The Last Of Us 2
"The Last Of Us Part II" was announced in December 2016 during PlayStation Experience. YouTube/PlayStation

As game developer Naughty Dog continues to remain silent on the storyline of “The Last Of Us Part II,” fans of the franchise have begun to strengthen their own theories, using some logic and the official reveal trailer as evidence. The strongest debate is, arguably, whether or not Joel is alive in the series or is simply a figment of Ellie’s imagination.

A group of the public has begun to believe and support that, sometime in the five years between the original 2013 title and “The Last Of Us 2,” Joel was murdered by an unknown party. The trailer has provided proof of the same, such as Joel’s lack of screen time and his lack of ageing. However, one fan voiced out a few concerns on Reddit, which attempt to disprove some of these points.

Creative director Neil Druckmann confirmed at PlayStation Experience last month that “The Last Of Us 2” would be Ellie’s story, and that Joel would be taking the passenger’s seat this time. According to the Reddit theory, this is why Joel’s face is not shown in the reveal trailer and why Ellie is the focal point. The now 19-year-old, who has seen more than her fair share of struggle, is the focus and main protagonist of the game.

In addition, it is also pointed out that the five years would not have done the same to Joel as they did to Ellie. Ellie was just 14- years old and was going through puberty when the original game took place, so it is expected for her to physically appear stronger and more mature. Joel, on the other hand, was already in his late 40s. Five years would arguably do much less to physically change him.

“The Last Of Us 2” has no official release date at this point. Fans are hopeful, however, that the title will be released within the year.

Watch the reveal trailer of “The Last Of Us Part II”

ALSO READ: 'The Last Of Us 2' update: Naughty Dog to explore Ellie's sexuality in upcoming sequel, 'The Last Of Us 2': Joel's singular statement is evidence he is not present in the game