HBO has released a first-look image of Ashley Johnson, the original voice actor of Ellie in The Last of Us video game, as Anna, Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) mother.
After previously showcasing the original voice actor for Joel in Season 1’s penultimate episode as James (Troy Baker), a member of David’s (Scott Shepherd) cannibalistic crew, Johnson is getting the same treatment in the season finale. It was previously announced that the original voice actors for Joel and Ellie would have mysterious roles in the network series, and only recently has it been confirmed who would be playing who and the significance behind it.
Fans of the game were initially disappointed when Johnson could not reprise her role due to the age difference between the launch of the game and the 2023 release of the show. To have the original character play the mother is a classy nod to the fans who campaigned for her to have the part. It also gives fans of the games more insight into Ellie’s mother, who is not present outside of a few conversations about her. Anna is only brought up in a few conversations as a friend of Marlene’s and through lore notes.
Just as the show added to the already horrible James, introducing Anna may also shed light on other characters, namely Ellie.
Fans saw a description of the character on Entertainment Weekly last year, which describes her character, Anna, as “a pregnant woman, alone and on the run, who must give birth under the most terrifying of circumstances.” This led people online to believe her appearance could further flesh out Ellie’s backstory, and given that the next episode is expected to cover the ending of the original game, it would make sense for her to appear now.
The Last of Us Season 1 Finale, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO