The Last of Us Part II’s Story Will Likely Be The Starting Point
The first season of The Last of Us is set to cover the entirety of the first game, so it seems logical that season 2 would then start by adapting The Last of Us Part II. In an interview with Collider, Mazin said “I have the benefit of the first game, which we have encompassed with this season, which has a real beginning and middle and end. And then, the story that remains, that continues forth in the work that Naughty Dog’s done on the second game, is a lot. Probably the amount of remaining story would take us more than a season to tell. But definitely, I don’t see this as something that runs on and on and on. We don’t have that ambition. Our ambition is to tell the story that exists, as best as we can, in a different medium.”
Even though Mazin and Druckmann don’t plan on diving too far into this world beyond what is already laid out in the games, The Last of Us Part II’s compelling and controversial story still leaves plenty for the HBO series to explore across a second, and maybe even third, season. Without giving too much of the story away, The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the ending of The Last of Us Part I. The gameplay lets us spend more time with Ellie as one of the playable protagonists, with the other main playable character being a new addition, Abby.
Abby continues to be an incredibly controversial addition to the game, because we see her first as a villainous character before getting to truly experience the depth of her story and her motivations. Despite the amount of violence enacted by both Abby and Ellie throughout the course of the game as they seek vengeance for each other’s actions, The Last of Us Part II is an exercise in empathy and a great reminder that just because we’re the hero of our own story doesn’t mean we’re not the villain of someone else’s. The first season has already done a great job at introducing the major themes of Part II’s story, and it will be interesting to see how the series will adapt it.
The Creators Are Ready to Deal with The Last of Us Part II’s Time Jump
If you’re concerned that skipping forward five years could mean that we lose Bella Ramsey as Ellie, I wouldn’t be worried just yet. In an interview with Variety, Mazin said of the time jump that “there’s a little bit of interesting flexibility. Wonderful things that makeup can do. We don’t get too wrapped up in that stuff. As long [as] people are absorbed by the story, I think there’s some flexibility there.” They’ve already proven they can make Pedro Pascal believably look twenty years older as Joel, making Bella Ramsey appear only slightly older shouldn’t be an issue.
It also helps that, despite playing a fourteen year old Ellie in the first season of The Last of Us, Bella Ramsey is already nineteen, which is about the same age as Ellie in The Last of Us Part II. Considering that The Last of Us Part II also features flashbacks to a younger Ellie after the events of Part I, it would make sense to just keep Bella Ramsey as both the younger and older versions of Ellie.
Spores Could Be Making A Comeback
Not only does The Last of Us Part II have the emotional impact of Abby and Ellie’s intertwined story for the HBO series to draw on, it also introduces several unique mutations of the cordyceps infection. The wet environment of Seattle where a lot of the game takes place gives Mazin and Druckmann plenty of room to expand on the series’ Cordyceps lore and maybe even introduce an updated version of the game’s spores.