7 Wаys Tһe Lаst Of Us Seаson 2 Will Be A Totаlly Different Sһow

The Last of Us season 2 will continue Ellie and Joel’s story, but the HBO adaptation’s next outing will feel completely different than season 1.

Joel smiling and Ellie looking exasperated in The Last of Us season 1

Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Last of Us II and possibly season 2 of the HBO show.


  • The Last of Us season 2 will focus more on Ellie, with Joel’s character likely meeting an untimely end.
  • The Joel twist from season 1 will have a lasting impact on the dynamics between characters in season 2, giving it a different feel.
  • The goals of the characters in season 2 will shift, with Ellie’s focus changing from finding a cure to seeking revenge after Joel’s death.

The Last of Us season 2 is one of HBO’s most-anticipated upcoming releases, but the new episodes will feel like a totally different show compared to season 1. The first outing of The Last of Us premiered in January 2023, bringing the world of Naughty Dog’s beloved video games to life on the small screen. The initial nine episodes follow Ellie and Joel as they venture across a U.S. that’s been ravaged by the Cordyceps infection. As Ellie is immune to its effects, they hope to deliver her to a group called the Fireflies and find a cure for the disease turning humans into monsters.

In both the show and games, The Last of Us takes a sharp turn at the end its first outing, which concludes with Joel killing the Fireflies to save Ellie’s life. Ultimately, he chooses Ellie over the rest of humanity. The impact of that will be felt heavily in The Last of Us season 2. In fact, if The Last of Us season 2 follows the second game closely, it will feel like a completely different series. The same characters will appear, and similar threats will plague them. However, their journeys will take on a distinctly different tone, and they’ll be driven by completely new goals.

7 The Last Of Us Will Focus More On Ellie

Ellie in The Last Of Us Part 2 Game and HBO show

The Last of Us season 1 gives equal attention to Ellie and Joel, treating both characters as leads in their own right. This is the same in the games, but The Last of Us II shifts its focus primarily to Ellie for a tragic reason. In The Last of Us II, Joel is killed by the daughter of the doctor he shoots during his Firefly massacre. Joel’s massacre unfolds similarly in The Last of Us season 1 finale, so viewers can expect an untimely end for his character in season 2. Assuming the series follows the source material and kills Joel right away, Ellie will become its sole focus.

6 THAT Joel Twist Will Change The Last Of Us Forever

Joel carrying Ellie in The Last of Us finale

The Last of Us season 1 finale’s Joel twist will change the show in more ways than one. What starts as a heartwarming story about found family and finding hope in adversity quickly becomes a commentary on the darker side of love. Joel’s actions will loom over everything that happens in The Last of Us season 2, changing the dynamic between him and Ellie. For however long Joel is around, he’ll have a taut relationship with his co-lead. Ellie knows he’s lying about the Fireflies, even if she doesn’t want to face it. This will strain both characters, giving The Last of Us season 2 a very different feel.

5 The Characters’ Goals Will Be Different In Season 2

Joel and Ellie from HBO's The Last of Us

The Last of Us season 1 centers the goal of getting Ellie to the Fireflies in the hopes of finding a cure for the fungal disease destroying humanity. That storyline won’t be the main focus of The Last of Us season 2, as Ellie’s goals change in the wake of Joel’s death. After Abby kills Joel, Ellie sets out on a quest for revenge. Ellie’s actions are driven entirely by her need to punish Abby, and any concern about finding a cure seems to disappear. The Last of Us II ends without Ellie using her immunity to find a cure, so season 2 could drop that storyline completely.

4 Abby’s Debut Flips The Last Of Us’ Character Dynamic

Abby, and Joel in The Last of Us copy

Abby is among the most controversial characters from The Last of Us II, but her debut in the adaptation will change it significantly. It’s not just the fact that Abby will kill Joel in The Last of Us‘ sophomore season. Abby also becomes something of a secondary lead in the games, and her debut in the HBO show could eventually see her becoming The Last of Us’ new main character. She’ll share the spotlight with Ellie in The Last of Us season 2. However, as Ellie seemingly gets a definitive ending in The Last of Us II, The Last of Us season 3 may shift its focus to Abby completely.

3 Believe It Or Not, The Last Of Us Gets Darker

Ellie's worse scene vs Joel's Last of Us 2

Given that The Last of Us II features two character arcs centered on vengeance, the second game actually gets darker than the original. Assuming The Last of Us season 2 sticks to the script, the same will be the case for the new episodes. While season 1 offers glimpses of hope through stories like Bill and Frank’s — and even through Joel’s relationship with Ellie — season 2 will take on a bleaker tone. With Joel gone, Ellie makes a number of disturbing decisions, leaning into a more cynical view of humanity. She and Abby are the same in this way, so viewers can expect a lot of anger and hopelessness ahead.

2 There Will Be No “Special” Episode In The Last Of Us Season 2

Bill and Frank in The Last of Us, both bearded and looking down in happiness, backdropped by a video game render of a small New England town

Speaking of Bill and Frank, showrunner Craig Mazin confirmed that The Last of Us season 2 won’t feature a special episode like their season 1 installment. This will give the series more time to focus on Ellie’s story, but it will also mark a significant change from season 1. Bill and Frank’s love story complements the first outing nicely, offering hope for humanity and giving insight into the Cordyceps infection’s impact on ordinary people. As The Last of Us season 2 will be less hopeful and won’t require as much world-building, it makes sense it won’t contain a similar aside. However, it also highlights how different the approach will be.

1 The Last Of Us Season 2 Will Be An Ending Of Sorts

The Last of Us season 2 is already lying to you

HBO’s The Last of Us just started, so it’s strange to already be thinking about endings. However, The Last of Us II brings Ellie’s journey to a satisfying conclusion. And even if HBO’s adaptation continues beyond the events of the second game, The Last of Us season 3 is likely to reinvent the show all over again. With that in mind, the biggest way that The Last of Us season 2 is likely to differ from season 1 is that it will serve as an ending, while the first season very clearly felt like a beginning. This will undoubtedly make Ellie’s journey that much more emotional.

Even if the story continues beyond Ellie’s arc, The Last of Uswon’t be the same after season 2. For one, it will go beyond the source material, unless Naughty Dog releases The Last of Us III before season 3 comes out. Additionally, it will likely wrap up Ellie’s character arc and shift its focus to other characters. Needless to say, it’s not just The Last of Usseason 2 that will feel like a completely different show; season 3 will face a similar issue.

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