“There was a whole side story where Ellie went to the Seraphite island, and we had so much more to say about the Seraphites and Ellie’s journey there and she’s going through like the different layers of Hell and she still keeps going forward,” Druckmann told IndieWire.
But the biggest revelation of all is how the ending of the game changed over time. As anyone who has rolled credits on the game knows, The Last of Us Part 2 ends with one final fight between Ellie and Abby in Santa Barbara. Although Abby spares Ellie and Dina’s lives in Seattle, Ellie can’t live with Joel’s death at the hands of Abby. So when she tracks down Abby in Santa Barbara, Ellie intends to kill her. But just as she’s about to finish the job, Ellie decides to let Abby live, breaking the cycle of violence that permeates the game.
Druckmann revealed that “for more than 50 percent of the production, Ellie used to kill Abby at the end. Which gave a whole different kind of feel to the ending, and then another character would have to stop the cycle of violence.”
But eventually, Naughty Dog changed course, giving the game a more hopeful ending the team felt was a better fit for Ellie’s character.
“At some point, through our conversations about Yara and Lev, we came to the realization that it wasn’t as honest to Ellie’s character that way. Deep down inside there’s goodness there. Hopefully, she can go forward and build her life.”