Ellie sits alone in a dirty room, chained to a radiator, in The Last of Us

Bella Ramsey brings the mysterious Ellie to life in The Last of Us.

Joel and Ellie’s apocalyptic journey arrived on HBO Max over the weekend, as the first episode of The Last of Us came to the streaming service. 

The show adapts the legendary PlayStation video game series from developer Naughty Dog, with the nine-episode season 1 focusing on the initial entry in the franchise.

Prepare yourself for The Last of Us on HBO Max

See at HBO Max

The show premiered Sunday, drawing an audience of 10 million in its first two days, with episodes coming each week until March 12.

The Last of Us release dates and times

Here’s the full release schedule for The Last of Us on HBO Max. We’ll adjust this if the company announces any changes or breaks. New episodes will arrive at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET), which you might remember as the time slot occupied by House of the Dragon last year.

  • Episode 1: Available now
  • Episode 2: Sunday, Jan. 22
  • Episode 3: Sunday, Jan. 29
  • Episode 4: Sunday, Feb. 5
  • Episode 5: Sunday, Feb. 12
  • Episode 6: Sunday, Feb. 19
  • Episode 7: Sunday, Feb. 26
  • Episode 8: Sunday, March 5
  • Episode 9: Sunday, March 12

Where is The Last of Us available outside the US?

The show drops globally at the same time, so there are the times for several regions:

  • Canada, Crave at 9 p.m. Sunday
  • UK and Ireland: Sky Atlantic and Now at 2 a.m. Monday
  • Australia: Binge and Foxtel at 1 p.m. AEDT Monday
  • New Zealand: Neon at 3 p.m. Monday

What is The Last of Us?

Set in a world where an unnervingly believable fungal brain infection transforms most of the world’s population into violent cannibals, the games follow grumpy smuggler Joel and his upbeat teen pal Ellie as they travel across a ruined US. 

Ellie sits in room with grass on the floor as Tess talks to her in The Last of Us.Ellie sits in room with grass on the floor as Tess talks to her in The Last of Us.

Mysterious teen Ellie (left) could change the fate of the world in The Last of Us.


Who’s in it?

The series stars The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal as Joel, with his fellow Game of Thrones alumnus Bella Ramsey as Ellie. Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman, Anna Torv from Fringe and Yellowjackets’ Melanie Lynskey show up too.

Is there trailers?

HBO gave us a few tastes of the show. The most recent trailer arrived in December.

How scary is it?

It’s more thriller than horror, with plenty of intense moments. The infected don’t show up often — Joel and Ellie face more human survivors than monsters — but are used to great effect when they do.

Do I need to have played the games?

No, the show retells the events of the first game (which came out in 2013) with some storylines and background elements expanded. 

Writers Craig Mazin (creator of HBO’s Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (the games series’ creative director) added a flashback scene to give newcomers a firm grounding in the story’s origins.  

However, The Last of Us and its 2020 sequel are some of the most engaging games ever made. You should definitely dive in if the show intrigues you. The original game is available on PS3, PS4 and PS5 (a PC version is coming out March 3), while the second is currently only on PS4. 

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The Bad Batch pose dramatically on the Star Wars show's season 2 posterThe Bad Batch pose dramatically on the Star Wars show's season 2 poster
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