See Ashley Johnson, the voice of Ellie, in The Last of Us finale

Anna (Ashley Johnson) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO
Anna (Ashley Johnson) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

In just a few short days, the season 1 finale of The Last of Us will premiere on HBO. Will Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) finally find the Fireflies and create a cure for the cordyceps plague? Or will something else horrible happen? Maybe both?

The HBO show has stuck very close to The Last of Us video game by Naughty Dog, even incorporating the voice actors. Troy Baker and Jeffrey Pierce, who portrayed Joel and Tommy in the games, make cameos as James and Perry, while Merle Dandridge reprised her game role as Marlene.

This weekend we’ll be adding another name to that list: Ashley Johnson, the actor who portrayed Ellie in the video games, makes her debut as Anna, Ellie’s mom, in the show. HBO has released the first official image of Johnson in the role:

The Last of Us
Anna (Ashley Johnson) in The Last of Us Episode 9. Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO /

Ashley Johnson debuts in The Last of Us Episode 9 as Ellie’s mom Anna

Anna is a character we never saw in the games, although we find out through some in-world notes that she had a close relationship with Marlene before Ellie’s birth. Her story was expanded somewhat in The Last of Us: American Dream comic book miniseries. Perhaps the television show will draw some material from that?

While it was conceivably possible for Troy Baker to have reprised his role as Joel in the show (although he’s perfectly happy with Pascal taking over), the idea of Johnson coming back as Ellie was never an option. She was in her late twenties when the first game was created, and is now in her late thirties. Thanks to the magic of game animation she was able to portray a much younger character in the video games, but there’s just no way to make it work for television. Having her play Ellie’s mom is a great way to honor her contribution to the franchise.

The Last of Us season 1 finale, “Look For the Light,” airs this Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.

Next. How long is The Last of Us Episode 9? (“Look for the Light” run time). dark

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