A brief appearance of a girl curiously watching Ellie eat during this week’s episode of The Last of Us had fans of the games excited. And fans of just the show were likely left a little confused as to what all the fuss is about. If you’re here wondering who the hell this “Dina” the internet is yelling about is and whether the excitement is anything more than speculation at this point, we’ve got you covered. Let’s talk about a character who will likely be a big deal in The Last of Us’ second season.
Was that girl (maybe) Dina?
After Joel and Ellie arrive in Jackson, they’re treated to a proper meal by Joel’s brother Tommy and his wife Maria. While they eat, we see a brief glimpse of a young girl watching from afar. Ellie, who is rightfully off-put by the stranger’s snooping, yells at her from the dinner table. The girl quickly leaves, but Maria says she’s “just curious.” This is all we see of her, but the character’s dark hair and ponytail were enough to get fans speculating that this could have been Dina, a main character in The Last of Us Part II.
The girl in question is credited as “staring girl” and is played by Paolina van Kleef. According to her IMDb profile, van Kleef has appeared in two episodes of The Night Agent, as well as the 2018 short Yasmina.
Who is Dina and why is she one of the best characters in The Last of Us?
Dina is Ellie’s girlfriend in The Last of Us Part II and is portrayed by Westworld actor Shannon Woodward and modeled by Cascina Caradonna. Because of the game’s flashback-centric structure, we get a pretty interesting view of their relationship, which is first established through Ellie’s journal entries before we see them in the various flashbacks throughout the game.
In The Last of Us Part II, Dina serves as both a companion to Ellie’s revenge quest in Seattle and as animportant foil to her partner as a person who prioritizes her family over Ellie’s insatiable need for revenge. So she’s pretty central to things beyond just being in a relationship with the protagonist.
But is it actually Dina in episode 6?
It’s not 100 percent clear if this was Dina yet, but there’s some basis that it could be her based on the scene in question. In Part II, Dina and Ellie have a conversation about when the latter first arrived at the Jackson settlement. Dina mentions seeing Ellie eating and stealing food, to which our hero remarks that she wasn’t used to seeing that much food after growing up in a Boston quarantine zone and traveling across the country with Joel. The scene we get in the show and Dina’s description aren’t identical, but they’re close enough that it’s reasonable to believe this is Dina.
Outside of the episode itself, showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann spoke about the scene on the show’s official podcast and seemed to imply this could be Dina, or at the very least they want us to believe it could be. They stop short of outright confirming it, however.
If this is Dina, it’s interesting to watch the show lay foundation for the second season in a way The Last of Us didn’t/couldn’t do for its sequel. The games feel pretty well woven together thematically in the way the first neatly leads to the events of the second, but it’s lacking anything like a possible cameo for new characters that would show up in the second game.