With one episode aired and critics having seen some others, HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation is a hit and possibly the best take on a video game in another medium. People love the cast; the world is accurate and Bella Ramsey‘s Ellie has captured hearts and minds alongside Pedro Pascal’s Joel. Many are wondering how old she is supposed to be and, the answer, as always, is complex.
For starters, while Ramsey herself is 19, Ellie Williams is established as 14 in the first game in the series. A quick perusal of the wiki for the franchise also confirms she is 13 in a prequel tie-in comic set before the first game and 19 in the second part. While this can also get changed in television adaptations and only a single episode of the series has aired thus far, a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter also establishes those behind the show see the character as 14 and looked for this range when doing casting.
So, now that we know the character’s age in the show (unless they have continuity errors or a sliding timeline), the next question is when she would have been born. In the show, the outbreak begins in 2003 and then picks up in 2033. Assuming the character will not be revealed to be lying about her age and the article cited above was not just referencing the game, we can cite Ellie as being born in 2019 or the last few months of 2018. This would mean the character did not experience the world before the worst parts of the apocalypse brought on by the cordyceps fungus and in the initial trailer for the piece we do see video game Ellie actress Ashley Johnson playing Ellie’s mother Anna and holding Ellie in what appears to be a dingy space, so this just may end up holding true.
Of course, it could all be a bait-and-switch. Those who have seen more say gamers know some of what is to come (but not everything), so, for now all anyone can do is stay tuned. The show airs Sundays on HBO and HBO Max, is likely only going to adapt the games and be done and there are nine episodes planned for the first season of the show on the prestige TV network. Of course, this could all change with success. After all, TV is filled with shows which went on well past their planned ending dates.