Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t seen Episodes 8 and 9 of “Stranger Things 4,” currently available on Netflix, proceed with caution.
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In the latest season of “Stranger Things 4,” Sadie Sink’s beloved character, Max Mayfield, faced harrowing trials. By the season’s end, Max found herself in a comatose state, her bones shattered, and her vision lost, all at the hands of Vecna. Max experienced a one-minute brush with death, but it was Eleven’s powers that brought her back, albeit not fully. The series’ creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, recently disclosed on the “Stranger Things” after-show that Max’s fate was originally going to be much bleaker, and it wasn’t going to sit well with fans.
Ross Duffer mentioned, “We did consider it as a possibility,” in reference to the idea of permanently killing off Max. “For a time, that’s where we were heading. However, we ultimately decided to leave a bit of uncertainty at the end of the season. It’s still a rather grim situation, and whether Max will fully recover remains uncertain. We aimed to leave it open-ended as we venture into Season 5.”
Matt Duffer characterized “Stranger Things 4” as the Netflix series’ equivalent of the “Empire Strikes Back” season, explaining that their intention was for the characters to face defeat. The creators aimed to make the protagonists experience the weight of loss. Their central concept for Season 4 was to introduce Vecna and have the characters endure a loss to him, setting the stage for the ultimate final showdown with Vecna and the Upside Down in Season 5.
While Max’s destiny remains somewhat uncertain, there’s no ambiguity surrounding Eddie’s fate. Joseph Quinn’s character met his demise at the hands of demon bats in the treacherous Upside Down. Matt Duffer expressed the deep attachment they had to Eddie and Joe, confessing, “We all grew fond of Eddie. Joe won our hearts, and I think the entire cast felt the same way. We knew his character had to meet his end…but a part of me wishes he could still be part of Season 5. That’s the kind of emotional impact we strive for.”