Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us 

The Last of Us franchise has thrill and adrenaline waiting around every corner. Loaded with beings who’ve visibly misplaced their humanity and creatures of true nightmare, it isn’t a series for the faint heart.  

There are several elements of the game that attracts gamers, from the distinct take on the undead and fantastic visuals to high-intensity performances. However, the two-part franchise also displays Naughty Dog’s mastery of world-building.   

Additionally, The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part 2 flourish in the aspect of environmental storytelling. Both the games shell out important information camouflaged as collectable items that better explain the in-game occurrences and groups like the WLF and Fireflies. By examining these in tandem with the cutscenes and dialogues, gamers can piece together the timeskip and timeline.  

The timeskip is almost five years long in The Last of Us. The original The Last of Us game skips all the way to 2033, following the day of the virus outbreak depicted by the game’s emotionally devastating opening scene. On the other hand, The Last of Us Part 2 takes place in 2038/2039.  

Here’s more about the events leading to and after the timeskip. 

1. Outbreak Day – September 26, 2013 

Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us

A virus infection called Cordyceps Brain Infection hits the masses on this day, forcing civilians all around the globe to abandon their homes. Nevertheless, there’s no safe place to go to for almost anyone.  

This day also marks Joel’s birthday, as noted by Sarah, his 12-year-old daughter. Considering Sarah’s age and the fact that Joel is in his forties for most of the game, he’s probably 28 years old at this point.  

Sarah and Joel attempt an escape this very day, but the military forces shoot Sarah.  

2. The Introduction – Fall 2032 

Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us

Ellie recently turned 13 and arrived at the Quarantine Zone in Boston. Shortly after, she faces a few teenage boys who try to mug her, but Riley Abel, a girl of roughly the same age, rescues her. Consequently, the two become close friends in a brief period. 

3. The Revelation of the Immunity – Summer 2033 

Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us
Riley and Ellie

Riley and Ellie, now 16 and 14, spend the day at an abandoned mall. They seem to enjoy their company which is confirmed by both of them sharing a kiss.  

Nevertheless, their joy is disrupted when an infected being bites them. Although Riley dies, as a result, Ellie discovers her immunity to the virus. 

4. The Last of Us Begins – Summer 2033 (Three Weeks Later) 

Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us

Ellie reaches out to Marlene, the commander of the Fireflies. She learns about Ellie’s immunity and decides to send her to the Fireflies HQ in Salt Lake City to undergo scientific research.  

Joel is currently in his late forties and smuggles weapons and other resources for a living. Marlene tasks him with escorting Ellie. 

5. Settlement of the Survivors – Fall 2033 

Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us

While looking for Joel’s brother, Tommy, Ellie and Joel reach Jackson County and find him at a settlement he’s established. The camp is known as the Settlement of the Survivors. 

After a while, they hit the road and explore a university, where they inevitably come across a wild giraffe. Following shortly, Joel sustains a severe injury in a fight with a few cannibals and is left incapacitated.  

6. The Escape – Spring 2034 

Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us
Joel and Ellie

Joel and Ellie ultimately arrive at the facility in Salt Lake City. However, upon learning that the doctors will have to dissect Ellie’s brain and kill her to study her immunity, Joel goes on a rampage and kills Marlene and the doctors. He saves Ellie’s life while killing a dozen Firefly soldiers. 

Subsequently, they head back to Tommy’s settlement to make a living for themselves over the coming weeks. Furthermore, Joel lies to Ellie by telling her that they don’t need her anymore to find a cure for the virus. 

7. The Last of Us Part 2 – Winter 2039 

Length of the Timeskip – Entire Timeline Explained – The Last of Us
Joel and Ellie

The sequel takes place five years after the first part and 26 years after the first outbreak. It’s safe to assume that the events take place during winter due to the visuals of snow in the background.  

Ellie is now 19, lives in the settlement, and takes up missions to earn a living. At the same time, Joel is in his mid-fifties. He works as a patrolman who kills trespassers and the infected who wander too close to the settlement.  

The Last of Us Part 2 continues from here, with no further timeskip and an exciting conclusion to the franchise.  

8. About The Last of Us Part 1

The Last of Us is a 2013 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The Remake of the title was developed for the PlayStation 5.

Players control Joel, tasked with caring for Ellie and delivering her to a group called The Fireflies. In a world overrun by the cordyceps fungus, which has infected humanity, Joel must fight off those who have become a host to the fungus and survivors looking to harm them.

The Last of Us received overwhelming praise from both players and critics alike. A remaster was released in 2014 for the PlayStation 4.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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