Ok, guys and girls, this has been talked about a LOT, but i'm going to try to give evidence and valid points of argument for what is everybody saying, or not, and i just want to know if these points appear to everyone else too and what you think about them. What does Ellie want? What is your opinion?
People are either saying "she would want to sacrifice herself" or "she wants to live". What i'm saying:
The word sacrifice doesn’t fit here. It doesn't fit with Ellie. It only fits with Joel because he knows the complete truth. Ellie doesn't. She can just guess, and she knows that Joel is lying about something. She knows that the Fireflies were gonna do something to her because she sees the surgery clothes, because they left in a hurry, because there is something in Joels tone that isn't right. But she doesn't know exactly what. She wants to live definitely, we can see that through the Spring chapter, making plans for the future, but she also wants to end this thing and go to the hospital. When Joel asks her "we don't have to do this, you know that right?" she thinks about it and then says in a tone "lets just end this and then we can leave and go wherever you want to". She keeps on going because she has survivors guilt, seeing so many people close to her die while she is still alive, and also because "it can't be for nothing". She wants to end this, she wants to help find a cure and THEN she wants to go home. When Joel lies to her (before the final scene) she knows that Joel is lying about something. She knows that the Fireflies were gonna do something to her because she sees the surgery clothes, because they left in a hurry, because there is something in Joels tone that isn't right. But she doesn't know exactly what. I said it before i'll say it again just to make it fit with the previous. So at the end while she walks through the forest she is thinking all of this.
At the final cutscene she mentions Riley, Tess, Sam because she feels guilt that she is alive from the bite and they are not. She wants to HELP. That's why she fights hard to get to the hospital (although she gets tired and just wants to end this like i mentioned), because she can actually help, her life has a meaning! She may or may not wanted to sacrifice, we can't know for sure, but she definitely wanted to help! Marlene said "that's what she would have wanted". Maybe, maybe not. She surely wanted to help though, about sacrificing we don't know.
Her life had a good purpose. If you read the comics Riley says to Ellie "do you ever think about the future?" and Ellie says "not much to think about really." So we can obviously see that she didn't have any plans, nor had any purpose or anything. Riley kept on by saying "that's what they want us to think..." and etc. In the game though we see Ellie fighting for her life's purpose. She found one to live for which is pretty powerful since she can actually help others. Also since we know that Riley dies, Ellie probably feels kind of "obligated" to her. We can understand that in the end-that's why she mentions her-she remembers her. We can see that in our everyday life actually. Someone we know dies or gets sick, and we all say "i wish i did that with them, or said that to them". Ellie wishes to take back what was taken away from her friend. Riley was a firefly (check her pendant in Ellie's backpack). Fireflies fought for finding a cure. That's what Riley was probably fighting for too or wanted to fight for. Once Ellie saw that she is immune and her best friend dies because she isn’t, plus the fact that she fought for the fireflies cause which is about finding a cure, Ellie immediately feels like she can help her cause. Do something for her friend who died. That's why she struggles to talk about Riley in the end. That's why she mentions it in all the climax of the ending and not before. Because that's what she had in mind through all of her journey but in the end her "cause" slipped away. Ellie had Riley as a motivator, and when she can't help find a cure in the end, she feels even more guilty for her friends death. As if she had "failed" her. Throughout their journey we can she her fighting for that but coming closer to the end after all she has been through she feels less for humanity, more tired and she wants to just end this. She wants to live and at the same time help. So that's why Joel lies to her. Because he believes that telling Ellie the truth might be a risk. Also because by lying to her means she doesn’t need to feel responsible anymore, her survivors guilt might be entirely gone and he can take all the burden.
Ellie says “okay” not because she believes Joel (she has a bullsh*t detector), but because she trusts him. Because she found one person that didn’t leave her, and one person that she cares about and vice versa. Because she found an excuse in Joels lie to live for. Because in her mothers letter, her mother urges her to live. “Life is worth living for”, that’s what she tells her. Ellie wants to live. But I’ll keep saying, despite that, we see her being sad and a bit quiet towards the end cause she still wants to help but chooses to say okay and accept the situation.
This expression is what is making us talk about the ending so much!!
Ps: If you can, read the comics! The comics give background story to what drives Ellie later in the game. Which is what this argument, all over the internet, is about guys! We can't just ignore Riley because as i stated above she obviously is an important part to Ellies journey. Her decision in the end, origins from her beginning.