The Last of Us TV series – who is Ellie?

Ellie and Joel are the main characters of The Last of Us TV series here's everything you need to know about the only person immune to cordyceps

Who is Ellie in The Last of Us TV series? Warning: spoilers ahead for The Last of Us. One of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the year is here, The Last of Us TV series. Based on one of the most critically acclaimed videogame’s ever, the show’s set in a world where a mutated fungus has turned the majority of the population into mindless zombies.

The Last of Us TV series has received rave reviews from critics and fans (check out our The Last of Us TV series review here), with people calling it one of the best videogame adaptations of all time – which seems a bit unfair on poor Sonic the Hedgehog, but we understand the sentiment.

However, not everyone’s played the game, and you may have questions about the horror series. So we thought we’d provide a guide for those desperate to know more about one of the most popular The Last of Us characters, Ellie. Warning spoilers for The Last of Us videogame ahead.

Ellie’s early life

In the canon of the videogame, Ellie grew up an orphan living in the Boston Quarantine Zone. She was recruited at an early age to join the military and spent her childhood training to join FEDRA’s soldiers.

While at school, she met and befriended a young girl named Riley, and the pair became fast friends. Unfortunately, their friendship wasn’t to last. Riley eventually runs away from school and joins The Fireflies, leaving Ellie alone at school.

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us TV series

Six weeks after Riley disappeared, she returned and convinced Ellie to visit an old abandoned mall. While at the mall, Riley told Ellie she was leaving the Boston QZ, and the pair shared a brief kiss.

The pair’s night was interrupted when the infected attacked. While Ellie and Riley both survived the encounter, they’re unfortunately bitten. The girls decided to accept their fate and wait to become zombies, but while Riley succumbed to the cordyceps infection, Ellie did not.

Soon after, Ellie’s discovered by Marlene and the pair resolved to head out west to a Firefly hospital, where a cure for the infection was being researched.

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Ellie’s adventures with Joel

Marlene turned to Joel and Tess, two experienced smugglers who knew their way in and out of the QZ to get Ellie out of the city. The plan was that Joel and Tess would rendezvous with a group of Fireflies at the Boston Capitol building who’d take Ellie off their hands.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Joel and Tess quickly discovered that Ellie was infected and became suspicious of her. Joel was keen to abandon their mission, but Tess, who saw Ellie as a potential cure for cordyceps, convinced him to continue the mission. Reluctantly, Joel agreed, and the trio attempted to cut through a museum to make it to the Capitol building.

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us TV series

Inside the museum, though, the trio ran into a dangerous mutated infect known as a Clicker. While all three survived the Clicker’s attack, Tess was bitten, although she kept this a secret from Joel and Ellie.

Arriving at the Capitol, Joel and Tess found that zombies had massacred the waiting Firlfies. Realising the infected were honing in on them, Tess, who knew she was about to turn into a monster anyway, decided to sacrifice herself.

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us TV series

Before Tess died, however, she made Joel promise to take Ellie to the Fireflies, and so began a journey west that would change the pair forever. As they made their way to Salt Lake City, Joel and Ellie forged a close bond as they dodged FEDRA agents, the infected, and even a cannibal or two along the way.

Finally, after many months, Joel had come to care for Ellie like a father, which goes some way to explaining what he did next. When Ellie and Joel finally arrived at Salt Lake City, they met with the Fireflies, who took Ellie away. Then, Marlene revealed herself and explained the awful truth to Joel.

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us TV series

A cure could be derived from Ellie, but it would involve invasive brain surgery that would kill her. Not wanting his newly adopted daughter to die, Joel slaughtered the Fireflies and killed Marlene.

When Ellie awoke, Joel lied and said there were plenty of other people immune to cordyceps but that the Fireflies couldn’t make the cure work. And that’s where the first game ends. Will the TV series follow the same story? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in The Last of Us TV series

Who plays Ellie in the Last of Us TV series?

Bella Ramsey plays Ellie on the Last of Us TV series. A rising star, Ramsey is best known for playing indomitable Lyanna Mormont on the fantasy series Game of Thrones.

If you want to know more about Ellie’s adventures, then you’ll need to know how to watch The Last of Us. We’ve also got an article breaking down The Last of Us cast, or if you just really like cannibalistic ghouls, we have a list of the best zombie movies.

Finally, if you want to learn about the game, the show is based on our sister site. The Loadout has a The Last of Us Part 1 remake review as well as a list of the best PS5 games.