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Was that Ellie’s mom in The Last of Us Part 2 trailer?

Can you keep them in the dark for life?

woman from the last of us part 2 trailer Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony dropped a new trailer for The Last of Us Part 2 to cap off its Paris Games Week press event. Unlike our first — and, until now, most recent — trailer for the PlayStation 4 sequel to Naughty Dog’s survival adventure game, this one didn’t include any familiar characters. Instead, we were treated to several minutes of painfully graphic, disturbing imagery as a new set of characters showed one another who means business.

We have plenty of thoughts on the trailer itself and whether it went too far. But The Last of Us Part 2, due sometime in 2018, remains one of the most highly anticipated games for PS4. And as such, we have to wonder: What the hell was happening in this trailer?

Naughty Dog is playing coy. This is what the developer had to say in the YouTube description for the trailer:

At its core, The Last of Us Part II is still very much about Ellie and Joel, but for this reveal, we wanted to showcase several new characters that are integral to their next journey. We’re sure you have many questions after watching this scene. We’re also pretty sure that we’re going to see all sorts of theories about whom these characters are, where and when this scene takes place, and how all of this fits into Ellie and Joel’s next story. For now we’re keeping mum, but we’re excited to see what y’all make of this piece of the puzzle.

As expected, fans are already bouncing around several theories to help explain this mysterious new footage. But one remains the biggest:

Is that woman Ellie’s mom?

At both the beginning and end of the trailer, we see a woman who is being hanged from a tree. It’s not clear who she is, why she’s in that position or when this scene even takes place. Is this set at the same time as The Last of Us Part 2? Before? After? It’s unclear.

But that hasn’t stopped viewers from making big guesses as to who this woman, who ends up breaking free of her noose and grabbing a hammer that’s just been used as a murder weapon, may be. The popular choice? It’s Ellie’s mom, Anna.

Although she was physically absent from The Last of Us, Ellie’s mom’s presence looms large. Anna died just after giving birth to Ellie, but left a letter behind for her daughter to remember her by. That letter remains a source of motivation for the young woman, and she even holds onto her mom’s switchblade for additional, meaningful protection.

Because of how much she means to Ellie, it makes sense that fans would want to see more of Anna. We’re not convinced there’s the obvious resemblance that some fans are seeing between the woman in the trailer and Ellie, but there is one last convincing clue: Naughty Dog tweeted out pics of the new characters and their names. The name of the woman believed to be Ellie’s mom ... is blacked out by exactly four dark squares.

Curious, indeed. More curious is that this woman is clearly of major importance to The Last of Us Part 2, being that she gets one of the final shots of the trailer, when she picks up a bloodied hammer after wiggling free from her noose. A poster released last month subtly teased this new trailer by prominently displaying the woman’s arm clenching the hammer.

We really don’t know what’s going on here, truth be told. We won’t know anything for certain until closer to the game’s release next year. But it’s fun to speculate, and you bet fans will keep insisting that Ellie’s mom is our new star until proven otherwise.

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