The Last of Us Season 2 Casts a Crucial Character — And Confirms a Controversial Direction

What’s better than one Ellie? Two Ellies.

A young woman with a ponytail, wearing a red shirt over a gray tee, with a backpack, looking to the ...
The Last of Us

From the tragic prologue to the closing drive into the sunset, The Last of Us Season 1 was all about Joel and Ellie. Their dynamic fueled every action and interaction, but Season 2 is about to change that. The most controversial character of The Last of Us Part II has been cast, and the decision signals a significant change from the game.

The Hollywood Reporter announced that Kaitlyn Dever, who made a splash in the 2023 sleeper horror film No One Will Save You, will join The Last of Us as Abby Anderson. In the game, Abby is an antihero co-protagonist seeking vengeance on Joel and Ellie for the loss of a loved one, a quest that produces tragic results.

Kaitlyn Dever will portray Abby Anderson in The Last of Us Season 2.

Gilbert Flores/WWD/Getty Images

Notably, Dever was originally considered for the role of Ellie, before being dismissed as too old. However, she’s the perfect age for Abby, and the casting of an Abby who could very well be an older Ellie suggests the show is heading in a risky new direction. In The Last of Us Part II, the player switches between Ellie and Abby, essentially putting them in the villain’s shoes. Abby will be just as important to the TV show, but Dever’s casting suggests she’ll be a mirror to Ellie rather than an opposing force.

In the game, Abby is muscular, intimidating, and straightforward in their brutality, which immediately sets her apart from the slight, stealth-focused Ellie. Dever looks significantly different from her video game counterpart, and while there’s no telling how she’ll look after costuming, makeup, and six straight months in the gym, it feels like HBO is aiming for an Abby viewers — and even Ellie — can relate to instead of being scared of.

Abby was one of Part II’s main characters, but it looks like HBO will rework her personality for TV.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Anyone familiar with Part II’s plot knows Abby’s reputation as a divisive character precedes her, but casting Dever is a way to reshape Abby while maintaining her role in the story. Season 1 evolved the characters we thought we knew from the game into deeper, more compelling human beings. Now, the show’s version of Abby could have more in common with Ellie than we thought.

The Last of Us Season 1 is streaming on Max.

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