The relationship between Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us is one of the best things about the game. In a post-apocalyptic world devoid of love, their relationship becomes the driving force of the story. You start rooting for them. Their relationship is initially built on survival and necessity but evolves into something far greater throughout the game.
Ellie needed a parental figure as her mother died after giving birth to her, while Joel needed someone to care for as her daughter Sarah got shot when the apocalypse started. Both of them eventually grow to care for each other, facing dangers together as well as putting the well-being of one another in extraordinary circumstances.
Throughout the entirety of The Last of Us Part 2, we see Ellie seeking revenge against Abby for killing Joel. She suffers from PTSD after Joel’s death and is haunted by images of his murdered body. The only way she could find closure is by killing Abby but she ends up showing mercy to her at the end.
When Ellie gets back to their farmhouse, she founds out that the house is cleared out, except for her room, containing paintings and Joel’s guitar. She starts playing the guitar in her room, reminiscing about her last conversation with Joel. The subject of their conversation was Joel’s decision to save Ellie from the surgery and his interference in her life.
As Ellie confronts Joel about his decision to save her, he says that if Lord somehow gave him a second chance at that moment, he’d do it all over again. Ellie says she would like to try forgiving him for what he did at the hospital to which Joel opens up and says he’d like that.
The conversation is as heartbreaking as it is fulfilling since players get the closure they needed after Joel’s death. It ends in an awkward goodbye between them with Joel sipping coffee, satisfied with the outcome of their conversation.
Why did Ellie leave the guitar at the end?
The final shot of the game shows Ellie leaving the guitar at the empty farmhouse and walking away. The guitar is symbolic of Ellie’s bond with Joel. Every flashback in the game triggers after Ellie plays the guitar.
Ellie leaving Joel’s guitar means that she is moving on from the need for vengeance and anger over Joel’s death. She got closure, and the guitar is nothing but a relic of the past now. She finally lets go of the burden of guilt and moves on from Joel’s death.
Will there be a Last of Us Part 3?
The Last of Us Part 3 is already in the works. In April 2021, Neil Druckmann, creative director of The Last of Us Part 2, confirmed that the outline of the plot and story for the third game is already done. However, the game is not in active development.
Naughty Dog is engrossed with the development of multiple projects so it will be a while before we see another Last of Us game. The good thing is, due to the studio’s expansion, development may begin sooner than expected so fans can eagerly wait for the threequel.
About The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II is a an action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. The game is set 5 years after the events of the first game.
Players control Ellie on her journey for revenge against The Wolves, a faction which has set up in Seattle. On her journey, Ellie fights against survivors of the Cordyceps apocalypse and new variants of the infected. The game mixes elements of stealth and gun-play in vast areas, allowing players to approach the situation as they see fit. The Last of Us Part 2 received an overall positive reception and has gone on to win several Game of the Year awards.