The Last of Us Season 2 Set Photos and Footage Confirm What We All Feared

Photos and videos taken from the set of The Last of Us season 2 are clues into just how faithfully the show will adapt the second video game...

Pedro Pascal as Joel in The Last of Us Season 2
Photo: HBO

This Last of Us article contains MAJOR spoilers. You’ve been warned.

The Last of Us was a revelation when it first hit the PlayStation 3 in 2013, and again when it was adapted to TV for HBO, with many calling it the greatest video game adaptation of all time. Even if you don’t completely agree with some of the changes the first season made to the original story—although we’d argue most of the tweaks, like the Bill story, made The Last of Us even better—there’s no denying the care and passion that was put into bringing this post-apocalyptic tale to live action, including from its stars Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal, who perfectly capture the dynamic between Ellie and Joel.

It’s no surprise at all that we’ll soon see the pair back for a second season, but their time together might be short-lived, considering the source material: The Last of Us Part II. Fans familiar with the much more controversial PlayStation 4 sequel from 2020 know what awaits Joel and Ellie when a group led by the mysterious Abby come to Jackson, Wyoming. What begins as a mad rush to get away from an infected horde soon ends in Joel’s brutal death at Abby’s hand. And that’s just the opening chapter of a blood-soaked revenge tale that will lead Ellie and her partner Dina to Seattle to hunt down Abby and her co-conspirators.

Many of us have long suspected that Joel’s death will come early in the second season, especially after Kaitlyn Dever was cast as Abby and Isabela Merced was cast as Dina. Now, photos and videos leaked from the set all but confirm what we all feared: Joel’s a goner.

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First up is a series of photos taken while the show filmed in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Presumably a stand-in for Seattle (or somewhere on the way there), the Nanaimo set sees Ellie and Dina riding their horse Shimmer across abandoned city streets, weapons at the ready. If we had to guess, this is just as Ellie and Dina are entering the city limits but before they encounter the Washington Liberation Front (the faction Abby belongs to) and the Seraphite cultists. But since this scene has Ellie and Dina traveling on their own, we can safely assume that this is happening after Joel’s been killed by Abby.

Onlookers also recorded videos from the set, including one of Ellie and Dina riding into town. At one point, Ellie dismounts to have a look at something, while Dina waits with Shimmer. We assume we’ll see these two get separated at some point during this adventure, as in the games.

Just how faithfully The Last of Us season 2 will adapt the events of the games remains to be seen, but so far, it looks like Pascal is destined to make an exit from the show around the same time as in the PlayStation sequel. That said, remember that The Last of Us Part II also featured flashbacks that bridged the gap between the first and second games, so there’s still a chance we’ll see Pascal throughout the second season, just not much in the present day…

The Last of Us season 2 will premiere in 2025 on HBO and Max.