The Last of Us Season 2 Release, Cast and Everything We Know

By Klein Felt Posted:
The Last of Us Season 2 Joel Ellie

HBO's The Last of Us is coming back for a Season 2, but what exactly should fans expect from the post-apocalyptic drama's sophomore effort? 

The hit PlayStation adaptation was released in early 2022 to rave reviews, as its star-studded cast headlined by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey gripped viewers around the world. 

Week after week, audiences broke records on the network as the world tuned in to witness Pascal's Joel Miller and Ramsey's Ellie Williams traverse an emotional road trip across a zombie-infested United States.

In fact, the show was such a high for HBO that a mere two weeks after its premiere it was greenlit for Season 2, this time telling the story of the controversial and critically beloved The Last of Us Part II.

The Last of Us Season 2 Release: When Will It Come Out?

The Last of Us, Joel, Ellie

Due to the ongoing strikes in Hollywood, the release of The Last of Us Season 2 remains in a state of flux. 

Initially, the second batch of episodes was seemingly set to release by the "end of 2024, early 2025," according to series star Bella Ramsey. However, given job action amongst both the writers and actors of Hollywood, that date has been put into question.

Speaking on the strikes and their effects on the series, showrunner Craig Mazin noted Season 2 will "inevitably have to [be pushed]:

“If these strikes go much longer we inevitably will have to push and that hurts us, and it hurts the audience, and it hurts HBO. We all, everybody wants to get back to work; I think everybody that’s actually doing the work, including the network people who are with us on the ground, I think everybody just wants to get this solved. So fingers crossed.”

Recent estimates have the series returning to HBO in 2025 or later depending on when filming can happen. 

Speaking with Collider in March, star Pedro Pascal revealed he thinks "there is a chance" filming for Season 2 starts in Vancouver, Canada by the end of 2023. 

Season 1 debuted on HBO just over six months after it completed filming (after a year shoot). Surely, Season 2 will not need as much time to get it shot; the series needing a year from the beginning of filming to get everything shot and to finish post-production feels about right. 

That would mean, right now, it looks as though an early 2025 release date for Season 2 is the best bet. 

The Last of Us Season 2 Cast: Who Will Be in the Second Season?

Joel, Abby, Pedro Pascal, The Last of Us

While The Last of Us Season 1 featured a stellar cast of characters - a lot of which sadly did not make it out of that initial batch of episodes - that cast is set to expand with Season 2. 

Here's a look at everyone expected for The Last of Us Season 2 and the actors playing them (when applicable):

Pedro Pascal - Joel Miller

Pedro Pascal, Joel, The Last of Us
Pedro Pascal

After starring as one of the protagonists in Season 1, Pedro Pascal's Joel Miller will return for Season 2. This grizzled survivor finally had his heart opened back up during the events of the first season as he grew to love Bella Ramsey's Ellie in their journey across the continental United States. 

Of course, that love was what may have also doomed humanity as Joel went about his killing spree to save Ellie (who could have been the key to a cure) in the controversial Season 1 finale. Following up on his blood-coated rescue mission and subsequent lying to Ellie, Season 2 of The Last of Us will see Joel face the consequences of his actions. 

Bella Ramsey - Ellie Williams

Bella Ramsey, Ellie, The Last of Us
Bella Ramsey

While Bella Ramsey's Ellie Williams shared the spotlight with Pedro Pascal's Joel in Season 1, Season 2 will see the character thrust further into the spotlight, with it evident that this was her story all along. 

Ramsey already hinted at the potential dark turn that could come for her character in Season 2, pointing to Ellie's violent takedown of Scott Shepherd's David in Season 1 as something that "will inform seasons to come."


Abby, The Last of Us Part II
Naughty Dog

A key piece to The Last of Us Season 2 puzzle will be the Seattle-based survivor Abby.

Showrunner Craig Mazin has made it clear "no one has been cast" in the role yet, but with the character serving as somewhat of a secondary protagonist of The Last of Us Part II, the search will likely be extensive to find the perfect performer to bring Abby to life. 

Other names include:

  • Gabriel Luna - Tommy Miller
  • Rutina Wesley - Maria
  • Dina
  • Jesse
  • Lev
  • Yara
  • Owen
  • Mel
  • Isaac

Will Pedro Pascal Be in The Last of Us Season 2?

Pedro Pascal, Joel, The Last of Us, Ellie, Bella Ramsey

Warning - The rest of this article contains potential spoilers for The Last of Us Season 2.

One of the biggest questions fans have going into The Last of Us Season 2 is just how much of a part will Pedro Pascal's Joel have in it.

For those who do not know, in the first few hours of The Last of Us Part II, Joel is brutally murdered at the hands of Abby as revenge for killing her father in the Salt Lake City hospital seen at the end of the first game and Season 1 of the HBO series. 

While some have pondered if HBO would have the guts to go forward with killing off one of the most beloved actors working in Hollywood, the series' creators have remained adamant that a faithful adaption is headed audiences' way. 

Pascal previously told Esquire "[he doesn't] know that [he's] emotionally ready for it." But the actor also thinks Joel's death will happen, as, in his words, it "wouldn’t make sense to follow the first game so faithfully" and then "stray severely from the path."

While showrunner Craig Mazin remained fairly tight-lipped on the subject, he did let slip that when adapting a story, the "expectation that the adaptation will hit the main source material points and that is mostly what happens."

That is not to say Joel's time in Season 2 will be short, however. The character still plays a key part in The Last of Us Part II's story well after his death, appearing in a series of flashbacks set between the events of the first game and his untimely demise. 

What Will Happen in The Last of Us Season 2?

The Last of Us, Joel, Ellie, Pedro Pascal, Abby

Given the showrunners' personal mandate to not "tell any stories beyond adapting the game[s]," it seems as though The Last of Us Season 2 will be a fairly faithful adaptation of The Last of Us Part II as Season 1 was with the first game. 

That means fans can expect Season 2 to follow Bella Ramsey's Ellie through the death of her father figure, Joel, and into her blood-fueled revenge tour that takes her to Seattle, Washington. 

What audiences may not expect though is for a good chunk of Season 2's story to focus on the person responsible for Joel's death, Abby.

Part II's story is one very much told in two chunks, one from Ellie's point of view as she sets out to get revenge on the people who took Joel from her and the other from the point of view of Abby after she has gotten her revenge. 

The two protagonists will likely ping-pong across the Emerald City, coming face-to-face only a couple of times before their final showdown that teaches Ellie about the never-ending cycle of violence. 

How Old is Ellie in The Last of Us Season 2?

The Last of Us, Joel, Pedro Pascal, Ellie

Seeing as Season 2 will follow in the footsteps of The Last of Us Part II, audiences can expect a bit of a time jump between the Season 1 finale and this next batch of episodes. 

While Bella Ramsy's Ellie was 14 years old during the events of the first season, she should be 19 in Season 2.

Bella Ramsey is currently 19 years old, having played young for Season 1 of the HBO series and will likely be aged up for the second batch of episodes. 

However, one of the best parts of The Last of Us Part II's story is its propensity to jump back in time and fill in that five-year time gap throughout its sprawling story. 

Is The Last of Us Season 2 HBO's Last?

Joel, Abby, Ellie, Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal, The Last of Us

As it stands, The Last of Us has only been greenlit for one more season at HBO. 

Showrunner Craig Mazin has remained adamant that his plan is to "do [the series] not just for one more season," yet HBO leadership has said "there’s no guarantee" a Season 3 will happen

As described by star of both The Last of Us TV series and video games Jeffrey Pierce, "there’s just so much story to tell in the second game," and it seems likely - at least from his perspective - that they "stretch [the HBO series] beyond a second season."

And whether it is public or not, it certainly feels like Mazin and his co-showrunner, Neil Druckmann, are working under the assumption a Season 3 will happen. Because of this, HBO would be silly to leave this story incomplete and get out of the Last of Us business following Season 2.

The Last of Us Season 1 is streaming now on Max

- In This Article: The Last of Us
Release Date
January 15, 2023
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.