fictional character from the video game series The Last of Us
Ellie is a fictional character in the 2013 video game The Last of Us, and the protagonist of the upcoming video game The Last of Us Part II. In the first game, the character Joel is tasked with escorting Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States in an attempt to create a potential cure for an infection to which Ellie is immune. She is voiced by Ashley Johnson, who also provided motion capture for the character. While players briefly assume control of Ellie for a portion of the game, the computer's artificial intelligence primarily controls her actions, often assisting in combat by attacking or identifying enemies. Ellie reappeared as the sole playable character in the downloadable content prequel campaign, The Last of Us: Left Behind, in which she spends time with her friend Riley. Ellie is also the main character in the comic book prequel, The Last of Us: American Dreams, wherein she befriends Riley and has her first encounter with the rebel group the Fireflies.
Ellie was created by Neil Druckmann, the creative director and writer of The Last of Us. Inspired by a mute character proposed for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Druckmann created her as a strong female character with a close relationship with Joel; throughout the game's development, the relationship between Ellie and Joel was the central focus, with all other elements developed around it. Johnson inspired aspects of Ellie's personality, prompting Druckmann to make her more active in fighting hostile enemies. Naughty Dog also redesigned her appearance during the game's development to more closely resemble Johnson.
The character has been well-received by critics, with Ellie's relationship with Joel most frequently the subject of praise. The strength and complexity of her character, and its subversion of the damsel in distress stereotype, have also been commended. Ellie's role in Left Behind's plot has prompted some social commentary within the industry, with coverage focusing on a scene depicting LGBT themes. Both the character and Johnson's performance received numerous awards and nominations, and have regularly been placed favorably in polls and lists.
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