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

Cameron Frew
Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us Season 2

Here’s a breakdown of everything we know about The Last of Us Season 2, including any release date updates, confirmed cast details, plot, and more.

They did it. They really did it. Not only did HBO produce an incredible The Last of Us adaptation, but it’s won a number of accolades amid the 2024 awards season, setting a new prestige standard for video game movies and TV shows.

Any concerns fans had were put to rest in the first episode. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are perfect as Joel and Ellie, while Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin managed to honor the game while also creating something that’s just as vital for fans as it is for newcomers.

After Season 1’s harrowing finale, the wait is now on the next chapter of Joel and Ellie’s story. So, here’s everything we know about The Last of Us Season 2 so far.

Is there a The Last of Us Season 2 release date?

The Last of Us Season 2 will premiere in the first half of 2025, but there’s no exact release date at the time of writing.

HBO confirmed the show’s release window in its 2024 “The One To Watch” promo video, with Deadline reporting that it’ll arrive in the first half of the year.

Now that the strikes are over, news for Season 2 of The Last of Us is coming thick and fast. Notably, we have confirmation that filming is underway having kicked off in February 2024, according to new arrival Isabela Merced, who’s set to play Dina.

HBO’s head of drama Francesca Orsi told Deadline a few months back that it’s “too early” to determine how the strike would affect the timelines of its shows. “We were looking at The Last Of Us for some time in 2025… but there’s some question about the timing of the strike,” she said.

“While everything at this moment is pencils down, I’m hopeful that we can come to terms sooner than later. Otherwise we will have to assess what is the end of the 24 schedule, what are the shows that are going to be delivered for 2025. At this point, those shows that I’m looking to air wouldn’t necessarily be ready if this strike last six to nine months. So yes, that’s a big question for us, but I think we’ll cross that road once we come to it.”

Thankfully, during the A Night in the Writer’s Room panel, showrunner Craig Mazin revealed that filming for Season 2 would commence on February 12, 2024, and that date has been upheld with production now underway.

The Last of Us Season 2 cast: Who’s in it?

While certain roles have still to be confirmed, you can expect The Last of Us Season 2 cast to include:

  • Bella Ramsey as Ellie
  • Pedro Pascal as Joel
  • Gabriel Luna as Tommy
  • Rutina Wesley as Maria
  • Kaitlyn Dever as Abby
  • Young Mazino as Jesse
  • Isabela Merced as Dina
  • Spencer Lord as Owen
  • Danny Ramirez as Manny
  • Ariela Barer as Mel
  • Tati Gabrielle as Nora
  • Catherine O’Hara in an undisclosed role
  • Jeffrey Wright as Isaac

A May 24, 2024, announcement confirmed Jeffrey Wright would join the cast as Isaac. In the game, Isaac is the Washington Liberation Front leader who allows Abby to leave in her hunt for Joel.

Catherine O’Hara is reportedly set to play Gail, a brand-new character who will appear for three episodes, according to Daniel Richtman.

During an appearance on The Last of Pods podcast, Ramsey said: “I’m really excited. It still feels surreal to me that it’s going to go again.

“But also, I don’t want to go into it comparing it to the experience of the first season, because Season 1 of The Last of Us was the best year of my life, and it’s not going to be the same.

“I just have to go into it being like, ‘This is Season 2. And I love Season 1, but this is just going to be different.’ I’m really excited. I just, yeah, want to be back in Canada with Craig Mazin and Pedro [Pascal] for a little bit. It’s going to be really nice.”

In an interview with L’Officiel, Ramsey spoke about what they’re most excited about in Season 2. “I’m very open to anything. I’m looking forward to seeing how Craig and Neil adapt the story of the second game into another season. What I’m actually looking forward to is fighting more, but that’s just for me, not really for Ellie,” they said.

The action steps up a notch in Part II, and Mazin is aware of the demands that’ll be placed on the actors. “It’s our actors who are going to have to push themselves even more,” he said.

“As they age up, as time has passed, what does that mean to them physically in their bodies? And how do they move, and how do they fight? And what happens as the world gets more and more physical and dangerous?”

Executive producer Craig Mazin has also recently confirmed that Bill and Frank “won’t be returning in flashbacks for Season 2 or a prequel series.”

As for those behind the camera, according to insider Jeff Sneider, Loki Season 1 director Kate Herron will direct at least one episode of The Last of Us Season 2.

How many episodes will The Last of Us Season 2 be?

We can now confirm that The Last of Us season 2 will be shorter than the first outing and will comprise of 7 episodes.

However, in a recent interview with Deadline, Craig Mazin, the showrunner for the series, stated that one of the episodes in season 2 will be “quite big” in runtime.

As well as this, Mazin teased that a potential season 3 will be “significantly larger” than the first two, even hinting that a fourth season could be on the cards.

New characters in The Last of Us Season 2

Depending on how much of Part II is covered in the second season, there are a few roles still to be cast, including:

  • Lev
  • Yara

Fans were convinced they spotted Dina in Episode 6 in the first season, and this was all but confirmed by the showrunners. It’s unclear if that same actress will reprise the role in Season 2, though.

Speculation surrounded Abby for months. We won’t get into spoilers in this section, but all we can say is this: she’s the antagonist of Part II and she’ll likely be just as controversial in the show as she was in the game.

Shannon Berry, who starred as Dot Campbell in The Wilds, had been linked to the role – but on January 9, 2024, HBO confirmed Kaitlyn Dever in the role of Abby.

“Our casting process for season two has been identical to season one: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material,” said series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann (via Variety). “Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro, Bella and the rest of our family.”

Mazin confirmed there wouldn’t be any recasting in Season 2. “We are not doing House of the Dragon leaps. Those were very significant leaps in age, and we don’t have that. So, no recasting will occur. Not on my watch,” he told Collider.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he also stated: “Will there be furor? Yeah, probably. I mean, there usually is, starting even with casting. We knew they were the exact right person to cast and they had to go through quite a few months of people being awful on social media until they saw what we saw.

“That, to me, is the point. We don’t operate to either make people happy on social media or avoid making them upset. We just do what we think is right, and we hope that people come along for the ride and enjoy it.”

Mazino, who starred in Netflix’s Beef, is the was added to the cast as Jesse. “Young is one of those rare actors who is immediately undeniable the moment you see him. We’re so lucky to have him, and we can’t wait for the audience to see Young shine in our show,” Mazin and Druckmann said, as per Variety.

More recently, though, The Last of Us added Instant Family star Isabela Merced to the cast as Dina.

The Last of Us Season 2 plot: What will it be about?

Before we get into this, be warned: we’re going to discuss the plot of The Last of Us Part II, so expect some major spoilers in this section. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know.

ellie and joel in the last of us part 2

If Season 2 follows Part II, the show will skip ahead five years. Joel and Ellie are living in Jackson together, but their relationship falls apart when Joel confesses to lying about the Fireflies back at the hospital.

One blustery, snowy day, Joel and Tommy are on patrol when they rescue a girl from an infected horde. When they reach an outpost, they’re ambushed by her group, revealed to be part of the Washington Liberation Front.

This girl is Abby, the daughter of the Firefly doctor Joel murdered while rescuing Ellie from the hospital in Salt Lake City.

When they don’t return to Jackson, Ellie and Dina head out to find them. When Ellie reaches the same outpost, she’s forced to watch as Abby beats Joel to death with a golf club. Ellie vows to get her revenge, and she sets off to find Abby.

Abby in The Last of Us Part II

Speaking to GQ in February 2023, Ramsey said they’d visited the writers’ room for Season 2. “It was so cool to hear them talk about ideas — I’ve watched quite a lot of the gameplay of the second game, just because I’ve been curious,” they said.

“I think [the show] will most likely follow the storyline of the games again. I don’t think there’s much need to fill in the gaps.”

The star said they’re excited for Ellie and Dina’s story, but – like the rest of us – they’re apprehensive about Joel’s death in the show.

“Also, the complexity of her relationship with Joel and how that gets decidedly… more complex,” Ramsey said during an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.

“I’m looking forward to that, and the violence that ensues is thrilling in a way. To get to explore that in a really safe environment would be cool but I am nervous about it, too. I know what happens in the second game, and I’m nervous about potentially being without Pedro for a while. That’s gonna be really sad.”

HBO CEO Casey Bloys recently said of Season 2: “It’s great. It is bigger, gets into questions of retribution and revenge, it follows the video game and has big themes, big action. Craig, Neil, and the team are doing a spectacular job.”

We know Season 2 will, at the very least, begin telling the story of Part II, but it’s considerably larger in scope compared to the first game. According to Mazin, it’s likely we’ll get multiple seasons.

“The amount of story that remains, that we have not covered, would be more than a season of television. So yeah, assuming we can keep going forward, the idea would be to do more than just one more season,” he told Consequence.

In a new interview with GQ, Druckmann confirmed Part II will be adapted over multiple seasons. And Mazin told Deadline: “The show will not end with Season 2 unless people don’t watch it and we’ll get canceled.”

There is set to be a ton more infected, and a much bigger budget. But while it may stray from the source material slightly, as seen with Bill and Frank, Mazin and Druckmann aren’t “changing a damn thing” about their process. “I mean, our process worked. We worked really well together,” they told Deadline.

“We adapted where we wanted to adapt, how we wanted to adapt. We stayed close to the material. Sometimes we drifted away from the material, but that process worked great. So, we’re not changing that process at all. We are going to [continue to] push ourselves in all sorts of ways.

“We’re certainly also going to push the technology that we use forward. We learned so much, particularly in regard to the infected and how to better deliver scenes with them. So, we’re just going to keep moving the bar up and up and up. That’s kind of our call to arms.”

Mazin also told Entertainment Weekly that he’s “never gonna say there are things that are gonna happen in the show that happened in the game. You never know what we’re gonna do.

“But I will say that it is the adventure, the journey is the point,” Mazin added. “There are things that will shock people, things that were in the game, things that were not in the game, and that’s okay. As long as they’re purposeful, they’re not there to just simply shock.

“We are not interested in creating social media fear. We just want to tell the story the way we think it should be told.”

Has The Last of Us Season 2 trailer been released?

No, there isn’t a trailer for The Last of Us Season 2 right now. That said, you can get a flavor of what to expect from the reveal trailer for Part II below:

And that’s everything we know about The Last of Us Season 2. In the meantime, check out other new TV shows to stream this month and binge-worthy TV shows to add to your watch list.

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