New photos from the set of HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation seemingly reveal that Ellie will wear one of her most memorable outfits from the game in the upcoming show.
The characters in The Last of Us games aren’t exactly known for their fashion sense (the apocalypse will do that to your look), which is why most of the set photos we’ve seen of Pedro Pascal’s Joel and Bella Ramsey’s Ellie so far have been…muted. While it’s easy to see that the series’ wardrobe team is trying to replicate the general look of The Last of Us games, we haven’t seen a ton of photos from the set of the show so far that suggest the series’ main characters will be wearing a ton of specific outfits pulled directly from the games.
However, these photos show Bella Ramsey in a t-shirt that Ellie fans should be very familiar with:
Again, a big part of the reason why that shirt is what a lot of people think of when they try to picture Ellie in their mind is the fact that the characters in The Last of Us typically don’t wear a lot of distinctive clothes. Indeed, a brutal combination of depression, survival instincts, and necessity typically leads to them wearing rather drab clothes (though some of Joel’s shirts are more distinctive than others).
That’s why Ellie’s “sunset on the beach” graphic tee is so fascinating. Not only is it one of the brightest and most distinctive articles of clothing we see any of the major characters in The Last of Us wear, but it ends up revealing quite a lot about Ellie’s character. After all, she’s a young person who never got to see the world as it was before the Cordyceps brain infection ravaged humanity. As we’ve seen throughout The Last of Us (most notable the Left Behind DLC) that means she’s much more fascinated with the world as it was than other people are.
So, while many in the world of The Last of Us may have looked at that shirt and saw a silly relic of the past that was probably too flimsy and too bright, Ellie likely looked at it and said “cool shirt.” Those who know about Ellie’s arc in The Last of Us games may also look at her in this shirt and feel a little nostalgic for what weirdly now seem like simpler times.
Oh, and you may have heard that the logo on this shirt is actually an Uncharted Easter egg that references a similar logo seen on a jetski in 2007’s Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. However, that’s not entirely accurate. While a similar logo can be seen on the jetski in the original PS3 version of that game, the logo Ellie wears on her shirt in The Last of Us was actually added into the Uncharted remaster. It’s possible that the t-shirt logo was still meant to be some kind of stylistic callback to Uncharted, but Naughty Dog didn’t insert the exact t-shirt logo (or something pretty close to it) into Uncharted until after The Last of Us was released.
In any case, this shirt can certainly be seen as another in a series of small examples of how HBO’s The Last of Us appears to be trying to stick as close to the games as possible. While the show will inevitably need to expand upon the games in some way, it seems like the series will honor the games however and whenever it can. We’ll see how well the transition from game to screen works when The Last of Us airs on HBO sometime in 2023.