The one thing to look for in The Last of Us finale on HBO

Pedro Pascal as Joel in The Last of Us season finale trailer
(Image credit: HBO via YouTube)

This weekend, HBO and HBO Max deliver The Last of Us' season finale, an episode that both new members of The Last of Us fandom — and experienced gamers — have been looking forward to. But at the same time, the series has made deliberate choices that differentiate from the game. 

And it often feels like Neil Druckmann — who served both as the creative director and writer of the first game and an executive producer for the show — is changing the story from the first The Last of Us game because he knows what's coming. 

When he made The Last of Us (now known as The Last of Us Part I), he probably didn't know exactly what The Last of Us Part II (the second game in the series) would hold. This is most obvious in how Ellie (Bella Ramsey) is much more violent in the show than the game (something many redditors also noticed). And that has me wondering about what's about to happen. 

I can't call what follows spoilers for The Last of Us season finale, but they are definite spoilers for The Last of Us Part II, the sequel to the game. Mazin and Druckmann are very likely to base The Last of Us season 2 on that game, and so reading on you'll learn a little bit about what's to come. I'll try and keep things to a bare minimum, though, at least in the first section.

An image indicating spoilers are ahead.

Has HBO's The Last of Us been dropping Easter eggs in the show?

(L to R) Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie eating a meal in The Last of Us episode 6.

(Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

First, let's give a prior example of fan theories sprouting out of something that could possibly be nothing. 

Back in Jackson, which would be The Last of Us episode 6, Ellie saw a girl (played by Paolina van Kleef) staring at her from across the room. Fans, whose tweets were circulated by online publication Them , started theorizing that this girl may have been the woman known as Dina, who Ellie is romantically involved with in The Last of Us Part II. 

Ellie snaps at the girl for "staring," and this situation — where Ellie and Joel (Pedro Pascal) are ravenously eating — encounter certainly matches a conversation Ellie and Dina had about eating. 

Another figure from Ellie and Joel's future may appear in the finale

This is where I'm going to get extra vague, and it's for everyone's good. You can go search for more details if you want, but this stuff's best kept to a fine minimum. As seen in The Last of Us episode 9 trailer, Joel's going to find himself in a hospital.

If the series matches the game, there will be an important doctor involved with this visit. And that doctor has a daughter. Her name is Abby Anderson. Abby is a central character for The Last of Us Part II, so be on the look out for any clues about her — especially if you see a young girl at the hospital whose name isn't given. 

That girl is one to pay close attention to. Trust us.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.