The Last of Us Season 2: New Characters, Plot Theories & More

The Last of Us Season 2: New Characters, Plot Theories & More
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If you’re a fan of The Last of Us you’re probably used to waiting. We waited years for the release of The Last of Us Part II game, we waited years for the TV adaptation of The Last of Us, and now we’ll wait years for the TV adaptation of The Last of Us Part II. But that wait is getting less and less every day as filming for Season 2 of The Last of Us takes place in Canada and we’re starting to get hints about how closely the series will adapt the second game.

Is The Last of Us getting a second season?

Very early on in the season’s run, HBO announced it had greenlit The Last of Us for another season.

What story will The Last of Us Season 2 cover?

the last of us part 2
Image: Naughty Dog

The first season of The Last of Us effectively (and faithfully) covered all the events in the first video game as well as the Left Behind DLC.

However, Joel and Ellie’s story doesn’t end there.

In 2020, Naughty Dog released The Last of Us Part 2, which continued the story of the same characters a number of years later.

Without spoiling any significant plot points, The Last of Us Part 2 picks up five years after the ending of the first and finds Ellie as a nineteen-year-old living in Jackson. While many familiar characters appear in the second game, including Joel, Tommy and Maria, the focus is primarily on Ellie’s story.

So far, news from the set reveals the series is filming in Vancouver and around British Columbia in Canada, which will likely double as the Pacific Northwest setting of the game. The first official images from Season 2 also reveal Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in character, sporting the slightly aged-up looks of their characters. Very promising!

The Last of Us Part 2 as a game is a harrowing story filled with violence, drama and plenty of twists and turns. If you’re not going to play the game ahead of watching the next season we’d definitely recommend avoiding spoilers or internet searches on the plot to maintain that experience for yourself.

That being said, if you’re a game fan or are curious about the upcoming season, here are some theories we have on where The Last of Us could go in future seasons:

Season 2 plot theories

the last of us tv show

Mild spoilers for The Last of Us games ahead.

The Last of Us Part 2 will be split across multiple seasons

While there is a time jump between narratives, it appears the creators want to cover the events in the game, rather than branch out and tell their own open-ended story in Season 2.

The second game is a fair bit larger than the first, and executive producers Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann confirmed to GQ that it will take multiple seasons to cover all of TLOU Part 2. Mazin backed this up by saying recently on a panel (as per Deadline) that “our plan is to do it not just for one more season… We should be around for a while.”

So expect the next season to only cover a portion of the story.

Season 2 will be chronological

If you’ve played The Last of Us Part II, you’ll know that events do not play out chronologically. The game takes place from the perspective of two main characters, Ellie and Abby, and primarily follows the events that happen within a three-day period in Seattle.

There are also flashbacks to moments between Ellie and Joel that took place within the five-year gap between the two games.

While these events do not take place chronologically in the game, my theory is that they will play out more sequentially in the show, mainly to keep a balance of storylines amongst the core cast of characters in each episode.

The showrunners have prepared fans for the fact that the second season could feature moments that are different to the game in a similar way to season 1:

“[Season 2] will be different just as this season was different. Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it [won’t] be fairly different at all, but it’s going to be different. It will be its own thing. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make,” Mazin said via IGN.

Theoretically, a chronological timeline could be one of those changes!

the last of us bloater
Screenshot: HBO/BINGE

More infected!

Some of the few criticisms aimed at The Last of Us‘ first season were the lack of infected. It was, after all, being marketed as a zombie show, and there were many episodes that were completely devoid of infected creatures.

That’s set to change in Season 2 as Mazin confirmed to Variety there will be more infected in the next season, saying, “It’s quite possible that there will be a lot more infected later. And perhaps different kinds.”

The second game also expands on the types of infected with more instances of Stalkers and also introduces Shamblers. We can also expect the Rat King to show up, but perhaps not until Season 3.

We’ll learn the backstory of the Prophet

Where the first season of The Last of Us often surprised the most was its willingness to go into perspectives away from Joel and Ellie. This gave us a beautiful love story between Frank and Bill in episode 3, as well as giving more insight into the initial cordyceps outbreak, such as the cold opens in episodes 1 and 2.

In the second game, the world opens up even more with new factions, characters and histories to explore. One character that Craig Mazin has highlighted he’d be interested in exploring is the Seraphite prophet. He told Fuera de Foco in an interview that:

“There’s so many interesting side stories we could tell. There are characters that are only referred to, for instance, in the second game. One character in particular, you only see her face – images of her face, but I would love to find out what happened with her, that’s an interesting story.”

The prophet is often depicted around the streets of Seattle as a mural and is referred to by other characters, however, she’s not a character you ever meet in the game. But it seems like we’ll be able to meet her in the series instead (my theory here is that is who Catherine O’Hara’s unannounced character will be).

The Last of Us Season 2 cast

The Last of Us Episode 5 (Image: HBO/BINGE)

With a five-year time jump between stories, it was initially unclear whether HBO would recast some of its characters for Season 2, with Ellie being the largest question mark. Bella Ramsey was 17 while filming the first season, and played Ellie as a 14-year-old. However, they are now 20, which is close to the age of their character in Part 2.

Druckmann and Mazin then confirmed they would not recast Ellie in Season 2, so expect Bella Ramsey to return for as many seasons as it takes.

Joel also features in The Last of Us Part 2, so expect Pedro Pascal to return, along with Gabriel Luna as his brother Tommy and Rutina Wesley as Maria.

There are a whole lot of new characters to cast in TLOU Part 2. Casting announcements for these characters dropped earlier in the year with Dopesick star Kaitlyn Dever confirmed as the major new protagonist, Abby. Also new to the series is Isabela Merced (Madame Web) as Dina, Young Mazino (BEEF) as Jesse, Danny Ramirez (Top Gun: Maverick) as Manny, Ariela Barer (Runaways) as Mel, Tati Gabrielle (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as Nora, Spencer Lord (Heartland) as Owen, and Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek) in an unknown role.

The Last of Us has established that actors from the video games do have a home in the series, with Merle Dandridge reprising her role as Marlene and actors like Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson appearing as new characters in the show, so perhaps we’ll see more of that in Season 2 as well.

When will The Last of Us Season 2 be released?

The last of us episode schedule
Image: HBO/Binge

Everyone at HBO has stayed very quiet on a release date for Season 2 of The Last of Us. 

However, following HBO’s upfronts recently, it was confirmed that the second season of The Last of Us will be releasing some time in 2025.

If you can’t get enough of The Last of Us you can watch all of Season 1 on Binge in Australia, or catch up on our recaps here. You can also play The Last of Us Part 2 on PS4 and PS5.

Now the cycle continues, as we wait for more of The Last of Us.

This article has been updated with additional details since its original publish date. 


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