The Last of Us on HBO will return for Season 2

HBO's The Last of Us has received rave reviews since it launched in early January 2023.
The Last of Us HBO TV series renewed season 2

HBO has officially confirmed its adaptation of The Last of Us will get a second season, thanks to the booming popularity of the show, and rave reviews from critics. The news followed the airing of the show’s second episode, which spotlighted the struggle between survivors Joel and Tess, and revelations around Ellie’s immunity to the deadly fungus plaguing America.

‘I’m humbled, honoured, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey,’ executive producer Neil Druckmann said of the announcement. Druckmann is also the writer and creative director of the original video game, and is co-president of its development studio, Naughty Dog.

‘The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations. Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!’

Read: The Last of Us HBO TV Series – Episode 2 Recap – ‘Infected’

An early season two renewal makes sense, given the enthusiasm for the show – but it’s currently unclear how writers will proceed. The first season of the HBO adaptation charts the events of the entire first video game, adding in new context and pitstops along the way, but largely following the original plot closely.

While The Last of Us Part 2 continues the story of Ellie and Joel, there’s a significant time jump between these chapters. In Part 2, Ellie is much older and more mature, as is her story. Should HBO leap directly into this plot for its next season, producers will need to contend with Bella Ramsey’s younger age, consider a longer wait between seasons, or even think about recasting Ellie, to better depict the passing of time.

It’s also possible HBO could tackle a ‘filler’ season, with brand new stories and plots designed to stretch out Ellie and Joel’s tale until the events of Part 2 arrive naturally.

Whatever the case, it’s clear there’s an appetite for more of The Last of Us – in whatever form it takes. Recently, it was reported that viewership between the first and second episodes of the show jumped 22%, likely thanks to word-of-mouth, and positive reception between episode releases.

For further analysis and reading on the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us, you can check out the following articles: 

Episode recaps and analysis:
Behind-the-scenes podcast recaps:

The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO Max in the US, and Binge in Australia.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.