The Last of Us Part 2 presents us with an Ellie who has grown and changed.
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) December 7, 2016
The Last of Us Part 2 is already inspiring cosplayers, and director Neil Druckmann has obligingly provided a few reference materials.
In the tweet above you can see Ellie's tattoo design as well as the outfit she wears in The Last of Us 2 - or at least in its first trailer.
Ellie is the protagonist of The Last of Us Part 2, and some people have theorised that Joel is actually dead in the trailer we saw when The Last of Us 2 was announced at PlayStation Experience. That would certainly explain Ellie's burning need for vengeance; Naughty Dog has said The Last of Us Part 2 is about hatred.
The Last of Us 2 fact time is over: let us begin wild speculation. The tattoo covers Ellie's bite marks, which might just be a sensible way of hiding scars that could make her unwelcome in survivor communities, or might indicate she's trying to put the past behind her - especially as it includes a moth or a butterfly, a symbol of transformation and renewal.
I'm also interested in the insect and nature motif because when Sony first started promoting The Last of Us it kicked things off with a video including footage from a BBC documentary about a fungus called cordyceps, a mutated strain of which is responsible for the apocalypse in The Last of Us. Maybe if we knew what type of moth or butterfly we were looking at here we could dig up some more clues.
Is Ellie going to come out of her cocoon and blossom into a beautiful butterfly of death who hunts down Fireflies? Or is she the cocoon, hosting the vaccine for the mutated cordyceps virus which could save humanity? The Last of Us 2 has no release date and is apparently in the early stages of development, so we'll be waiting a pretty long time to find out.