What Year Does ‘The Last of Us’ Take Place?

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us
Image via HBO

HBO’s adaptation of the Sony video game The Last of Us is shaping up to be one of the biggest TV shows of 2023 so far, receiving stellar reviews from both critics and audiences, and featuring a star-studded cast. 

The Last of Us stars two Game of Thrones alumni in Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller and Bella Ramsey as Ellie Williams, respectively. It follows their journey through a post-apocalyptic world in which the majority of humanity has long been lost to a zombie-like virus. Joel works as a smuggler in this new world, and finds himself a job transporting Ellie to a group of scientists who believe the young woman could potentially be the key to curing the virus.

So where exactly does The Last of Us take place, and when is it set? We’ve got all of the answers for you. 

Where The Last of Us is set

What time does ‘The Last of Us’ come out?
Image: HBO

The Last of Us takes place in the United States. Joel and Ellie hop from state to state in search of the doctors who could potentially come up with a cure for the virus that wiped out the majority of humanity. While it’s still early days for the show, we know that the game visits Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Notable destinations within those states include Austin, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City.

For the sake of keeping matters as spoiler-free as possible for those who didn’t get around to playing the original The Last of Us video games, we won’t dive into specifics as far as what takes place in each location, but fans of the game more or less know what to expect when Joel and Ellie visit all of the above destinations. 

The initial outbreak occurred in 2003, while the majority of The Last of Us’ story, as adapted by HBO, takes place in 2023. The source video game, meanwhile, opted to have the outbreak start in 2013, taking the events into 2033.