Scroll To See More Images
It feels like forever since Stranger Things season 3 ended, where we saw Hopper die in an explosion (or so we thought) and the Byers move away from their friends in Hawkins. Well, as these Stranger Things season 4 trailer theories reveal, there’s never a dull moment for Eleven, Mike and the crew. Netflix released its first teaser for Stranger Things season 4 on Friday, February 14 (a.k.a. Valentine’s Day), which revealed—spoiler—that Hopper is alive (!!!) after fans assumed that he was blown to bits to save Eleven and her friends at the end of season 3.
The trailer showed Hopper in the cold winter snow in Russia with dozens of other men, as they worked on a railroad while Russian officers circled around them with guns. Netflix titled the preview, “From Russia with love…,” which is a nod to how the teaser was released on Valentine’s Day, as well as a clue that the Soviet Union will play a significant part in season 4 yet again. The preview is only 50 seconds, and other than the reveal that Hopper is alive in the final seconds, we don’t know much about the upcoming season. (We don’t even have a release date yet.) But that hasn’t stopped fans from theorizing about what’s to come in Stranger Things. Read up on the clues you might’ve missed ahead.
Season 4 Will Be About Chernobyl
According to one Reddit user, each Stranger Things season follows a different holiday and season of the year. Season 1 was set in the winter 1983 and Christmas. Season 2: was set in the fall of 1984 and Halloween. And season 3 was set in the summer 1985 and Independence Day. If this theory is true, the Reddit user believes that season 4 will be set in the spring of 1986 (a.k.a. spring break and Easter). The user also notes that Chernobyl happened in the spring of 1986. Given that the teaser confirmed the most of season 4 will take place in Russia, it’s not impossible for Stranger Things to reference Chernobyl in season 4. The user also believes that the characters of Stranger Things will use the nuclear explosion of Chernobyl as a cover up for a huge battle between Eleven and the Upside Down monsters. Some users also believe that they heard Geiger counters at the end of the season 4 teaser, which could also be something else…More on that later.
Brenner Is “The American”
As viewers remember, season 3 ended with some Russian officers referring to an “American” who was behind the door of a prison cell. Though many believe “The American” was Hopper and that the scene was a clue that he’s alive, there are some who theorize that “The American” is actually Dr. Martin Brenner (a.k.a. the doctor who tested on Eleven). Some Reddit users believe that Hopper’s reveal in season 4 teaser was a setup for an even bigger reveal that Brenner is also alive and in Russia with Hopper.
Hopper Is a Prisoner of a Soviet Labor Camp
In case it’s not clear in the teaser, Hopper is a prisoner of a Soviet Labor Camp, along with dozens of other men. The trailer shows him and other prisoners working on a railroad. (There’s a theory about where that railroad leads to, which we will talk about later.) How he got there and if he has any plans to escape, we don’t know. But for now, it’s clear that Hopper is locked up, as hinted at by the prison scene at the end of season 3.
Hopper’s Memory Was Wiped
Anyone who’s seen Stranger Things knows that Hopper isn’t always one to follow the rules, so to see him so willing to work at Soviet Labor Camp means that something is up. One Reddit user believes that the Russians scrubbed Hopper’s memory of everything related to the Upside Down via a lobotomy (which may explain his shaved head.) Another user also theorizes that season 4 will be about Dark Hopper, who’s brainwashed by the Russians and turns against Eleven and the gang because of his memory loss. There is hope though for Hopper’s memory to return, as we’ll explain later.
Eleven Gets Her Powers Back
Eleven loses her powers at the end of season 3, but what’s Stranger Things without a telekinetic Eleven? Of course, the preteen will get her powers back in season 4, but the only question is how? We don’t have the answer for that yet, but we do have the why. One user (the same one that theorized that Hopper’s memory is wiped by the Russians) believes that Eleven will get her powers back and will restore Hopper’s memory, which will end his evil reign and reunite him with the rest of the Hawkins crew.
Hopper Is Building a Railroad to the Upside Down
The trailer shows Hopper and dozens of other prisoners working on a railroad. Where it leads? We don’t know. But one user thinks that it could be a path to the Upside Down, as ordered by the Russians. Given that the railroad scene is the first sneak peek at season 4, there must be something important about the railroad, so this Upside Down theory doesn’t seem totally impossible.
A Game of Thrones Actor Played a Russian Guard
This isn’t so much as a theory but a fun Easter egg. As fans discovered, one of the guards is played by Tom Wlaschiha, who also starred as Jaqen H’ghar, a Faceless Man, on Game of Thrones. It’s possible that Wlaschiha’s role was simply a cameo, but it’s also possible that Stranger Things cast him specifically for something big in season 4.
Demogorgons Are Back
You know that theory that the bird-like sound at the end of the teaser is a Geiger counter? Well, some fans aren’t convinced. Many users believe that the noise is actually a screech from a Demogorgon, which means the monsters aren’t gone yet. For most of Stranger Things, we’ve seen the Demogorgons wreck havoc in Hawkins. But we can’t wait for them to battle out in the snow in Russia.
The Elder Brain Is Back
According to an official press release from the Duffer brothers, season 4 will mark the return of a “horror” that has been “long buried.” “Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human… and other. Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything,” the release read, according to Entertainment Weekly. What is that horror? Well, Reddit users believe it could be the Elder Brain, which controlled the Mind Flayers. Whether the Elder Brain will show up in monster form or in the body of a deceased human (a.k.a. Billy, as some fans theorize), we don’t know. But it sounds like Stranger Things has def upped the ante for season 4.
There Will Be 9 Episodes’
According to a leaked list of episodes on Reddit, there will be nine episodes in Stranger Things season 4, which is one more than season 3. More Stranger Things? We’re in.
Most of the Cast Will Be Separated in Season 4
The leaked episodes list also hinted that most of the cast will be separated in season 4, which makes sense given that Hopper is in Russia, a lot of the kids are in Hawkins and the Byers are somewhere else in the United States after their move. The separated cast was also hinted in the Duffers’ press release, which sets up the show to go back and forth between what’s happening in Russia and what’s happening in America. The leaked episodes list also revealed that the title of episode 8 in season 4 is “Together Again,” which means that the Stranger Things crew will get back together—just not until the end of the season.
Eleven, the Byers & Hopper Won’t Be in the Season Premiere
One Redditor also leaked the first page of the script for the season 4 premiere. There isn’t much to learn from the page except that most of the character’s won’t be in season 4 episode 1. The page lists Mike, Nancy, Lucas and Dustin in the first episode. But where’s Hopper, the Byers and Eleven? Well, fans speculate that because Hopper is in Russia and the Byers and Eleven have moved out of Hawkins, the characters won’t reunite in the first episodes and that most of the old crew will be reintroduced in episode 2.