Stranger Things Season 4’s epic Volume 2 finale will arrive on Netflix later this week. But who will die, and what will be left of them?
Between Kate Bush’s domination of the charts with Running Up That Hill and fans’ feverish speculation over possible deaths in the finale, the long-awaited return of Stranger Things has taken the world by storm, again.
Season 4 has been the show’s darkest, most horror-infused chapter yet, throwing viewers in at the deep end with Chrissy’s horrific, limb-shifting death and upping the emotional ante with every episode.
As we head into the finale, some important questions remain: how will Nancy (Natalia Dyer) fare against Vecna in the Upside Down; will Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) be able to summon her powers to defeat him; and most anxiety-inducing of all, who will survive in the fight against the biggest bad yet?
Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2: Who will die in the finale?
The most recent trailer for Volume 2 echoes a concern shared by fans: it might not work out for any of the characters this time. Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) warns Eleven that Hawkins will fall, and her friends aren’t ready for this fight. Robin (Maya Hawke) also warns Steve (Joe Keery) that she can’t shake a “terrible feeling.”
During a recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon, Will’s Noah Schnapp teased “more deaths” in Volume 2, so we know some characters are going to be killed off – but who?
It pains all of us to say it, but we need to start preparing for the reality: Steve is the most likely to die in the finale.
Season 1 introduced him as the high school jerk, only for him to become the show’s most beloved character. The creators have been open about the fact Steve was meant to die back in the first season, but they “fell in love” with him so they wrote in the arc where he saves the day.
Alas, with his transformation into good guy Steve complete, he’s a prime candidate for death with a huge emotional wallop, particularly after seemingly rekindling his romance with Nancy. There was also an eyebrow-raising quote from Ross Duffer at a recent panel: “I’m pretty sure he was gonna die earlier. It’s been a while.”
Here’s the iron-clad prediction: Steve will save Nancy from being killed by Vecna, sacrificing himself in the process, and Nancy will have to break the news to Robin, and we’ll probably all cry.
Eddie (Joseph Quinn) was introduced in Season 4’s first episode as the fearless leader of The Hellfire Club. However, he’s forced to go into hiding after Chrissy’s death in his trailer, before later reuniting with Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and co.
Quinn said in an interview that he’d be “furious” if he wasn’t brought back for Season 5 – but he wouldn’t be the first actor to misdirect the fans, and he wouldn’t be the last.
Eddie earlier says, “there’s no shame in running” and even tells Steve: “I see danger, and I just turn heel and run.” With the trailers teasing a guitar solo in the Upside Down, many have speculated that he changes his stance, and has a heroic, sacrificial end – particularly with that glimpse of Dustin screaming his name.
Out of the trio stranded in Russia with a loose Demogorgon, Murray (Brett Gelman) is easily the most likely to die. We’ve already had one fake-out with Hopper (David Harbour), and as The Walking Dead showed with Glenn, you need some time before actually killing a character off.
Joyce (Winona Ryder) has been a mainstay of Stranger Things since the show’s beginning, and she’s lost someone every season: Will went missing; then Bob was killed; and then Hopper seemingly died in climactic explosion of Season 3. Now it may be Murray. The trailer shows Murray gleefully using a flamethrower, so perhaps he’s going to go out in a literal blaze of glory.
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Will’s death would be shocking, given he’s one of the central stars of the show and the Upside Down is stuck in the day he was taken (November 6, 1983). He’s also managed to survive every scrape with Hawkins’ interdimensional monsters, including some close calls with the Mind Flayer in Season 2 and 3.
And that’s exactly why it’d be the perfect gut-punch: if the poster boy for Stranger Things can die, then nobody is safe, and the stakes are automatically far higher. He’s also been side-lined a bit in Season 4, left to mope around Mike and Eleven. The trailer shows him telling Mike that Vecna “won’t stop” until he has everyone – perhaps in this case, that includes him.
Mike (Finn Wolfhard) may seem safe from the chop, but Season 4 hasn’t given him a huge amount to do other than argue with Eleven about his hesitance to say “love” in letters. At the end of Volume 1, he was about to head to Nevada with Will to find Eleven, meaning he’s in just as much danger as his pal.
His death would also be the perfect catalyst for Eleven to access her powers with ease. In Season 4, we learned that she can channel them by thinking about a memory that makes her sad and angry. Naturally, her boyfriend being murdered by Vecna – or even someone else – would fit the bill.
Dr. Brenner is Stranger Things’ longest-running baddie. He’s not a slimy, sharp-toothed monster, nor does he feast on teenagers in the Upside Down, but he manipulated Eleven from a young age, putting her through hell to hone her powers.
After his apparent death at the hands of a Demogorgon in Season 1, he returned in Season 4 to help Eleven find her powers again. In fairness to him, Volume 1 has done a good job at showing a kinder side to the character and how much he cares for Eleven, even if he is rather brutal.
So, there’s two ways this could go: he’ll either allow himself to be killed to save Eleven’s life during the inevitable firefight at NINA; or, Eleven will exact her revenge, and the massive explosion in the Volume 2 trailer is her destroying the facility with him inside.
A bleak Infinity War finale where most of them die
Consider Vecna’s place in Stranger Things: he is the architect of all of their pain. When he was banished to the Upside Down, it’s likely that he has been the instigator of every tragedy in the show, whether it’s Will being taken in the first episode, or Chrissy’s death in Season 4.
If we treat him as the Thanos of Stranger Things – only instead of collecting Infinity Stones, he wants more teenage bodies – Volume 2 is going to finish on a heart-breaking note. In the trailer, we can even hear him saying: “It is over, now I just want you to watch.”
For Season 5 to be the Endgame, we need the Infinity War ending. So prepare for the possibility of several deaths and some time-travel shenanigans down the line.
Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2: When will it be released on Netflix, and how long is the finale?
The finale of Stranger Things Season 4 will arrive on Netflix as a beefy two-parter on July 1.
Episode 8 has a fairly normal runtime of 1h20m, while the final episode is a whopping 2h20m.