Unlike Game of Thrones and American Horror Story, Netflix’s Stranger Things is heavily notorious for not killing off its main characters. Instead, these characters receive heroic character arcs and powerful development over the course of the seasons — namely, characters like Steve Harrington, Nancy Wheeler, and Jim Hopper. While character deaths occasionally have the tendency to fall flat and result in a viewership decline, some character deaths are significantly important to show and help strengthen the overall plot.
With part one of Stranger Things 4 dropping on Netflix on May 27, and with the inclusion of new characters like Vecna and Robert Englund’s Victor Creel, die-hard fans are speculating that one of the show’s core characters will die in the upcoming fourth season — quite possibly at the hands of the show’s newest, scariest villain yet.
Who exactly will die in Stranger Things 4? Let’s take a concrete look at the five possibilities that have fans in shambles.
Murray is the outspoken, know-it-all type of character that assists the residents of Hawkins with uncovering government conspiracies and secret hidden objectives at the hands of the evil Russians and scientists in Hawkins, Indiana. His blunt attitude and persistent personality is what has helped to establish Murray as a fan-favorite since he was first introduced in the second season.
Because of his aggressive approach and ability to stare fear in the face, it is extremely possible that Murray will reach a devastating demise in the fourth season of Stranger Things. Despite his likability, fans would surely be relieved if Murray died in comparison to one of the main characters in the series. Still, his knowledge and courage in difficult situations would undoubtedly be missed if he were to die.
Despite his timid nature in the first season, Jonathan has quickly become a fan-favorite amongst devoted viewers. As the older brother of Will and the son of Joyce, Jonathan is seen as the “man” of the house in his family, seeing as his father Lonnie is nearly nonexistent in his life. Despite his social shortcomings, Jonathan is extremely loyal to his family and friends — especially Nancy Wheeler — and his courage is noble in the face of adversity.
Jonathan has proven himself extremely useful when it comes to protecting both his mother and his brother on multiple occasions, and it’s that very fact that has caused speculation about Jonathan’s future. As a main character in the series, his death would undoubtedly result in loads of shock and sadness. However, Jonathan’s death could also serve a purpose in allowing Will to step up as a heroic character and fight for the benefit of his family. Additionally, it’s been inferred by numerous sources that the Duffer Brothers often kill off characters who have the letter ‘B’ in their name — and Byers certainly fits the bill.
The children in Stranger Things are understandably the heart of the show, and as a result, it would be incredibly bold to kill one of them off — but it definitely would not be impossible. Max was introduced in the second season along with her older stepbrother Billy and immediately caught the attention of Lucas and Dustin. Over time, The Party accepted Max into their group and she has since assisted them in troublesome times.
Even though Max was late to the group, there’s no denying that she’s a pivotal character in the series — especially in regards to Billy’s character arc. However, there’s been a plethora of fans who have speculated that the recent trailer for season four hints at Max’s possible death. Max’s demise would absolutely cause controversy, and while fans would have a difficult time adjusting to the series without her, her death would help bring the group together even more than ever before.
True, Stranger Things has already teased the death of Jim Hopper back in the finale of season three, but perhaps the entire scenario was foreshadowing things left to come. Hopper is the overprotective and courageous Chief of Police in Hawkins — where he also serves as the adopted father of Eleven and potential love interest of Joyce Byers. Since the very first season, Hopper has been considered a strong fan-favorite that folks would surely miss if his death were to actually happen — and Stranger Things 4 seems like a prime opportunity.
From what we’ve seen in the official trailer for the fourth season, Hopper is clearly being held hostage by the Russians at their base in Siberia. In several lines of dialogue, he hints that he must sacrifice himself for the greater good and to serve a purpose. As a result, Hopper could potentially be the major character expected to die in the upcoming season. His death would undoubtedly cause grief with Eleven and Joyce in particular, but seeing as they think he’s dead already, maybe that band-aid has already been ripped off.
There’s certainly no denying that Steve Harrington has undergone the most significant character arc in the entire series. From arrogant jock to overprotective babysitter, Steve has established himself as a fan-favorite and would be sorely missed if he were to be killed off. It’s his courage and motivation to be a good person that keeps him going ⏤ even if it has a tendency to land him in sticky situations. As the seasons go on, Steve performs several heroic acts that prove his loyalty to his friends, and with the younger kids, especially.
However, many folks understand that the good guy never lasts until the end. It has long been speculated — on r/StrangerThings in particular — that Steve will meet a horrible demise in the fourth season of the sci-fi phenomenon. While his character arc has been spectacular, many fans believe it’s safe to say that his story is coming to an end — and a heroic death where he sacrifices himself for the rest of the Hawkins gang makes perfect sense for his development as a character.
Don’t miss Vol 1. of Stranger Things 4 when it arrives on Netflix on May 27.