The Last of Us Showrunner Teases Controversial Season 2 Story

By Lauren Rouse Posted:
The Last of Us, Pedro Pascal

Showrunner Craig Mazin warned that the story of The Last of Us Season 2 may be controversial. 

Since the hit post-apocalypse drama ended in March, many have been wondering how the HBO series will tackle the events of Naughty Dog's much larger second video game, The Last of Us: Part II.

It appears that Mazin and co-showrunner, Neil Druckmann, have plans to stick closely to the events of the sequel game and will continue the story with Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey reprising their roles of Joel and Ellie. 

The producers also intend to address some fan complaints in The Last of Us Season 2, those mainly being the lack of infected throughout the first season. 

The Last of Us Season 2 Will Be Controversial

The Last of Us, Abby

In an interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Craig Mazin discussed how the contentious story of The Last of Us: Part II will translate to the screen. 

Mazin explained that what he likes about Naughty Dog's sequel is that it "pushes it even further" by asking players to "split [their] loyalties:"

"I think that the beauty of the second game is that it takes the question of the first game and pushes it even further, where you don’t have to wonder if someone is doing the right thing because you are asked to split your loyalties."

The showrunner explained that, as humans, "no one likes to do this," and that part of the uniqueness of The Last of Us Part 2 is that it forces us "to not pick sides:"

"Now, we don’t like to do this. No one likes to do this. We like to be either Christian or Muslim, either a Democrat or a Republican, either a Yankees fan or a Red Sox fan. This is what we like. It’s hard for us to organise our lives if we can’t pick sides. And then what we’re doing here is saying we need you to not pick sides, in fact, we’re going to force you to not pick sides."

Abby, The Last of Us
Naughty Dog

Mazin went on to praise the storytelling of the second game, saying he is excited to explore the "nature of justice" and "empathy:"

"There’s a lot that I think that story proposes about the nature of justice that I would like to explore even more, and empathy. So I thought the game was quite beautiful and very adaptable."

The producer also reiterated what he's said publicly before, which is that The Last of Us Part II's story "is not containable to one season:"

"I’ve said this before that the second game’s story is not containable in one season. So how we break that out and continue from there will be part of the interesting puzzle. But I couldn’t be more excited to live in that world more and again follow along with what I think is a really beautiful underpinning of narrative."

Mazin concluded by teasing how Season 2 of The Last of Us will adapt a "controversial" story:

 "It is a controversial story for a lot of people and all the good ones are."

Will The Last of Us Season 2 Divide Fans?

The Last of Us as a franchise is no stranger to controversy

The ending of the first game, which was adapted into the finale of The Last of Us Season 1, saw Joel make a questionable decision to save Ellie. It's a decision that has been a topic of debate among fans of the game for years and expanded to include viewers of the show as well.

Prior to the release of The Last of Us Part II in 2020, director Neil Druckmann said in an interview that some fans "are not going to like this game, and not like where it goes, and not like what it says or the fate of characters that they love".

The divisive plot points of the second game will no doubt reignite these debates when they are adapted to television as well. 

The Last of Us Season 1 is now streaming on Max

- In This Article: The Last of Us
Release Date
January 15, 2023
- About The Author: Lauren Rouse
Lauren Rouse has been a writer at The Direct since the site launched in 2020. She has a huge passion for everything pop culture and currently writes news articles for the Marvel, Star Wars, DC and video game branches.