Stranger Things director says season 5 won't follow Game of Thrones finale's example

Eleven, Mike, Will and friends stare into the distance in an official image from Stranger Things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Anticipation's steadily mounting for the final season of Netflix's hit sci-fi/supernatural show, Stranger Things. Production delays on Stranger Things season 5 due to the ongoing Writers' Guild of America strike have left fans speculating what the climactic finale could bring. And with that comes inevitable comparisons to another hotly anticipated show finale in recent memory, leaving many to wonder: Will Stranger Things' ending make the same mistakes as Game of Thrones did? 

Season 5 director Dan Trachtenberg put those fears to rest in a recent Variety interview. He clarified that fans wouldn't see a Game of Thrones-style arc where the momentum starts strong and loses steam mid-season, only for the climax to unfold across the final episodes. 

"I don’t think Stranger Things falls into a category of television seasons like Game of Thrones where the pilot is cool, slows down, and the last two episodes are the big battle," he said. "I can tell you, and pointing to other seasons, there is rock and roll throughout the entire season." 

And he doesn't mean "rock and roll" in just a metaphorical sense either. Trachtenberg teased that season 5 would continue the series' tradition of using a killer soundtrack packed with '80s hits. It all leads up to a satisfying closure for the characters who've been part of viewers' lives for almost a decade, watching the show's young cast grow up before their very eyes.

Cast ready to close the book on Stranger Things

But while some viewers may regret seeing Stranger Things come to an end, the actors involved seem ready to close the final chapter. Joe Keery, whose breakout role as Steve Harrington has been a fan-favorite character since season 1, has said though it'll be hard to walk away after nearly a decade on the project, the timing feels right.

“It does feel like it’s time. It won’t be easy for it to end. I mean, I owe my whole career to being on that show and all the opportunities that I had since are because of that show,” Keery told Women's Wear Daily in an interview this week. “So it’s very convoluted. There’s a sense of relief, there’s a sense of sadness. I guess my goal is to just really soak it up as much as I can while we’re doing it, and not take any of it for granted because it’s been an amazing ride with such great people. And then once it’s done, move forward and try to just hold on to the joy that we had when we were making it….Everything has a beginning and the middle and an end. It’ll be nice to have the end of this too.”

Earlier this month, David Harbour, who plays the prickly but kind-hearted police chief Jim Hopper, echoed this sentiment in an interview with NME

“There’s something about pouring yourself into the final season,” he said, “that sprint to the finish line, that is exciting and almost euphoric to me.

To tide you over while you wait for season 5, check out our round-ups of the most pressing questions Stranger Things' finale needs to answer as well as the major plot points showrunners have hinted at so far

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.