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Last of Us 2 Story Summary & Ending (Spoilers)

last of us 2 story summary

Last of Us 2 Story Summary & Ending (Spoilers)

The Last of Us 2 is finally out in the wild and it’s a direct continuation of Joel and Ellie’s story from the first game. We’ll be spoiling the entire story in this article, including the ending, so look away if you want to go in completely fresh.


Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

The story opens with Joel and Tommy out on patrol near Jackson, and he reveals to Tommy exactly what happened at St. Mary’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. After explaining that he had killed all of the Fireflies to rescue Ellie, both Joel and Tommy ride back to Jackson.

Back in town, Tommy tells Joel that he probably would’ve done the same thing in his position, and that he’ll take this secret to the grave if he has to. Later on, Joel visits Ellie in her room and plays Future Days by Pearl Jam for Ellie on a guitar he found. He hands the guitar over and they agree to have their first guitar lessons the following night.

After that, we fast forward to four years later when Ellie wakes up in the morning to go on patrol. We meet Jesse, and the two talk about the night Ellie had previously. We learn that she had kissed Dina during the dance at the diner, and Seth called them both a derogatory term, which caused Joel to step in and for Ellie to get mad at him for interfering.

Later on, Dina and Ellie get paired up for patrol, and we also learn that Tommy and Joel had already been patrolling since the early morning and Jesse was set to relieve them.

While patrolling, Dina and Ellie run into a snowstorm and they take refuge in a nearby bookstore. The bookstore was a hideout for one of their friends who died, and the pair discover a weed den in the basement.

The two decide to light up, and since the snowstorm wasn’t letting up anytime soon, they flirt and end up sleeping together.

Meanwhile, we also meet Abby, who’s set up camp at a mansion near Jackson with a few of her friends. She and another man, Owen, head outside of the mansion and Owen shows her that he’s found the city where Tommy and Joel are.

Abby is determined to go ahead with her mission, but Owen tells her that even though their group wants what she wants, they don’t want it at any cost. Abby decides to go on the mission herself, and sets off in the direction of the nearest lookout.

While on patrol, Tommy and Joel run into a horde of infected and eventually they cross paths with Abby as well. After fighting them off, Abby tells them that her friends are holed up in the nearby mansion, and they decide to ride there to hide from the infected.

Once back at the mansion, Tommy and Joel introduce themselves and the entire group visibly reacts when they hear Joel’s name. Abby shoots out Joel’s knee with a shotgun while the rest of the group knocks out Tommy, and she begins beating Joel with a golf club.

Back at the bookstore, the snowstorm has subsided and Jesse shows up to look for Ellie and Dina. He tells Ellie that Joel and Tommy never showed up at the checkpoint, and they decide to look for him. Ellie eventually makes it to the mansion where she sees Abby and her group torturing him. The group quickly apprehends Ellie and Joel gets beaten to death.

The rest of the group considers killing Ellie and Tommy, but both Abby and Owen decide against it and leave them alive.

Back in Jackson, Tommy tells Ellie that Maria doesn’t want them going after the people who killed Joel, now revealed to be part of a group called the Washington Liberation Front. Ellie is insistent on going, and Tommy asks her to give him just one more day to talk to Maria.

The next day, Ellie and Dina decide to sneak out of Jackson to head to Seattle anyway, as Tommy has taken a horse and set off by himself. They stop by Joel’s house to pick up his revolver and run into Maria, who agrees to let them take a horse to Seattle and bring Tommy back.

Seattle Day 1 – Ellie

Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

When Ellie and Dina arrive at Seattle, they quickly find members of the WLF tortured and left for dead, which they assume to be Tommy’s handiwork. As they continue to explore the city, they eventually get ambushed by WLF members, or Wolves for short, and Ellie gets captured while Dina manages to escape.

Ellie comes face to face with Jordan, one of the Wolves who was present at Joel’s killing. Dina comes to rescue Ellie, they kill Jordan, and shoot their way out of the place.

They continue to explore the city and eventually discover that there’s another faction in Seattle that’s currently at war with the Wolves, called the Seraphites. While exploring the TV station in Seattle, Ellie finds photographs of all the people who had killed Joel, including their names: Abby, Owen, Mel, Nora, and Manny.

When the Wolves arrive at the TV station, they make their escape once again and run into some infected in the subway station. While escaping the infected, Ellie’s gas mask breaks and she reveals to Dina that she’s actually immune to the cordyceps virus. The two of them eventually take refuge at an abandoned movie theater, and Dina reveals that she might be pregnant, as she starts to feel nauseous.

At this point, Ellie is visibly frustrated at Dina and even implies that she’s become a burden.

As the day ends, we cut to a flashback to four years ago with Ellie and Joel as they make their way to a museum for Ellie’s birthday. While exploring the museum, Ellie finds some graffiti of the Fireflies logo, as well as the word “liars” scrawled beneath it. Ellie and Joel leave the museum, but she lingers on the logo for a while, suggesting to players that the hazy incident of St. Mary’s Hospital still haunts her.

Seattle Day 2 – Ellie

Last of Us 2 Story Ending and Summary

On their second day in Seattle, Ellie sets off on her own while Dina hangs back at the theater to rest. After studying the city map and intercepting some radio calls, Dina tells Ellie that Nora is likely holed up at the hospital, and she becomes Ellie’s next target.

Ellie heads off to Hillcrest on her way to the hospital, and she sees black smoke in the horizon. Ellie assumes that must be Tommy’s handiwork and heads in that direction in search of him. As she gets closer to her target, she runs into more Wolves and eventually she runs into Jesse, who also left Jackson to find her, Dina, and Tommy to help them and bring them home.

Caught up in a firefight with the Wolves, Jesse and Ellie hijack a truck to escape back to the movie theater, where Dina patches him up. Ellie heads back out into the city to continue her journey to the hospital.

When she finally reaches the hospital, she tracks down Nora and tries to get info on Abby’s location. Nora refuses to talk; instead she taunts Ellie about Joel’s death and runs off. Eventually, Ellie manages to corner Nora in the basement of the hospital where it’s covered in spores, and she tortures Nora until she finally tells Ellie where Abby is.

Back at the theater, Ellie is shaken up by what she had to do to Nora to get that information and Dina comforts her.

We get another flashback to two years ago, when Ellie rides off to St. Mary’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. She finds a recorder detailing the aftermath of the slaughter, and she finds out that she was the only one immune in that hospital and that Joel had lied to her.

When Joel catches up to her in Salt Lake City, she forces him to tell her the truth. She learns that Joel had basically stopped the Fireflies from killing her to make the cure, and Ellie agrees to go back to Jackson with him but states that both of them are done.

Seattle Day 3 – Ellie

Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

On the third day, Jesse asks Ellie if Dina is pregnant, and Ellie confirms it. They know that they need to take Dina back to safety but Ellie is reluctant to abandon her quest. She says that she can’t leave Tommy behind, and she and Jesse decide to head towards the aquarium where Abby is supposed to be holed up in hopes of finding Tommy.

On their way to the aquarium, they run into more Wolves and hear chatter about them chasing down a trespasser in another location. Jesse instantly knows that they must be talking about Tommy so he suggests that they head there to help him out, but Ellie refuses and insists on going to the aquarium. They both go their separate ways at this point.

Ellie finally reaches the aquarium where she shoots a dog and encounters Owen and Mel in the central room. Abby isn’t around, so she tries to force information out of Owen and Mel, but this leads to struggle and Ellie ends up killing both of them. After that, Ellie realizes that Mel was pregnant and she gags as she realizes what she’s done. Tommy and Jesse show up, and the three of them head back to the movie theater.

Back at the theater, they get ready to pack up and leave Seattle. Ellie is clearly upset that they didn’t manage to get Abby, but decides that she has to be okay with that. However, Abby shows up at the theater and kills Jesse and shoots Tommy. She then holds Ellie up at gunpoint and accuses her of killing all her friends.

Seattle Day 1 – Abby

Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

last of us 2, story summary

We get a flashback to four years ago where we see young Abby out with her father, who’s revealed to be a doctor. As the story progresses, it’s revealed that Abby, her father, and the rest of the Wolves who killed Joel were originally Fireflies at the Salt Lake outpost. They receive news that the smuggler and the girl with immunity have shown up to the hospital, and Abby’s father needs to examine her straight away.

Her father concludes that the only way to engineer a vaccine requires Ellie to die in surgery, and Marlene reluctantly gives the green light. Abby overhears the conversation and tells her father that if she were in Ellie’s position, she’d want the surgery to be done anyway. The flashback ends with Abby finding her father dead in the operation room, killed by Joel.

In the present day, Abby wakes up and goes on patrol with Manny and Mel. We learn that Abby and Owen used to be in a relationship but they’re no longer together, and Mel and Owen are now together. When they get to a Wolves outpost, Abby finds out that Owen is missing from his patrol and decides to head to the aquarium to find him.

We also meet Isaac, the leader of the Wolves, who tells Abby that she and Manny are to lead an attack on the Seraphites in a few days. Before we set off to the aquarium, we get another flashback with Abby and Owen.

This time, we see them outside the aquarium and they’re fresh recruits for the Wolves. They explore the aquarium together while on a date, but when Owen suggests that they skip training for the day, Abby decides that she can’t do it. We see that their relationship is clearly on the rocks as Abby is still haunted by her father’s death, and wants to continue chasing leads to find his killer.

In the present day, Abby continues on her journey to the aquarium but is ambushed by Seraphites. She, along with another Seraphite woman named Yara, are caught. Yara’s arm gets broken while Abby gets hanged, but they’re quickly rescued by a young Seraphite boy named Lev.

Together, they escape the woods and run from the infected, eventually taking shelter in a container. Abby leaves them, but warns them that they need to be gone by morning.

Abby fights her way back to the aquarium and finds Owen hiding in a yacht. As it turns out, while he was out fighting the Seraphites, he found himself face to face with an older Seraphite and was unable to shoot. When his partner questioned his loyalty, they both turned their guns on each other and Owen killed him. After an argument about loyalty and past regrets, Owen and Abby sleep together.

Seattle Day 2 – Abby

Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

last of us 2, story summary

When Abby wakes up in the morning, she realizes that she can’t just leave Yara and Lev to fend for themselves, so she heads back to their location. Yara’s injury has worsened, so she takes them both back to the aquarium and sees that Mel has arrived. As Mel is an accomplished surgeon, she asks Mel to take care of Yara, while she and Lev head out to the hospital to get supplies needed for the surgery.

At the hospital, Abby heads in alone while Lev waits for her outside. Abby tries to get the supplies they need by lying that they’re for Isaac, but the Wolves quickly arrest her as they get new orders from Isaac to apprehend her. Thankfully, Nora frees her and lets Abby know where she can find the supplies she needs.

After fighting her way through the infected-filled basement of the hospital, Abby gets the supplies and heads back to the aquarium with Lev. Yara’s arm is healed, and we find out that she and Lev are going to head to Santa Barbara with Owen and Mel in search of surviving Fireflies. However, Lev doesn’t want to leave without their mother –a devout Seraphite who would surely turn Lev in to the clan if he showed his face again.

Seattle Day 3 – Abby

Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

last of us 2, story summary

The next morning, we learn that Lev has headed back to the Seraphites island to look for his mother. Abby and Yara head off in search of him, while Mel and Owen stay behind to prep the boat for Santa Barbara.

On their way to the island and during their search for a boat, Abby runs into Manny and they get into a battle with a sniper, assumed to be Tommy. They eventually catch up to him, but Tommy manages to kill Manny. Tommy and Abby struggle, but Yara shows up to help, and they push Tommy into the water.

They head on to the island where they eventually find Lev, who ended up having to kill his mother in self-defense. The island is also under attack from the Wolves, and they attempt to make their way to the coast to head back to the main island. However, the Wolves catch up with them and they kill Yara. Abby manages to save Lev and they continue their escape from the island.

The entire Seraphites island goes up in flames during the war, but Abby and Lev manage to make it out alive. When they get back to the aquarium, though, they see that their dog has died, and Mel and Owen have also been killed. Abby finds the map that Ellie left behind and sees that the movie theater has been marked on it.

Abby and Lev sneak into the theater and manage to kill Jesse and injure Tommy. Abby and Ellie then get into a fierce fight where she breaks Ellie’s arm and even almost kills Dina. Ellie tells Abby that Dina’s pregnant and begs her to stop, but Abby is still resolved to kill her anyway. Thankfully, Lev stops her in time, and Abby ends up sparing both Dina and Ellie, telling Ellie that she never wants to see her again.

The Farm

Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

last of us 2, story summary

We fast forward a few months later and Ellie is currently living in a farmhouse just outside of Jackson with Dina and the baby JJ. They’re living a nice idyllic life, but we quickly learn that Ellie is still haunted by Joel’s death and can’t let go of the scene of his death.

Tommy shows up to the house and informs Ellie that Abby’s been sighted in Santa Barbara. Ellie appears reluctant to take up the quest for revenge again, and Dina insists that they’re done with all that. In the middle of the night, though, Ellie realizes that she still can’t let Joel go. The next morning, she packs up and gets ready to go after Abby, despite Dina’s pleads with her not to go.

Santa Barbara

Last of Us 2 Story Summary and Ending

last of us 2, story summary

In Santa Barbara, Abby and Lev manage to find an old Fireflies hideout, and they even make contact with them. Just as they’re about to set out to their next destination, they’re both ambushed by human traffickers and taken as captives.

Ellie arrives in Santa Barbara a few months later and runs into the same group of human traffickers and manages to get info on Abby’s location. She eventually makes her way to their hideout and even frees a bunch of captives who let her know that Abby and Lev have been taken to the “pillars” out on the beach.

Ellie heads to the beach and sees them tied to wooden pillars on the coast, left to starve and die. She cuts down both Abby and Lev, and Abby carries an unconscious Lev to the coast, and also tells Ellie that there are boats there. Just as Abby is prepping one of the boats for escape, though, Ellie says that she can’t let her leave.

Abby refuses to fight and continues prepping the boat, but Ellie threatens to kill Lev if she doesn’t comply. The both of them fight, and Ellie ends up losing two fingers in the confrontation. Due to Abby’s weakened state, Ellie is able to gain the upper hand in the fight and almost drowns Abby. However, we see a quick flashback and memory of Joel, and Ellie has a change of heart, deciding not to kill Abby and allows her and Lev to escape.

Abby and Lev leave, and Ellie sits in the water sobbing.

When Ellie returns to the farmhouse, we see that Dina has left as well. Ellie heads to the second floor of the house and finds that her guitar is still there. She attempts to play Pearl Jam’s Future Days, but is unable to play the full song properly without her two fingers. We then get a final flashback to the night before Joel died.

After the incident at the diner, Ellie spoke with Joel one last time and expressed her frustration at him for what he did at the hospital all those years ago. Joel reiterates that if he had another chance to do things all over again, he would still save her. Ellie tells him that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to forgive him, but she would certainly like to try. Joel says that he’d like that and that’s where their final conversation ends.

We cut back to the present and Ellie leaves the guitar at the farmhouse and leaves, presumably on her way back to Jackson.

And that does it for our story summary for The Last of Us 2. Be sure to check our guide wiki for more tips and information on the game.

About the author

Zhiqing Wan

Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She's been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she's not singing the praises of Amazon's Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.
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