** Warning – this article contains spoilers for Stranger Things 3**
After another exciting run of episodes, Netflix’s Stranger Things 3 concludes with the villains defeated, albeit at a cost, and the kids looking at very different lives ahead of them.
But while an awful lot of storylines were wrapped up a few dangling plot threads remain, and they’re almost certainly set to be explored in an upcoming fourth series.
“I mean I will say we have a good sense of stuff that happens in Season Four,” series producer and director Shawn Levy told Collider.
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“Season Four is definitely happening. There’s very much the possibility of a season beyond that one, that’s currently undecided.”
But what could actually happen in Stranger Things 4? Here are a few of our predictions…
Stranger Things 3 appears to show the death of David Harbour’s police chief Hopper, but a few sneaky clues (that we’ve gone into more detail about here) seem to suggest that he could have actually survived to languish in a Russian jail cell.
If true, Hoppers’ survival and return to Hawkins, Indiana will presumably be a big part of any fourth series, even if at the moment we can’t quite imagine how he’d find his way back to the States. If he did return, we can only assume he’ll bring trouble with him – and possibly a new friend.
Dial D for Demogorgon
One of the biggest revelations in the Stranger Things 3 finale was that somehow, the Russians who infiltrated Starcourt mall got their hands on a Demogorgon, the deadly petal-headed predator from the Upside Down dimension that was the primary villain of the first series.
Presumably this is a different Demogorgon – Eleven killed the first one, remember? – so Stranger Things 4 could shed some light on how another one of these creatures came to Earth, what the Russians want with it and how they managed to keep it in a cage anyway.
On the other hand, it could be that this Demogorgon is the very same one from the first season. After all, Eleven appeared to die in their final battle and turned up alive some time later – who’s to say the Demogorgon didn’t just zap somewhere else entirely, ended up being found by the Russians and inspired their search for the Upside Down in the first place?
For our part, we can imagine this Demogorgon escaping the Russians fairly early on in series 4 before returning to hunt down Will (Noah Schapp) and his family, forming a new threat to our heroes when combined with something or someone else (one Demogorgon may not be enough to threaten us all any more).
And who knows? Given that Hopper may be imprisoned in the same facility, both characters’ return could end up being linked…
A house divided
If the Demogorgon does try to track down the Byers clan he may have some trouble, as Joyce (Winona Ryder), her sons (Schapp and Charlie Heaton) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) all moved away from Hawkins in the season finale, leaving behind their bad memories in the hope of finding a new life somewhere else.
Presumably these characters’ absence from Hawkins will be a major part of Stranger Things 4, with Will and Nancy forced to leave behind friends and girlfriends they cared about and Eleven adjusting to life with a new family.
Seeing the relationship between Will and Eleven, two characters with significant shared experiences but who haven’t spent much screentime together, could be an interesting new dynamic for the series, as would Nancy and Jonathan attempting some sort of long-distance relationship.
Though of course, we’re sure there’ll be SOME reason for why all the characters will get together in Hawkins. Maybe the promised Thanksgiving or Christmas visits could be a good setting?
A new time setting
After having two series set (and released) around Halloween and the Fourth of July respectively, we wouldn’t be surprised if Stranger Things 4 is also tagged to a particular time of year.
Spring and Easter seem an obvious choice in a way – a theme of rebirth concerning Hopper and the Demogorgon could tie together quite nicely, and we can imagine a creepy egg hunt going VERY wrong – though we also wouldn’t mind seeing a series set fully at Christmas, based on the hints of Will coming back for a visit over the festive period.
Frankly, there aren’t nearly enough spooky sci-fi series set at Christmas (though there are a few), and we’d love to see what Stranger Things could play around with in that setting.
A bit of a time jump
While there’s only an eight-month time jump between Stranger Things 2 and 3, the young actors are ageing quickly so it wouldn’t be surprising if Stranger Things 4 is set after a longer break to accommodate that.
If there was more of a time jump, that could also allow for some real changes among our cast. Would Mike and Eleven, Jonathan and Nancy have stuck together? Would Lucas and Max? And what state would Hawkins be in without Hopper? The possibilities are endless…
Eleven’s powers come back
Stranger Things 3 ends with Eleven’s telekinetic and psychic abilities apparently gone, forcing her to live as a normal girl for the first time, and this could make for some interesting storylines in series four.
The whole time we’ve known Eleven she’s been able to lean on her powers to protect herself and friends and get respect from others, so how will she adjust to life without them? Will she still stand up to bullies, possibly at her first real school, when she can’t psychically dominate them any more? Or will she happily take to her future as just another kid?
Eventually, whatever happens we expect Eleven’s powers to return in some way, perhaps in a moment of real crisis. And when they do, there’ll be nothing to stop her from tracking down Hopper, assuming he’s still alive. If we could refer you back to our first point…
Stranger Things 3 is streaming on Netflix now