The first season of HBO’s hit show The Last of Us has come to an end. After such a shocking and heart-wrenching conclusion, fans have been left anxious to see what will become of Joel and Ellie in season 2. Since the show’s source material continues far beyond where the first season concludes, there is still so much to look forward to, and so many possibilities for the second.
Note: This article features spoilers for the second season of The Last of Us.
Season 1 of the show adapted events from both the first game and the Left Behind DLC, so it’s likely that season 2 will follow the story from The Last of Us Part II. Taking place four years after the original, this sequel follows Joel and Ellie after the latter learns that Joel stopped the Fireflies from killing her and making a cure for the Cordyceps pandemic. Here’s everything that audiences could see in terms of the story.
Season 2 is just the half of it
Given how vast and layered the second game is, there is certainly a lot to cover in just one season, and showrunner Craig Mazin has admitted to Collider that the series could go beyond two seasons so he can tell the whole story. “Probably the amount of remaining story would take us more than a season to tell,” said Mazin.
Splitting the second game in two for the show’s future makes sense because not only does it show Joel and Ellie trying to reconcile, but also Ellie’s vengeful pursuit of Abby Anderson, her growing relationship with Dina, and the war between the Washington Liberation Front and a cult of religious fanatics known as the Seraphites for control of Seattle. Not only that, but the game portrays everything from Abby’s perspective too.
Joel will probably die
One of the biggest controversies surrounding the franchise’s second game was how it showed protagonist Joel getting brutally murdered early in the story (and the game made the player control the person killing him). Given Pedro Pascal’s massive popularity as Joel, staying true to the source material and killing his character off will surely ruffle a lot of fans’ feathers. However, HBO is no stranger to killing off its main protagonists early, as audiences have seen Ned Stark and Viserys Targaryen die in the first season of their respective shows.
The Last of Us Part II introduced many new characters who play important roles in Joel and Ellie’s story. Should the second season adapt the second game, it will likely introduce these key characters.
Abby is a young woman who seeks revenge against Joel for murdering her father, one of the Firefly doctors who tried to operate on Ellie to create a Cordyceps cure. Despite the fact she murders Joel in the sequel, Abby actually serves as one of the story’s protagonists. Though she starts off jaded and ruthless, she regains her sense of compassion and morality as she faces Ellie and the Seraphites, making her one of the most compelling characters in the franchise.
Audiences could see Ellie falling in love with her girlfriend, Dina, in the second season. The two of them meet in the second game while living in Jackson, Wyoming. Dina later joins Ellie as she pursues Abby in her quest for vengeance. The two of them eventually move in together and Dina gives birth to her son, JJ. They live together as a family until Ellie leaves to find and kill Abby again, with Ellie finding Dina and JJ gone when she returns.
Jesse is introduced in Part II as the leader of Jackson’s patrol groups and Dina’s ex-boyfriend. While Dina breaks up with him before falling in love with Ellie, Jesse joins both of them as they hunt for Abby, making him a reliable ally. Even though Jesse is killed during their journey, he still lives on through his and Dina’s son, JJ.
Growing up as “Lily,” Lev was a member of the Seraphite until he was banished for shaving his head, which is his way of identifying himself as a transgender man. Armed with his trusty bow and arrow, Lev fights alongside Abby as a member of the Washington Liberation Front.
Lev’s portrayal in the games was controversial with some transgender audiences, but hopefully, the show writers can learn from this backlash and give his character a more sensitive storyline, similar to what they did with Bill and Frank.
Yara is Lev’s older sister, who also grew up as a Seraphite before leaving the cult with him. Loving and caring for her little brother, Yara will do whatever it takes to protect Lev from harm. Even when the Seraphites tortured her and broke her arm to make her give up Lev, she never submitted. She ends up losing her life protecting Lev, but if she appears in season 2, she will surely become the sister all the fans would want.
Owen and Mel
Originally members of the Fireflies, Owen and Mel become part of the WLF and members of Abby’s team. They help Abby murder Joel, but these two lovers are among the more compassionate and merciful characters in the story,with both preferring not to engage in violence.
Unfortunately, Ellie kills them both in the game, not knowing that Mel is pregnant with Owen’s child. It’s unknown if the show creators will go this far in adapting these characters for the sequel, but Season 1 has shown that they’re not afraid to practice dark storytelling.
Another one of Abby’s friends/allies, Manny aids her in killing Joel. Manny can be as brutal and callous towards his enemies as Abby (even considering killing Ellie after Abby murdered Joel). However, he is still extremely loyal to Abby and her team of ex-Fireflies, treating them like family and doing whatever he can to keep them all together. Like Joel, he is an angel to his friends. but a devil to others.
The Rat King
It is worth mentioning that season 2 could have Ellie face off against the dreaded Rat King when she explores Seattle. This creature is a horrible fusion of some of the first people to be infected with the Cordyceps fungus, and it possesses strength even greater than a bloater.
While this monster isn’t a major character in the story, its appearance would surely make for a formidable obstacle for Ellie to overcome, as well as a jaw-dropping piece of body horror straight out of John Carpenter’s The Thing.
While Ellie starts out as a 15-year-old in the show’s first season, her character is supposed to be 19 years old in the second game. As a result, it’s very unlikely that the 19-year-old Bella Ramsey will be recast for the next season. No need for a House of the Dragon-style change in the show’s lineup.
There’s still the matter of casting the newcomers. Many audiences believe Dina might have already appeared in the show as the girl staring at Ellie in episode 6 (this girl is played by Paolina van Kleef). Also, fans are already theorizing that actor Shannon Berry (The Wilds) has already been cast as Abby. Meanwhile, Ian Alexander and Victoria Grace, who portrayed Lev and Yara in the game, respectively, have expressed their interest in revisiting their characters for the show. For the rest of new cast, it’s anyone’s guess who HBO will have joining the series in season 2.