Although it is strongly speculated that Ellie's hatred in "The Last of Us 2" is fueled by Joel's death, the latest in the rumor mill is that the character is alive in the game and is not a mere vision.
There is no denying that "The Last of Us 2" is one of the most-talked-about game sequels. Long before the game was announced, there had already been a lot of rumors attached to it. However, when the game was finally announced last month via a trailer, speculations on Joel being dead in the game sequel have become louder.
In the announcement trailer for "The Last of Us 2," Ellie, who is now a 19-year-old girl, is seen stained by blood as she strums the guitar and sings a tweaked version of the Christian song "Through the Valley," replacing its supposedly inspiring message with lyrics reeking of hate. Eventually, a pristine-looking Joel appears on the scene, although his face is not shown. He then asks Ellie if she has to do what she does, prompting Ellie to reply that she will hunt every one of "them."
Because of the said trailer, many have come to suspect that Joel may be dead in "The Last of Us 2" and only appears as a vision to Ellie. Additionally, it is said that Ellie's revenge is directed toward the Fireflies, who may have been responsible for Joel's death and is the "them" that she is referring to.
However, according to the latest reports, it is unlikely for Joel to be dead in "The Last of Us 2" as, first of all, he is an important character in the game, and his presence in the game sequel is needed to execute some gameplays. Hence, it's impossible for Naughty Dog to kill the character.
Even if Joel may still be alive, it doesn't mean that Ellie will not take revenge. However, it is said that she will avenge her mother's death, instead. Reportedly, the Easter egg found earlier on a poster of another Naughty Dog game, "Uncharted 4," showing a pregnant woman many thought as Ellie, may actually be her mother, and it is likely for Ellie to avenge her death in the supposed hands of the Fireflies. In the event that this turns out to be true, "The Last of Us" gamers and fans may finally learn of Ellie's backstory in "The Last of Us 2."
Is Joel still alive in "The Last of Us 2?" Will the upcoming game sequel really unveil what happened to Ellie's mother?
Unfortunately, everybody outside Naughty Dog can only answer these questions once "The Last of Us 2" arrives, who knows when.