This story contains spoilers for Season Four, Volume Two of Stranger Things.
If you’ve found yourself back on the Stranger Things hype train after the unbridled trip that was the Season Four, Volume Two finale, then you might not want to read what we’re about to drop here. In an open letter to Stranger Things fans via The Hollywood Reporter, the creators behind the series, Matt and Ross Duffer, revealed that Season Five would be its last. “Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things, they wrote. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but—as you’ll see for yourselves—we are now hurtling toward our finale.”
Don’t worry, Stranger Things heads—there’s still anywhere from 80 to 120 hours of the show left, depending on how many volumes the brothers divvy Season Five up into. Hell, the Duffers joked to the Happy Sad Confused podcast that the Season Five finale will have “like, eight endings,” and will be “Return of the King-ish,” referencing the epic Lord of the Rings film trilogy. After watching Stranger Things pump out what were essentially back-to-back Stranger Things films in Volume Two? We’re OK with that.
Now, when you’re ready, here’s everything else we know about Season Five of Stranger Things so far.
Before You Keep Reading, Check Out This Poster
Turn back now if you don’t want to fear for poor Will’s life all over again. A graphic designer by the name of Axel Almirón created a damn cool (albeit unofficial) poster for Season Five. In the depiction, Vecna clutches the oft-terrorized Will, teasing a continuation of the kid’s whole, I can feel Vecna! schtick from the Volume Two finale. Hell, this thing is so impressive that Schapp himself posted it to his Instagram story. You can view the image below. Please, Stranger Things, don’t let our friend give in to the dark side.
When Will Season Five of Stranger Things Release?
Considering that nearly three years passed between the debuts of the third and fourth seasons—which was partially due to the pandemic—you have to wonder if Stranger Things won’t return until 2023. If the Duffer Brothers are planning anything remotely close to the scale of Season Four, it’ll most definitely take a while to film.
Will Eddie Come Back? If Not, How Will His Death Impact Season Five?
We’re right there with you. In our interview with Joseph Quinn, who plays the show’s resident deviant, we asked whether or not the actor would like to return to Hawkins. (Despite his character’s fate.) “Yeah, of course,” Quinn said. “He’s great fun to play and they’re great people to play with. So yeah, I would be up for coming back, but it feels like his story’s been told, slightly, to me.” Ugh. At least there’s a chance.
Regardless, Eddie’s death is sure to affect our heroes—especially Dustin, who had to watch his buddy die in front of him. In an interview with TV Insider, Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin in the series, seemed to have very specific thoughts about how his character will live with the trauma. It seems like Dustin will have an incredibly tough time getting back to his fun-loving self, with Matarazzo saying, “there’s no denying that there’s going to need to be a shift there and there’s going to need to be a bit of focus on the fact that nobody can really come back from seeing that.” The rest of the actor’s thoughts are worth checking out here:
“[Dustin] has dealt with loss in the past. He’s seen horrible things, but to have a very close friend of his brutally die, not just there in front of him, but directly with him is [another thing]. The one thing that I’m always thinking about going into it is that we don’t necessarily see it happen, but Dustin would’ve had to have left [Eddie] there to get out and leave himself. And that’s something that I was thinking about during the scene with Eddie’s uncle. Because of the leg injury and because of Dustin’s lack of upper body strength, he would’ve needed to leave [Eddie’s] body there while needing to get out himself. And if they’re going to play with that, it’s something I’ll be thinking about quite a lot.”
What Will Happen in Season Five of Stranger Things?
What will happen? What will happen?! Surely we’re all still reeling and/or investing in a mass Kleenex order, so it feels borderline insane to start speculating how Stranger Things will meet its end.
But that’s my job. And you’re still here. So let’s do it. How about we start with the interdimensional rift that turned Hawkins into a disaster site? The war between the Upside Down and Hawkins is fully on. The final shot shows massive, hellish clouds looming above the neighborhood—and a field of flowers slowly dying. It nearly goes without saying that by opening the doorway between the Upside Down and Hawkins, the oft-terrorized Indiana town will slowly morph into the red-and-black hell our favorite kiddos have fought to destroy for the entirety of Stranger Things. TBD how long residents will be able to convince themselves that it was all just an earthquake.
Does the gang have one last fight in them? They’ll have to. Even though Vecna, you know, will be busy creating a new world order, he’ll surely seek out Eleven to get some sweet revenge. Since we’re slowly learning that the Hawkins Lab prodigies essentially have god powers—they can resurrect the dead, I guess!—she’ll most likely level herself up before the final battle. Here’s my one theory: she’ll have some help. And not the Dusty-Bun-with-a-garbage-can-lid kind.
Either Will or Max will develop powers, somehow. Maybe Will’s time in the Upside Down imbued him with abilities he’ll only uncover as he nears adulthood. And Max? After just surviving Vecna’s grasp, maybe the Duffer Bros. will write in a Harry Potter-esque, Boy Who Lived situation, where she’s scarred from the near-death experience, but has some kind of an edge against the baddie because of it. Either way, she’ll probably wake up from her coma soon enough, but Eleven will have to pull more mind tricks to make it happen. However it all goes down, Season Five will most likely pick up with our heroes struggling to put the Upside Down back in the Upside Down—or destroy it entirely.
Speaking of Will, it seems like the poor kid is in some serious trouble. In an interview with Variety, Noah Schnapp, who plays Will in the series, seems to know something that we don’t? Check this out. After Schnapp said that he has “hope for a coming out scene” and a clarity on Will’s connection to the Mind Flayer, he said, “And I’ve always been wondering, why was Will the first victim and the first one captured?” Interesting! Noah, you can mess with Doja Cat. Don’t mess with us.
Elsewhere in the Stranger Things-verse, if you have any doubt that Vecna will return, the actor behind the monster, Jamie Campbell Bower, seemingly confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the baddie will come back. “Let me put it this way: I know about Season Five. Take from that what you will,” Campbell said. Want a good laugh? At the time, he teased how Vecna would change in Volume Two. “I think what you will see is more of the human aspect of Vecna,” he said. “Let me say that much. And there’s a huge, great, cool thing—I need to keep my mouth closed!—but there’s a huge, great, cool thing you see as well!” A huge, cool, thing, man? Your character turning out to be the singular evil force behind the entirety of Stranger Things is a wee bit more than a huge, cool thing?!
Now, begin your prayer circles, so that none of your favorite characters will die at the monstrous hands of Vecna in the series finale. Brace yourselves for the horror, people.
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