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‘The Last of Us’ Fans Think This Major Game Character Had a Cameo in Episode 6

maybe dina creeping on joel and ellie in the last of us

The sixth episode of HBO’s The Last of Us, “Kin,” aired on February 19 and left viewers with quite a lot to digest. The episode reintroduces Joel (Pedro Pascal)’s brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) and explains what he has been up to in the 20 years since the cordyceps outbreak. It also explores the dynamic between Joel and Tommy, as well as some internal struggles Joel has been facing. Then, “Kin” ends on a massive cliffhanger that leaves viewers scrambling to figure out how the characters will get out of this particular rut.

Amid all this excitement, it was actually a split-second moment in “Kin” that viewers most fervently latched on to and began speculating about. This is when Joel and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) are treated to a meal in Tommy’s commune. As she’s eating, Ellie happens to notice a girl staring at her from behind a post. She barks “What?” at her, causing the girl to scramble away while Maria (Rutina Wesley) explains that the kids in the commune are just curious about Ellie and outsiders.

That is the last we hear of the girl, and The Last of Us leaves her identity a mystery. In the credits, she is listed only as Staring Girl and is portrayed by Paolina van Kleef. However, many fans are convinced that the girl was Dina, a character from The Last of Us video game, and that this brief cameo was meant to tease her future appearance in the show. Speculation about Dina has dominated the conversation around “Kin,” but those unfamiliar with the video game may be a little confused as to what the big deal is. Her storyline in the game, though, will easily explain why fans are so excited about her.

Who is Dina in The Last of Us game?

Dina (voiced by Shannon Woodword) in The Last of Us

Dina actually does not appear in the original The Last of Us game. She is first introduced as a protagonist in the game’s sequel, The Last of Us Part II, and is voiced by Shannon Woodward. Just like the show may have implied, she has roots in Maria’s commune in Jackson, Wyoming. Her journey to the safety of the commune wasn’t easy, as she and her sister were orphaned before arriving. While not without its dangers, the commune allowed Dina to live somewhat of a normal life. She struck up a relationship with a survivor named Jesse (Stephen Chang) and also slowly befriended Ellie (Ashley Johnson) and Joel (Troy Baker) in the years following the events of the first game.

After Dina breaks things off with Jesse, she and Ellie begin dating. However, their blossoming relationship is marred by a tragedy that takes Ellie on a dangerous mission from Jackson to Seattle, Washington. Despite it being a personal mission, Dina insists on accompanying Ellie. Things get messy, though, when Dina admits that she is pregnant with Jesse’s child. This revelation results in Jesse also joining them on the mission and Ellie initially trying to distance herself from Dina.

Given how traumatic the journey is, Ellie finds solace in Dina and realizes the thing she wants most is to protect her regardless of the circumstances of their relationship. As a result, the two end up abandoning the mission and raising Dina’s son together for some time. However, Ellie continues to struggle with grief, trauma, and a desire to finish her mission, which causes her relationship with Dina to deteriorate.

When Ellie ends up choosing vengeance over Dina, their stories are left unresolved, leaving hope for a third game. The incomplete story is still worth visiting, though, as it is a very touching and complex tale of love, survival, grief, and PTSD.

(featured image: Naughty Dog)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.