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HBO's The Last Of Us: Dead Characters Who Could Actually Return In Season 2

Major spoilers ahead for HBO's "The Last of Us" and both games.

In many genre TV shows, death is never the end. Characters on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Game of Thrones" made a habit of resurrecting its most popular characters, enabling the writers to tell all new stories with characters that seemed done and dusted. HBO's "The Last of Us" has a bit of a different approach to its storytelling, however, in that death always feels final and irreversible. When the credits roll at the end of the first season finale, it's pretty clear that Joel has made some choices that he can never take back. 


However, that doesn't mean we'll never see some of the show's deceased characters ever again. Judging by the structure of first season, as well as the timeline of the source material and its sequel, we can make a pretty good guess at which characters might make a surprising reappearance in the TV show's second season.


Marlene is the leader of the Fireflies militia group, as well as the person who first sets Joel on his mission to deliver Ellie to scientists working on a cure for the Cordyceps pandemic. Having known Ellie's mother, Marlene is in a unique position to find out about Ellie's immunity — and to put a plan in motion that drives Joel right over the edge. When he discovers that the Fireflies would have to kill Ellie in order to produce their possible antidote, Joel kills every soldier in the Fireflies' facility, and eventually puts a bullet in Marlene's head.


Though Marlene is unquestionably dead as the season closes, she does make a cameo in "The Last of Us Part 2." During this flashback, we learn that Marlene's decision to end Ellie's life was not an easy one. In fact, she outright begs the head surgeon to find another solution. She eventually comes to accept that there's no other way, signing off on the procedure that will eventually be the impetus for her own death.

This scene lends so much more depth to Marlene's character, who seems very much like a "by any means necessary" sort of leader in the first game. Considering how much the HBO production enjoys working with actress Merle Dandridge — the only actor to play the same character in both the original games and the TV series — it seems likely that this pivotal flashback could be adapted to the screen in the second season.



Okay, so Tess never actually pops up in "The Last of Us Part 2." However, she has already made a posthumous appearance in the TV series, by way of a flashback in the third episode, "Long Long Time." In a scene set several years before the series' main events, Joel, along with a younger and more optimistic Tess, meets with Bill and Frank to discuss the possibilities of trading supplies and information. It's a brief sequence that gives viewers a bit more of an understanding of Tess and Joel's relationship, showing that the pair really looked out for one another.


It's possible that the second season could sprinkle in at least one more flashback to their time together, possibly to illustrate how Joel lost his moral compass over the years. After all, his decisions in the season finale are not only controversial, but they go against Tess' final request that he save the world. An appearance from Tess could show audiences how much his conscience might (or might not) be eating away at Joel after he returns to Jackson with Ellie.

Jerry Anderson

Audiences may not immediately recognize this character by name, but Jerry Anderson may be one of the most pivotal supporting players in the entire series.  In the last act of "The Last of Us Part 1" and the finale of the first season, Joel kills the Fireflies' head surgeon before they can begin operating on Ellie. In the credits for the final episode of the season, this character, played by actor Darren Dolynski, is referred to simply as Surgeon — but fans who have played the games know there's much more to this character. 


This neurosurgeon appears to simply be one of the many people in Joel's path of destruction, but "The Last of Us Part 2" eventually reveals that this doomed neurosurgeon is Jerry Anderson, the father of Abby, the game's co-protagonist. It's her desire for revenge that sets the story in motion and ultimately leads to disastrous consequences for Joel and Ellie.

Since Jerry figures heavily into Abby's flashbacks in "The Last of Us Part 2," not to mention a sequence in which Joel tells Tommy the truth about the Fireflies' fate, it's almost a sure thing that we'll see him return in the second season.