With the ninth episode of “The Last of Us”, which is now available on the streaming service WOW, the first season of the acclaimed video game adaptation has found its finale. Behind the “Game of Thrones” offshoot “House of the Dragon”, the dark end-of-time series blossomed into the second-best start on the platform. So it’s not surprising that the story of Ellie (Bella Ramsey, 19) and Joel (Pedro Pascal, 47) will continue for at least a second season. A summary of what is already there – and a spoiler-free view of what is yet to come.

“After an unforgettable first season, I can’t wait to see this team surpass themselves again in season two,” said Francesca Orsi, who is responsible for drama series and films at the US broadcaster HBO. The nine episodes have largely faithfully retold the plot of the first part of the video game series, but have also slightly adapted and cleverly expanded them at times. For example in the touching third episode, which mostly revolves around the characters Bill (Nick Offerman, 52) and Frank (Murray Bartlett, 51). Their complex relationship was only hinted at in the game, but expanded on the series, moving millions to tears.

However, the lion’s share of the success of the series is due to four people in particular: two of them, of course, are Pascal and Ramsey, whose growing father-daughter relationship in an unforgiving world is at the center of the plot. Especially at the beginning, Ramsey encountered slight doubts from connoisseurs of the game series, since it doesn’t look like its role model at all. But after only a few episodes, the star silenced all doubters and proved to have been the perfect choice. Pascal, on the other hand, is also visually much closer to the template and can apparently do little wrong at the moment anyway – a real cult has developed around the star, who, like Ramsey, became famous through “Game of Thrones”.

But another duo deserves praise: the joint creators of the series, Craig Mazin (51) and Neil Druckmann (44). Mazin had previously caused a stir with his outstanding and harrowing miniseries “Chernobyl”. And Druckmann is the creative director and author of the eponymous “The Last of Us” game series, so more involved in the project than anyone else. Together they managed to skilfully transfer an already cinematic story into the series format.

According to the first indications, it is also likely that there will also be a third season. The reason: The video game “The Last of Us Part II”, on which the second season will be based, is even more extensive than its predecessor. Without wanting to give too much away, splitting the structure and plot of the second game into two seasons would definitely make sense.

If the creators also stick so closely to the template for the new episodes, fans of the series can look forward to a nerve-wracking tour de force and – in addition to the well-known characters – to complex new characters. And yes, also on plenty of controversy.