The Last of Us season 2: Everything we know

What's next for Joel and Ellie?

You haven't seen the last of them. The recent finale of HBO's The Last of Us left fans anxious for season 2, either because they didn't play the video game or because they did and can't wait to see it brought to life. So without delving into major spoilers, what's next for the hit series? Here's what we know about season 2: 

Has 'The Last of Us' been renewed for season 2?

Yes, HBO renewed The Last of Us for a second season after just two episodes had aired. Co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are set to return, with Mazin saying he "couldn't be more ready to dive back in." 

What will season 2 of 'The Last of Us' cover?

The Last of Us' first season covered the entire original game, ending at the exact same point in the story. So season 2 will move on to adapting the sequel, The Last of Us Part II, which was released in 2020. 

But Part II is longer and more narratively complex than the first game, so Druckmann confirmed to GQ the show will cover it across "more than one season." It hasn't been confirmed, though, if Part II will be adapted into two or three seasons. "We will not say how many," Mazin told GQ. "But more than one is factually correct." We also don't know at what point the game's story will be split up. 

If you're interested in a general sense of where things are going without heavy spoilers, this was the official plot synopsis Sony provided for the second game:

"Five years after their dangerous journey across the post-pandemic United States, Ellie and Joel have settled down in Jackson, Wyoming. Living amongst a thriving community of survivors has allowed them peace and stability, despite the constant threat of the infected and other, more desperate survivors. When a violent event disrupts that peace, Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure. As she hunts those responsible one by one, she is confronted with the devastating physical and emotional repercussions of her actions." 

Part II received rave reviews from critics, with some calling it one of the greatest games of all time, though it attracted some controversy among fans for a few unexpected narrative choices. Think of it as the Star Wars: The Last Jedi of the video game world.

Will Bella Ramsey be back for season 2?

Ellie is 19 at the start of the second game after a five-year time jump, though there are also flashbacks to the period that's skipped over. But this led some fans to wonder if Bella Ramsey would be replaced with an older actress. The show's creators, though, have confirmed she'll continue in the role. "The only way we would ever, ever consider recasting Bella is if she said, 'I don't want to work with you guys anymore," Druckmann said, per IGN. "Even then, I'm not sure we would grant her that. We might still force her to come back to season 2." 

Mazin also noted that Ramsey is currently 19, the same age as Ellie in the game. 

Who might be joining the cast in season 2? 

Without getting into spoilers, Part II introduces a number of new characters fans can expect to see in the show. By far the most significant is a woman named Abby, whose storyline intersects with Ellie and Joel's in a big way.  

The casting of Abby hasn't been announced, though there's been speculation she could be played by Shannon Berry. The actress, who starred in The Wilds, looks a lot like Abby in the game, and fans noticed that Druckmann followed her on Instagram. 

Another important new character in Part II is Dina, who already had a sneaky cameo on the show in the episode "Kin" as the girl who was watching Ellie as she ate at Tommy's commune. She was played in that episode by Paolina van Kleef, but it's not clear if she'll reprise the role in season 2. It wouldn't be surprising to see the show cast a more experienced actress in the role permanently considering van Kleef has just one other IMDB credit. On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Bella Ramsey noted she's "really excited" about bringing the game's Ellie and Dina plot to the screen. 

The show is also expected to introduce a trans teen named Lev, played in the game by Ian Alexander. Alexander has expressed interest in reprising the role, though that may be unlikely given they're 21 and Lev is meant to be 13. 

When might season 2 be released?

A release window for season 2 hasn't been announced, though star Pedro Pascal told Collider that "there is a chance" it will begin filming this year. The first season began filming in summer 2021, though, so we may be looking at a season 2 premiere in 2025 or late 2024 at the earliest. 

What else do we know about season 2?

On the official Last of Us podcast, co-creator Craig Mazin teased that in adapting the second game, the showrunners will "take advantage of the freedom we have in television, specifically the advantage of changing perspective." 

While the first game is a relatively simple plot about two characters traveling from point A to point B, the second game is much more sprawling, leaving room for the show to shift between many different characters and perhaps even have entire episodes without Joel or Ellie. But Part II's surprising narrative structure may also work better in the medium of a video game, so the order of events might need to be moved around significantly in the series. 

Indeed, as with the first season, fans can expect some tweaks to the source material, and co-creator Neil Druckmann told GQ, "Some of the stuff I'm most excited for are the changes we've discussed and seeing the story come to life again in this other version." Mazin also said on the Last of Us podcast that the idea of "interconnectivity" between the infected will be explored further next season, and he teased to Variety it's "quite possible that there will be a lot more infected" going forward, "and perhaps different kinds." 

Will there be another 'The Last of Us' game? 

After Game of Thrones, it's reasonable for fans to be concerned about an HBO series catching up with its ongoing source material and not knowing where to go after that. So what happens when the show is finished adapting Part II? It's possible a third game will be out by then, though The Last of Us Part III hasn't been confirmed, and Druckmann has said it may not be made at all.

"If we can come up with a compelling story that has this universal message and statement about love — just like the first and second game did — then we will tell that story," he told BuzzFeed. "If we can't come up with something, we have a very strong ending with Part II and that will be the end." 

For now, a new multiplayer Last of Us game is in the works, which Druckmann told BuzzFeed will be a "brand new story and cast of characters that live in another city that we haven't seen yet in the world of The Last of Us." But that presumably wouldn't provide much, if any, source material for the show to use. There was a seven-year gap between the first and second games, so going by that timeline, a potential The Last of Us Part III might not be released until 2027. 

But the good news is that the second game ends in a way that could easily serve as the series finale of the show, so fans should still be satisfied if Part II is the last of The Last of Us.


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