'The Last of Us’ episode 7: All the Easter eggs in Ellie’s room
Ellie (Bella Ramsey) has been something of a mystery ever since she first met Joel (Pedro Pascal) in The Last of Us' opening episode. Obviously there's the whole immunity thing, but there's also the question of her hazy origin story, which we've only learned snippets of through Joel's occasional grunted questions.
Until episode 7, that is.
Taking place almost entirely as a flashback, the show's seventh instalment showed us Ellie's time in FEDRA training school, following her on a wild (and ultimately tragic) night in an abandoned mall with her best friend Riley (Storm Reid).
Before Ellie and Riley disappear through her window and into the night, though, we see a glimpse of Ellie's bedroom. And tacked up on the walls, and lying on her bedside table, are a handful of throwbacks to things Ellie has mentioned in passing in previous episodes.
From space posters to comics and joke books, we've broken them all down below.
Ellie's joke book lies on her bedside table.
The first volume of the classic No Pun Intended joke book by fictional author Will Livingston can be seen lying on Ellie's bedside table in one of the opening shots of her room. By this point, of course, we're more than familiar with Mr Livingston's work. No Pun Intended: Volume Too, which Ellie carries in her backpack, provides a welcome relief in episode 4 as she tests out its contents on her surly travelling companion. But it's only in episode 7 that we learn she acquired this second volume from Riley as a gift.
"Shut up! He made a second one?" says Ellie after Riley produces the book. "Where did you get that?"
Riley doesn't answer, but we know the book remains a treasured possession for Ellie from that moment on. She loves the jokes, of course, but the book is more than that: it's a memory of her old life, a reminder of her best friend and first love.
Ellie's reading a familiar comic.
Sitting on her bed and glancing across at Riley's empty mattress, Ellie rage-reads a comic called Savage Starlight. But this isn't the first time that comic has had a mention. Back in episode 5, when Ellie, Joel, Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard) make their way through the tunnels in an attempt to escape Kansas City, they pause briefly in a now-abandoned room that's previously been used as a children's play room or kindergarten.
Sam discovers an issue of Savage Starlight in the room. Ellie's reaction? "No way, I love these!" The two then proceed to compare which issues they have before saying some of the comic's key catch-phrases ("Endure, and survive") in sign language.
Later, at the end of the episode — before everything goes horribly wrong — they sit on the bed together reading the issue.
Ellie's wall is covered with space posters.
In a wider shot of Ellie reading on her bed, we see that her wall is plastered with posters. Quite a few of these are space-themed. There are a couple of movie ones, including posters of the 2000 film Red Planet and the 1987 film Inner Space, as well as a breakdown of the lunar phases of the moon.
This final one in particular links back to a fireside conversation between Joel and Ellie in episode 6, where they speak about what they might do once all this is over. Joel says he wants to run a sheep farm, but when he asks Ellie where she'd go, she looks up at the night sky.
"It's probably because I grew up in the QZ," she says. "Behind you there's ocean, ahead of you there's a wall. Nowhere to look but up. I read everything I could in the school library: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell. But you know who my favourite is?"
"Sally Ride?" asks Joel.
"Sally fucking Ride," confirms Ellie. "Best astronaut name ever."
Clearly, Ellie is a big space fan — but the shot of her room we get in episode 7 shows us just how much of a fan she really is.
Ellie has a Mortal Kombat II poster.
In the middle of it all, Ellie's Mortal Kombat II poster takes pride of place on the wall. Midway's 1993 arcade fighting game features several times during the series, notably later in the episode when Riley shows Ellie to "the most beautiful thing I've ever seen" — the mall arcade. The pair proceed to mash buttons and destroy each other. The show throws back to this moment in episode 3, when Ellie and Joel are on their way to Bill and Frank's. Stopping by a gas station for Joel's stashed supplies, Ellie is delighted to find a Mortal Kombat II arcade game gathering dust.
"You ever played this one?" Ellie asks Joel. "I had a friend who knew everything about this game."
The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO Max. New episodes air every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.