Netflix’s massive show about teens saving the world from ungodly horrors, Stranger Things, has wrapped up its fourth epic season. So, what awaits us in Stranger Things Season Five?
We’ve seen monsters from the Upside Down that continue to live in my nightmares, clever yet haunting Christmas light communication and the otherworldly powers of Kate Bush‘s music.
What will we be forced to witness in the next season of the Duffer Brothers’ (Matt and Ross Duffer) hit show? Which child will be next in line to experience horrors beyond human comprehension?
Here’s absolutely everything we know about Season Five of Stranger Things, from when it will be released to how many spinoffs and prequels the mad geniuses in the writing room are whipping up.
When will Stranger Things Season 5 be released?
Filming for Season Five was meant to kick off in late August 2022, however the official Stranger Things Twitter account revealed it will now kick off in June 2023. The release date for Season Five is sometime in 2024.
What are the theories for Stranger Things 5?
There is currently no trailer for the upcoming season, but there *are* fan made posters which have sparked some interesting theories.
A Stranger Things fan account shared the following glorious posters on Twitter:
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) February 28, 2023
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) March 2, 2023
It appears that the theory here is that Will (Noah Schnapp) is going to develop Eleven-like powers next season.
I actually think Will developing powers like El (Millie Bobby Brown) makes sense, because we know Will has connections to Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) and the Upside Down that haven’t been explained yet. Time was also a theme in Season Four, both for Henry/Vecna (remember those clocks everywhere?) and also for Will, since we discovered the Upside Down is trapped in time to the exact day he disappeared into it all those years ago.
Since there’s obviously some connection between the Upside Down, Vecna/Henry, time and Will, and three out of four of these have supernatural or mystical elements, it makes sense that Will will finally unlock something that gives him powers too. And it’s also possible he goes a little evil for a while. I mean, he’s been mind-flayed before, and we know he’s feeling isolated from the group… perfect pickings for a possession if you ask me.
If you cast your mind back to Season One, Will’s Dungeons and Dragons character was a wizard called Will the Wise. Perhaps he becomes a wizard of sorts in Season Five? We know this show loves foreshadowing, and there’s been lots of it when it comes to Will’s wizardry and his part in defeating Vecna.
The fanmade poster also calls Will the “last victim”. Will was the first victim of the Upside Down in Season One… so perhaps he is finally taken, once and for all? Or is he the one who closes the Upside Down for good? Or is he the “last victim” because the Upside Down is frozen to the day he was taken?
Either way, it all started with Will, and it’ll end with Will too.
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) March 3, 2023
These fan made posters are actually so sick and I hope there’s some truth to them.
I have my money on Will the Wise defeating Vecna!
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) March 5, 2023
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) March 7, 2023
What’s that I see? A Hydra-esque creature that looks exactly like the Dungeons and Dragons demogorgon from Season One, and the dragon Will painted himself and the crew defeating in Season Four?
My Stranger Things Season Five theory is this is the final boss battle, and what Will the Wise will be defeating — a nice full circle moment from the crew’s first game in Season One.
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) March 8, 2023
Another nosebleed for Will! Looks like this fan is defs manifesting Will having powers and so am I.
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) March 9, 2023
What do we know about Stranger Things Season 5?
Thanks to the Duffer Brothers spilling tea every time they leave the house, we know a few things about what will happen in Season Five and who will be returning to act their ass off.
The season will centre Will
If you were disappointed with how much Will’s character felt like an afterthought in Season Four, I have some good news: The official Twitter account for Stranger Things has revealed Season Five will be all about Will.
— Stranger News (@StrangerNews11) March 1, 2023
Since Will is also the main subject in a couple of the Stranger Things Season Five posters where he can be seen either with a nosebleed (ummmm!) or with red eyes and a trench coat, it’s pretty obvious he’ll be at the centre of Season Five.
I mean, he was the first victim of the Upside Down in Season One. And according to the promotional posters, he’s the last victim in Season Five. So either he dies, or he saves the day.
We saw Eleven fail at her task in Season Four because she went at it alone. In previous seasons Will has always been the key to the Upside Down’s undoing. So it makes sense that he would step up and use his Vecna spidey-powers (or possibly some new Eleven-adjacent powers) to end this once and for all.
A conclusion to the story of the Upside Down
While we don’t know much about the intricate plot details of Stranger Things Season Five, we do know that it will be set in the Upside Down and Hawkins exclusively. No more random cuts to Russia or California.
“I think one of the things that’s exciting about Season Five is [that] Season Four was interesting to us because everyone was scattered to the winds,” the Duffer Brothers told Collider in July.
“That’s what was unique about it. But this is about everyone finally coming back. Coming back together, coming back to Hawkins. Hopper is back in Hawkins.
“The original group [is] back together — the original group of boys plus Eleven. The OG group. There’s something interesting to re-explore some of the season one dynamics again, except on this grander scale.”
Finally, we may get some kind of explanation as to what the Upside Down truly is. We might even see it disappear from the world completely.
Who is likely to die?
At this point, it’s all guesses and estimates, but I have a feeling we’re going to see some main characters RIP in peace for good.
Eleven is probably the character who is most likely to perish in a final fight against Vecna. This whole story started with her, so it’d be poetic to end it with her as well. Plus, her death would signify a return to “normal” for the gang, of pre-supernatural life.
The Duffer Brothers have been telling folks that pretty much everyone started to cry when they read the final script ideas to Netflix, so take that as you will. Clearly, someone important is going to perish and it’s going to break everyone’s hearts.
“It’s like that lighthouse blinking in the distance… while a lot of Season Five is actually pretty blurry, the last 30 minutes of it are pretty clear in our heads,” Ross Duffer told Entertainment Weekly in July.
“So if we can make the journey entertaining, I think that we have an end that will hopefully satisfy. You can’t satisfy everyone, but the hope is that it’s something that feels right for this story.”
Who is in the Stranger Things Season 5 cast?
We have some confirmation on which members of the Stranger Things cast will be making a comeback.
Returning for Season Five will be Noah Schnapp (Will), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Priah Ferguson (Erica), Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Maya Hawke (Robin), Joe Keery (Steve), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan), David Harbour (Hopper), and Winona Ryder (Joyce).
Sadie Sink (Max) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Vecna/Henry/One) are likely to return as well. In what state, however, is a mystery to us all.
Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson) will not be returning because he is very much dead.
What happened at the end of Stranger Things Season 4?
Stranger Things Season Season Four was 13 hours of madness, mindfuckery and magnitude 7.4 earthquakes.
We laughed, we cried and many of our fave characters went through insane amounts of suffering no child should have to go through (remember, these characters are supposed to be around the age of 14- to 15).
Vecna may or may not be dead, Max may or may not be dead and the town of Hawkins is now a disaster zone after the earth has split and opened up into “hell”.
So yeah, nothing too chaotic.
Did Vecna really die?
Sure we saw Jamie Campbell Bower’s Vecna/Henry/One get a bit of shotgun and molotov cocktail action, but we technically didn’t see him die.
Plus we have Will saying he can still sense Vecna alive and so I guess we’ve got a problem.
When asked if Vecna would be returning for Stranger Things Season Five, Bower couldn’t reveal if he was signed on for more seasons.
“I couldn’t possibly say, it’s gonna be my answer,” he told Entertainment Weekly in July.
“I couldn’t possibly tell you. Anything I say is going to be wrong.”
But now that Vecna appears in the promotional posters for Season Five, we can assume he’s back for vengeance.
Is Max still alive?
One thing that many fans are wondering about Stranger Things Season Five is if it will feature Max, who was very clearly dead for a hot minute there.
Thankfully, Eleven was able to restart her heart. The last we see of our queen is her in a coma, giving no response to Eleven’s attempts to wake her. And Eleven couldn’t find her in that dimension she goes to when she enters people’s minds either, which is concerning.
Is Max only alive in terms that her heart is beating? I mean, it would make sense given El’s choice to bring Max back from the death was a moment of passion and not one of thorough planning. Maybe she fucked it up?
Sadie Sink, who plays Max, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about where she thinks her character is going next season. And no, it wasn’t the grave.
“It really is just so sad,” she said.
“When you’re putting yourself in that moment and then you’re with someone like Caleb (McLaughlin), who I’ve known since I was very little, sometimes things can feel very real on that set. It was very emotional… It’s just so heartbreaking.”
“I’m not sure where we’re going and what Max’s state is. It’s definitely all up in the air right now,” she continued.
“I’m just as excited as everyone else to find out where Max is and how she’s doing.”
Is Stranger Things Season 5 the final season?
The Duffer Brothers actually addressed this in a tweet back in February 2022.
“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things,” they wrote in a fancy little letter.
“At the time, we predicted the story would last four or five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourselves — we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season Four will be the penultimate season; season Five will be the last.”
Well. No room for misinterpreting that one.
uoos noʎ ǝǝs pic.twitter.com/pJ71dRgmo1
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) February 17, 2022
“With nine scripts, over eight hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots, and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one,” they wrote.
Will there be a Stranger Things spinoff season?
If you’ve got a keen eye for detail you may have noticed that the letter also addresses the possibility of a spinoff season.
“There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes,” the brothers wrote.
Letters aside, the brothers actually confirmed that there’s at least one spinoff in the works. No, it isn’t a Jim Hopper prequel starring Jacob Elordi.
According to the evil genius brains of the Duffer Bros, the spinoff season is going to be “1000 per cent different”.
“I’ve read these rumours that there’s gonna be an Eleven spinoff, that there’s gonna be a Steve and Dustin spinoff or that it’s another number,” they said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast in July.
“That’s not interesting to me because we’ve done all that. We’ve spent I don’t know how many hours exploring all of that. So it’s very different.”
I’m excited to see what the hell they do next. Maybe in the spinoff, the real stranger things will be the friends we made along the way? Just spitballing ideas here. There’s a reason the Duffers get paid the big Netflix bucks.
You can watch all seasons of Stranger Things on Netflix right now.