If there’s one thing I love to see on social media, it’s celebrating fictional characters’ birthdays.
April 11 will be the -134 birthday of Commander Shepard from Mass Effect. Ryuji Sakamoto from Persona 5 will be 21 on July 3. This little tidbit of information isn’t much, but it’s a fun detail to know about your faves and gives you an excuse for a little appreciation post on platforms like Twitter. Sometimes it even results in a wave of fandom where artists make loving tributes to characters on their big day.
But you know what we don’t talk enough about? Death days. Because folks, it’s a big one today for fans of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us series.
Spoilers for The Last of Us Part II follow. Obviously.
At the beginning of The Last of Us Part II, protagonist Ellie and her soon-to-be girlfriend Dina went out on what was supposed to be a routine scouting mission outside their home in Jackson, Wyoming. And for the most part, the patrol was the most unremarkable part of that day for them. They established that they’d both had feelings for each other for awhile, and then sealed the deal in a marijuana-filled hideout. Little did they know, a woman named Abby, along with her friends, had arrived on the outskirts of Jackson, searching for Ellie’s father figure Joel. Who, in the first game, had not only damned humanity to the cordyceps fungus that had overtaken the world by saving would-be-cure Ellie from having her brain scooped out, but killed Abby’s father in the process.
Through dumb luck and a little bit of tracking, Abby found Joel while he and his brother were on their own patrol, and tricked them to walking straight into the lion’s den. Abby shot Joel’s leg, then proceeded to beat him to death with a golf club.
In more serious The Last of Us Part II coverage:
- The Last of Us Part II Shows a Gender Double Standard for Violence
- The Last of Us Part II Illustrates How Queer Spaces Are Not a Monolith
- Attaching Real World Guilt to The Last of Us: Part II’s Violence is Bullshit
It’s a harrowing scene, and kickstarted the revenge tour that would become the basis of Ellie’s story in The Last of Us Part II. Why am I bringing it up so we can relive this collective trauma? Check the sign-in date Ellie writes down as she and Dina are on patrol:
Yep. It’s 17 years from the date of Joel’s demise, as the game takes place in the year 2038. Happy Death Day, big guy. You kinda deserved it. But I still love you and recognize you were doing what you thought was best for your surrogate daughter.