Since its first appearance in a reveal trailer in late 2016, fans of The Last of Us Part 2 they began to speculate about the tattoo on Ellie's right hand. Even after the release of this new sequel, released this Friday, its symbolism may not be entirely clear to players. Just N di N, co-director and screenwriter of the game of which we leave you our review at this address, at the beginning of the month he answered a series of questions related to this much discussed tattoo.
In fact, a functional reason that dictates the existence of the tattoo exists, and it is precisely that of cover the bite on the arm. Druckmann, of course, referred to the injury that the protagonist suffered before being immune to the virus during the course of the first game. Above the bitten there is also achemical burn: a fact also confirmed by Ellie herself within the game.
The tattoo was designed by the Californian tattoo artist Natalie Hall, which was specifically invited to study a Santa Monica by Naughty Dog. After the team told her about the topics covered in The Last of Us Part 2, Hall decided to opt for a moth and a fern. According to Ashley Swidowski, the concept art of the main characters, the woman would even have drawn the tattoo on a developer's arm.
The moth intrigued the team due to its resemblance to a firefly, however its image is also a symbol of death and compulsion. There is this idea of being attracted to a light and constantly pursuing this thing. And that's how we came up with the idea for the loading screen as well: it's simply a moth being attracted to a light. It represents this relationship he has with Joel in his old life.