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This Stranger Things 4 fan theory is giving some hope for next season

Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in STRANGER THINGS 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Before I could even watch Stranger Things 4 volume 2, I was told that something very bad had happened. Making matters worse, it was something I saw coming. But, now, it seems like there could be a wild way to undo what has been done. 

Of course, consider this your spoiler warning for Stranger Things 4 volume 2, as we're diving into a fan theory and an interview that give some folks a bit of hope in advance of Stranger Things season 5. We're also going to dive into why you shouldn't get your hopes up.

Please, if you haven't watched the season and plan to, go now. I had this death kinda-spoiled for me, as I slowly figured out the aforementioned message I got from a friend. And if most Stranger Things fans are like my friend, they'll not want to have this news spoiled early.

Is Stranger Things 5 going to undo Stranger Things 4's saddest death?

More than a few people died in Stranger Things 4, but it was Eddie Munson's death-by-demobat that brought enough tears to flood the new lava-rivers in Hawkins. Tragically going out on his shield to give everyone else more time by being a distraction to the demobats (and therefore Vecna's hive mind), Eddie seemingly met his fate but got to say goodbye to Dustin one last time.

This is where the stages of fandom grief come in. As you might know, fandom grief operates a little differently: you go through about 100 stages of denial until all of the next chapters of the show or movie in question do nothing to reverse that death.

Most of the kids huddled around a table in a press image for Stranger Things 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

We start with a recent interview from Joseph Quinn (Eddie himself), who makes us think there's more going on than meets the eye. Speaking to E Online (opens in new tab) about a potential return for Stranger Things season 5, Munson said everything he should have said, stating "It'd be fun, wouldn't it? I'd be very up for it. But yeah, let's see. It'd be nice to clear his name. I don't know how we're gonna do that. But it feels unjust, doesn't it? He paid the ultimate sacrifice for a town that thinks he's a monster. But he's not. So hopefully, they can figure that out.”

That might not sound too ominous to you. Which is why you should hear it for yourself:

@edddiemuns0n (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - Slowed songs (opens in new tab)

Either Quinn has zero poker face and knows something about Eddie that we don't, or he's performing this interview to try to get fans to raise hell on his (and Eddie's) behalf. If it's the latter, then we bet his plan will work like a charm.

A friend of mine breathlessly DM'd that video to me as proof that something was up. To which I replied with the tweet below (which she had a retort for).

Yes, the Duffers said "He's dead"

But before you let any of that give you the belief that Eddie is totally alive, let's let the Duffers break the news directly. On the appropriately titled Happy Sad Confused podcast, host Josh Horowitz got Ross and Matt Duffer to confirm major Stranger Things deaths

For Eddie Munson, the practically identical Duffers were in agreement, saying "Yes" and "sadly, yeah," when asked for official confirmation that Eddie's dead.

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This could and arguably should be the end of the debate. If they're that sure Eddie Munson is dead, we get the feeling that they wouldn't want to undo his death because of the ripple effects it will cause. Dustin seems like he's going to be forever changed by this event, for example.

The Stranger Things 4 fan theory that has hope for Eddie

Hope, though, comes from TikTok user @paulruddfanclub (opens in new tab) who applies a bit of D&D lore to Eddie's death to make us think he has a second chance. You'll see in the below post that there's similarities between Eddie and Kas, a lieutenant of Vecna's (opens in new tab) who helped play a role in the lich king's death. 

For starters, and this is arguably a small similarity, both Eddie and Kas fought with a one-handed blade and shield. Kas, a vampire, was a victim of bat-bites — just like how Eddie went out. 

@paulruddfanclub (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - paulruddfanclub (opens in new tab)

Does this mean that Eddie could be resurrected in Stranger Things 5? That he could have been resurrected after Dustin saw him die? That doesn't seem as likely. 

That said, if Eddie were to play a role in Vecna's loss, and help his friends out one more time? That sounds like a way to give Eddie more glory while keeping his story and place in Hawkins tragic. After all, after Kas helps kill Vecna, he's banished to another plane — which sounds like it could be Eddie's fate.

Analysis: Keep your Eddie hopes within reason

According to Punkbeast (opens in new tab), the Happy Sad Confused podcast had more reason to see gloom for Eddie Munson. A transcription from that site credits the Duffers as saying "In a way we sort of saw Eddie as bit of a doomed character. Even imagining a flip side of that where he does survive that final battle, there’s not a great life waiting for Eddie back in the right side up either. He was really designed from the get-go as a doomed character."

Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in STRANGER THINGS

(Image credit: Netflix)

And this is why I predicted Eddie's death back when we argued about who will die in Stranger Things 4 volume 2. The horde of morons (sorry, not sorry) who are still drawing demon horns on Eddie's image wouldn't let him live a good life if he came back. Eddie probably knew that. The best case scenario for Eddie Munson, if we're being honest, would be living a life in hiding. He could be resurrected, but then He'd immediately go into hiding. That would be rad, but it doesn't match what the Duffers are saying.

Going back to the stages of fandom grief, we know that some won't believe Eddie Munson is truly "dead" until the credits roll on Stranger Things 5. And while we want to say "keep hope alive," that might not be a wholly-rational move. Not that fandom is rational. 

Either way, remember to play Metallica's "Master of Puppets" at full blast. It's what Eddie would have wanted.

Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.