Stranger Things creators nearly killed off Max permanently

Sadie Sink's Max in a neck brace in Stranger Things Season 4Netflix

Stranger Things Season 4 leaves Max’s future up in the air. According to the Duffer Brothers, her fate was almost far more certain. 

There are two runaway MVPs of the fourth season of Stranger Things: Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson, the beloved leader of the Hellfire Club whose bravery will never be fully appreciated; and Sadie Sink’s Max, who barely emerged from two battles with Vecna.

Unlike Eddie, who gave his life to distract the Upside Down’s bats from everyone else – I’d say sorry for the spoiler, but if you’ve not watched it, why are you here? – Max was placed under Vecna’s trance earlier in the season as a result of her trauma with Billy, and later faced Vecna purposefully in an effort to stop him.

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While far from a happy ending, Volume 2 left viewers with some hope for Max. If the Duffer Brothers stuck to their guns, we’d be mourning two Hawkins residents. Because who cares about Jason, really?

Max nearly died permanently in Stranger Things Season 4

During an appearance on Stranger Things 4 Vol. 2: Unlocked, a spoiler-filled aftershow, the creators opened up about Max and their original plan for the character.

Speaking about killing Max permanently, Ross Duffer said: “It was discussed as a possibility. For a while that is what was going to happen.

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“But we ended up in this… we wanted to end it with a little more of a question at the end of the season. It’s still really dark and if Max is going to be okay, we just don’t really know. We wanted to leave it up in the air moving forward into Season 5.”

What happened to Max in Volume 2 of Stranger Things Season 4?

Max initially died in Lucas’ arms after Vecna left her with broken bones and her eyes blinded. After lying dead for a whole minute, Eleven somehow used her powers to revive her – but it wasn’t enough to fully bring her back.

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Lucas, Eleven, Mike, Will, and Dustin later visit her in hospital, where she’s in a coma after her ordeal. Eleven then entered the void to try and find Max in her own darkness, but even after calling out her name, Max was nowhere to be seen.

The show’s creators likened Season 4 to The Empire Strikes Back. “We wanted them to actually lose. We wanted our characters to experience what that felt like. That was the big idea coming into Season 4, that they were going to lose. We were going to introduce Vecna and they were going to lose to him,” they said.

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“That sets our characters up for what will be the ultimate final confrontation with Vecna and with the Upside Down in Season 5.”

Stranger Things 4 is currently available to watch on Netflix.