The showrunner of HBO's The Last of Us, Neil Druckmann, seemingly confirmed an appearance by one controversial The Last of Us Part II character for the hit series' second season.
After the resounding success that was Season 1 of HBO's post-apocalyptic PlayStation adaptation, fans are ravenous for what comes next for Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey's Joel and Ellie.
Season 2 has been green-lit for the series with an expected release date toward the "end of 2024 [or] early 2025." After Season 1 adapted the first The Last of Us game so faithfully, many are wondering if the sophomore effort will do the same.
While showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have made it clear they have "no plans to tell any stories beyond adapting the game," they have also teased that Season 2 "won’t be exactly like [Part II]." Even with that tease, it seems fans can expect one crucial element to make the leap over to this second batch of episodes.
Character Teases for The Last of Us Season 2
Neil Druckmann, who worked as co-showrunner on HBO's The Last of Us adaptation after directing the first two games in the series, teased The Last of Us Part II character Abby's role in the upcoming second season.
Druckmann tweeted, noting that despite there being "No TLoU on HBO tonight," Season 2 "is already on its way" with an image of what looks to be Abby's arm from the Last of Us sequel:
"No 'TLoU' on HBO tonight. But Season 2 is already on its way! Endure & survive!"
The poster comes from The Last of Us's Outbreak Day celebration in 2017, where PlayStation and TLoU developers Naughty Dog honor the day the in-universe zombie pandemic broke out.
Although it was not public knowledge that the arm on this poster was Abby after fans got a hold of the game in 2017, it became very clear it was this iconic character.
Why Abby Is Important for The Last of Us Season 2
Warning - The rest of this article contains minor spoilers for The Last of Us Part II.
While changes from The Last of Us Part II have been teased by Druckmann and Mazin, it is unsurprising that Abby will be a part of their plans. The removal of her character would require an almost from-the-ground-up narrative rebuild of Part II's story.
Abby was always going to be a part of Season 2 (and the all-but-confirmed Season 3), but it is still exciting to see Druckmann teasing fans along with the first hint at her character in relation to the TV series.
What will be interesting is to see who the team casts for the character for the HBO adaptation.
Star of the series, Pedro Pascal, recently pontificated "there is a chance" filming for Season 2 could get underway by the end of the year. So, The Last of Us team could very well already be on their search for the live-action Abby.
And seeing as the character only becomes a bigger and bigger part of Part II as the story goes on, Mazin and Druckmann have their work cut out for them in finding someone on the level of Pascal and Bella Ramsey.
Season 1 of The Last of Us can be streamed in its entirety now on HBO Max.