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    Here's What's Happening With "Stranger Things" Season 4

    Here's everything we know (and want) for Stranger Things Season 4.

    The wait between Stranger Things seasons can be agonizing, but worth it. As we wait for Season 4, let's take a look at everything we know about the upcoming season, and also explore what we'd like to see.

    Eleven stands flanked by Max, Will, Mike, and Lucas, looking determined

    Warning: this post WILL be full of spoilers for what's happened so far on the show, so if you haven't watched Stranger Things Season 3 yet, maybe save this for later.

    Back in September 2019, Netflix shared an official announcement that Stranger Things had been renewed for a fourth season, along with a teaser video with the words "We're not in Hawkins anymore".

    View this video on YouTube

    Season 3 ends with the Byers family (including Eleven) moving away from Hawkins, so the tagline makes sense for them. But it also hinted at Hopper's fate.

    Fans had immediately theorized that Hopper isn't dead at the end of Season 3, despite seeing him apparently vaporized. This is because in the final moments of Season 3, set in Russia, we see a reference to an American prisoner who remains unseen. Pretty much everyone agreed it MUST be Hopper.

    In February, Netflix released another teaser that confirmed Hopper is indeed alive and in Russia.

    View this video on YouTube

    It was all very exciting, but then, of course, COVID-19 happened, and in March we learned that production on Stranger Things Season 4 had been paused.

    In August, show creators the Duffer brothers revealed that the delay wasn't necessarily a bad thing for the season.

    Robin, Steve and Dustin stand together in the ice cream store, looking skeptical

    "For the first time, we have all the scripts written and we're able to look at it as a whole piece and make adjustments," Matt Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Ross Duffer added that the pandemic had also given them time to look ahead and figure out the right end point for the show, and how long it would take to get there. While he didn't say exactly when that would be, he did reveal Season 4 wouldn't be the end of the story.

    Fast forward to October, and we got some really good news — the Stranger Things team shared that the show is officially back in production!

    The announcement itself is pretty cryptic, but it's a relief to hear the season IS moving forward.

    We don't have a release date yet, but it doesn't seem likely we'll see episodes before the latter half of 2021 at least.

    As for what the season will hold, we do know all of the main cast are back.

    Lucas, Dustin, Mike and Max stand in front of a brick building looking confused

    That includes Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Finn Wolfhard as Mike, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin, Noah Schnapp as Will, Sadie Sink as Max, Joe Kery as Steve Harrington, Natalia Dyer as Nancy, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan, Maya Hawke as Robin, Winona Ryder as Joyce, Priah Ferguson as Eric , Cara Buono as Karen and, of course, David Harbour as Hopper.

    There will also be some new faces, but the only one we've had confirmed so far is Agents of Shield star Joel Stoffer — although his role remains unknown.

    It seems Hopper's storyline will be a major part of Season 4, which is excellent because it's perhaps what fans are most curious about.

    Jim Hopper, frowning, with a bloody lip and a wound on his temple

    And it's not just about his escape from Russia.

    "We get to see some of Hopper's really deep backstory that we've hinted at with the boxes in Season 2," David Harbour told Deadline in June.

    "The boxes", in case you are wondering, refers to a brief shot in Season 2 in which we see boxes stacked up in Hopper's basement.

    A dark room with a flashlight hilighting a box with the word "Vietnam" written on it

    Three in particular are significant for Hopper's backstory, according to Harbour — the ones labelled "Vietnam", "New York", and "Dad".

    "Season 4 we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory," Harbour revealed at Comic Con earlier this year. "It’s one of the things that I’ve known since the first frame of the first shot, and we haven’t expressed it yet. And finally we’re gonna express it in a big way. It’s my favorite thing about him that you guys don’t know about him yet, but it has to do with these backstories of New York, Vietnam, and Dad. And I’m really excited for you guys to know more about that, and it relates, of course, to things he’s doing with Eleven and Joyce and things like that."

    In an interview with Total Film, Harbour also teased that when we see Hopper again, he won't be the same, citing Gandalf the Grey becoming Gandalf the White as inspiration for Hopper's resurrection and transformation.

    As for the other characters, there are a lot less details about what might happen to them in Season 4.

    Eleven in a clothing store

    With everyone in different locations, the season will presumably be about them coming back together, no doubt to fight the Upside Down and/or Russians and whatever they're cooking up with their captured demogorgon.

    While we wait for more hints, here are some things that would be really, really great to see:

    • Eleven getting her powers back. Last we saw, she had lost them, which is OMINOUS.

    • More info about the other kids experimented on. Eleven found Eight/Kali back in Season 2 — but what about the rest of the characters? And what about Eight/Kali herself?! There's so much that could be explored there.

    • The return of Dr Brenner. He was Eleven's "papa", and it would be interesting to see both him and Hopper come back from the dead. His storyline has been left open since Season 1. We need answers!

    • The return of Billy. Look, he's good eye candy, but it would also be kind of cool if he was somehow in the Upside Down, and came back a changed person. But with a similar arc happening for Hopper in Season 4, the Duffers probably won't go there for Billy.

    • Nancy and Jonathan breaking up. I'm very sorry, but Jonathan is the worst and he treats Nancy terribly! Now that he has moved away, it's a good chance for Nancy to have a clean break.

    • More screentime for the Scoops Troop. Steve, Robin, Erica and Dustin are the best part of the show and you can't convince me otherwise. I don't even care what they do, because whatever it is, it will be great.

    • Will getting some peace. The kid has been through so much. I mean, they all have, but Will really can't catch a break. Let him rest!

    • The return of Alexei. This absolutely will not happen. He is dead. But he was so precious and we lost him too soon. This show is full of supernatural shenanigans. It's not too much to wish for, is it?

    Honestly, Season 4 can't come soon enough.