How to watch The Last of Us episode 1 for free

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us
Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us (Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)

Want to watch The Last Of Us? Here's where you can stream the video game adaptation that's got everyone talking, and where you can watch the first episode for free. 

For the uninitiated, The Last Of Us is a drama based on the hit PlayStation game of the same name (opens in new tab). Like the game, the TV series takes place in a version of our present-day world that has been rocked by an apocalyptic event caused by a mutated form of the cordyceps fungus. After getting into our food supply, the fungus transformed vast swathes of the population into terrifying, zombie-like creatures. 

The show centers on two major figures; grizzled survivalist and smuggler Joel and Ellie, a teenage girl who could well hold the key to ensuring the survival of the human race (played by Game of Thrones alums, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, respectively). Joel is tasked with keeping the young girl safe and handing her over to a resistance movement, though their journey soon spirals into a cross-country trek that throws them up against the infected creatures that roam the lands and dangerous human factions, too. 

Seen the first episode already? Here's our The Last of Us episode 1 recap — we've also got a meet The Last of Us cast guide as well as an explainer on what clickers actually are. Below, you can find out both where you'll be able to find the first episode online, and where you need to go to watch the rest of the show going forward.

How to watch The Last Of Us episode 1 for free

If you've not already been bitten by the show, HBO and Sky are releasing The Last Of Us season premiere online for new viewers to sample.

In the US, the episode can be found on HBO Max for free, so if you've not caught The Last Of Us bug, you can check it without signing up for a new streaming service. 

And if you're in the UK and Ireland, you'll find it over on the Sky TV YouTube channel (opens in new tab)instead. As the series is aimed at adults, the season premiere is age-restricted on YouTube, meaning you'll need to head over to either channel to view it.

HBO and Sky are no doubt hoping that this will bring even more viewers to enjoy what is already shaping up to be one of the biggest shows on TV.

HBO recently revealed that, after one full week of availability, episode one had been watched by 18 million viewers, constituting a nearly 4x increase from the viewership on the night. 

Across the pond, Sky has stated that the first episode was the second-biggest US drama to debut on Sky Atlantic, with 1 million overnight viewers tuning in (beating the debut of Game of Thrones).

How to watch The Last Of Us in the US

The Last Of Us is an HBO original series, meaning you can watch the series as it airs on HBO or stream it on-demand on HBO Max

The season premiere originally aired on Sunday, January 15, and new episodes are continuing to air on HBO and HBO Max on a weekly basis through Sunday, March 12.

If you're not already an HBO Max subscriber, the price for the ad-free plan has been increased by $1 to $15.99 a month just days before The Last Of Us premiere. FYI, this price point will impact existing customers too, the next time they pay a bill after February 11. 

At the time of our most recent update, the first two episodes are available to stream on demand.

How to watch The Last Of Us in the UK

How to watch The Last of Us in the UK

The Last Of Us is following a similar release pattern to most HBO originals and series in the UK; you'll find it on Sky TV services.

As with House of the Dragon and Succession, new episodes of The Last Of Us air in the UK on Sky Atlantic at 2 am and 9 pm on Mondays. You can also stream episodes once they've gone live on NOW.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.