One of the most notable backstories of Ellie in The Last of Us is the immediate absence of her mother, which led Ellie to the military orphanage boarding school. The only key presence we felt of Anna, the name of Ellie’s mother, is through a letter that was labeled “Note from Mom” in which Anna tells her daughter that the world may be a messed up place, but she trusts that Ellie would survive it, prior to the post-apocalyptic world they are living in now.
The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann reveals to Variety that Anna’s appearance had been something that was scrapped from the video game. In light of this, when speaking with fellow writer Craig Mazin, the showrunners were “excited” to put that scrapped appearance into the HBO show, instead. Check out Druckmann’s full quote below:
“The one that shows up very late in the season is Ellie’s mom,” Druckmann said, “I had written a short story after we had shipped the game already. It was supposed to be an animated short, but it fell apart and didn’t come to be.”
Druckmann continued on to say how the idea completely fell apart from the 2013 Naughty Dog game, which urged him to make up for the loss: “I brought it up to Craig and he was immediately excited by it, or as he would say ‘activated’. We brought it to life in the most beautiful, poetic way, which is Ashley Johnson playing Ellie’s mom and she was the original actor for Ellie.”
The moment The Last of Us fans spotted Ashley Johnson portraying to be “someone’s” mother in the trailer, they were ecstatic to see the original video game Ellie voice actress fulfilling the model role her character had always wanted to have.
The Last of Us Episodes 1 and 2 are now available to stream on HBO Max. Meanwhile, you can expect The Last of Us Episode 3 this Sunday, January 29th.