Fan theories about the ending of Stranger Things 3

If you haven’t finished watching Season 3 of ‘Stranger Things’ yet – firstly, what are you doing reading an article about fan theories? Also, where have you been?! Easily one of the best shows that Netflix has created, it seems that this 80s sci-fi nostalgia trip just gets better with every season, and the ending of the last one was heartbreaking and incredible. Of course, die-hard fans have some theories about what it all means for the series, and here are a few.

Fan theories about the ending of Stranger Things 3

A recap

So at the very end of the finale in Season 3, there is an epic showdown between our heroes of Hawkins, vs. the Russians and the Mind Flayer. At this point, we’ve already lost poor Alexei during the carnival (so many tears!), and Bill at the mall, so we’re no strangers to death in this episode, however, when Hopper is caught up as Joyce closes the portal, we are led to believe that he has died, too. Or has he? With no body, and nothing actually happening on the screen, all we see is that Hopper disappears and is presumed dead, but then there’s that mid-credit scene…

The American

During the mid-credit scene, we find ourselves in Russia, where there appears to be a Demogorgon who is hungry for some human flesh. One of the guards suggests “the American” prisoner, so some fans think that Hopper is alive… for now! It seems that the Russians have their own gate to the Upside Down, so perhaps they “rescued” Hopper through that and are keeping him for intel or Demogorgan food.

Dr. Brenner

That said, other fans believe that it’s actually Dr. Brenner, Eleven’s “Papa”, who the Russians are keeping hostage, as he seems to know the most about what’s going on behind the scenes. Producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen confirmed that Dr. Brenner is alive, despite being attacked by the Demogorgon in Season 1, so we should be expecting to see him soon.

Fan theories about the ending of Stranger Things 3

El’s powers

After the Battle of Starcourt, El lost her powers, which could prove to be a bit of an issue, knowing that the Russians still have access to a gate and a Demogorgon. Theories suggest that Dr. Brenner will be the one to help her get her powers back, seeing as he was the one who helped her with them when she was first born, and this would make sense for his return, too. Her powers are such a massive part of the show (and pretty much the only thing that can save Hawkins!) that it would seem weird without them, but it could make for an interesting plot, watching how she functions without them.

Murray and Joyce

When Hopper gave out Murray Bauman’s phone number on the show, those curious members of the audience realized that if you called it, it went to an automated message of Joyce mentioning an update, “It’s not good or bad, but it’s something.” This suggests that it will once again be down to Joyce to save the day, but this time she’ll be teaming up with Murray.

Sadly, we’re not going to know which, if any, of these theories are right until Season 4, which looks to be released in 2020. Until then, we’ll just keep rewatching the series and rocking out to the excellent soundtrack.