How does Anna die in The Last of Us game?

The Last of Us prequelHBO

The Last of Us Episode 9 introduces a tragic, never-before-seen character: Anna, Ellie’s mother – but how does she die in the game, and is it the same as the show?

In our review, we called it a “flawless finale for one of the strongest – if not the strongest – debut seasons in television history; infuriating, horrifying, and poignant in equal measure.”

The episode picks up with Joel and Ellie in the last stretch of their pilgrimage, finally reaching the Fireflies hospital in Salt Lake City – but things don’t go to plan.

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Before we get to that, we meet Ellie’s mother Anna (Ashley Johnson) in a lengthy, upsetting flashback – here’s what happens.

How does Anna die in The Last of Us show?

Anna asks Marlene to shoot and kill her after she gives birth to Ellie. While she was in labor, she was pursued and bitten by an infected.

In the opening seconds of the finale, we see a pregnant woman running through the woods, moaning in pain as screams echo through the trees. It’s Anna, and she’s in the ultimate nightmare scenario: she’s in labor and being chased by an infected. 

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As her water breaks, she reaches a house and hides upstairs, but the runner bashes the door down. In the tussle, Anna not only gets bitten, but gives birth – but she can’t worry about that now. She cuts her umbilical cord and coddles her baby.

Marlene later arrives, and Anna has yet to turn. They’ve been friends their whole lives, so she’s the only one she can trust to take Ellie to Boston and make sure she’s safe. “You pick her up now, and then you kill me,” Anna says. As Marlene takes the baby outside, Anna’s infection starts to take its course, and she begs her to shoot her. After taking a moment, she grants her final wish. 

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How does Anna die in The Last of Us game?

While Anna is never seen in The Last of Us game, we know she died within a day of giving birth to Ellie. It’s unclear if Marlene killed her after she became infected or if she died as a result of complications from childbirth.

Before she died, Anna wrote a letter for Ellie, which read:


I’m going to share a secret with you, I’m not a big fan of kids and I hate babies. And yet… I’m staring at you and I’m just awestruck.

You’re not even a day old and holding you is the most incredible thing I’ve done in my life – a life that is about to get cut a little short. 

Marlene will look after you. There’s no one in this world I trust more than her. When the time comes she’ll tell you all about me. Don’t give her too much of a hard time. Try not to be as stubborn as me.

I’m not going to lie, this is a pretty messed up world. It won’t be easy. The thing you always have to remember is that, 

Side one of the note ends here.

life is worth living! Find your purpose and fight for it.

I see so much strength in you. I know you’ll turn out to be the woman you’re meant to be.

Forever… your loving mother


Make me proud, Ellie!

Just like in the show, Marlene promised to look after Ellie, which is why her decision to sacrifice her daughter to save the world is so heartbreaking. You can read one of Marlene’s final recordings to Anna here.

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The Last of Us Season 1 is available to stream in its entirety now. You can check out the rest of our coverage here.