Stranger Things Season 4 finale has an Arnold Schwarzenegger Easter egg

Cameron Frew
David Harbour holding a sword in Stranger Things Season 4 and Arnold Schwarzenegger holding a sword in Conan the Barbarian. Together, they add up a great Stranger Things easter egg.
Netflix/20th Century Studios

The finale of Stranger Things Season 4 had fans whooping, crying, and clambering for more. It also featured an incredible Arnold Schwarzenegger Easter egg for those who were looking closely. 

Volume 2 of Stranger Things’ fourth season was perhaps the most anticipated event in the show’s history, heightened by promises of a body count and hallowed, whispered concerns over the fates of certain characters in the inevitable face-off with Vecna.

Running at just shy of four hours, with Episode 9 longer than most movies, it was a gargantuan feast when it arrived on Netflix. Some binged it as soon as they could in the morning, either having booked a day off or slyly watching during work. Others had to nervously navigate the internet until the sweet release of their shift.

Regardless of when or how you watched it, we can surely agree: it delivered. It had heart, spectacle, deaths which broke our hearts, and closed on a dark endnote. In one breathtaking scene, it also continued the Duffer Brothers’ long line of ’80s Easter eggs.

Spoilers for the Stranger Things Season 4 finale to follow…

Hopper holding a sword in the Season 4 finale, which an amazing Stranger Things easter egg
Hopper faced off with a Demogorgon using a sword in the finale.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Easter egg in the Stranger Things Season 4 finale

One of the most exhilarating moments in the finale comes as Eleven frees herself from Vecna’s slimy grip and pins him down. “You have already lost,” he tells her, to which she says: “No – you have.”

We then see David Harbour’s Hopper back in the Russian prison, picking up a rather extravagant sword to take on a Demogorgon. As he gears up to take a swing, an intense remix of Running Up That Hill starts playing – the one from the trailer – before he decapitates and beheads the monster.

Did you recognise the sword? Well, for the Arnie aficionados, it was an actual prop weapon from 1982’s Conan the Barbarian, starring Schwarzenegger as the buff, sword-wielding warrior.

David Harbour confirms Conan the Barbarian Easter egg

In a recent interview with GQ, Harbour spoke about his weight loss for the season, reuniting with Winona Ryder’s Joyce, and praised the finale: “I thought it was great. I loved it. It’s very moving,” he said, also describing the death of one character as “pretty stunning.”

He also confirmed the Schwarzenegger Easter egg: “I don’t know if you saw this, but that sword I pick up – it’s the actual prop sword they used in Conan the Barbarian,” Harbour said. “It’s the sword that Schwarzenegger swings in the movie.”

The star also gave a tease for when to expect Season 5: “I think we’ll [shoot] next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year… it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record,” he said.

Stranger Things Season 4 is currently available to stream on Netflix.