The Last of Us Theory Claims Major Season 2 Villain Was Hiding in Plain Sight All Along

Was Abby Anderson in The Last of Us season finale? Some fans think she absolutely was...

Clicker in HBO's The Last of Us
Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO

This Last of Us article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for season 1 and potentially season 2.

The mushroom madness of The Last of Us season one has come to an end, but with HBO already giving a second run of episodes the green light (was anyone really doubting it?), all eyes are on what’s next for Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal) now that they’ve completed their mission to find the Fireflies.

Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin serves as showrunner for the HBO series, working alongside Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann to bring the classic 2013 game to life. For the second season, the pair have confirmed that they’re going to next adapt 2020’s The Last of Us Part II

In fact, some fans think the season 1 finale, “Look for the Light,” is actually hiding a major character from The Last of Us Part II in plain sight, paving the way for the big bad of the second season…

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Is The Last of Us Finale Hiding Abby Anderson?

Fans of the game will know “Look for the Light” was an almost exact recreation of its final chapter, with a few additional scenes thrown in. While the Fireflies think Ellie holds the key to a Cordyceps cure and are willing to kill her for it, Joel goes on a Rambo-esque rampage and guns everyone in the hospital down to save his adoptive daughter. That includes the unarmed doctor preparing to operate on Ellie.

Replicating Pascal’s sharp-shooting skills in The Mandalorian, Joel takes out the Fireflies, and in a tragic mirroring of the game, even Marlene (Merle Dandridge). Joel gets almost everyone, but over on Twitter, fans have noticed someone escaped his finale bloodbath, someone who may very well be The Last of Us Part II‘s Abby Anderson.

Aside from sparing two female doctors – one of them being a cameo from Laura Bailey, who coincidentally voiced Abby in the second game — eagle-eyed fans also spotted an unknown character running out of shot as Joel makes his way through a hospital hallway. There’s no word on who this mystery survivor is, but with them sporting a braided ponytail and what looks like a backpack, they look suspiciously like Abby.

Who Is Abby in The Last of Us?

Without going into the biggest spoilers for those who haven’t played the games, Abby starts off as the main antagonist in The Last of Us Part II, but eventually becomes another playable character, alongside Joel and Ellie. We learn in the game Abby is the daughter of Jerry Anderson, who was the head Firefly surgeon killed by Joel in the Salt Lake City hospital massacre.

Episode 9 neatly sets up Abby’s future storyline when Joel kills the nameless male surgeon, and it’s no accident the camera lingers on the doctor’s lifeless body for a few seconds after Joel pulls the trigger. What if just minutes before Joel guns down her father on the show, Abby herself witnessed his rampage through the hospital? It would certainly turn out to be just one of the show’s many deviations from the games.

Teasing that Abby’s origin might not play out exactly like in the game, Mazin discussed the finale with GQ, saying, “There are going to be things that are going to be different, and there are things that are going to be identical. There are things that are going to be added and enriched.”

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Abby isn’t directly caught in the crossfire of Joel’s attack in the game, but having her escape his wrath and open season two with her finding her father’s body could be the tragic way the show will send Abby on her own dark path. Either way, it’s safe to assume Abby is just over the horizon. 

Has The Last of Us Already Cast Shannon Berry as Abby?

With Abby’s formidable physique, which was modeled after CrossFit athlete Colleen Fotsch, the hunt is on for an actor who can do her justice in live-action. Given the character’s divisive reception in 2020, nailing Abby’s casting will be a key challenge for season 2. Despite plenty of calls for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Florence Pugh to take on the role, sleuths think Druckmann and Mazin have already found their Abby.

Druckmann following actor Shannon Berry on Instagram earlier this year raised a few eyebrows, and comparing her to the video game version of Abby, it’s hard not to spot the similarities. Berry is known for playing Dot in Amazon’s The Lord of the Flies-inspired The Wilds.

At 23, she’s also the right age to play Abby, assuming there’s a similar five-year time jump between seasons as in the games. Throwing fuel on the fire, Berry has followed Druckmann, Pascal, Ramsey, and the show’s official account on Instagram. Then again, she could just be a really big fan.

As for how long Abby will be sticking around, Druckmann and Mazin have all but confirmed we’re getting The Last of Us season three…if not a potential fourth season to encompass the larger story of Part II. When asked about adapting Part II, Druckmann told GQ, “It’s more than one season,” while Mazin added, “You have noted correctly that we will not say how many. But more than one is factually correct.”

For those who’ve played the game, we’d say this is setting Abby up for a pretty major season 2 finale cliffhanger before a blood-soaked trip to Seattle in season 3…

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