After the harrowing climax of the last episode, which saw the brothers Sam and Henry succumb to the horrors of a post-pandemic world, the sixth episode of HBO’s “The Last of Us” follows Joel and Ellie after a three-month time gap, as they venture through Wyoming in search of Joel’s brother, Tommy. After they are escorted to Jackson by Maria’s people, the long-awaited reunion between the brothers takes place in the idyllic settlement of Jackson. The viewers get a brief glimpse of a character in the diner at Jackson, a girl who is peeping at Joel and Ellie. Keen-eyed fans were quick to identify the girl as Dina, someone who is of significant importance to the future storyline of the series.
Who Is Dina? Her Significance In The Games And Her Possible Role In The Future
Early in the sixth episode, aptly titled “Kin,” Ellie and Joel are escorted to the community of Jackson. Part of their planned journey succeeds as they meet Joel’s brother Tommy in Jackson, resulting in an emotionally charged moment for the two brothers as they reunite after ages. Afterward, Tommy and his wife Maria take them to the diner, where the starving duo voraciously gulp down their platters, and Ellie spots a curious girl looking at them. Already infuriated at the initial conduct of Maria’s crew, Ellie lashes out at her, at once scaring the girl away. Maria is quick to clarify the situation, as the kids of Ellie’s age who reside in the settlement are not used to seeing an oddball like Ellie, as we know her upbringing at military school and experiences along the journey have shaped her psyche differently. The appearance of the girl matches Dina, a prominent character in the game, “The Last of Us Part II” who becomes Ellie’s love interest.
Now the character hasn’t been officially confirmed to be Dina, and the showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann have been pretty ambiguous regarding the confirmation of her identity as fan questions have flooded social media. But in the official podcast for the sixth episode, they have basically given away confirmation. As host Troy Baker (renowned VA who voiced Joel in the game) points out, the first interaction between Ellie and Dina in the game consisted of the same dialogue, which Ellie addresses toward the girl in the series. Even the theme of food matches their first interaction in the game. The character in the series was played by Paolina Van Kleef, and according to the IMDB, she will appear once more in the upcoming episodes of the first season of “The Last of Us.”
Without spoiling much about “The Last of Us Part II,” we can share Dina’s importance in the sequel to the acclaimed title. Diana came as an outsider and became a citizen of the Jackson community. In the aftermath of the first game, Joel and Ellie settled in Jackson, and Ellie became involved in a romantic relationship with Dina. Circumstances bind their fate as their shared personal loss brings them closer through the progression of the narrative. Just like the first game chronicled Joel and Ellie’s journey and charted their character development, much of the sequel involves the journey of Ellie and Dina and how they grow as individuals. In “The Last of Us Part II,” Dina starts as Ellie’s lover and partner in crime, and her experience evolves her into a trustworthy counsel. Ellie goes through a significant change in the next part of the game, and Dina’s presence in her life turns out to be of crucial importance.
As we have seen in the series adaptation of “The Last of Us,” it differs from the game in a number of ways, mostly for the better. The pacing of the series suggests that the narrative of the first game will be covered in its first season, and as Dina first appeared in the second part of the game, the speculations were that she won’t appear until season two of the series releases, which by the way has already been confirmed. The showrunners decided to insert a brief cameo of Dina, not only to hint at the Jackson settlement as an important setting for Ellie’s arc but also to put these characters in a contrasting position. Ellie by no means received a conventional upbringing, and her experiences through the journey have roughened her up enough to keep her on her toes most of the time. The serenity of Jackson is not enough to lure her, and despite the warm welcome, and the hospitality she received from Tommy and Maria, she is quite apprehensive of this new place and its people. Therefore, a harmless peep is enough to alarm her senses and crank her up.
Aside from the brief glimpse, the episode doesn’t reveal anything about Dina at all, and there’s no way of confirming whether the same actor will play Dina’s character in the next season. However, the setup for the next season has already been put into motion through this cameo, and another possible appearance of the character in this season will help hold the story together through two seasons. Actor Bella Ramsey, who portrays Ellie in the series, has expressed her excitement about the potential Ellie-Dina relationship in the next season, which, according to her, will bring a crucial angle to her relationship with Joel as well. Given the fact that there is a five-year gap between the timeline of the first and second parts of the game, the series will most definitely take a break before releasing its second season. Thankfully, the bits of teases for the future of the series will be enough to keep fans engaged through that period.