Everything the Duffers Have Revealed

The gap between the releases of seasons four and five will likely be shorter than the wait between seasons three and four.

nancy and jonathan in stranger things, standing in a green backyard of sme kind and looking at each other while holding the others' arms


Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) in “Stranger Things.”


The Duffer Brothers told Variety in May that the time between seasons “should be quite a bit shorter this time,” given that their COVID-induced filming hiatus gave them time to outline season five.

Furthermore, “we can’t imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus,” they told Variety.

Season five will be shorter — except for its finale. Probably.

millie bobby brown as eleven in stranger things. her head is shaved and she's wearing a white vest, and as she screams bright yellow sparks arc behind her


Eleven works to regain her powers in “Stranger Things” season four, part one.


On the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, the Duffer Brothers told host Josh Horowitz that they didn’t expect the show’s final season to be as long as season four, in part because it won’t require the exposition that season four did.

“I don’t know if it’s gonna be going 100 miles per hour at the start of five, but it’s gonna be moving pretty fast,” Matt Duffer said. “Characters are already gonna be in action, they’re already gonna have a goal and drive, and I think that’s gonna carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different.

Ross Duffer said, however, that they’re likely to have another “two-and-a-half-hour episode” for the series finale, in order to avoid a television phenomenon in which the series’ final episode falls after the climax, and serves as a “wind down.”

Still, the brothers said that during the writing process, things could turn out differently length-wise.

It will bring an end to the story of Eleven, Hawkins, and the Upside Down.

david harbour and millie bobby brown as hopper and eleven in stranger things, pressing their foreheads together with their eyes closed affectionately


David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown as Hopper and Eleven in “Stranger Things” season four.


In February, Netflix announced that the fifth season of “Stranger Things” would be its last. In a letter at the time, the Duffer brothers laid out their plans for the universe. While there was plenty left to explore, the letter read, the series finale would bring an end to its central story.

“We hope that you stay with us as we finish this tale of a powerful girl named Eleven and her brave friends, of a broken police chief and a ferocious mom, of a small town called Hawkins and an alternate dimension known only as the Upside Down,” the brothers said in a letter.

The brothers “feel good” about the ending, which they’ve already planned out.

Winona Ryder and Brett Gelman in season 4 of "Stranger Things."


Winona Ryder and Brett Gelman in season four of “Stranger Things.”


The brothers told Collider in July that they have confidence in the show’s ending, which they’ve already planned.

“We do feel good about the ending,” Matt Duffer said. “I was like, okay, I think this ending is not… I’m not super insecure. I’m insecure about a lot of things, but I feel like this ending feels good.”

Ross Duffer told the publication that the final 20 minutes of the series were “locked in.”

Max being in a coma is an important plot point.

max lying in a hospital bed in stranger things, completely unconscious and with casts on her body while lucas, eleven, mike, and will watch over her


Max ends up in a coma at the end of “Stranger Things” season four.


The Duffer brothers said in a post-season four debrief with Netflix Geeked that they did consider permanently killing Max.

“The fact that she’s in a coma, I can’t really get into the details, but it is important that she is,” Matt Duffer said. “That is gonna have a major effect on five. So it’s not a, oh well, you know, a cheat. It’s incredibly relevant to five.”

Season five will explain more about the Upside Down.

A humanoid creature with gray skin kneels in an attic.


Vecna is the villain of “Stranger Things 4.”


Russ Duffer told Netflix Geeked that lingering questions about the Upside Down, such as why it’s frozen in time to the point where Will was taken in season one, will be answered in season five.

“The answers to what the Upside Down actually is, is really gonna be the core of what season five is, and the mysteries of season five,” Ross said. “And those answers are really gonna lead us to the conclusion of this story.”

The fifth season will mostly take place in Hawkins, where it all started.

eleven, will, mike, jonathan, and argyle in stranger things, standing in front of a yellow van with a sign on top that says surfer boy pizza


Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, and Finn Wolfhard in “Stranger Things” season four.


The Duffer brothers told Collider that the fifth season will take place mostly in Hawkins, Indiana, as well as the Upside Down. That’s a direct contrast to season four, which saw the cast scattered between Indiana, California, and Russia.

“This is about everyone finally coming back. Coming back together, coming back to Hawkins,” Matt Duffer said. “Hopper is back in Hawkins. The original group [is] back together — the original group of boys plus Eleven. The OG group. There’s something interesting to re-explore some of the season one dynamics again, except on this grander scale.”

The end of the story was apparently emotional enough to make Netflix executives cry.

mike and eleven sitting together at a pizza restaurant, holding hands across a table and looking intently at the other in stranger things


Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in “Stranger Things.”


Ross Duffer told The Wrap that when he and Matt pitched season five to Netflix, it led to some tears being shed in the room.

“I mean, it was hard. It’s the end of the story,” he told the publication. “I saw executives crying who I’ve never seen cry before and it was wild. And it’s not just to do with the story, just the fact that it’s like, ‘Oh my God, this thing that has defined so many of our lives, these Netflix people who has been with us from the beginning, seven years now,’ and it’s hard to imagine the journey coming to an end.”

Will Byers is going to be a “big focus” of season five.

Stranger Things season 4 Will Byers


Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) turns to the window to cry silently about his feelings in season four of “Stranger Things.”

Courtesy of Netflix

Matt Duffer told Collider that Will, played by Noah Schnapp, is going to play a large part in season five.

“Will’s going to be a big part and focus, is really all I can say of season five, in his journey. We’re starting to see his coming of age, really,” Matt told the publication. “Which has been challenging for a number of reasons, some of which are supernatural. But you’re starting to see him come into his own.”

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