The Last of Us had a stellar first season that was highlighted by game-accurate moments and capped off by a controversial finale.
While Season 2 is confirmed to be based on the thrilling events of The Last of Us Part II, showrunner Craig Mazin revealed that it "won’t be exactly like the game," noting that "sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be fairly different.
The Last of Us Season 2 Actors & Characters
Here are the actors and characters who are expected to return in Season 2 of Max's The Last of Us.
Pedro Pascal - Joel
After his controversial decision to save Ellie from the Fireflies in the Season 1 finale, Pedro Pascal's return as Joel in Season 2 is highly-anticipated, considering the character's much-talked-about fate from the game.
In The Last of Us Part II, Joel died during the opening minutes of the game, shocking players and fans everywhere.
In April 2023, Pascal played coy about Joel's fate in Season 2, saying, "[he doesn't] know that [he's] emotionally ready for it" if it were to happen.
The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin also didn't directly answer if Joel will die, with him noting that adapting the fates of certain characters from the game revolves around "[doing] what [they] want to in a way that is best for the show that [they're] making."
Given the game-accurate nature of HBO's The Last of Us, it is likely that Pascal's Joel will meet his (unfortunate) demise in Season 2, especially after Bella Ramsey teased the actor's reduced role in the upcoming batch of installments.
Bella Ramsey - Ellie
The Last of Us Part II pushed Ellie to the forefront, having her serve as the game's main protagonist. Given the current narrative trajectory of the show, the same is expected to be true for Bella Ramsey's iteration of the character in Season 2.
In the game, Ellie took a brutal revenge tour after Joel died, with her seeking retribution against Abby and the Washington Liberation Front (WLF). Along the way, she also encountered the Scars that took her kill count to another level.
In fact, Ramsey already teased Ellie's violent turn in Season 2, noting how her encounter with David in Season 1 shaped her shift in character.
Aside from Elle's path to revenge, Season 2 is also expected to address her reaction upon finding out what Joel did to save her from the Fireflies.
Gabriel Luna - Tommy
At the end of Season 1, Joel and Ellie went back to Jackson to seek refuge (for good). This meant that Gabriel Luna's Tommy will have a bigger role in Season 2 due to his status as one of the leaders of the Jackson community.
In The Last of Us Part II, Tommy served as another mentor to Ellie, teaching her how to be better with snipers. When Joel died, Tommy was actually the first one who left Jackson to find his brother's killers.
Rutina Wesley - Maria
Rutina Wesley's Maria is also one of the leaders of the Jackson community and Tommy's wife. In the series, Maria is pregnant, which is a major deviation from the game.
It's possible that the stakes are even higher for Tommy to return, knowing that he already has a kid by the time of the events of Season 2.
In The Last of Us Part II, Maria was initially reluctant to let Ellie and Dina go after the WLF but she had no choice but to let them go to try and help Tommy who already left to seek revenge.
Daryn Dolinski - Jerry Anderson (Surgeon)
Despite having a brief role in Season 1, Daryn Dolinski's Jerry Anderson is expected to be a significant part of Season 2, but it will only be via flashbacks.
The actor portrayed the surgeon who tried to extract the cordyceps out of Ellie's brain but was ultimately killed by Joel.
In The Last of Us Part II, Jerry is Abby's father, meaning that he is the reason why the former Firefly-turned-WLF member decided to find and kill Joel.
Still, there's still a possibility that the role will be recast.
Laura Bailey served as the voice of Abby in The Last of Us Part II.
Although the voice actress had a brief cameo as a nurse in the Season 1 finale, it's possible that Bailey could return to play a different character in Season 2, similar to how original Joel and Ellie voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson made a comeback in the series.
Abby is yet another important character in The Last of Us Part II. Aside from being Joel's killer and Ellie's main enemy, the character had a significant arc with former Seraphite members Lev and Yara that allowed her to rediscover her purpose in life after vengeance.
The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin confirmed that no actress has been cast yet as Abby for Season 2, debunking rumors about Shannon Berry or Katy O'Brian's involvement.
Dina served as Ellie's main love interest in The Last of Us Part II. The character also assists Ellie in her quest for revenge against the WLF.
Interestingly, The Last of Us Season 1 already teased her arrival, strongly indicating that she's a safe bet to appear in Season 2.
Jessie is Ellie's loyal friend, Dina's ex-boyfriend, and the Jackson community's patrol leader.
In The Last of Us Part II, Jesse followed Ellie and Dina in Seattle to assist them in their fight against the WLF.
Owen is Abby's love interest, a former Firefly, and a current member of the WLF in The Last of Us Part II. Despite clearly having feelings for Abby, Owen actually had Mel as his girlfriend in the game, making things complicated.
In the game, Owen is one of Abby's accomplices in killing Joel, thus making her a target for Ellie.
Mel is Owen's current girlfriend, a former Firefly, and a member of the WLF. In the game, it was revealed that she is pregnant with Owen's child.
Aside from doing patrols, Mel also serves as one of the WLF's medic assistants. Mel was also present during Abby's murder of Joel.
Nora is another former Firely-turned-WLF member in The Last of Us Part II that helped Abby in her quest to murder Joel.
In the game, Nora and Ellie had an infamous chase scene that was capped off by the latter's violent torture of the former to try and obtain Abby's location.
Manny is Abby's closest friend (sans Owen) in The Last of Us Part II. The character is also a former Firefly-turned-WLF member who assisted Abby in murdering Joel.
Isaac is the leader of the Washington Liberation Front in The Last of Us Part II.
The ruthless and egoistic leader of the group served as Abby's secondary antagonist.
Lev was a former member of the Seraphites aka Scars who formed a bond with Abby that ultimately led to them being allies in the second half of the game. Lev is Yara's brother.
Lev's expertise with the bow served as an advantage for him and Abby as they escape the forces of both the WLF and the Scars.
Yara is Lev's sister and a former Scar who eventually became Abby's ally.
She helped her brother escape the Scars after Lev's identity defied the group's beliefs, eventually leading to them meeting Abby.
The Last of Us Season 1 is streaming on Max.