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Some Thoughts on The Last of Us 2’s Story: Yes A Tale of Revenge, But More A Story About What We Inherit From Our Parents

Content of the article: "Some Thoughts on The Last of Us 2’s Story: Yes A Tale of Revenge, But More A Story About What We Inherit From Our Parents"

I've seen a ton of comments on the games message of the cycle of violence/vengeance being bad, but I actually think the message is more about the relationships with our parents or parental figures, and how the things we inherit from them affect us for good and ill. I'd love to share the reading and get any feedback from others that beat it.

For Ellie, Joel's death drives her to maddening revenge as she cannot handle the guilt of their falling out and the loss just as they were about to try to mend. She quite literally walks away from a perfect life for a whole other round of revenge because it's overwhelmed her so. It's only in the last moments that she thinks not on his brutal death, but their final conversation, about being with the ones you love and cherishing them. That's when it actually hits her about everything she's sacrificed in her pursuit.

For Abby it's a similar story. She has a caring a nurturing side she inherited from her father, but she is lost to anger and revenge after his death. She unintentionally helps her friends die in her pursuit of it, as it's very clear from the story they had been doing their best to move on with their lives. But they willingly let her drag them into the act because of what she means to them. It's only after the revenge and it's hollow results that Abby get's her "Joel Arc" for lack of better term. By helping Lev on his journey she starts to connect with that human/loving side her father gave her, the side she had completely lost after his death. By the end of the game it's clear Lev is more important to her than her own life, just like Joel with Ellie at the end of 1.

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And Lev's is probably the easiest to analyze. He has a mother he unconditionally loves, but who hates him with pure fury for who they are and going against how they were raised. The symbolism isn't exactly subtle here. But even so, we see the faith (well weird cult faith) that carried both sibling through their lives is still a positive to them, even after they have been cast out. From Abby's talks with Lev we can see the positive sides of faith, when you separate it from the politics and posturing of those who use it for power.

That's how I read it. The good and bad we get from those we love, and trying to grow past/with those influences and become our own people. Perfect game? Hell naw. But some interesting stuff trying to be told, and overall I found it compelling.

Did anyone else see it this way, or am I alone? Would love to hear thoughts.


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