Why is Ellie so important in The Last of Us?

She is huge for the story.

Image via HBO

Anyone who played The Last of Us Part 1 they are familiar with Joel and Ellie. The two are great characters that are near the top of most memorable characters from the last decade in gaming. That being said, many people who didn’t play that game are being introduced to Ellie in HBO’s The Last of Us series. If you have just watched the first episode, you are likely a little confused why Marlene keeps referring to Ellie as if everything relies on her. This is why Ellie is so important in The Last of Us.

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for HBO’s The Last of Us series.

Related: How many episodes is HBO’s The Last of Us TV series?

What makes Ellie special in The Last of Us show?

Ellie is an incredibly important character in the world of The Last of Us because she is immune to the fungal infection that has taken over everyone in the world and caused the apocalypse. At the end of the first episode, when Joel, Tess, and Ellie are being tested, Ellie attacks the soldier because she knows it will reveal that she is infected. She then shows Tess the bite mark on her arm that happened three weeks ago. Earlier in the show, you can see a poster that describes anyone who is bitten on the torso, arm, or shoulder, can expect to fully convert to a zombie-like fungal monster in between two and eight hours.

Ellie is the first character known to be immune to the Cordyceps Brain Infection. The virus enters your system either through a bite or breathing in spores in the air and completely takes over your brain. As mentioned in the cold opening of the first episode, there is no way to cure someone like that, so anyone being immune to it is a big deal. With how evil the world is, if the wrong people found out about her bite mark, they would either kill her out of fear of her turning or for other reasons.