We have to go back to Hawkins for Season 5 of Stranger Things right now. Or at least once we’re done rewatching those last four hours of ST4 as we figure out what Hawkins has become.
And in case you haven’t heard, the next chapter in the war between the Upside Down and our side of reality is its final chapter. Matt and Ross Duffer announced that Stranger Things 5 was the final release in February 2022, giving us ample warning that they were going to finish that story.
Then came Stranger Things 4, which felt bloated and full of stories that didn’t matter. Things were saved (only to be blown up) by the 4-hour drop known as Stranger Things 4 volume 2. There Hawkins was… well, we’ll explain below.
Because even though we know that Stranger Things season 5 will finally arrive on Netflix, it looks like we still have a long way to go. Long enough to cancel the streaming service at least once or twice, even.
Of course, consider this your spoiler warning for Stranger Things 4, including the events of the Volume 2 finale.
Stranger Things Season 5 Release Date Speculation
Trying to beat past Stranger Things release dates can be tougher than trying to win a mental battle with Vecna. Luckily, we already know from the inside when to expect the Stranger Things 5 release date to drop.
David Harbor (Hop himself) told British GQ (opens in a new tab) on the plans that are already in place, revealing “I think we’re going to [shoot] Next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prepare and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year,” Harbor says. “But I think that’s the plan. So it would probably come out in mid-2024, based on our track record.”
There you go, folks, expect to wait two whole years for Stranger Things Season 5.
Stranger Things season 5 plot
The big plot of Stranger Things 5 is simple: the end of the world has reached Hawkins. The four gates of Vecna opened, draining color from Hawkins and replacing parts of the city with a landscape of volcanic hell. The giant spider-like monster is coming for humanity, and this is (or at least it seems to be) the war that Dr. Brenner and Dr. Owens warned Eleven about.
Inside this story, we’ll see Eleven’s ongoing fight with Vecna/Henry/001, which also haunts Will Byers in a special way. We need Will to play a role in defeating Vecna, so his story isn’t just about the tragic and likely hidden gay character whose experience is defined by pain.
Now that the pairings of Hopper and Joyce and Robin and Vickie are finally clearer, we’re left with a love triangle to examine. Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan live in uncomfortable tension, and Jonathan’s secret acceptance to Lenora Hills Community College will likely complicate matters further. If Nancy and Steve start dating while he’s out of town, we bet Jonathan will be Vecna’s next target.
Dustin will likely start Season 5 of Stranger Things mourning the loss of Eddie Munson, but we don’t know if anyone outside of the gang will. This will likely put Dustin in a more emotionally fragile state, while the rest of Hawkins views him as a conspiracy theorist.
Stranger Things season 5 casting speculation
Coming back to Hawkins and staying there means we’re kind of committing to the core group of Stranger Things characters we’ve come to know and love. That’s why we don’t expect to see Tom Wlaschiha face Dmitri Antonov in this next round. His story is told.
As for who we expect, Stranger Things 5 couldn’t happen without our (growingly older) favorite kids. That means Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), a possibly comatose or blind Max (Sadie Sink) and Will (Noah Schnapp) had better come back . Oh, and we need to know what movies Lucas brought to the hospital to “screen” for Max.
We’ve also tracked how the kids in Stranger Things have aged over the years, in case you need a clearer look at just how much aging can happen in about six years.
Then you also have guaranteed returns for the slightly older crowd, as Steve (Joe Keery), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and Robin (Maya Hawke) all survived Season 4. That said , we don’t know if Jonathan and Nancy’s relationship will make it to the series finale. Naturally, Upside Down’s older chaperones Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) are given. For Dustin’s sake, we hope Lizzy Yu returns as Suzie Bingham.
In the list of supporting characters, we need Erica (Priah Ferguson), Sam Owens (Paul Reiser), and Murray (Brett Gelman) to all show up for Season 5 of Stranger Things. Owens could have exploded in the NINA lab explosion, but it didn’t show up on screen. We could see Argyle (Eduardo Franco) return, but it seems less likely since he’s based in Lenora Hills, Calif., not Hawkins.
Robert Englund could easily return as Victor Creel, since his son Henry aka Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) is still alive in some way, as Will Byers tells us. And, yes, we expect Bower to reprise his role.
Stranger Things season 5: Who died?
Unfortunately, we don’t expect to see much more of Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson. The Duffers have confirmed that he is definitely dead (opens in a new tab). The same goes for Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). Jason Carver (Mason Dye), the rich kid at school, who targeted the Hellfire Club and its leader, is also dead and unlikely to return.
E ! New (opens in a new tab) reports that Ross and Matt Duffer want to do more with Grace Van Dien, who played Chrissy, the main cheerleader at Hawkins High and one of Vecna’s victims. It would take a supernatural game to work to bring Chrissy or Eddie back for Season 5 of Stranger Things.
Season 5 of Stranger Things will be shorter (except for the finale)
The most maligned aspect of Stranger Things 4 was how bloated it felt. Luckily, Matt Duffer said he expects Stranger Things Season 5 to be shorter. Talk to the Happy Sad Confused Podcast (opens in a new tab)he explained that this season will be launched and will lack a preamble.
“The only reason we’re not expecting it to be that long is because this season, if you watch it, it’s almost two hours before our kids are really drawn into some supernatural mystery… You get to teach them. know, you can see them in their life, they’re having a hard time adjusting to high school and so on, Steve trying to find a date, all that stuff None of that is obviously going to happen [in season 5]“, said Duffer.
Except, that is, for the last episode. Duffer added, “We’re more likely to do what we did here, which is just have a 2.5 hour episode.”