The Last Of Us 2 was a blockbuster release, becoming the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive of all time, as well as holding the record for the most ever Game Of The Year awards. Its popularity and commercial success means a third installment of the franchise seems inevitable, and indeed a plot outline has apparently already been written by developer Naughty Dog.

However, The Last Of Us 2 was also highly controversial, being review bombed by fans because of some of its story decisions. This includes the actions of new character Abby, against whom main protagonist Ellie wages a savage war for revenge. However, the epic action-adventure’s conclusion means that, as unlikely as it may seem, Ellie and Abby could end up fighting on the same side in a future release.

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How The Last Of Us 2’s Ending Paved the Way for an Abby/Ellie Alliance

A new piece of fan art depicts The Last of Us Part 2's Ellie and Abby as friends.

The Last Of Us 2 charted the self-destructive and brutal revenge quest of Ellie against Abby Anderson, after Abby’s vicious slaying of Ellie’s father figure, Joel Miller. The shocking murder, which occurs very early in the second game’s story, was itself the culmination of Abby’s own revenge quest, after Joel murdered her father at the end of the original The Last Of Us.

This jaw-dropping twist, although proving controversial with some of the The Last Of Us fan community, perfectly sets up the game’s central theme of exploring “the cycle of violence,” illustrating how violent acts create unforeseen ripple effects that lead inevitably to more brutality. Part of the game’s genius is in first establishing Abby as a detestable villain, but then unexpectedly allowing the player to control her for a huge chunk of the narrative, making her seem much more relatable and in many cases convincing players that killing Joel was perhaps justified.

The game’s ending sees Ellie finally able to confront Abby in combat, with the latter stripped of her trademark muscles and confidence after a lengthy period of incarceration and torture at the hands of unscrupulous slavers. Their fight is unsurprisingly ferocious, with Ellie finally getting the upper hand, but in another unforeseen development that eschews the typical culmination of a revenge quest, she decides against murdering Abby and instead allows her nemesis to escape in a nearby boat.

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How Abby and Ellie Could Become Allies in The Last Of Us 3

Abby looks on as Ellie breaks down crying in The Last of Us Part II

Abby’s murder of Joel follows his execution of her father at the end of the first The Last Of Us. In that game's finale, Joel had decided to rescue Ellie from death at the hands of the Firefly gang, who were seeking to extract a vaccine against the infection that has decimated humanity. Not only did his actions prevent the potential recovery of mankind, but they also seemingly wiped out the entire Firefly organization.

However, in The Last Of Us 2’s closing scenes, Abby is following a lead that suggests the Firefly gang may have been resurrected — indeed, it is chasing this rumor that leads to her capture by the vile “Rattlers” slaver group. Although Abby’s fate is left ambiguous after her release by Ellie, the post-credits alteration to the game’s title screen suggests that she may well have located her former comrades.

Ellie also survives the events of the second game’s finale, forsaken by her partner Dina and her adopted child after her selfish actions in refusing to abandon her vendetta against Abby. This means that Ellie and Abby are both alive, and have reason to join the Firefly gang — Abby to fulfill her goal, and Ellie to compensate for Joel’s misdeeds by sacrificing herself to science and the pursuit of a vaccine.

Whatever The Last Of Us 3 has in store for fans, it is certain that its story will include more astonishing narrative twists, some of which may prove just as controversial as the previous game. Seeing Abby and Ellie, once mortal enemies, fighting alongside each other would be a plot swerve befitting Naughty Dog’s esteemed series.

The Last Of Us 3 is not currently in development.

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