‘Stranger Things’ Has Revealed 3 Characters Likely to Die in Season 5

in Movies & TV

Eleven screaming and using her powers against Vecna in 'Stranger Things' Season 4

Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things Season 5 is inching closer every day now that the Duffer brothers are back in the writing room. Filming is yet to get underway, and there’s no release window in sight yet, but the fifth and final season of the phenomenal Netflix series is coming, and with it, the fall of Hawkins and the return of Vecna, AKA One/Henry Creel (Jamie Campbell Bower).

There’s plenty to be excited about in the meantime — the wider Stranger Things universe continues to grow, almost like the Upside Down has started to consume the real world just like it does at the end of Season 4. Prequel novels, comic book crossovers, anime spinoffs, West End stage productions — there’s a lot going on in the expanded franchise.

Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) in the 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 2 trailer
Credit: Netflix

Related: First Teaser For ‘Stranger Things’ Star’s Upcoming Prequel Revealed

But while it’s likely we’ll see some of those spinoffs before the final season arrives (the novel and comic books are already out, and Stranger Things: The First Shadow premieres in the West End next month), we’d all be lying if we said we didn’t have our sights set on Season 5, and how things will end for characters we’ve grown to love for the last seven years.

Stranger Things has yet to kill off any main characters. You might argue that Bob Newby (Sean Astin) and Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) were part of the lineup, but they were killed off in the same season that introduced them: Season 2 and Season 4, respectively. Jim Hopper (David Harbour) came close at the end of Season 3, but that’s pretty much it.

Jim Hopper (David Harbour) being "killed off" at the end of Stranger Things Season 3
Credit: Netflix

Related: New ‘Stranger Things’ Trailer Hints at Major “Reset” for the Series

But it’s looking like this is all set to change with the upcoming final season. It’s fair to say that most of the actors probably won’t return to the Stranger Things universe once the Netflix series comes to an end. The likes of Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), and David Harbour have already started to move on to other projects.

We doubt the Duffer brothers will start dispatching the main characters left and right, but at the same time, they’ll probably want to go out with a bang. Some stars have been teasing the ending for some time now, but recently, during a panel at the Motor City Comic Con, David Harbour emphasized just how definitive the Season 5 ending will be.

Jamie Campbell Bower as Henry Creel in Hawkins Lab in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Reveals First Look at Replacement Actors

Does this suggest that Stranger Things will commit to killing off some main characters? Season 4 leans into this possibility quite a bit. In fact, throughout the season, some characters may as well be walking around with Death himself in tow. As such, the latest season reveals which Hawkins heroes are most likely to meet their maker in the big finale.

Of course, there’s no telling who might die; it could be anyone. Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke), Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) — no one is safe from Vecna. But there are three characters, in particular, who, we would wager, are on borrowed time.

(L to R) Will, Mike, Dustin and Lucas in 'Stranger Things'
Credit: Netflix

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It has been revealed that time will play a huge role in The First Shadow and Season 5, which are both intrinsically linked. But is the clock ticking for these three characters? Here are our predictions for which characters will be killed off in Stranger Things Season 5.

Stranger Things Characters Likely to Die in Season 5

Eleven/Jane Hopper (Millie Bobby Brown)

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven crying in 'Stranger Things'
Credit: Netflix

Let’s start with the most obvious Stranger Things character: Eleven, AKA Jane Hopper. Eleven is at the heart of the entire series, perhaps even the wider universe. Her telekinetic and telepathic abilities are so powerful they can create doorways into the Upside Down, the hellish shadow dimension that resides “beneath” the town of Hawkins.

Eleven is one of the most interesting characters in the show, and not just because of her extraordinary abilities, but her relationship with the Upside Down and her “Papa,” Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), the shady Hawkins lab scientist who may very well have some paternal instincts towards Eleven, but is ultimately a terrible human being.

Millie Bobby Brown and the ensemble in 'Stranger Things'
Credit: Netflix

Related: Upcoming ‘Stranger Things’ Spin-Off Shares First Look

The superhuman Hawkins teen isn’t the only one of her kind, either — as revealed in the Season 2 “spinoff” episode, “Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister,” and throughout Season 4’s Hawkins lab flashbacks, there are many others just like her; one of them being Henry Creel, otherwise known as One. However, Eleven may just be the most powerful.

Though we’ve already seen Eleven do a great deal with her powers, only time will tell just how powerful she is. In the Season 4 finale, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback,” she faces Vecna in the Upside Down in an effort to save Max and Hawkins, and though she bests him, it seems their powers are equal. But needless to say, Eleven is the key to defeating Vecna.

Millie Bobby Brown in the Hawkins Lab in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Is Temporarily Replacing Its Main Character Lineup

Eleven’s survival beyond Season 5 would pose a huge problem, though. As she can open doorways into the Upside Down, it’s unlikely the government will leave her alone forever. Perhaps the only way for Eleven to truly save Hawkins and all her friends is to die with Vecna. We’re also yet to see the true extent of her powers, though we already know that using them takes a significant toll on her physical well-being. How far will she have to go?

Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink)

Stranger Things characters looking into the Upside Down
Credit: Netflix

One of the main reasons fans are growing impatient for Season 5 is because they’re absolutely terrified on behalf of Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), who was introduced in Season 2’s first episode, “Chapter One: MADMAX.” Technically speaking, Max isn’t one of the original characters, but she’s been around so long now that she may as well be.

She’s a lot like Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) from The Office (2005 — 2013) in that way — it’s like she’s always been there despite having only shown up in Season 2. But will she always be around? Things aren’t looking great for Max — throughout Season 4, she’s hunted by Vecna, who has been targeting teens with some sort of personal trauma or guilt.

Max and Dustin looking into the Upside Down in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Related: New ‘Stranger Things’ Prequel Will Be “Mega Episode,” Matt Duffer Reveals

To keep him at bay, Max wisely decides to listen to her “happy song,” the iconic ’80s track “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” by Kate Bush. The song is given some truly epic makeovers throughout the season, and here in the real world, it was given a second life as a result, re-entering the charts worldwide and reaching number one in eight countries.

But while Kate Bush clearly has a ton of staying power here in the real world, she can only protect you for so long in Hawkins. In the Season 4 episode, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback,” Max finally falls victim to Vecna, who, per his signature move, breaks all of her limbs while floating her in mid-air (which was foreshadowed in “Chapter Four: Dear Billy.”)

Max floating in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Could Recast Eleven This Year

Fortunately, Max survives Vecna’s attack but ends up in an unnatural coma as a result. And when Eleven tries to find her in the “dark place” using her telepathic powers, Max isn’t there, and we’re all left utterly devastated. Will Max survive? It’s looking doubtful.

Will Byers (Noah Schnapp)

Will Byers crying in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Eleven may have taken center stage in the Netflix series, but it all started with Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) in Season 1’s “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers,” in which he’s taken by the deadly monster known as the Demogorgon and hidden away in the Upside Down, where he endures a nightmare that’s bound to leave him with lifelong scars.

And that they do, as teased at the end of Season 1’s “Chapter Eight: The Upside Down,” when he coughs up a disgusting parasite from the shadow dimension. Season 2 picks up this thread, pitting Will against the Upside Down once again, this time in a similar fashion to The Exorcist (1973), as his body is taken over by “The Mind Flayer.”

Will Byers in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Reveals First Look at Season 5’s Chapter 1

Beyond Stranger Things Season 2, Will slowly begins to get side-lined — which is, of course, a good thing, considering how much he’s already been through. One of the most unenviable tasks with Season 4 is just how many characters it deals with. Fortunately, the Duffer brothers and the rest of the crew are able to pull this off and then some.

However, to some extent, Will Byers is given slightly less attention than he needs as it paves the way for Season 5. There’s some emphasis given to his apparent love for his best friend Mike Wheeler, but it isn’t until one of the very last scenes in the finale, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback,” that we’re reminded of Will’s disturbing connection with the Upside Down.

Jamie Campbell Bower as Vecna in 'Stranger Things 4'
Credit: Netflix

Related: First Part of ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 Coming Next Month

Vecna actor Jamie Campbell Bower has teased that there will be some sort of showdown between Will and Vecna, and recently, during the recent Motor City Comic Con, David Harbour was asked whether or not Will has any powers. He didn’t give a definitive answer, but it’s possible Will has acquired something from the Upside Down other than a lifetime of nightmares. Maybe Will is the key to defeating Vecna and not Eleven… but at what cost?

Stranger Things: The First Shadow

According to The First Shadow writer Kate Trefry, the stage play, which acts as a prequel to the Netflix series, is important in fully understanding Season 5. The play features an all-new cast, centering around young versions of Joyce Byers, Jim Hopper, Bob Newby, Dr. Martin Brenner, and Henry Creel.

Per the official website, here’s the synopsis for The First Shadow:


Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.

Brought to life by a multi-award-winning creative team, who take theatrical storytelling and stagecraft to a whole new dimension, this gripping new adventure will take you right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story — and may hold the key to the end.

Check out the trailer below:

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Is Recasting Three of Its Main Characters

Stranger Things Season 4

As per Netflix, here’s the official synopsis for Stranger Things Season 4:

It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

(L to R) Dmitri Antonov (Tom Wlaschiha), Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman), Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), and Jim Hopper (David Harbour) in a Siberian prison in Season 4 of 'Stranger Things'
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Is Bringing Back a Fan-Favorite Character

Season 4 stars Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane Hopper), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson), Paul Reiser (Dr. Sam Owens), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Matthew Modine (Papa/Martin Brenner), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), and Jamie Campbell Bower (Vecna/One/Henry Creel).

Stranger Things seasons 1 — 4 are streaming on Netflix.

The First Shadow is set to premiere in London’s Phoenix Theater on December 14, 2023.

Who do you think will die in Stranger Things Season 5? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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