Arts & Entertainment

Does The New ‘The Last of Us Part II’ Trailer Take Place In A Prequel Timeline?

One of the characters in the trailer is believed to be Ellie's mother.
IMAGE Naughty Dog

A few days ago at the PlayStation Paris Games Week 2017, American game developer Naughty Dog released an unexpected (and incredibly cinematic) trailer for the upcoming The Last of Us Part II. This is the much-awaited sequel to 2013’s The Last of Us—a groundbreaking PlayStation title that’s considered to have shaped a new standard for storytelling in video games. Part II was announced in December 2016, and has had only one other trailer until now:

At first, it’s difficult to place this second trailer, because there’s no sign of the first game’s characters—there are only four characters who we haven’t met before. In fact, until the Cordyceps came out at the end, the audiences weren’t even sure that it was a Last of Us trailer.

But then fans, as fans are wont to do, started breaking the trailer down to understand what’s going on. And now, the prevailing theory is that these scenes take place in a prequel timeline, before the story of Joel and Ellie. This theory holds that the woman in the trailer played by Laura Bailey is actually Anna, Ellie’s mother.

There are a few bases for the theory, the most obvious being that Emily, the cult leader figure in the trailer, tries to stab the woman in her (totally sick) abs, saying, “they are nested with sin,” which suggests that she is with child.

Also, Naughty Dog revealed the names of the other other three characters on Twitter, but went out of their way to redact the name of the main character:

We know from the previous game that Ellie’s mother, who supposedly died at childbirth, is named Anna—four letters, as in the tweet. If the theory is true, the scenes are likely part of a prequel chapter in the game, in which they explore Ellie’s backstory.


Apart from this theory, there has also been some controversy surrounding the new trailer’s supposedly needless violence towards women. It raised a question of how far video games should have come from the ultra-violence of the Mortal Kombat titles—which is to say, the medium hasn’t come very far at all, even in games that demand to be taken as a serious artform.

The Last of Us Part II is a PlayStation 4 exclusive game. No release date has been confirmed for the title.

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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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