'The Last of Us': How to Watch HBO's Latest Hit for Free

The Last of Us is the biggest hit on TV, and now fans have the chance to watch it for free. As the Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey-starring post-apocalyptic drama, based on the Naughty Dog video game of the same name, continues to increase its viewership numbers, those without an HBO or HBO Max subscription don't need to feel left out, because the premium television network has dropped the premiere episode for no-cost viewing, giving potential viewers to get hooked on the show that has been captivating fans for weeks.

The complete first episode of The Last Of Us is currently available to view for free on HBO's website. Titled "When You're Lost in the Darkness," the episode is feature-length at 82 minutes. Serving as an introduction to the world the show is set in, the episode documents the beginnings of the cordyceps fungus' spread and the downfall of society as we know it before flashing forward 20 years to the current day, where a man named Joel finds himself tasked with smuggling a 14-year-old named Ellie out of the QZ (Quarantine Zone). The episode premiered back in Jan. 15 on HBO and HBO Max. Would-be fans can now view the episode on HBO's website without an HBO or HBO Max subscription. However, only the first episode is available for free viewing, meaning a subscription will be necessary to view additional episodes.

Those in the U.K. hoping to watch the show are also in luck! HBO and its British partner, Sky, have made the premiere episode of the hit series free to view on YouTube. The episode is available to view via Sky's YouTube channel. According to Tom's Guide, Sky holds the rights to broadcast The Last of Us, and the show airs weekly on its NOW streaming service. Fans, however, do not need a Sky or NOW account to watch Episode 1 for free.

Since its debut last month, The Last of Us has proven to be a massive hit, already securing a Season 2 renewal. The renewal wasn't much of a surprise given the fact that the series has managed to increase its viewership with each episode. The premiere episode drew 4.7 million viewers, with HBO later sharing that the episode reached 22 million viewers domestically. Episode 2 increased viewership by 22% when it reached 5.7 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max in the U.S. That increase marked the largest Episode 1 to Episode 2 viewership gain in HBO history. The show's viewership rose again from episode 2 to Episode 3, the critically praised "Long, Long Time." The episode saw 6.4 million viewers tuning in, marking a 12% percent increase from Episode 2.

Along with Pascal and Ramsey, The Last of Us stars Anna Torv, Gabriel Luna, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Mile, Ashley Johnson, and Troy Baker. New episodes of The Last of Us air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and are available to stream on HBO Max.