The Duffer Brothers Explain Why ‘Stranger Things’ Will Never Kill Characters Like ‘Game of Thrones’

In the weeks before Stranger Things Season 4, fans worried which of their favorite characters would shuffle off their mortal coils. Many predicted fan-favorite Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) was a goner, but he miraculously survived the season with almost all the others. For those who can’t stand the thought of losing their friends in Hawkins, Indiana, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It doesn’t look like Ross and Matt Duffer, the creators of Stranger Things, plan to kill off any characters Game of Thrones-style.

'Stranger Things 4' kills off Eddie Munson, played by Joseph Quinn, seen here in a production still.
Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson | Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Millie Bobby Brown called the Duffers “Sensitive Sallies” for not killing off characters

During interview rounds before the premiere of Stranger Things Season 4, Millie Bobby Brown, who stars in the Netflix series as Eleven, commented on the Duffer Brothers’ resistance to killing off any of the main stars. The 18-year-old actor even went as far as to call them “sensitive sallies.”

Speaking to The Wrap, Brown laughed, “The Duffer Brothers are sensitive sallies who don’t want to kill anybody off. We need to have the mindset of Game of Thrones. Kill me off! They tried killing David [Harbour] off, and they brought him back! It’s ridiculous.”

However, the Duffers clapped back at Brown’s teasing to explain their reasoning for not killing many people off the show.

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Why ‘Stranger Things’ Doesn’t Kill Off Major Characters

Game of Thrones quickly became notorious for killing off many of the lead characters in the series. In the first season, the assumed patriarch and star of the series Ned Star, played by Sean Bean, met his end with an ax, shocking viewers everywhere. The Duffers want to take a different approach, though. They explained on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast why Stranger Things is not Game of Thrones, mentioning that killing off characters is depressing and often changes the narrative. 

Every death changes the direction of the story

Not only are character deaths often depressing, but the brothers then have to think how this might switch up the story. In Stranger Things Season 1, Barb Holland (Shannon Purser) became Demogorgon dinner while she waited for Nancy outside a party. Barb had only seven total minutes of screentime, but fans mourned her death. Some even painted a mural in her honor in Australia. Since then, viewers have discussed the potential of a B-name curse as other characters who died often had a first or last name that started with the letter B.

The Duffers told Josh Horowitz, the host of Happy, Sad, Confused, “Just as a complete hypothetical, you kill Mike, it’s like, it’s depressing. We aren’t Game of Thrones. This is Hawkins, it’s not Westeros. The show becomes not Stranger Things anymore, because you do have to treat it realistically, right?”

“When Barb dies, right, it’s two seasons worth of grappling with that. It’s like, imagining Mike dying, is that something we are interested in exploring or not exploring,” they added.

Eddie’s death ‘will have major repercussions’ in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5

Joseph Quinn joined the Stranger Things Season 4 cast as lovable metalhead Eddie Munson. However, despite quickly jumping to the top of the list of fan favorites, Eddie died in the season 4 finale. Fans were devastated by his death, and some even started a petition to bring the character back for Stranger Things Season 5. While that’s not likely to happen, the Duffer said that Eddie’s death will have “major repercussions.”

“Eddie’s death is going to have huge repercussions on season 5, right? So, it’s not just serving thematic purposes, it’s serving narrative purposes… Every death has impact.”

Stranger Things Season 4 is currently streaming on Netflix.

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