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Why Ellie From HBO's The Last Of Us Looks So Familiar

Upon its release in 2013, "The Last of Us" became a phenomenon in the gaming sphere just as other post-apocalyptic media franchises like AMC's "The Walking Dead" were dominating buzz in other mediums. The game told the story of a band of survivors after a mysterious virus divides society between the "infected" and those who must fight and hide from the monsters. Its epic storytelling and graphic visuals will now be realized on the small screen with the arrival of the first trailer for HBO's "The Last of Us." Pedro Pascal will co-lead the series' cast as Joel and will be joined by Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge, and Anna Torv as Tommy, Marlene, and Tess respectively. The clip has already received noteworthy mentions for how its storyline matches the main themes of the video game.

The trailer also revealed what many felt was a surprise casting move with "Yellowjacket's" Melanie Lynskey in character as Kathleen, the head of the revolutionary movement in the town of Kansas City, which aligns with the game's story perfectly (per TVLine). Stepping into the role of Ellie, the co-lead of the story alongside Joel, is another young actor that likely looks familiar to you. Here is where we have seen her before.

Bella Ramsey played Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones

Ellie will be played by Bella Ramsey, an 18-year-old English actor (at the time of writing) who has been acting in television and film since 2016. Ramsey hit the ground running with instant success thanks to her first screen credit as Lady Lyanna Mormont in "Game of Thrones." In the series, her character was the child leader of House Mormont, which was seated on Bear Island. Lyanna was the cousin of Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), the close confidant to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and the niece of Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo), the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.

Her performance brilliantly captured Mormont's incredible bravery for a girl of only 10 years of age. In an interview with Elle in 2019, the interviewer commented on Lyanna being written into the final seasons of the show past the original Season 6 arc for the character due to her popularity with fans, to which Ramsey replied, "Yeah, I'm really grateful. The fans played a massive part in that as well. If they hadn't got behind Lyanna, it probably would've been unlikely that I'd be back. So yeah, massive thank you to them. And also to Dan [D.B. Weiss] and David [Benioff] for bringing me back, because it's been such a great experience." Her acting is a testament to that demand, which made her one of the most memorable players during the last three seasons of the series.

She played Mildred Hubble for three seasons on The Worst Witch

During her time on "Game of Thrones, Bella Ramsey also branched out into other acting projects thanks to her character only having a few appearances on the series. In 2016, she was cast as Mildred Hubble in CBBC's "The Worst Witch," which was also licensed by Netflix where it premiered in July 2017. The series was based on the 1970s children's books by Jill Murphy and followed Mildred as she discovers she is a witch while learning about witchcraft at Cackle Academy. As a quirkier, more child-friendly show with a similar storytelling structure to "Harry Potter," there were hopes for a Season 5 of "The Worst Witch," but it never materialized.

Ramsey only played the lead role for the first three seasons, before being replaced by Lydia Page in the final season. Speaking to The Guardian in 2016, she said of the series, "It's not 'Harry Potter' for girls because girls like 'Harry Potter' as well. Anyone can watch 'The Worst Witch' — it's quite a versatile program, even though most of the cast are female. Mildred Hubble is a witch for everyone. Boys can watch it too." She would go on to leave the show before Season 4, citing her mental health as a top priority in her decision (via Instagram).

Ramsey starred as Elsbeth in the World War II drama film Resistance

In the film world, Bella Ramsey landed her first prominent supporting role in the 2020, Jesse Eisenberg-led drama "Resistance." The movie explored the life of the famous mime Marcel Marceau (Eisenberg), who joined the French Resistance against Nazi Germany during World War II. Ramsey starred as Elsbeth, a young Jewish girl whose parents are murdered by Nazi officers in 1938. She is collected by a scout troop that seeks to hide Jewish children safely in the German countryside. At the location, Elsbeth forms a bond with Marceau who makes it a point to entertain the traumatized kids with his mime skills.

During a Talks at Google session, where she appeared virtually with Eisenberg and director Jonathan Jakubowicz, she was asked about her thoughts on joining the project and replied, "...I think I found similarities between me and Elsbeth. You kind of have to find the similarities between you and a character. I think I just loved that the script didn't shy away from the reality of war, and what it actually was, and the vulnerability, and the relationships and the emotions. It didn't shy away from that."

She starred as Lady Jane Grey in Starz's Becoming Elizabeth

During the summer of 2022, Bella Ramsey returned to television screens playing Lady Jane Grey, the dejected monarch that reigned over England for nine days in 1553, on Starz's "Becoming Elizabeth." The series explores the early life of Princess Elizabeth Tudor (Alicia von Rittberg) in the immediate years before she ascends to the English throne as Queen Elizabeth I. Ramsey's Lady Jane marks the first major portrayal of the doomed queen since Helena Bonham Carter in 1986's "Lady Jane."

When discussing the role in an interview with She Knows, Ramsey said, "She's [Lady Jane Grey] becoming aware of her position, from what she's been told, but also becoming aware of it for herself. I think she's crafty. She definitely, as she grows up toward the end of this season and hopefully in further seasons, gets to understand better the stakes of the world that she lives in. She can manipulate certain situations in order to get onto the throne. Although to be fair, I don't know whether that's her or whether that's the work of her father and the people around who actually make that happen." 

Ramsey has experience in playing powerful and intuitive young woman leaders, which she will no doubt bring to her role as Ellie when "The Last of Us" premieres sometime in 2023.