Stranger Thing character
Illustrated by Olivia Woolfrey, Ringling College of Art and Design

The 6 Craziest Fan Theories About ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5

Series enthusiasts are letting their imaginations run wild after a shocking conclusion to the penultimate season. The Duffer brothers certainly have something wild in store, but there’s no telling what it will be.

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Stranger Thing character
Illustrated by Olivia Woolfrey, Ringling College of Art and Design

Series enthusiasts are letting their imaginations run wild after a shocking conclusion to the penultimate season. The Duffer brothers certainly have something wild in store, but there’s no telling what it will be.

The Duffer Brothers released “Stranger Things” Season 4 in late May after fans patiently waited three years for its release. “Stranger Things” is set in Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s and is about a group of young friends who witness supernatural forces and monsters along with secret government exploits. One of the girls in the friend group, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), has special powers that enable her to move things with her mind, and with these powers, she has defeated monsters and saved Hawkins. The monsters in the show are based on characters in the game Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

“Stranger Things” Season 4

Warning — spoilers for Season 4 ahead.

As a quick recap, in Season 4, we learned about a new monster named Vecna whom Dustin, Mike, Eleven, Will, Lucas, Max, Steve, Nancy, Robin, Argyle, Jonathan and Eddy have to fight. Vecna, also known as 001, is seeking revenge because Eleven defeated him before and sent him to the Upside Down. The group has to come up with a plan to kill Vecna, and they decide to use Max as bait and try to kill Vecna while he is distracted.

While this is occurring, Dustin and Eddie are distracting the Demobats in the Upside Down so they don’t alert Vecna that they are there. Eddie sacrifices himself to save everyone and Dustin is devastated. Fans were also upset because Eddie quickly became a character they loved, for he was the perfect addition to the D&D playing group and was known as a metalhead dirtbag with a heart of gold. At the end of the season, we find out that Vecna is not dead, and Max is alive but in a coma. See below for some fan theories about what may happen to the characters in Season 5.

Theory 1

According to Forbes magazine, “The Upside Down is some sort of projection of a real-life D+D campaign of which [Will] is the ultimate dungeon master, whether he realizes it or not.” In the Upside Down, time is frozen in 1983 — the year in which the first season was set — when Will was happy and playing D&D with his friends. In Season 1, when he was stuck in the Upside Down, Will may have somehow frozen the time. Perhaps if Will goes to the Upside Down this time, he will discover that he has powers like Eleven, and he will join forces with her to take Vecna down.

This theory is largely motivated by Will’s painting of a red three-headed dragon, which is known as Borys in D&D and is the only monster that can kill Vecna. Fans believe he will have the power to emulate this creature and take down Vecna. “Stranger Things” is always bringing something fresh to the table, so I wouldn’t put it past them to make a connection like this.

Theory 2

Some fans are speculating that Eddie did not die and was just transformed into a vampire by the Demobats. Eddie is stuck in the Upside Down with Vecna and will come back as Kas the Bloody-Handed, which is “a D&D vampire character, a lieutenant of Vecna,” who “turns on his master and, in the game in Episode 1, attempts to take him out but fails.” Fans are suspecting this because Eddie has bat tattoos and died holding a sword and shield, which is what Kas the Bloody-Handed is known to fight with. Also, the Duffer Brothers are known for bringing back characters they have killed off, making this theory that much more plausible.

Theory 3

Max is trapped inside Vecna’s mind, and that is why she is in a comatose state. The group will have to send Eleven into Max’s mind again to try and save her.

Theory 4

Karen Wheeler is connected to the Creels and will play a major role in Season 5. Fans became suspicious after seeing that she has her own character poster.

Theory 5

A Buzzfeed article suggests that Will may get possessed by Vecna again. In D&D, Vecna is a Lich, which is “a humanoid spellcaster that seeks to defy death by magical means, like hiding his soul in an object or another person.” One fan even took it so far as to say that the Upside Down is stuck in the year 1983 because that’s when Will died, and he’s been possessed by Vecna this entire time.

Theory 6

Time travel will play a significant role in the story. Twitter user @haloshoney shared that her mom thinks “the clock in the season of ‘stranger things’ was foreshadowing that in season 5 they’ll go back in time and fix everything that went wrong before it happens and that they’ll also be able to save a bunch of characters that died.”

Season 5 of “Stranger Things” is expected to come out sometime in 2024 or 2025. Perhaps one of these theories will come to fruition, or perhaps the Duffer Brothers will completely shatter our world once again. Either way, “Stranger Things” fans are certainly in for a wild ride.

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Morgan Thomas

Wayne State University
Print and Online Journalism

My name is Morgan Thomas and I am a senior at Wayne State University. I am majoring in print and online journalism and I have a minor in film.

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