The Last of Us Part II: Why The Walking Dead’s Clementine best relates to Ellie

Photo: The Last of Us™ Remastered.. Image Courtesy Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC, Naughty Dog, Inc.
Photo: The Last of Us™ Remastered.. Image Courtesy Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC, Naughty Dog, Inc. /

The Last of Us and The Walking Dead feature two similar characters who will do anything to survive.

The Last of Us Part II has been out for over a month now and it is still getting talked about. The game continues to get a mix of high praise and immense disappointment. It’s really one of the more incredible debates you’ll ever see in gaming.

Despite how anyone may feel about the game, Ellie’s legacy has been cemented between the first and second games. From the fiery teenage girl to a deadly young adult, she is among the most iconic video game characters of all-time.

Throughout her journey in both games, she is faced with several terrifying entities including crazy people, the Infected and those gosh darn Clickers (oh, aren’t they just precious?). Getting immersed in the world of The Last of Us, you can’t help but think of another character who was in a familiar pair of shoes.

That would be none other than the Telltale Walking Dead‘s Clementine. Known for her ability to survive as well as her trademark baseball hat, she too has become a bit of a gaming icon. And her situation of dealing with the zombies (walkers) is eerily similar to Ellie’s.

Although, you have to say that the evolution of Clementine is truly remarkable. From a scared little girl being protected by Lee, to a brave and skilled fighter, the growth is impressive. Not to swerve off too much, but it’s close to Arya Stark’s story from Game of Thrones.

Arya went from being unskilled with a sword to becoming arguably the GoT world’s most deadly assassin. As for Ellie, she was already pretty dangerous, even as a young teenager. Clem on the other hand had to grow into what she became and you witness this growth in season 2 of The Walking Dead. From there, her skills fully developed.

But two personality traits that both Ellie and Clem have is that they both can be ice cold when need be. Ellie is more ruthless, but Clementine can be ferocious in her own right depending on the choices you make in the game. The overall stories of the two are pretty different though.

As we know, in the original The Last of Us, we learn that Ellie is immune to the disease and a group called the Fireflies wants to use her as a way to find a cure. But, they would need to kill her in order to see if it would even work. Joel prevents that from happening to the dismay of Ellie who finds this out later on in the sequel. This shows that she was willing to give herself up if it helped others.

In The Last of Us Part II, Ellie is older and seeking revenge after tragedy struck near her current home of Jackson, Wyoming. So she heads to a completely ruined Seattle. As for Clementine, her story is really just all about survival and living through a world filled with walkers and lunatics.

Half of Season 2 and onward, her life got new meaning thanks to the presence of what is essentially her adopted son in AJ, whose parents, unfortunately, didn’t survive the apocalypse. From there, they try to find a place where they can lay and call home.

So it’s not necessarily that their stories that are the same, but the environments that the young fighters are dropped into. In the end, they both are trying to survive while working on accomplishing something. Now in The Last of Us Part II, Ellie essentially puts herself at risk by going to Seattle to seek revenge; but nonetheless, she is trying to survive also.

Clem is basically just tired of life on the road and being on the run all of the time. The walkers as well as untrustworthy groups, like the New Frontier, who kicked her out and took AJ from her, is why her personality was more hardened in Season 3.

One thing that is identical in the stories of these two is that they each had a father figure in the first installments of the game. You controlled both of these men in Joel and Lee. Both are trying to keep a young girl safe in an apocalyptic world. Although I said their stories defer, this element is darn near the same.

Another thing that stands out between Ellie and Clementine is how they both remain strong during difficult situations. They both were raised in a pandemic/apocalypse so even at their young ages, they started to develop skills.

Ellie started to show that she had the ability to survive in The Last of Us: Left Behind, a prequel to the original game. This is where she and her friend Riley explore an abandoned mall while trying to make it through alive.

Clementine started to truly pick up her skills in Season 2 of The Walking Dead. Again, although more laid back than Ellie, she is just as fearless. They are also both very smart for their ages when Ellie was 14 and Clem was 11 (Season 2).

They both learned how to toughen through at a young age and knew how to take care of themselves very early on. And although they both have had people in their lives throughout their journeys, they still had capabilities of being independent if needed.

The weapons they use are essentially the same as well. Yes, they both know how to handle guns, but there are other tactics they use that are identical. They both know how to distract infected/zombies with things like bottles and rocks.

They also are both extremely skilled with knives. In fact, in some ways, it has become a signature weapon for both heroes. And they both almost always go for the head with kills (especially Clementine).

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Lastly, they both are equally skilled with a bow and arrow also. Ellie learned it early on while Clem didn’t pick it up until she was 16. That said, she mastered it very quickly, making them both deadly with the ranged weapon.

So it’s really amazing. As different as the two young women from Massachusetts and Georgia are, they somehow manage to carry so many of the same things in their own ways. You can easily put these two together in a new game with a totally different story.

If that did happen, I can see them being a dynamic duo. They’d have the potential to form unique chemistry. One (Clementine) being a bit more composed than the other, and trying to keep each other sane while surviving through a torn world.

There are many great apocalyptic games out there with great characters. But, when you take age, environments, storytelling, guardian connection and set of skills into account, The Walking Dead‘s Clementine seems like she really could be the best comp for The Last of Us‘ Ellie, despite their unique personalities.