In the Washington Post, Neil Druckmann, the creative director of Last of Us (LoU) and Last of Us Part II (LoUII), shared the following as an inspiration for the sequel:
The formulation for Ellie’s turn toward darkness can be traced back to the year 2000. Then in his early 20s, Druckmann witnessed news footage of a crowd lynching two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. “And then they cheered afterward,” Druckmann, who grew up in Israel, recalls. “It was the cheering that was really chilling to me. … In my mind, I thought, ‘Oh, man, if I could just push a button and kill all these people that committed this horrible act, I would make them feel the same pain that they inflicted on these people.’"
The feeling faded, though. Eventually, he looked back and felt “gross and guilty” for his intense feelings. With “The Last of Us Part II,” he wanted to explore that emotional tumult on a didactic level.
This post would not have been written had Neil Druckmann not made these comments and is dedicated to all artists who depoliticise conflicts through their craft.