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The Last of Us season 2: Everything we know so far

What's next for The Last of Us

Joel and Ellie drive the narrative of The Last of Us
Warner Bros. Discovery/HBO / Warner Bros. Discovery/HBO

The Last of Us bombarded television screens like a post-apocalyptic virus in January 2023. The thrilling adaptation of the Playstation classic resoundingly recaptured the dark, foreboding storytelling of the video games while giving stars performers Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey a platform to show off their fantastic acting skills. The first season didn’t sway far from the source material, neatly ending the ninth episode right where the maiden game concluded.

Joel and Ellie escape from the hospital where Ellie’s brain is going to be harvested in an effort to end the undead pandemic worldwide. Joel’s loyalty and selfishness propelled him to slaughter the doctors who were going to attempt the surgery, and his lies and deceit seemed to raise Ellie’s eyebrows at least a little bit.

With the Hollywood strikes over and the HBO team back at work on the second season, we’re slowly getting plot details, cast listings, and creator quotes from showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann’s brain trust. How closely will the second season follow The Last of Us Part II video game? Will the number of episodes be the same as the first go-around? What about the exciting new actors and actresses joining the program? Let’s get into the finer details of The Last of Us season 2!

Who’s going to be in The Last of Us season 2?

Liane Hentscher / HBO

The acting in The Last of Us allows it to resonate with audiences familiar and completely new to the franchise alike. Here are some of the notable names returning and entering the fray for the first time!

Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller

Pascal is now one of the world’s most famous actors. From Star Wars to Wonder Woman, he has crossed over from the silver screen to the movie theater equally well. Pascal was praised for copying Joel’s mannerisms from the game while giving the character a unique energy on screen in the first season. He’ll be reprising his role in season 2.

Bella Ramsey as Ellie Williams

Ramsey was the surprise of the first season for many people. While she doesn’t look identical to Ellie from the games, her toughness and mature demeanor were a revelation. With the show jumping five years into the future, the makeup team will have to make her look older, but Ramsey’s acting is what counts more than her appearance. Ellie famously gets a lot more screen time in the second game, so expect the same to occur in the series.

Kaitlyn Dever as Abby

Abby is the biggest newcomer to the second game’s plot, and fans anxiously waited for her to be cast for the show. Kaitlyn Dever doesn’t match Abby’s physical build, but she certainly possesses masculine energy in her past characters (such as the tomboy daughter in the comedy Last Man Standing). Dever is most known for her award-nominated performance in Dopesick.

Isabella Merced as Dina

Dina is very close with Ellie throughout the second video game. Ramsey and Merced will need to leverage solid chemistry to blossom their romantic relationship. Merced is most known for her role in the Nickelodeon show 100 Things to Do Before High School.

Young Mazino as Jesse

Jesse is one of the residents in Jackson, Wyoming, who becomes an integral part of the plot as a supporting character. Young Mazino impressed viewers with his performance in the Netflix miniseries Beef in 2023 and will get a chance for an excellent encore with The Last of Us season 2.

Spencer Lord as Owen

Owen is a soldier who aligns with Abby’s story throughout the second game. The show has a decision to make his role bigger or smaller depending on the flow of the story. Spender Lord is an unknown who has only been in small productions like A Honeymoon to Remember.

Danny Ramirez as Manny

Manny, like Owen, is another military man who features prominently throughout the second game. Danny Ramirez was previously in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

How many episodes will be in The Last of Us season 2?

Ellie and Sam Liane Hentscher / HBO

While the first season of the show was nine episodes, reports indicate The Last of Us season 2 will be only seven episodes. Showrunner Craig Mazin told Deadline about his thought process behind the smaller episode count earlier this month:

“The story material that we got from Part II of the game is way more than the story material that was in the first game, so part of what we had to do from the start was figure out how to tell that story across seasons. When you do that, you look for natural breakpoints, and as we laid it out, this season, the national breakpoint felt like it came after seven episodes.”

It sounds like the second season will have to simultaneously carry over the story from the first season while supplying an ample cliffhanger for the eventual third season. More TV is always fine with us!

When will The Last of Us season 2 premiere?

The Last of Us
HBO

The show doesn’t have a definitive release date yet. Estimates from HBO and multiple outlets claim The Last of Us season 2 will premiere sometime during 2025. Hopefully, that extra time in the oven will make the zombie action and emotional moments hit even harder.

Shawn Laib
Shawn Laib is a freelance writer with publications such as Den of Geek, Quote.com, Edge Media Network, diaTribe, SUPERJUMP…
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