Warning! This article contains mild spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2. If you've yet to play the game and want to remain in the dark as to its storyline, turn back now.
The Last of Us episode 6 might have just featured another Easter egg – and this time, it's not a giraffe soft toy or a nod to Joel's hero shirt from the first game, it's a major character from The Last of Us Part 2.
Interestingly, one of the HBO show's bosses, Naughty Dog's Neil Druckmann, teased the involvement of a mystery character in season 1 way back in March 2020. Sharing a tweet from HBO celebrating International Women's Day and the network's roster of female characters, he wrote (opens in new tab): "And now you have Ellie, Riley, Tess, Marlene, Maria" before blanking out another four-letter name and adding, "and a few others!"
At the time, those who have played the game speculated as to who he might have meant. Anna, protagonist Ellie's late mother, who was later glimpsed in a teaser for the series, was an option, as were Abby, Ellie's adversary or Dina, Ellie's romantic partner in Part 2. Now, The Last of Us episode 6 has hinted that Druckmann probably meant the latter.
In the latest installment, titled 'Kin', Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) found themselves stumbling across a self-sufficient settlement in Jackson, Wyoming – and it just so happens that Tommy (Gabriel Luna), Joel's missing brother, has been made a new life for himself there. After introducing the pair to his partner Maria (Rutina Wesley), one of the community's leaders, the foursome sit down for a hot meal in the commune's canteen.
While chowing down, Ellie spots another girl staring at her from behind a wooden pillar. "What?" she growls, to which Maria says: "She was just curious. Kids around here don't usually look or talk like you."
There's not much to confirm that the mysterious onlooker is Dina but her clothes, long dark hair, and obvious interest in Ellie suggests that she is. Ellie meets Dina at the Jackson settlement in The Last of Us Part 2, so we know she's based there. The barn the scene takes place in looks remarkably like the place where Ellie and Dina share their first kiss, too.
While she doesn't actually feature in the first game, Dina is a huge part of Part 2, accompanying Ellie on her quest. While appearing on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast, Ramsey explained that while they've never played the game, they're excited to play out "the Ellie and Dina stuff," having seen an edit online of the characters' love story.
All that said, Druckmann could've just as easily been referring to Anna (played by Ellie voice actor Ashley Johnson), who we've not yet seen in the show, but know she'll feature due to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in the official teaser. Only time will tell.
The Last of Us continues on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max in the US, and Sky Atlantic and NOW the following day in the UK. Make sure you never miss an episode by checking out our The Last of Us release schedule and our breakdown of how many episodes are in The Last of Us.
For more from the series, check out our guide to the major Last of Us episode 5 changes from the games and a terrifying look at the Cordyceps fungus.