Is Hopper actually alive in Stranger Things 4? The hit Netflix series from Matt and Ross Duffer was recently renewed for Season 4, setting off a new wave of excitement across the fandom. The Stranger Things series renewal means fans will be getting answers to some of the most pressing cliffhangers from the end of Season 3, which arrived in July.
Arguably the biggest question that needs answering is whether or not Hopper, played by David Harbour, is still alive following the harrowing final act of the season finale. In the last minutes, we saw Hopper was next to the machine the Russians, who had set up shop in Hawkins to study the Upside Down, had built to open a gate to that other dimension. Joyce (Winona Ryder) was forced to turn the two keys meant to shut down the machine but knew it would likely kill Hopper in the process. Still, Joyce chose to turn the keys but upon successfully shutting down the machine, Hopper’s body was nowhere in sight. The rest of the Stranger Things gang believed Hop to have died but we shouldn’t fall prey so easily to the conclusion since his body was never recovered. Enter: the Stranger Things Season 4 renewal teaser.
The newly-released teaser hints that next season’s adventure will focus heavily on journeying into the Upside Down. Some fans noticed that, during the teaser, it looked like a light was going on and off at what appears to be Hopper’s cabin in the background on the left side. Take a look at the teaser below; see it?
If you missed it, check out one eagle-eyed fan’s tweet below. In the stills, you can see the light going on and then slowly shutting off at the cabin. It’s also worth noting that in the eye-line of the cabin is a clock stuck to a tree as well as a newspaper.
LIGHT, LIGHT, NO LIGHT
COULD THIS BE HOPPER???? pic.twitter.com/cBgXPymMxY
— spooky tonsi (@hopwheelr) September 30, 2019
Having spent brief periods of time in past Stranger Things seasons, we know that the Upside Down is basically a slimy, grimy, monster-infested copy of the real world that a human can survive in up to a week. We know this thanks to Will’s time there in Season 1. When Eleven escaped from the Upside Down in the beginning of Season 2, she poked through the Upside Down version of a Hawkins Elementary School classroom and into the actual school, thus confirming the Upside Down is basically a mirror of our own world.
— tani -itc2 spoilers (@bitchinhawkins) September 30, 2019
Considering both of these things, it’s not entirely impossible that Hopper could have jumped through the portal the Russians opened under Starcourt Mall to take refuge from the blast. If so, he’d likely make his way to a safe spot he knows his loved ones would visit, like the cabin in the woods. If that’s the case, it further stands to reason he’d try turning the cabin light on and off to try and get a signal through to the real world, just like Will used Christmas lights to communicate with Joyce in Season 1. Fingers crossed Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Max (Sadie Sink) are still visiting the cabin because Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is now living with the Byers and they’ve all moved away from Hawkins; who else could see Hopper’s cabin light signal?
i’m guessing it now so i have proof if it’s true, Hopper jumped into the portal to the upside down before Joyce closed it(that’s why we didn’t see his body), and the 4th season is them going get him back. #strangerthings #strangerthings4
— Grant (@grantbroussard) September 30, 2019
So back to the teaser, the light of the stranger things 4 title and the light on hoppers cabin goes out at the same time as the clock strikes a certain time. Like its counting down to something- possibly the time when the mind flayer actually breaks free into the real world. pic.twitter.com/xJHUBPVdIU
— Maddie ⎊ (@maddie_CRT) September 30, 2019
Hopper has been a pivotal character to the series since the beginning, so just killing him off and never really explaining what happened to him would feel like a big cheat. It definitely makes more sense, wild as it seems, that Hopper is alive and waiting to be rescued in the Upside Down. Harbour even hinted at his possible Season 4 return while speaking with /Film but confirmed at the time that Hopper was “the American” mentioned in the Season 3 post-credits scene. This could still be true if Hopper escaped to the Upside Down but was pulled out by the Russians, not his friends. We’ll have to wait and see how it all shakes out when the next season arrives.
Stranger Things season 4 is coming to Netflix soon. In the meantime, check out our recommendations for the best Netflix shows to binge-watch so you can stay occupied until the new season is here.