The enthralling finale of Stranger Things Season 3, The Battle of Starcourt, created a wave of speculation for its millions of viewers. The 77-minute episode left its audience with tremendous anticipation for the newest installment in the popular Netflix sci-fi series. The action-packed finale sparked a heavy dose of open-ended questions. These inquiries range from Jim Hopper’s precise whereabouts to the reintroduction of the fierce Demogorgon. Stranger Things theories are one of the reasons for the show’s longevity and ever-growing popularity. Since the show first appeared on Netflix in 2016, it has become a fan favorite and a cauldron of conjecture. From the wide variety of theories being discussed surrounding the groundbreaking show’s upcoming season, here are four things that could happen in Stranger Things 4.
Joyce and Hopper Become A Couple
Stranger Things has produced several significant relationships during its successful run, from Jonathan and Nancy to Max and Lucas. However, there is one relationship in particular that fans are itching to see canon: Joyce and Hopper. Known as Jopper by their strong fanbase, Stranger Things fans have been circulating these rumors since the two first interacted in season 1. Jim Hopper (David Harbour) was first introduced as the dejected, alcoholic Hawkins Chief of Police. In the show’s first episode, Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) is struggling with the sudden disappearance of her son, Will Byers. From the initial interaction between the two impactful characters, fans immediately sensed a ripple of undeniable attraction.
The flirty nature of their relationship often sees its fair share of ups and downs. Most recently, Joyce grieving over the loss of her Season 2 boyfriend, Bob Newby (Sean Astin). Thus, the burning fire of their relationship cooled off a bit. That is until Stranger Things’ Season 3, where the two agreed to finally go on a date together. Despite the finale’s ending alluding to Hopper’s death, Season 4 trailers have debunked that theory, as we see a very much alive Jim Hopper. With Hopper alive and Joyce moving to a new location with her kids, it will be interesting to see how these two will reunite. Furthermore, fans will be preparing themselves for the possibility of Stranger Things’ honorary mom and dad as a canon couple.
Will’s Coming Out
Since the first season of Stranger Things, Will’s sexuality has been a frequent topic of discussion. In an early interaction between Joyce and Hopper, we see Joyce explaining making some choice phrases made by Lonnie, Will’s father, regarding his son’s sexuality. While most of the boys in the core kids group begin to grow up and form relationships with their girlfriends, Will is more of a loner who insists on hanging out with his friends and avoiding social situations. A scene in season 3 between Mike and Will also hints at this possibility, with Mike insinuating that Will “doesn’t like” girls. With all of this in mind, a major Stranger Things theory is that Will Byers is gay.
In a 2019 interview, actor Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers, gave comments on the ongoing theory. “It’s really up to interpretation,” Schnapp responded. Noah goes on to elaborate on Will’s situation when he was alone in The Upside Down by himself, nudging that perhaps his social anxieties grew in that small space. While the theories are merely fueled by speculation, having an LGBTQ+ character on such a globally successful show would present as a role model for younger kids struggling with their own sexual identity.
Dr. Brenner’s Unveiling As Eleven’s Father
Fans have long speculated that Dr. Brenner, referred to as “Papa” by Eleven, is Eleven’s biological father. Introduced in the first season of the 2016 Netflix hit, Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) is the leader of Hawkins Lab. As the seasons uncovered more about Eleven’s past, viewers simultaneously learned more about Dr. Brenner’s role in Eleven’s life. Born as Jane Ives, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) was kidnapped and forced to undergo secretive psychological testing by the government. Thus, Jane developed telepathic abilities which allow her to control things with her mind. Dr. Brenner recognized this gift from a young age, and conducted numerous experiments, using Eleven to reach The Upside Down.
As such, many fans have pieced together that perhaps Dr. Brenner is Jane’s actual father. Theories have suggested that Dr. Brenner conceived Eleven with Jane’s mother, Terry. In episodes that include significant flashbacks, viewers learn that Terry Ives received electroshock therapy to rid her of the memories of Jane’s kidnapping. The return of Dr. Brenner in Season 4 could set up the potential of confronting this popular theory once and for all. Plus, the show could always benefit from another manipulative villain. Therefore, Dr. Brenner’s shocking reveal as Eleven’s father is one of the major things that could happen in Stranger Things 4.
A Major Character’s Death
Unlike Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, Stranger Things isn’t particularly known for killing off its main characters. Most of its central characters in Season 1 are still hanging on for the ride in the upcoming Season 4. Still, the roundtable of Stranger Things theories continues to spin, as many fans are convinced that a major character will die this season. Out of all of the things that could happen in Stranger Things 4, the chance of a main character’s death sits at the top of the list. While character deaths don’t happen very frequently in Stranger Things, a few notable deaths did resonate with viewers. Nancy Wheeler’s best friend Barbara Holland and Joyce’s boyfriend Bob Newby left open holes in the hearts of many fans. From Eleven to Erica, it’s hard to say just which cast members will be safe, and which will be Demogorgon food.
Interestingly enough, an observant fan took to Twitter just a few months ago to express concerns about a major scene that will be happening during the season. The location, which sparked a discussion of panic, occurred at a cemetery. The recent trailers for Stranger Things season 4 indicate that anything could happen, including a major character’s final scene. Whether it’s Eleven facing Dr. Brenner as her father or Jopper sharing a smooch, one thing is for sure: we’re ready.