Where is Hopper?
To recap, Stranger Things follows the adventures of a bunch of kids in the town of Hawkins in the 1980s and how their lives change when one of them unwittingly gets drawn into the horror dimension called the Upside Down. Legions of fans have devotedly followed the show through three seasons, where its creators The Duffer Brothers have winningly brought together a blend of sci-fi, fantasy and horror. At the centre of it has been Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown),whose inherited psychokinetic abilities are experimented on at Hawkins National Laboratory, and whose meeting with Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) propels the show.
With local police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) melting into oblivion when Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) had to make the difficult decision to destroy the Soviet Key that was being used to open the portal between dimensions, his fate is what has kept fans of the show on tenterhooks. That Hopper was alive was answered with the first teaser of Season 4 that showed that he had somehow survived and was now a prisoner in Russia. Not to mention the fact that the post-credits scene of Season 3 had some Russian guards mentioning that an American prisoner (yay, Hopper!) was being held captive.
That Hopper is alive and in good health is a certainty — early teasers of the new season have shown him doing forced manual labour in the brutal wasteland of Kamchatka. What we will look forward to seeing is how the experience changes him, and whether he’s able to pull back into Hawkins.
Talking to Variety, David Harbour has piqued curiosity even more with, “‘What happens to Hopper? Is he a character that’s able to survive Hawkins or does he die?’ I know what happens and it’s quite moving, and quite beautiful.”
‘Wait... is that Max levitating?!’ is one of the burning questions in Season 4
Will Eleven get her powers back?
One of the most shocking — and very gory — moments of Season 3 was when Eleven pulled out a piece of the Mind Flayer from her leg in the middle of that horrific battle at Starcourt mall. That subsequently resulted in Eleven losing all her powers. The first clip of Season 4 shows Eleven, in the absence of her powers, struggling against a pack of bullies.
Season 4 will pick up six months after the events of Season 3, with Eleven — who moved to California with Joyce — Will (Noah Schnapp), and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) attending their new high school. In previous seasons, Eleven served as her friends’ protector and it will be interesting to see how she reacts to crisis situations without her powers.
Stranger Things’ penultimate season (Vol 1 this Friday will be followed by Vol 2 on July 1) is poised to be the series’ most mature yet, and Millie Bobby Brown has said it will find Eleven “in her darkest state”.
Why is Max levitating?
The Season 4 trailer was packed with powerful moments, and one that clearly stands out is that of Max (Sadie Sink) levitating in front of her brother Billy’s gravestone. The Duffer Brothers have already gone on record to say that this will be a “Max-heavy season”. She’s dealing with the grief over losing her brother, some of her friends moved across the country, and her town is being taken over by monsters from another dimension. That’s a lot for Max to tackle.
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven/Jane
What’s the Creel House?
Across its three seasons, Stranger Things has introduced different locations for its horror-thriller setting. Season 1 was Hawkins lab and Hawkins Middle School. Season 2 introduced farms and video arcades. Season 3 had pools and malls. The Upside Down has, of course, been omnipresent. Season 4, as is evident from the material unveiled so far, expands the action to a global scale, adding in Russia and California.
And then, of course, is The Creel House in the trailer. What is it? And where is it? As far as we know, The Creel House was formerly the residence of the Creel family in Hawkins. Unexplained circumstances led to the family’s patriarch Victor Creel murdering his family. By the mid-1980s, which is when Stranger Things is set, the house was abandoned and boarded up. The Duffer Brothers have referred to the core location of Season 4 as “super important”. It’s possible that Creel House will be the key to the Upside Down.
Who’s the monster?
The big bad monster of the season is named Vecna, a name familiar to fans of the Dungeons & Dragons game, which in itself is integral to Stranger Things. In D&D lore, Vecna was a once-powerful wizard who became a lich after becoming undead. He was eventually destroyed, with only his left hand and left eye surviving his death. Says Sadie Sink, “He was the exact villain the show needed.” Well!
What will be the big leap?
Matt Duffer has promised viewers will “learn more this season than we ever have about our mythology”. “We’ve learned a lot about the Upside Down and what this evil that has been threatening Hawkins all these years really wants,” he added.
Something that’s echoed by Joe Keery who plays Steve. “This is a season where there is a lot thematically, things from other seasons, that are starting to come together. I was really excited to see these little threads that the Duffers have been placing throughout the show, seeing those start to converge into this one thing.”
We can’t wait! Netflix, bring it on, already!