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    10 Theories For Anyone Who's Watched "Stranger Things" Season 3

    Did Hopper really die?

    If you were anything like me, you spent your holiday weekend binge-watching the latest season of Stranger Things.

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    But if you didn't, WARNING: This post contains massive spoilers and you should click out of here now!!!

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    For everyone else, here are 10 theories about the show's latest season to discuss:

    1. Hopper is alive.

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    It's Stranger Things, after all! In the new season's shocking ending, we watched Joyce explode the machine with police chief Jim Hopper trapped next right to it. We see other people splatter into pieces when this happens, but we never actually see anything happen to our beloved police chief. A classic "no body, no real death" trope! (I hope.) David Harbour responded to this theory to Entertainment Tonight:

    “I mean, I have no idea! I have no idea! I mean that, of course, is my hope too. It seems pretty crazy though. You know, that machine went off and blew up and Hopper seemed to be trapped there. He did glance around a little bit, but he seemed to be trapped and the machine exploded. And then you cut to, what was it? It starts with a ‘K’ or something – some town in Russia, right? Where there’s some American and there’s some other prisoner. I don’t know, I mean it seems strange. I don’t know how though.”

    2. Hopper is alive...and the proof is David Bowie's "Heroes."

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    Redditor Montgomery7248 points out that the specific song playing in this tragic scene has a special meaning to it:

    "As they’re loading up the truck and Hopper’s speech nears its end, a certain song starts playing. “Heroes” by David Bowie (cover by Peter Gabriel). To a lot of people this may not mean much in the context of the show but for me, and probably others like me who have watched the show in its entirety countless times, it brings me back to Season 1.

    At the end of Season 1, Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly, Will’s body is found in the quarry (or so we were lead to believe) and what song plays as we see this unfold? “Heroes” by David Bowie (cover by Peter Gabriel).

    I can’t think of any reason that they would have picked that song, given the countless songs perfect for that situation, other than them subtly calling back to another time where we were told a character was dead when they weren’t."

    3. Hopper is alive...and in Russia.

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    In the post-credits scene, we're shown a Russian facility or jail of some sort and a discussion between two soldiers. We don't know it yet, but they're looking for a human to feed the demogorgon and right when we think we might see Jim Hopper again, one of the soldiers says, "No, not the American." After such an emotional goodbye to one of the show's favorite characters, we all probably are hoping that Hopper is the American they speak of, but is that too easy of a reveal? Or maybe...

    4. Actually, "The American" is Dr. Brenner.

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    First of all, we know that Dr. Brenner is still alive as confirmed in Season 2 and later confirmed by Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy. This could be why there's a random (yet terrifying) demogorgon in the show's final scenes. But to push this theory even further, Reddit user CSEnzley spelled out even more reasons why this theory would make sense:

    "More of a reason for Brenner to no longer remain on US soil is when we consider how valuable his experience with the Upside Down is and how determined that murderous sociopath was to complete his work he was probably looking for an opportunity to continue it.

    It is the Cold War after all so it all leads to Dr. Brenner working (or being forced to work) with the Russians. This alone would explain how they got their start and how they know so much already in a small amount of time."

    5. The demogorgon is the very same one from Season 1.

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    And if it's not, how else did it get there? Is this one of the experiments Alexi mentioned in passing? Is this another one of Dr. Brennan's creations OR is it the same one that Eleven defeated back in the show's first season? Perhaps...

    6. Dr. Owens is working with the Russians.

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    Could he be the link between Russia and what happened at the Starcourt Mall? Where was he all season, by the way? How come he showed up at the very end? We can assume he may still be in contact with Dr. Brenner, but is he also tied to the Russians?

    7. Billy is alive in the upside-down.

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    Yes, we saw the Mind Flayer kill Billy in a pretty gruesome way. But — as with Hopper — could there be a link between the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer, and true death? Is Billy in the Upside Down? Could he also be in Russia? Could he still be inside the Mind Flayer? Is it still alive?! At the very least, I think we as viewers want to see Billy's character arc be redeemed.

    8. The rest of the 30 people "killed" by the Mind Flayer are still alive.

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    This one may be more of a wish than anything else, but it would be nice for Billy, Heather, Heather's parents, Mrs. Driscoll, and the like. If the Mind Flayer is still alive, they could still be alive, too. But, they're probably off with Barb and Bob — aka not coming back any time soon!

    9. Eleven will regain her powers when the Mind Flayer rises again.

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    We don't really know why Eleven lost her powers in Season 3. Was it because of ~the bite~? Because of Billy? Because of the Mind Flayer being able to tap into her mind? In Season 4, will the Mind Flayer rise again — and with it, Eleven's powers? Could be! Or, maybe we'll see Eleven as a regular kid in Season 4. For now, Millie Bobby Brown had only this to say to Entertainment Weekly: "I think Eleven is powerful with and without powers, so I think that’s always an exciting journey to explore further."

    10. Stranger Things is headed towards a time-travel storyline.

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    For starters, it's worth noting that Stranger Things was first pitched with the working title Montauk and was rumored to be about the psychological warfare and alleged time travel experiments done at Camp Hero, the air force station in Montauk, New York.

    Second, Reddit user startitupagain pointed to this intricate theory having to do with the use of Back to the Future in Season 3 of Stranger Things. The inclusion of the movie itself could be a big clue for time travel, but Daniel Palensky did a bunch of math based on the references of used and when they correlate with certain scenes. (Read the full theory here and then let's discuss.)

    Time travel would certainly open up ways for all of our favorite characters that are now deceased in the ~regular timeline~ to come back... Bob, Barb, and Billy: we're ready!

    What do you think? What are your theories for Season 4? Let us know in the comments!

    Obsessed with Stranger Things? Check out all of our coverage here!

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