As you prepare for The Last of Us Part II, you might be asking yourself "What happened in that game?" or "What was the DLC's story about?" But it's also important to know exactly how long after the first game the sequel happens.
Luckily, we've placed all of the major events from The Last of Us universe on a breezy timeline to help you catch up before plunging into the sequel.
Warning: Spoilers for everything that happens before The Last of Us: Part II follows.
September 26, 2013 — Outbreak Day
The Cordyceps Brain Infection hit critical mass on this day, prompting civilians around the world to evacuate their homes and places of work, but for almost everyone, there was nowhere safe to go. This is also Joel's birthday, as noted by his 12-year-old daughter, Sarah. Given Sarah's age and the little factoid that Joel is in his late forties throughout The Last of Us' main story, Joel is likely around 28 at this point. When attempting to evacuate, Sarah is shot by military forces.
Fall 2032 — American Dreams
Having recently turned 13, Ellie arrives at the Boston Quarantine Zone. She's confronted by a group of teen boys who try to mug her, but Ellie is saved by Riley Abel, a girl who is roughly her age. The two become fast friends afterward.
Summer 2033 — Left Behind flashbacks
Ellie and Riley, now 14 and 16, spend a day at an abandoned mall. They have fun for a bit and even share a kiss. But they're fun is ruined when an infected bites them both. Riley dies as a result, but Ellie discovers her immunity to the virus. (You can read more key information about the DLC right here.)
Summer 2033 (three weeks later) — Last of Us begins
Ellie connects with Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies, who discovers Ellie's immunity and makes plans to send her to the Fireflies HQ in Salt Lake City to be studied. Joel, now in his late forties, smuggles and sells weapons and other resources, but Marlene tasks him with escorting Ellie.
Fall 2033 — The Last of Us
Joel and Ellie reach Jackson County looking for Joel's brother Tommy and find him at a settlement he's founded. Eventually, Joel and Ellie head back on the road and explore a university where they inexplicably meet a wild giraffe. Joel later sustains a grievous injury after a fight with some cannibals and is incapacitated, leaving Ellie to take care of them both.
Winter 2033 — Left Behind
Ellie searches a mall to locate medical equipment she can use to help Joel, and the DLC flashes back to Ellie's memories of the day spent with Riley.
Winter 2033-2034 — Last of Us
While hunting for food, Ellie meets a cannibal man named David. He offers her antibiotics in exchange for meat from a deer Ellie killed. David tries to recruit Ellie into his cult-like setting, but after he turns hostile, Ellie is forced to kill him.
Spring 2034 — Last of Us
Joel and Ellie finally reach Salt Lake City, but after Marlene reveals to Joel that the doctors will have to dissect Ellie's brain, killing her, Joel goes on a rampage to save Ellie's life. He kills Marlene, all the doctors, and dozens of Firefly soldiers.
Ellie and Joel travel to Tommy's settlement to make a life for themselves over the following few weeks, and Joel lies to Ellie, saying that they didn't need her to help discover a cure.
Spring 2034 — Last of Us: "One Night Live" Epilogue
While on Tommy's settlement, Joel and Ellie reconcile during the One Night Live Epilogue, a scripted scene performed by the actors on-stage. Though originally put on at a fan event not long after the first game's release, it has since been officially incorporated into canon.
Winter 2039 — The Last of Us Part II
The sequel kicks off in 2039, which is five years after the first game and 26 years after the initial outbreak. Events presumably begin in winter based on some trailers showing Ellie in the settlement or out on missions. Ellie is now 19 and Joel is in his early- to mid-50s. Joel has become a patrolman, killing outsiders or infected who might wander too close to the settlement. Ellie seemingly performs odd jobs around town with patrol being one of her duties as well.
Ellie has befriended other settlement dwellers like Dina and Jesse who are about her age and also go out on patrol. She even has a budding romance with Dina. The world looks vastly different than it did when the virus started. Cities are dilapidated ruins taken over by either the government or some kind of militia.
The majority of Last of Us 2 will occur in this overrun Seattle where a religious cult called the Seraphites has taken over. But mutated infected still roam the city's streets. Much of the city has been covered in flora, which is similar to other major cities like Pittsburgh, which we saw in the first game.
We have no way of knowing just how expansive the second game will be, or whether or not the narrative will jump forward season by season like the first, but it seems possible. A lot could happen, and you'll just have to play the rest of this story when the sequel is released.
The Last of Us Part II will be released on June 19, 2020 for the PS4.