‘Stranger Things’ Season 5: Show Creators Tease Last Episode: ‘It’s Going to Be ‘Return of the King’-ish’

Stranger Things Season 4 just wrapped up, but fans can’t wait for season 5. Yes, there will be a fifth season, but the wait could be excruciating. Star David Harbour speculates the season 5 release date could be mid-2024, but the two-year gap between seasons could be worth it. Show creators the Duffer Brothers — Matt and Ross — made Netflix executives cry with their season 5 pitch. The plot is secret, but the Duffers have teased what Stranger Things Season 5 has in store, including a Lord of the Rings: Return of the King-like final episode.

Caleb McLaughlin (from left), Matt Duffer, Gaten Matarazzo, and Ross Duffer film 'Stranger Things' Season 2. The Duffer Brothers teased a 'Lord of the Rings' like, epically long series finale in season 5.
Caleb McLaughlin (from left), Matt Duffer, Gaten Matarazzo, and Ross Duffer film ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 | Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

The Duffer Brothers reveal some details about ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5

All nine season 4 episodes of Stranger Things had runtimes longer than 60 minutes. Many ran well over an hour. Episode 8 was nearly 90 minutes, and the season 4 finale lasted nearly 2 hours, 30 minutes. The Duffer Brothers don’t expect season 5, the last for Stranger Things, to follow suit.

During a podcast appearance, the Stranger Things creators revealed they don’t anticipate as much build-up, so the season 5 episodes will likely be shorter.

“The only reason we don’t expect to be as long [in season 5] is, 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,” the brothers told the Happy Sad Confused podcast (per Express). “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 season 5].”

However, Express also reports the Duffer Brothers intend to go all out in the season 5 finale with another two-hour-plus capper. The brothers also promised the finale might look something like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

How ‘Stranger Things’ last episode could be like ‘The Return of the King’

RELATED: ‘Stranger Things’: Don’t Expect Any New Characters in Season 5

Joe and Ross Duffer have built a vivid, lived-in, three-dimensional fictional world with Stranger Things. The material might be a little different, but director Peter Jackson did the same with his Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. 

The Return of the King, the last film in Jackson’s trilogy, had a 3-hour, 21-minute runtime (per IMDb) and included several points where viewers thought the movie ended. The Duffers don’t have plans for a 200-minute episode, but Stranger Things‘ Season 5 final episode could be like the final Lord of the Rings movie with a few false endings (per Express).

“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.”

Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brother tease the season 5 finale

We’ll have to wait to see what happens to the kids from Hawkins, but expect Stranger Things’ series finale to twist and turn and keep fans guessing until the screen turns black.

What else we know about ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5: Filming, release date, plot

RELATED: 3 Best ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 Fan Theories After the Season 4 Finale 

Stranger Things Season 4 just ended. Season 5 remains is beyond the horizon, but the Duffer Brothers shed some light on their roadmap for the series finale.

Though the brothers made Netflix higher-ups cry with their pitch for Stranger Things Season 5, they have yet to start writing it. They don’t have any filming dates pinned down, meaning a release date is up in the air.

The Duffer Brothers have said season 5 won’t introduce new characters, but it will be a direct continuation of season 4’s story and will include a time jump in the storyline. And if the Duffers are to be believed, Stranger Things‘ last episode will psych out fans several times before the credits roll.

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