The Duffer Brothers Shoot Down Stranger Things Season 5 Fan Theory Ending



  • Duffer Brothers deny popular fan theory about the ending of Stranger Things.
  • David Harbour promises a “very real” ending for Stranger Things, completing the story started in the lab and Upside Down.
  • Stranger Things season five will be like season one on steroids, with more interaction among the main cast and big movie-like scale.

The Duffer Brothers, creators of the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, recently shot down a popular fan theory about the ending of the show. The fifth season of Stranger Things will begin filming in January after production was halted this year thanks to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which saw Hollywood come to a standstill for a few months. This will mark the end of the long-running series which began back in 2016, and has won 80 awards over the last seven years for everything from its writing and acting, to its visual effects and music.

Appearing on the red carpet in London at the West End premiere of Stranger Things: The First Shadow, a stage play based on the series, Matt and Ross Duffer spoke with Metro about the finale of the show, which some believe will see the events in Stranger Things having never taken place in reality. The theory presumes that Vecna, the Mind Flayer, and every other villain in the series was just a long, elaborate game of Dungeons & Dragons that took place inside the heads of the main characters. When presented with this possibility, Matt and his brother Ross laughed, with Matt responding:

“That is correct. That is the ending… No.”

Ross Duffer quickly chimed in to offer a more detailed explanation, effectively shooting down the fan theory ending, while at the same time mentioning that they have known for quite some time how the show is going to end:

“That would be the equivalent of, ‘That’s all a dream.’ No, I assure you that is not how we’re going to end the show. We’ve known where we’ve been going for a while. And we feel comfortable with it; hopefully, it satisfies everyone. We’ll see.”

Related: Stranger Things Star Sean Astin Reveals the Duffer Brothers Cried Writing His Character’s Death

Stranger Things Season 5 Will Have a ‘Very Real’ Ending

Although the Stranger Things finale won’t hit Netflix until 2025, and details remain scarce at this time, star David Harbour, who has portrayed Jim Hopper since its debut, has promised viewers that the series is going to end in a very real way, and complete the story they started so many years ago back in the Hawkins National Laboratory. Harbour touched on the ending of Stranger Things while appearing on a panel at the Motor City Comic Con back in November 2023, saying:

“The beauty of it is there’s a real ending — things will end in a very real way…Netflix is gonna do spin-offs… but the storyline where we started in the lab and Upside Down is one complete story.”

In addition to Harbour promising a true ending to Stranger Things, rather than the fan theory that suggests it was all a long D&D game, The Duffer Brothers have also gone on record saying that the final season will be “like season one on steroids,” and feature the main cast members interacting with one another more after being split apart for the majority of season four. Stranger Things executive producer and director, Shawn Levy, has also added to that sentiment, saying, “Stranger Things 5 is as big as any of the biggest movies that we see.”

Stranger Things season five will see Noah Schnapp, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gates Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Maya Hawke and Priah Ferguson all return to reprise their respective roles, and while new cast members for the finale season are being kept under wraps for now, it has been confirmed that Terminator star Linda Hamilton will be joining the crew in Hawkins, Indiana.

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