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The Last Of Us Season 2 Plot, Cast, Directors And More Details

Contains spoilers for the video game "The Last of Us: Part II," from which Season 2 of the HBO series will be adapted.

After the gripping Season 1 finale of "The Last of Us," viewers are anxiously awaiting the next chapter of the fungal-filled drama. Joel's (Pedro Pascal) deadly mission to escort Ellie (Bella Ramsey) led to a series of harrowing encounters that often reminded fans of the original video game. Following the gut-wrenching decisions he made to save Ellie, there will also be plenty of unrelenting consequences waiting for Joel in Season 2.

"The Last of Us" was quickly renewed for Season 2 after the first two episodes impressively broke several HBO viewership records. The next installment is poised to be a satisfying follow-up to the wildly popular debut season by exploring the larger world of the series and using the game "The Last of Us: Part II" as source material. Season 2 will also introduce the looming threat of Abby (initially voiced by Laura Bailey), who becomes the main antagonist after an unforgivable act of violence. 

HBO is well known for keeping secrets, and only a few official small details about the upcoming season so far have leaked. However, there are still a few important pieces of information we can string together while we wait for the next gruesome episode of "The Last of Us." 

When will The Last of Us Season 2 be released?

For a long time "The Last of Us" Season 2 was on pause due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Before the writers' strike began, "The Last of Us" showrunner Craig Mazin was only able to finish one script for Season 2, although he was able to outline the rest with his co-showrunner, Neil Druckmann.

However, in September 2023, as the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers finalized a deal, Mazin took to Threads to celebrate. "Very proud of the WGA and its membership, and excited to get back to work on 'The Last of Us' Season 2," he wrote. And now that the actors' strike is over, when will Mazin and Druckmann return to a world plagued by cordyceps? Well, in November 2023, Mazin revealed at Variety's "A Night in the Writers' Room" panel that the second season would begin filming on February 12, 2024.

Shortly afterwards, the streaming service Max released a promotional video, getting audiences excited about their upcoming projects. In between quick glimpses of shows like "The Penguin" and "Welcome to Derry," the teaser revealed that we'll see "The Last of Us" Season 2 sometime in 2025.

What is the plot of The Last of Us Season 2?

Warning — major spoilers for "The Last of Us: Part II" below.

It's hard to discuss the plot of "The Last of Us: Part II" without spoiling the story. If you're unfamiliar with how the games play out, you might want to skip on down and read about the cast. If you don't care about spoilers or are familiar with the game, then you know the suspenseful closing minutes of the Season 1 finale set up Season 2 with the pull of a trigger. When Joel murders the surgeon (Darren Dolynski), he unknowingly creates his most dangerous enemy yet in the form of Abby, the surgeon's daughter. 

In the horrific opening of "The Last of Us: Part II" video game, Ellie helplessly watches as Abby and her compatriots ambush and murder Joel. As a result, Ellie vows to get revenge. This sets "The Last of Us: Part II" off on a grueling journey of vengeance as we play as both Ellie and Abby. It also allows players to experience Abby's perspective, which helps them view her as more humane and less of a merciless villain.

After witnessing Abby's heart-wrenching past, the consequences of Joel's harsh actions are elevated, justifying her thirst for bloodshed. Speaking about this twist, Pedro Pascal himself told Esquire that he feels it's inevitable. "It wouldn't make sense to follow the first game so faithfully only to stray severely from the path," he explained. That means we can almost certainly anticipate a similar unflinching sequence of violence in Season 2, which will undoubtedly shatter devoted viewers. 

Who is starring in The Last of Us Season 2?

Needless to say, Pedro Pascal is coming back as Joel Miller, and Bella Ramsey will be returning as Ellie. And they'll be joined by a murderers' row of talent. In Season 2, we'll be introduced to the infamous Abby, played by Kaitlyn Dever, best known for projects like "Booksmart," "Unbelievable," and "No One Will Save You." 

Isabela Merced of "Madame Web" and "Dora and the Lost City of Gold" will portray the key character of Dina, a romantic interest for Ellie. We'll also see the arrival of Young Mazino ("Beef") as Jesse, a character described as "a pillar of his community who puts everyone else's needs before his own, sometimes at terrible cost." Plus, Gabriel Luna told Variety that we should expect to see him back as Joel's brother, Tommy. Interestingly, Catherine O'Hara of "Schitt's Creek" and "Home Alone" has also joined the cast in an undisclosed role.

Who is writing and directing The Last of Us Season 2?

Season 2 will feature the return of "The Last of Us" showrunner Craig Mazin and video game creator Neil Druckmann, who partnered for the HBO series. The accomplished duo are ecstatic to continue Joel and Ellie's story. "I'm humbled, honored, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie's journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast and crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations," Druckmann expressed in the Season 2 renewal announcement. He thanked his loyal collaborators, Playstation and Naughty Dog, who produced the HBO series and original video games. 

The pair shared the writing responsibilities for Season 1, and both directed an episode each. They'll again direct for Season 2, alongside several luminaries from the TV world. Kate Herron of "Loki" Season 1, the Emmy-winning Mark Mylod of "Succession," Stephen Williams of HBO's "Watchmen," and Nina Lopez-Corrado of "Perry Mason" are all set to helm at least one episode. We'll also see the return of Peter Hoar, who directed perhaps the best episode of "The Last of Us" Season 1 — the absolutely heartbreaking "Long, Long Time."