The Last of Us 2 became an immediate must-follow during its development the second it was revealed during PlayStation Experience 2016. The sequel to one of the most well-reviewed games of all-time promises to pick up where the brilliance of its predecessor left off and that tantalizing possibility made it all the more frustrating when The Last of Us 2 was absent from E3 2017. Naughty Dog made up for that break in a big way today, however, unveiling a brand new trailer for The Last of Us 2 that is sure to get the entire gaming world buzzing.
The trailer features what could be an older, more gritty Ellie being dragged to an unknown campsite by vicious enemies. She’s placed in a noose, and the leader of the group seems to hint that the woman might be pregnant, suggesting she has sins in her while dragging a blade over her belly. Luckily, before the worst can happen, the woman is saved by two people who don’t appear to be immediately aligned with her. They then prepare to fight, as the zombies that made the first game so unsettling burst out of the forest around them as the screen cuts to black.
While there’s a lot to unpack in that trailer—the rumors of Ellie’s pregnancy seem to be true, for instance, if this is her, and why did the people who saved her believe she was a part of the group trying to kill her?—there’s even more to be inferred by a notable absence. The Last of Us‘s Joel, who some believe to be dead in the upcoming sequel, never appears in the new trailer, which will surely lead to further speculation on his status in The Last of Us 2.
Of course, there’s also the chance this character is someone entirely different. Some people are speculating already that it could be Ellie’s mom, given the similarities between the two. Ellie didn’t look as muscular the last time we saw her in a The Last of Us 2 trailer, so it remains to be seen just who we’re actually observing in this trailer.
There’s every possibility that Naughty Dog is simply exploiting the previous rumors to make Joel’s eventual unveiling all the more triumphant, but it’s something to keep an eye on. At the very least, even if Joel is alive, there’s definitely going to be a point in the narrative where he and Ellie get separated, which could be one reason why Ellie is the main character of The Last of Us 2. That, and the fact that she’s awesome, of course.