Stranger Things Season 5 will have shorter episodes than Season 4

Stranger Things animated seriesNetflix

Stranger Things Season 5 will have shorter episodes, with the exception of the grand finale, the creators have said. 

Season 4 of Netflix’s flagship show raised eyebrows even among its biggest fans when its runtimes were revealed: every single episode ran for over an hour, with the final episode in Volume 2 stretching to two-and-a-half hours. Even for the biggest bingers, it veered a little too close to endurance over entertainment.

Episode 9 earned its runtime by constantly hitting us with epic spectacle and pitch-perfect uses of Metallica and Moby. While the penultimate season may have felt a little bloated at times, the consensus seems to be that it’s regarded as perhaps the best season yet, if not the closest the show’s ever come to Season 1.

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We’ll be waiting a while for the next and final chapter of Stranger Things, but the Duffer Brothers have teased a few details. Some light spoilers for Season 4 to follow… 

Explosions and smoke in Hawkins in front of the Stranger Things cast in the Season 4 finaleNetflix
The ending of Season 4 set the stage for an epic final chapter.

Stranger Things Season 5 will have shorter episodes apart from the finale

Following the Season 4 finale, the Duffer Brothers appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, where they dove into some spoiler-y content, along with stating what fans can expect from Stranger Things Season 5.

Right now, the creative duo said they “don’t expect” Season 5’s episodes to be the same length as they were in Season 4, excluding the last-ever episode. “We’re more likely to do what we did here, which is to just have a two-and-a-half-hour episode,” Matt Duffer said.

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The cast staring at the sky in the Stranger Things Season 4 finaleNetflix
Stranger Things Season 5 will see one last showdown with Vecna.

“The only reason we don’t expect to be as long is because typically – or this season, if you look at it, it’s almost a two-hour ramp up before our kids really get drawn into a supernatural mystery.

“You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, they’re struggling with adapting to high school and so forth. Steve’s trying to find a date, all of that. None of that is obviously going to be occurring in the first two episodes.”

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Stranger Things Season 5 is “going to move faster” than Season 4

Matt added that “for the first time ever, we don’t wrap things up at the end of four,” and the season is “going to be moving fast.”

Steve and Robin staring out the window at the end of Stranger Things Season 4, ahead of Stranger Things Season 5Netflix
Steve and Robin will join the others in the fight against Vecna.

“Characters are already going to be in action, they’re already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that’s going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different,” he said.

“I’m sure the wrap-up will be a lot longer. It’s going to be Return of the King-ish with, like, eight endings.”

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As for when Season 5 will be released, the pair are expected to start writing the final season in August after a well-earned holiday, so it likely won’t arrive until 2024.

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