‘Stranger Things’: Will a Major Character Die in Season 3?

With school out for the summer, it’s time for the kids to start roaming the streets again, and that includes the kids of Stranger Things. Only this time, the consequences could be dire.

The characters on the show have faced puberty, monsters and even death, all at the same time. So the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are no strangers to peril. However, as seasons go on, the stakes rise, and there are rumblings that the casualties could include a significant cast member.

What’s on the ropes, besides David Harbour’s chances of appearing in another Hellboy movie?

David Harbour | Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images

What’s in store for season 3 of ‘Stranger Things’

Here is the official Netflix synopsis for Season 3:

“It’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and summer’s heating up. School’s out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they’ll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart. Meanwhile, danger looms. When the town’s threatened by enemies old and new, Eleven and her friends are reminded that evil never ends; it evolves. Now they’ll have to band together to survive, and remember that friendship is always stronger than fear.”

That description is tantalizingly vague. “Evil never ends, it evolves” probably refers to some new goings-on with the Upside Down, and thankfully, it won’t be a case of poor Will being targeted again. Producer Shawn Levy acknowledged that would be cruel.

“We’re going to give Will a break,” he said in Glamour. “We’re not going to put Will through hell for a third season in a row. He’ll be dealing with stuff, but he won’t be at rock bottom the way we forced the amazing Noah Schnapp to play.”

Whatever ends up happening, Harbour promises it will be one for the books. This season has eight episodes, and Harbour, who plays Hopper, is on record as saying the finale is the most moving moment the show has ever produced.

‘Stranger Things’ has killed before

Of course, death is hardly new to the people of Hawkins. We saw that right from the beginning with the demise of Nancy’s best buddy Barb, and even the death of that minor character resulted in a viral “Justice for Barb” campaign. So while Hawkins residents have seen death, the fans of Stranger Things don’t always take it well.

The second season also killed off a prominent but arguably secondary character Bob, the manager of the local Radio Shack who was a new love interest for Joyce (Winona Ryder). When Bob met his fate at the jaws of a demon dog, fans teared up, but that may be less because of the character than the fact that he was played by Sean Astin, whom people loved from The Goonies and The Lord of the Rings.

So if the stakes are higher, could something awful happen to Hopper or Joyce, or (gulp) one of the kids who are not Will? Eleven herself, Millie Bobby Brown, has said she is “very scared” of the season 3 finale, though we find it very hard to believe that the show would sideline their breakout star, even though Brown is now appearing in franchise movies like Godzilla: King of the Monsters and next year’s Godzilla vs. Kong.

Who dies in 1985?

When the Duffer Brothers originally conceived the first season, their plan was for both Steve and Eleven to die. However, that was when they assumed they might only have one shot a season. Fans would probably be as unhappy with the Duffers as Game of Thrones fans were unhappy with David Benioff and DB Weiss with over Daenerys’ fate.

This is all guesswork, certainly, but the fact that the season takes place in 1985 might provide some clues. The biggest movie that year was Back to the Future, so could the Duffers be tempted to go the Avengers: Endgame route and play with time travel? Quite possible, given that the movie came out on July 3, 1985, and the season 3 premiers on July 4, 2019. We just hope the show’s revival of New Coke is the only thing that dies.