HBO renews 'The Last of Us' for a second season

You can now check out the first episode for free on HBO Max.

Liane Hentscher/HBO

Get ready for more clickers, quips from Ellie and perhaps a trip to a decaying Seattle: HBO has renewed The Last of Us for a second season. That's not exactly a surprise, as the adaptation of Naughty Dog's games is already a huge hit for the network. Some 22 million people have now watched the first episode, five times the number of people who tuned in on the premiere night 12 days ago. The show also saw the largest second-week jump in audience figures of any original HBO drama series.

If you haven't caught The Last of Us yet and are curious what all the hullabaloo is about, there's some good news. You can now watch the first episode for free on HBO Max.

The streaming service often offers free tasters of certain shows in the hopes of getting viewers hooked and prompting them to subscribe. The first episode of Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, another major success for the platform, is free to watch on both HBO Max and YouTube.

For the uninitiated, The Last of Us is based on a PlayStation 3 (and PS4 and PS5) game of the same name. It's often held up as one of the finest examples of storytelling in video games. It tales the tale of a smuggler who reluctantly escorts a teenage girl across the US after the world has been ravaged by a fungus that turns people into terrifying, mutated creatures.

So far, HBO's terrific adaptation has largely followed the same story with some smart deviations and changes. Critics have hailed the third episode, which airs this Sunday, as the best installment of the season. It focuses on a side story that's primarily told through a note players find in the game.

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