This is Snivystorm signing off...