In 2013, The last of us was released on Playstation 3 with great success. Praised for its rich narrative, emotional core, and character-driven storyline, it would only be a matter of time before the inevitable sequel, The Last of Us Part II, would follow.

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In March 2020, it was announced that HBO was adapting the series when creator Neil Druckmann tweeted a confirmation of various female characters who will appear on the show. Fans have already started to speculate on who could take on these iconic roles, and here are 10 of the most likely characters, aside from Joel and Ellie, who will obviously be included, who could appear. Spoiler alert for those who haven’t finished both games!

10 Bill

In the world of The last of usBill is the man who knows how to acquire things. Living outside of the Boston Quarantine Zone (QZ), Bill helps smuggle goods to others inside while maintaining a very strict sense of security in his remote town.

Fans fell in love with Bill’s curmudgeonly demeanor and jokes with Ellie, something the show might extrapolate to. Also, Bill constantly reminds Joel of the harsh reality they are facing, and explains that taking care of others only results in disaster. Bill’s nascent emotions are partially explained in the tragic story of Frank, Bill’s former partner, who, after leaving Bill, hangs himself after being bitten. Upon finding her body, Bill shows a hint of sadness for his lost lover.

9 Mary

Maria is Joel’s sister-in-law and a leader in the Jackson community. Making her debut during the “Fall” section of the first game, Maria appears at the hydroelectric dam that Joel and Ellie pass through on their way to track down Tommy, Joel’s brother.

Although Joel is initially surprised to learn that his brother has married, he quickly becomes aware of Maria’s presence. Also, Maria shows immediate affection for Ellie and does everything she can to make the teenager feel at home. His inclusion on the TV show only feels natural as part of the growing Jackson family and for the leadership he provides.

8 Marlene

Every great adventure needs a catalyst and, in The last of us, that would be Marlene. As the leader of the remaining fireflies, Marlene tasks Joel and Tess with transporting Ellie to the fireflies in the Capitol building, kicking off the main story of the series.

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Marlene’s story is rich in depth and complexity. It is revealed that she previously knew Ellie’s mother and promised that she would take care of Ellie. She shows genuine love and compassion for Ellie, and returns in Part ii in a short but compelling scene. While the exact timeline of the show is not yet known, fans can expect to see Marlene in some form.

7 Abby

In Druckmann’s tweet, he cryptically mocks a four-letter female name, potentially referring to Part II co-star Abby. Although Abby’s arrival in the world of The last of us He was, to put it mildly, divisive, his character thematically resembling Joel from the first game and taking the story in radically unique directions.

After murdering Joel to avenge his own father, the player takes control of Abby for a substantial part of the second half of the game. Despite the awkward change, the story reveals that Abby’s revenge has not buried her demons and, like Ellie, still haunted by painful memories. Rescued by Lev and Yara from a terrifying death, Abby discovers a better purpose for her life and focuses her energies on protecting her new friends.

6 Tommy

Joel’s younger brother plays a small supporting role in the first game’s narrative, appearing during the prologue escape sequence and then later when Joel and Ellie arrive at the dam. Here, it is revealed that although Tommy and Joel haven’t always seen each other face to face, they still offer each other support.

Tommy’s role in Part ii is much bigger, being the keeper of Joel’s secret about the Firefly massacre and his lie to Ellie. After Joel’s death, Tommy leaves Jackson on a mission of revenge to find Joel’s killers. He manages to assassinate several of the WLF before being nearly killed by Abby and then mercilessly berates Ellie for giving up on her quest for revenge.

5 Lev

Lev is an ally of Abby and a former member of the Seraphites, a faction of survivors who choose to live a life of primitivism after the collapse of society. Born “Lilly”, Lev later separates from the Seraphites because she is transgender and wishes to become a warrior and not a wife.

Though they come from opposing factions, Lev and Abby form a close bond after seeking to go their own way from their respective groups. Lev’s inclusion in the HBO series would help enormously given its importance to the story and the need for better LGBTQ + representation in games and television.

4 Dyne

Dina could also be the answer to Druckmann’s four-letter mystery character, as she plays a key supporting role in Part iiexpanding narrative. First introduced as a potential part of a love triangle with Ellie and Jesse, another Jackson citizen, Dina later accompanies Ellie on her search for Seattle.

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After leaving Seattle, it is revealed that Dina and Ellie live together on a farm near Jackson, raising Dina’s son together. When Tommy visits and asks Ellie to restart her quest to kill Abby, Dina warns Ellie that if she leaves, Dina won’t be there when she returns. True to her word, Ellie returns to Jackson months later and discovers that Dina has taken her son elsewhere, leaving Ellie alone and abandoned once more.

3 Tess

Characters rarely become so memorable in such a short time, but that’s the beauty of Tess. The player meets Tess after the story jumps 20 years into the future, where it is revealed that she and Joel are smugglers in Boston and have an inexplicable past of some kind.

Tess initially shows apathy towards Ellie, referring to her as “just charging”. But, after being bitten, she begs Joel to complete the mission, now she believes in Ellie’s purpose. She chooses to sacrifice herself to give Joel and Ellie time to escape the approaching soldiers. Seeing a main character killed off so early was certainly a shock considering it was natural to assume that she would play a major role in the narrative, but it opens up avenues for the show to explore the cruel and unforgiving nature of this world.

two Riley

Riley appears in the Dark Horse prequel comic The Last of Us: American Dreams and game DLC Left behind. Both stories focus on the complex relationship between Ellie and Riley at the Boston QZ that led to the events of Ellie’s fateful infected bite.

Game fans certainly know how important Riley is to Ellie’s story. The last night before Riley joins the fireflies, Ellie begs Riley not to leave and they kiss. Riley denounces her intention to leave and tosses her Firefly pendant aside. In the world of The last of ushowever, happy moments are fleeting; the pair are quickly ambushed by a horde of infected and bitten. Riley suggests that they just wait and turn together in a poetic gesture, but, when Ellie’s immunity prevents her from turning, she is left with the burden of survivor guilt.

1 Sarah

Few stories have started in a more heartbreaking way than Sarah’s death. In the game’s prologue, Sarah presents her father, Joel, with a watch for his birthday, and the two of them fall asleep on the couch watching television. Later, Sarah wakes up to an urgent call from Tommy before the line is cut.

The game begins here as the player walks through their empty home and witnesses the origins of the outbreak. Watching the events happen through the eyes of a teenage boy creates an incredible sense of vulnerability for the player. Once he’s injured, Joel takes over and the player becomes the protector, making his sudden death even more devastating. Ultimately, his death serves as the motivation for all the heinous and heroic acts that Joel would later commit for Ellie.

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