Viewers Can Expect a Time Jump in the Second Season of 'The Last of Us'

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Mar. 13 2023, Published 6:30 p.m. ET

(l-r) Ellie as she appears in the series and 'The Last of Us Part II'
Source: HBO/Naughty Dog

Spoiler alert! This article contains spoilers from The Last of Us for both the game and the series.

The Last of Us seems to have achieved the impossible when it comes to live-action adaptations of popular video games. Though this particular genre of on-screen storytelling tends to run the gamut in terms of quality and general audience interest, the HBO series based on the acclaimed video game has received its own bout of universal praise among new viewers and loyal fans alike.

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The series follows Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal), a survivor amidst a post-apocalyptic United States that has been ravaged by a contagious fungal infection that turns people into feral monsters. He escorts a young teenager named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the country for a mission of world-saving importance.

With the show already slated for a second season, fans who are familiar with the game franchise know that a time skip is in the works. Here's what you should know about the time jump in The Last of Us.

Ellie in 'The Last of Us'
Source: HBO
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Here's what to know about the time jump in the 'Last of Us' show.

For all the creative liberties and original content that the series has, much of the overall story is ripped straight from the source material.

Joel and Ellie manage to reach a Firefly base in Utah in order to meet with their doctors. Thanks to Ellie's apparent immunity to the Cordyceps virus, their hope is that her condition could be engineered into a treatment for the infection. Unfortunately, Joel learns from Fireflies leader Marlene (Merle Dandridge) that Ellie must die for the cure.

Unwilling to accept this outcome, Joel goes on a murderous rampage to rescue her, killing several Fireflies, the surgeon in charge of Ellie's procedure, and Marlene herself. The season ends with Joel lying to Ellie about what happened with the Fireflies as the two of them find a new home in a thriving compound where Joel's brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) lives.

Series-only fans are likely picking up their jaws from the floor after that season finale, but longtime fans of the game know what's in store.

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The second season will likely adapt the events of The Last of Us Part II, a sequel game released on the PlayStation 4 in 2020. The game has a time jump and takes place five years after the events of the first game. Naturally, Ellie is older by now and can fend for herself. Players control Ellie as she fights, shoots, and hunts on her own in ways that she couldn't do in the previous game.

But does this time jump and age difference mean that Bella Ramsey won't return for the new season?

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Is Bella Ramsey leaving 'The Last of Us'?

Because Ellie is older in the second game, fans are theorizing that the actor portraying Ellie could change between seasons of the show to match the difference. Though there is no official confirmation on the matter as of this writing, series co-creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin have previously stated that they're in no rush to recast Bella.

"The only way we would ever, ever consider recasting Bella is if she said 'I don't want to work with you anymore,'" Neil told IGN.

What's more, Bella's already the perfect age to continue portraying Ellie in the second season, should it adapt the second game. In Part II, Ellie is 19 years old, which happens to be the same age as Bella in real life. If she's able to portray a convincing 14-year-old now, then she could very easily fit into a 19-year-old's shoes for the second season.

Season 1 of The Last of Us is now streaming fully on HBO Max.

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