How Many Episodes in Last of Us Season 1

how many episodes in the last of us season 1 hbo nine 9 episodes total but 10 were planned

HBO’s The Last of Us season 1 gets the thumbs up from us and, for the most part, the internet as a whole. We’re actually glad that the original idea for a movie never came to pass. But just how many episodes are there in The Last of Us season 1 on HBO?

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Season 1 of The Last of Us Has Nine Episodes but Was Written as 10

Nine episodes may seem like an odd number, and the truth is that season 1 was originally going to be 10 episodes. Episode 1 was going to end shortly after a certain dramatic event, with only the briefest glimpse of Ellie. However, HBO felt this was a bad idea and that it didn’t give people a reason to come back to the show.

So, instead, episodes 1 and 2 were put together to make one single episode, where Joel is properly introduced to Ellie. Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann reflect on that decision during the course of HBO’s series-adjacent podcast. They remark that, on the whole, merging the two episodes was a smart move.

As for season 2? There’s no news as to whether we’ll get a second season of The Last of Us, but if it does follow the story of the second game, we can imagine something similar happening with its premiere. There’s a dramatic event in The Last of Us Part II that absolutely needs to be in the opening episode.

So, there are a total of nine episodes in season 1 of The Last of Us.

Related: The Last of Us Shows Why Body Horror is So Compelling on The Mary Sue

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Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.