By now it’s no secret that Jim Hopper, Hawkins’ favourite Demogorgon-destroying cop, didn’t actually die in the finale of the third season. However, although that surprise was spoilt by a Stranger Things season four teaser earlier this year, turns out the show is hiding another big secret about the police chief.
That’s according to Hopper actor David Harbour, who has promised a “big, huge reveal” about his character’s backstory in the show’s next run. And turns out we’ve already been gifted some major clues about what this is.
Speaking at Liverpool Comic Con (held early March) in a video which recently surfaced online, Harbour brought up the boxes Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) finds in his attic labelled ‘Dad’, ‘Vietnam’ and ‘New York’.
“There are these three things that we’ve established in the season that if we don’t pay off, it means that they’re bad writers. And the Duffer brothers are very good writers,” he said. “I know specifically that in season 4 we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s backstory.”
Habour added: “I’m so excited about revealing this aspect of the character. It’s one of the things that I’ve known since the first frame of the first shot, and we haven’t expressed it yet. And finally, we’re gonna express it in a big way.
“It’s my favourite thing about him that you guys don’t know about him yet, but it has to do with these backstories of New York, Vietnam, and Dad. And I’m really excited for you guys to know more about that, and it relates, of course, to things he’s doing with Eleven and Joyce and things like that.”
So what will the reveal be? Will Hopper already have some Cold War connections? Could his father have been involved in the show’s mysterious MKUltra-style experiments? Or will we learn that Hopper was actually Black Widow’s Red Guardian?
Whatever the answer, we’ll have a while before we find out: the Netflix series has suspended filming amid the coronavirus crisis. As Harbour previously revealed in an Instagram Q&A, the new season “was supposed to come out early next year”, adding the release date would “probably be pushed back” in wake of the pandemic, although couldn’t guess how far.