How does Marlene know Veronica isn’t Ellie’s real name in The Last Of Us?

*WARNING: Spoilers follow for The Last Of Us*

HBO’s long-awaited adaptation of The Last Of Us has finally arrived on our screens, with the opening episode delivering a captivatingly tense and grounded first chapter.

The first episode of the series not only introduced fans to Pedro Pascal’s Joel Miller, but also gave viewers their first glimpse of Bella Ramsey as the feisty Ellie.

Questions were quickly raised by some viewers, however, when Ellie said her name was Veronica while she was being held hostage by the fireflies.

But why exactly did Ellie call herself Veronica in The Last Of Us and, more importantly, how does Marlene know her real name?

Ellie’s introduction to The Last Of Us

Episode 1 of the TV series The Last Of Us introduces 14-year-old Ellie in a slightly different way than in the original video game, as we find her chained and trapped in a room at the Fireflies’ headquarters in Boston.

Several unnamed fireflies come to check on Ellie and ask her to count slowly to 10, stretch out her arm, and say her name, which she claims is Veronica.

Later, we see Ellie start counting to 10 when she hears someone enter the room, but she stops when she sees that it’s Marlene, the leader of the fireflies, who has come to give Ellie’s backpack back and close her to free.

The next time we see Ellie, her path crosses that of Joel and Tess for the first time after there is a shootout at the firefly headquarters and Marlene begs the smugglers to take Ellie to a group of fireflies outside the quarantine zone.

The Last of Us © HBO | Liane Hentscher

Why does Ellie call herself Veronica in The Last Of Us?

Ellie calls herself Veronica in The Last Of Us to hide her true identity. Yes, it’s that simple.

While Ellie may seem irrelevant at first – she’s not related to anyone of importance – it quickly becomes clear that she may well be the key to saving all of humanity.

As the episode progresses, it is revealed that Ellie is immune to the Cordyceps infection, having been bitten three weeks prior and showing no signs of illness.

This gives the fireflies hope that their DNA could be used to create a vaccine, making Ellie one of the most important people on the planet, which is why they have to play it safe when telling people who she is.

The Last of Us © HBO | Shane Harvey

How does Marlene know Ellie’s real name?

In the game, Marlene was a close friend of Ellie’s mother, Anna.

In the final stages of the original game, players may discover a letter that Ellie keeps in her backpack that her mother left for her.

It shows that Anna was not well after giving birth to Ellie – she later died on the same day as Ellie was born.

The letter also reveals that Anna left baby Ellie in the care of Marlene, making the Firefly leader the closest thing Ellie has to a mother.

However, as the TV show suggests, Marlene eventually decided to send Ellie away, first to an orphanage and then to a FEDRA military boarding school.

While Marlene’s behavior may have meant Ellie had a tough upbringing, they mean that she managed to keep her promise to Anne by making sure Ellie stayed safe throughout most of her childhood.

The Last of Us © HBO

The Last Of Us celebrated its premiere HBO and HBO Max in the US on Sunday 15 January 2023 and followed internationally a day later, with UK viewers able to watch over Atlantic sky and NOW.

In other news, The Last Of Us Ending Song: Radio Code Explored How does Marlene know Veronica isn’t Ellie’s real name in The Last Of Us?


CELINE CASTRONUOVO is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. CELINE CASTRONUOVO joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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