The Last of Us season two is poised to explore an unapologetic, heart-stopping lesbian relationship
The Last of Us is already widely regarded as one of the best video game adaptations of all time, with critics and fans giving the show’s direction, tone, performances and writing huge amounts of praise – not least for the portrayal of gay couple Bill and Frank.
Following the news that The Last of Us – everyone’s favourite fungal, post-Armageddon survival series, based on the video game of the same name – will be returning for a second season, here’s what fans can expect from Pedro Pascal’s Joel and Bella Ramsey’s Ellie.
And seriously: spoilers ahead.
The Last of Us has been renewed for season two
The renewal for the second series of was announced after just two episodes of the first season had aired.
On Saturday (28 January), WarnerMedia reported that HBO had renewed the survival/horror series.
Executive producer Neil Druckmann, who is also the co-president of Naughty Dog, The Last of Us game’s developer, said: “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. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast and crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations.
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“Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two!”
The first season is expected to cover all of the events of the first video game The Last of Us, and, while Mazin and Druckmann have not explicitly confirmed it, they have hinted that a second season would cover the events of the sequel video game, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
What happens in the The Last of Us: Part Two video game?
The general plot of The Last of Us: Part Two is widely regarded as even more traumatic than the first instalment. Yes, you read that right.
Joel and Ellie are living in a settlement in Jackson, Wyoming, some years after the events of the first game, although their relationship has become strained.
While out on patrol, Joel rescues a stranger named Abby, which turns out to not be a very good idea, as it’s revealed that her father was the surgeon Joel killed at the end of the first game to save Ellie’s life.
Ellie arrives just in time to see Abby repeatedly take a golf club to Joel’s head.
The dual plot then follows Ellie’s brutal quest for revenge and Abby’s own inter-personal conflict between her militia – the WLF – and a cult-like group called The Seraphites.
Given that The Last of Us, the series, has thus far been praised for its faithfulness to the source material, we can definitely expect to see these basic plot lines on screen.
Ellie and Dina
And now, the good bit: lesbians.
In episode two, Ellie tells Tess that she was bitten while exploring an abandoned mall by herself and she also pointedly tells Tess that she doesn’t have a boyfriend.
In the game, these events are covered by an expansion called “Left Behind”, where we learn that Ellie was not alone, but with a friend called Riley, and that Ellie’s feelings towards Riley go deeper than friendship, but there are far too many zombies/cannibals/militaristic dictators to fully explore any sort of romantic relationship for Ellie.
When we see her in Jackson at the start of the Last of Us: Part Two, Ellie is beginning a relationship with a fellow survivor named Dina.
As the player follows Ellie’s bloody quest for revenge on Abby to Seattle and beyond, her and Dina’s journey explores the pair’s dynamic as one of the best queer relationships in a video game in recent memory.
By the end of the game, the two are raising a baby together in a homestead just outside Jackson. Obviously, there are some fungus zombies/death/loss of fingers in between the family and their happy ending, but the game leaves us with cautious hope for the pair’s future.
Will this lesbian relationship be covered in The Last of Us season two?
In the first two episodes, The Last of Us‘s TV adaptation had been painstakingly faithful in its adherence to the game’s plot points.
Episode three saw a major deviation with the story of tragic gay couple Bill and Frank.
This shift gives us hope for the portrayal of Ellie and Dina in The Last of Us‘s second season.
Bill and Frank’s portrayal has been met with adoration from fans and critics alike, with many calling it one of the best hours of standalone television in recent memory.
Fans have also specifically praised the depiction of the couple’s relationship, and if it’s any signifier of how carefully the directors/writers of season two will treat Ellie and Dina, viewers are in safe hands.
Is there any other LGBTQ+ representation in The Last of Us: Part Two?
In short, yes!
Abby’s plot line follows her entanglement with the vicious, cult-like Seraphites, or Scars as they’re known to Abby’s militia group, and her eventual alliance with two young defectors from the group.
Yara and Lev are both fleeing the cult because the latter decides to shave off all his hair and the group subsequently decides to punish him. Like we said: vicious.
As the game progresses and Abby’s bond with the two grows, we learn that the reason Lev cut his hair is because he was born as Lily – and the Scars, it turns out, are less tolerant of trans people than far-right groups in America today.
The Last of Us airs on Sundays on HBO in the US and on Mondays in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.
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