Max’s Fate in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 Confirmed

in Movies & TV

Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) in a trance in 'Stranger Things' Season 4

Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things Season 4 ended with a cliffhanger far bigger than we could have imagined. Hawkins was torn down the middle by a supernatural earthquake, the same ash from the Upside Down started to fall from the sky, and Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) was left in a coma after her encounter with “dark wizard” Vecna/Henry Creel/One (Jamie Campbell Bower).

One of the closing scenes in which telekinetic teen Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) tries to search for Max’s consciousness in the “dark place” is enough to leave even the most hardened viewer sobbing profusely into their Stranger Things hoodie. Now, all eyes are on Season 5 as fans pray for a slither of hope for the fallen Hawkins hero.

(L to R) Erica Sinclair, Max Mayfield, and Lucas Sinclair at the graveyard in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Related: Millie Bobby Brown Speaks Out on ‘Stranger Things’ as New Eleven Actress Surfaces

Naturally, fans have been left with many burning questions. Will Hawkins get front-row seats to the apocalypse? How will Eleven and the gang defeat Vecna? But what people are desperately eager to know, above all else, is whether or not Max will live or die. When you consider the supernatural cause behind her medical situation, it doesn’t look good.

Max has been among the Netflix show’s many fan-favorite characters since her Season 2 debut, but it was in Season 4 where she got her time in the spotlight (for better or for worse). Viewers were forced to watch on tender hooks as Max tried to evade Vecna’s wrath, fending him off with the power of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).”

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

Related: Report: New Actress Cast as Eleven in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5

Now, in a new BTS photo shared by Ross Duffer via his official Instagram account, we finally have our first look at Sadie Sink (Max) and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair) during the Season 5 shoot. The image is titled “Weeks 7 — 8” (of filming, no doubt) and it shows a smiling Sadie lying in a hospital bed with an equally happy Caleb at her side.

To remind fans who might now be elated that Max is alive and well in Season 5, Ross takes to the comments to clarify that this is not a picture of Max and Lucas, saying, “And FYI this is a pic of Sadie not Max. Max is in a coma.” While this is obviously disappointing to hear, at least we now have confirmation about Max’s situation as we head into the final season.

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

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Prequel Arrives, Sees Return of Several Characters From Main Series

Of course, Max was never simply going to be saved between seasons, but it’s important to prepare ourselves emotionally. Although we’re not convinced that’s possible, as we’re still recovering from Season 4 (here’s looking at you, Max Mayfield and Eddie Munson). Netflix is reportedly eyeing a 2025 release for Stranger Things Season 5.

Stranger Things seasons 1 — 4 are now streaming on Netflix.

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).

The Stranger Things franchise continues to grow (a bit like the Upside Down now that it’s reached surface level in Hawkins). The critically acclaimed stage play Stranger Things: The First Shadow (2024) is currently wowing guests in the West End, while Stranger Things VR (2024) offers fans a different kind of immersive experience. There are several Stranger Things spinoffs in the works, including an anime series and a live-action series.

Has this new photo left you even more excited for Stranger Things Season 5? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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