Gaten Matarazzo may have shocked Stranger Things fans when he declared that more characters should have been killed off in seasons 1 to 4 - but we all know he's right.


The Dustin Henderson actor took to the stage at MegaCon Orlando and, when asked what he'd change about the series, said: "It might sound messed up, but we should kill more people.

"This show would be so much better if the stakes were much higher - like at any moment, any of these kids can kick it. I feel like we’re all too safe."

Truer words were never spoken, and his point has been proven time and time again. Lest we forget one of the most memorable moments in the show's history, which came in season 1 - Barb's death.

Barb, played by Shannon Purser, quickly became a fan favourite in season 1, only to be brutally and suddenly killed off just a couple of episodes into the show.

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Of course, that death didn't exactly go down well with everyone - quite the contrary, it sparked an entire movement, Justice For Barb, which demanded closure for the character.

But Barb's death single-handedly introduced us to one of the most important and exciting elements of the show, which seems to have been lost in recent episodes - no one is safe in Hawkins.

Barb in Stranger Things season 1 holding a bookcase and standing by lockers, looking at a girl
Barb in Stranger Things season 1. Netflix, JG

Of course, the following seasons have still provided us with brutal and emotional deaths - from Bob (Sean Astin) in season 2 to Chrissy (Grace Van Dien) and, perhaps most prominently, Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) in season 4.

But, as the show continues to reach new heights, the stakes have to rise too, and killing off supporting characters doesn't quite up the tension as it needs to.

Basically, it's about time that one of our heroes was killed off once and for all.

I might have to preface this with the same disclaimer as Matarazzo - this is going to sound a bit messed up. But the clear choice here was to kill off Sadie Sink's Max after her battle with Vecna.

Stranger Things cast gather round Max (Sadie Sink) in hospital
Stranger Things characters gather around Max (Sadie Sink) in hospital. Netflix

Don't get me wrong - I adore Sink, and I think every time we get to see her on screen is a treat. Since she joined the show as Max, she's given stellar performance after stellar performance, and I think she's one of the best things to have ever happened to the series.

In particular, her performance in the now iconic Running Up That Hill scene, which not only became one of the most famous in the show's history, but actually reinvigorated everyone's love for the Kate Bush song more three decades after its release, will rightfully go down in TV history.

But, if Max recovers after that battle with Vecna - which it very much seems like she will, following her inclusion in a season 5 cast photo from the Duffer Brothers - Stranger Things risks losing the high stakes it's so intricately built up over four seasons.

If Max recovers, it tells us that we don't really need to worry about any of our main heroes, and that, after everything they've been through, they'll come out unscathed, a piece of knowledge that completely eliminates the danger from the series.

The end of season 4 was the first time in the show's history that things have been left so unresolved, a device that worked brilliantly well to unsettle the audience and prepare us for an epic final outing.

But, imagine if, after that battle with Vecna, Max's death had been confirmed at the end of season 4. It would have been brutal, sure, but it would have left us with the knowledge that our remaining heroes aren't safe by any stretch of the imagination, and that, come season 5, they'll have something bigger to fight for.

It would have added so much to our characters - especially Lucas, played by Caleb McLaughlin, who would have been left broken and desperate for revenge after the loss of Max.

Plus, it would have left us uncertain and fearing for the rest of the gang - rather than in a state of limbo where we're pretty sure that, actually, everything's just going to be okay.

Stranger Things is unlike any other show in existence, and its longevity is largely down to the fact that it can keep surprising its audience - something that's actually incredibly difficult to do, especially when leaks and theories can be so on the money nowadays.

With any luck, that won't change, and its final outing will do the show justice - but for that to happen, the Duffer Brothers are going to have to realise that they can't keep killing side characters forever. It's time, guys!

Stranger Things is available to stream on Netflix. Season 5 is coming soon. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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