Gather ’round, pals. We need to talk.
We’ve been loving all of that (obviously), but there’s one thing we’re not loving quite so much, and that’s the vibes. Specifically, the vibes we’re getting that one of our beloved main characters is going to die when Volume 2 drops on July 1st.
In fact, they’re not even just vibes, anymore — in a recent interview with TVLine, Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer stated that fans should be “concerned going into the final two episodes [of season 4] — for everybody.” We are, besties!
Then, while promoting Season 4 on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Noah Schnapp — who plays Will Byers — said that we should be prepared for deaths. Plural. As in, sound the alarms, no one is safe, multiple characters will not pass Go!
“You can expect from Volume 2… We got some deaths coming,” Schnapp teased. “Some gore. And a big bang.”
When Fallon pressed him on it, Schnapp added: “Well, I didn’t say who. Well, you guys can assume that obviously someone’s gonna [die].”
“Some-one, or some people?” Fallon asked, but Schnapp.
Schnapp laughed. “Well, I’m done here, because you’re scaring me!”
There you have it, folks. We’re looking at deaths, multiple, as we wait patiently for Volume 2 to drop. In the interest of preparing ourselves emotionally, we pulled together a list of likely candidates for which characters we may end up saying goodbye to when the two final episodes of Season 4 drop on July 1.
He’s everyone’s favourite babysitter, and it’s sadly looking pretty freakin’ likely that Steve’s going to bite the dust in Volume 2, TBH.
Here’s the evidence:
- He got some gnarly flesh wounds from the Upside Down demobats, which Robin was especially freaked out by. This has prompted people to question whether he’s been poisoned, or that he will succumb to his wounds in Volume 2.
- He commented that he inhaled a lot of the air in the Upside Down, which could be a sign that all is not going to be well for Steve.
- The Duffers have previously said that Steve was originally going to die in Season 1.
- Steve has completed his character arc from hated jerk to everyone’s favourite, which leaves him prime for killing.
- He’s rekindled his romance with Nancy, which will make it extra sad for viewers when they’re forced to say goodbye to him.
Could we see Steve and Nancy reunite, only to have to say goodbye to both of them? It’s possible! Here’s the argument for Nancy’s death:
- Vecna quite literally has her under his spell as we type this, and unlike Max, we haven’t seen Nancy pulled back from the brink of death yet. Of course, even if you manage to blast your favourite tune (pull me back from the brink with Britney Spears “Gimme More”, TBH), it doesn’t mean the curse is broken, hence Max blasting Kate Bush on repeat for the rest of the season. As yet, we don’t know how to break the curse for good, which means no one is safe.
- As above, Nancy and Steve’s rekindled romance could just as easily be laying the groundwork for Nancy’s death, rather — or on top of — Steve’s death.
- Unlike Steve, whose character arc could be perceived to be wrapping up, Nancy has a ton going on at the moment. While you’d think that would mean her character is safe, you know what makes for a truly shocking death? One that no one sees coming.
By now, we’ve all seen the trailer for Volume 2, which shows the Hellfire Club leader playing his guitar in the Upside Down, right? It’s possible that this will be the lead-up to his heroic death. Let’s look at the evidence:
- It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Stranger Things killed off a one-season character we’ve all grown to love, right? It’s just like Dr Phil always says: “The best predictor of future behaviour is relevant past behaviour.” Should we be taking Phil’s word for it? Probably not, but it’s definitely relevant past behaviour to keep in mind!
- In the season’s first episode, Eddie states that “there’s no shame in running”, but mentions to the group that he feels ashamed of his tendency to flee when confronted with conflict. So, what better way for Eddie to go out than in a huge heroic moment where he confronts Vecna and sacrifices himself?
- Eddie’s heroic death would also make a wider point about the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, after he spent a lot of Volume 1 being blamed for Chrissy’s death.
Poor Max. If there’s one way to kill your favourite song, it’s to listen to it all day, every day, on repeat forever. If she survives all of this she may never be able to enjoy Kate Bush again! The question is, will she survive to tire of “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)”? Let’s see…
- Although Max seemed safe (or, safe enough) when Volume 1 ended, there’s a lot we still don’t know about Vecna’s curse, like how long it lasts, and what level of remaining vulnerability she’ll have as we go into Volume 2.
- There’s also the matter of the letters, which Max wrote all her loved ones in the event of her death. When everything in Stranger Things has a meaning attached, when everything is so intentional, it’s very unlikely that the existence of these letters is a red herring that won’t have any more relevance in Volume 2.
At this point, what hasn’t poor Will been through? While most of the theorising around Will Byers’ character has to do with his sexuality, having him come out as gay and then die isn’t the least likely thing in the world. In fact, it might even make him more likely to die.
Why Will, you ask? Let’s see.
- He’s survived enough close calls that it may just be time for his luck to run out.
- The Upside Down is stuck in time on November 6, 1983, which is of course the exact date when Will went missing. This could signal relevance of some sort which leads to Will’s untimely (see what we did there?) death.
- Noah Schnapp was the one to confirm that there are “some deaths” coming, which may be an Easter egg that his own character is about to bite the dust.
Just like Will, Mike Wheeler is currently on his way to go find Eleven, and his connection to these two main characters may just be the reason he meets his maker.
- While not yet confirmed, it’s quite well established in the Stranger Things fandom that Will has romantic feelings for Mike. Thus, Mike’s death might be the catalyst that forces Will to confront those feelings, prompting him to come out.
- In Season 4 Volume 1, we learned a lot about Eleven’s backstory, and more importantly, about how her powers work. Specifically, we learned that she can access them while channelling feelings like grief and anger. Could Mike’s death be the way we see Eleven get her powers back, setting up a huge Season 5 showdown?
What’s Stranger Things without Eleven, I hear you ask. To that I say, what’s Buffy without Buffy? It wouldn’t be the first time a show killed of its main girlie!
Having Eleven die would be a MAJOR turning point for the show, and would likely be a direct result of her showdown with Vecna. Whether she stayed dead would, of course, be another matter, and that would open up questions about how she would come back, ie, with powers or without.
Realistically, it seems pretty unlikely we’ll be saying goodbye to El, but hey, stranger things have indeed happened…
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