Was Ellie born immune to Cordyceps disease? Episode 1 of 'The Last of Us' EXPLAINED

Was Ellie born immune to Cordyceps disease? Episode 1 of 'The Last of Us' EXPLAINED
Bella Ramsey in 'The Last of Us' (IMDb)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: HBO 'The Last of Us' has clearly created a buzz since its release on 15 January 2023. Many critics have praised the show for its phenomenal screeplay, cast and have called it the 'perfect' adaptation of the video game. The premiere episode's big reveal may have been a surprise for some viewers, but was expected by the video game fans who are familiar with the major characters. Episode 1's end moments showed exactly why Ellie plays a significant part in the series.  

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The HBO Max series is set between two different timezones on earth. In one, the perspective shows you the beginning of a harmful infection, a threat to all of humanity, that is narrated by two scientists. The show is later fast-forwarded straight to 2003, with Joel, Tommy, and Sarah witnessing the outbreak of the Cordyceps infection, unmediated. The show then jumps 20 years to the current timeline of 2023, where there's hardly any living humans on the planet.

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The HBO series 'The Last of Us' brings us into the post-apocalyptic world set in the city of Boston, where Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv), who are introduced to Ellie (Bella Ramsey). They are given the task to smuggle her (Ellie) out of the Quarantine Zone (QZ) to the Firefly compound on Beacon Hill. Joel agrees to the task. Lastly, at the end of the Episode 1, we understand why Ellie is considered important to Fireflies and why they put their life in danger to keep her alive. 

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Bella Ramsey as Ellie in 'The Last of Us' (HBO)
Bella Ramsey as Ellie in 'The Last of Us' (HBO)

Is Ellie immune to the infection? 

So, is Ellie immune to the infection or not? In the end of the episode one, Joel, Tess, and Ellie are captured by the FEDRA agents on the border of the quarantine zone in Boston. After getting captured, the agent scans them for infection (a major scene taken from 'The Last of Us' video game.) When the agent turns to scan Ellie, she turns and stabs him in the leg, after which Joel kills the agent. Upon looking, Tess finds the scanner, which reveals that Ellie is infected. The news brings panic and after a moment, when everyone's heart is racing after hearing the threating news, Ellie reveals she was bitten three weeks ago. The shocking part is that in the apocalyptic world of 'The Last of Us', the infected starts to turn within 24-48 hours of being bitten. This proves that Ellie is immune to the infection.  

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When the bite marks are seen on her forearm, it is clear that she has the Cordyceps virus in her. But the fact that she has been bitten for 'over three weeks' means she has some sort of immunity against it. How long it will last is another question. But the virus obviously doesn't affect her the same way it does other humans. Factually, the symptoms to be noted about the Cordyceps infection is that it causes humans to lose their higher brain functions, who then become driven only to spread the infection. 

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How did Ellie become immune to the infection?

By the end of Episode 1 of 'The Last of Us' it is still unclear as to what caused Ellie to gain her immunity to the Cordyceps disease. Upcoming episodes might tell us more about this or at least drop some hints of why she is so blessed and if it can be replicated in other humans. 'The Last of Us' is available to watch on Disney Plus Hotstar and HBO Max.

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