I thought they just haven't seen each other in a while...maybe she cut ties with him, because she found out, what really happend at the end of the first part.
It's an interesting theory, but i think he's alive. Mostly because he interacts physically with her in the trailer and there's bit where Elly sits on the passenger seat (and gets attacked) while presumably some else is driving. The second "evidence" is a far stretch, but i'd put my money on Joel.
Joel being dead/Or dying early on in the game would be such a cliche that I dont think Naughty Dog would do it. Hopefully he is just gonna be sidelined to give Ellie the full focus.
Much of this sounds quite reasonable.
Have Ellie find out about the truth one way or another. Either she tells Joel to beat it, or he leaves on his own accord but not because he wants to. He can still keep tabs on her, but from a distance where he won't directly interfere with her life. Then have Joel finally catch up half way through, maybe two thirds, but have him help her finish what she set out to accomplish. She's probably super pissed, and isn't thinking all that rationally. She's out for blood and likely needs balance. Having Joel show up when the task finally seems impossible because she hasn't taken the time to think things through would make sense. This way she isn't overshadowed and can shine and grow all game long and remains the focal point throughout the entire game.
*This would also allow for some redemption on Joel's part from Ellie's viewpoint.Last edited by EricHiggin - on 25 September 2019
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