The Last of Us showrunner hints Season 2 could change Joel’s fate

The Last of Us showrunner hints Season 2 could change Joel’s fate
Naughty Dog | HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman


12th Apr 2023 11:22

Adapting one of the greatest video games of all time might seem like no easy feat, but tell that to Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. The Chernobyl showrunner and The Last of Us Game Director have brought the Cordyceps apocalypse to life with a TV series for the ages.

Although The Last of Us Season 1 wrapped after just nine short episodes, we know it'll be back for more. In fact, we know the much beefier The Last of Us Part II will span at least two seasons. If you're expecting a straight retelling of 2020's video game, you might be in for a shock.

Warning: major spoilers for The Last of Us Part II

What will happen to Joel in The Last of Us Season 2?

Abby kill Joel The Last of Us
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Naughty Dog

If you haven't played The Last of Us Part II or haven't heard about THAT big twist, it's your last chance to turn back now. For those who've made it this far, you'll know Joel Miller is presumably destined to come a cropper at the wrong end of a golf club in HBO's live-action series.

In Naughty Dog's game, Joel is brutally beaten to death by Abby Anderson in the first chapter. It's revenge for him killing her father (a Firefly surgeon) at the end of the first game. As The Last of Us season finale saw Joel kill an unnamed male surgeon, many have guessed things will play out similarly.

Speaking to Esquire, Mazin has teased that it might not be as simple as seeing Pedro Pascal's Daddy Joel kicking the bucket in the first half of Season 2. "This should be fairly obvious to anyone by now, but I don’t fear killing characters," says the showrunner.

"But the important thing to note is that neither Neil [Druckmann, who co-created and exec-produces the series with Mazin] nor I feel constrained by the source material." Given that Joel's death plays out pretty early in the game, there's only so much you can spread the story out before getting to the inevitable.

Is The Last of Us saving Joel's fate for Season 3?

Look, by this point, we know The Last of Us is at least coming back for Season 3. The first run of episodes brilliantly deviated from the source material with the likes of Bill and Frank, and while major deaths like Sarah, Henry, and Sam largely played out the same, there's some wiggle room.

Considering Joel's death is one of the most iconic but divisive in video games, we can't see it playing out in any other way. Fans should probably accept that Abby will bludgeon Joel with a golf club, but the question is when?

If Mazin and Druckmann were smart, they'd slowly set up the conflict with Abby and Joel before leading to the bloodbath - possibly in Season 3. As long as we don't get a Walking Dead-inspired cliffhanger like Glenn and Negan, we don't really mind. Either way, we say make the most of Pascal while you can.

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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