From the beginning, Netflix’s Stranger Things has redefined the sci-fi horror genre while borrowing from ’80s classics like The Goonies. It is about redemption, self-discovery, and the absolute fight for good over evil. Along the way, we have had deaths. So many, many deaths. Some stuck, as in Billy, and others only seemed like the end. Monsters, vile henchmen, innocent bystanders, and Joyce’s boyfriend were all open season. July 1st, 2022, is almost here, and we all have to question who will make it out alive and who will forever be running up that hill desperately hoping to make a deal with God. After the epic Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 dropped, it became clear we had better have some tissues handy because not everyone is coming back to Hawkins.
Noah Schnapp(Will Beyers) warned everyone to expect some deaths. That’s plural, folks. By breaking down the trailer, following the narrative structures of previous seasons, and sifting through what we already know, we can place odds on who will make it out alive and who we need to say goodbye to.
1000 to 1 survival odds
Robin, Will, and Steve are definitely on the chopping block. At least one of these three will die. If I had to place a bet, my money would be on Steve. The trailer all but seals the fate of at least one of these three. The Duffer Brothers love a good redemptive character arch, and Steve, who wasn’t even supposed to be in the series past Stranger Things Season 1, has had one of the best.
Not only is he a stalwart friend to this ragtag group, but he is brave under fire, resilient, clever, and funny as Hell. His death would impact the group and the viewing audience the most. He has some injuries from the Upside Down and inhaled a lot of the atmosphere there as well. I am desperately hoping I am wrong, but I think Steve will die. He’s been living on borrowed time, after all.
I don’t feel as strongly about Robin dying because she must live to grieve Steve. Despite her sounding the alarm that this battle might be different than their previous one, she is relatively safe. On the other hand, Will has been building towards something, and I think he will come out to the group and give his life to save Mike. It will go something like, “You guys saved me once. Now it’s my turn.”
Mike should also watch his back as he is El’s boyfriend, best friends with the entire group, and probably a romantic interest for Will. His death would have a lasting impact on everyone and could be why El gets her powers back.
The sleeper pick of the season, Eddie Munson, will be the unexpected savior as he faces off against the forces of darkness. A darkened sky with red lightning flashes in a scene in the Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 trailer that shows Eddie standing on top of a structure and playing his guitar with decided gusto in the Upside Down. Now it’s doubtful he actually kills Vecna, but his guitar playing may be the catalyst that allows others to escape or Eleven to gain the upper hand. As I stated before, the Duffer Brothers love to write characters who redeem themselves, and Eddie worries he is a coward. He may take up the guitar in an effort to show he can be a hero, and he won’t be terrified into running by Vecna.
80% chance of survival
Jim Hopper appeared to die once already, and the likelihood of him dying again is high considering everything he is escaping from with Joyce and Murray. He seems pretty removed from most of the action in the trailer, though, and it seems like a cop-out to kill him again. He is a heroic guy, and there is no way he won’t help the kids if there is any way possible, however. He’s already said he would give his life to save El. Coupled with the fact that Eleven needs something significant to allow her to reaccess her powers and his death looks pretty plausible.
Nancy is in more trouble than some of the others as she is in Vecna sway right now, but she isn’t dead yet. Although her odds aren’t perfect, she has a shot at surviving. My prediction is she will survive because Steve will come to rescue her and die saving her. Her death wouldn’t be as impactful as some others, so I think the Velma of the group is safe for now.
90% chance of survival
Murray Bauman is a doofus, but he often stumbles ass-backward into the right thing. He is a cockroach that will almost certainly survive; however, his proximity to Hopper brings his odds down some. On the other hand, Joyce has proven to be shockingly capable and courageous. She is dedicated to Hopper and her kids, and I have no doubt her adorable sass and momma bear attitude will continue to get her out of trouble.
I’m sure this one is a shocker to everyone, but I’m confident Max will survive. That doesn’t mean she will be the same, though. The odds are stacked against her as it seems unlikely that anyone would survive multiple brushes with Vecna, and her letters to loved ones seem like bad omens. We don’t know what is in those letters yet, and the Duffers rarely do things haphazardly. This detail will most certainly factor into the Stranger Things finale. Sadie Sink has done fantastic work this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find her letters become integral parts of Season 5. Additionally, Dacre Montgomery(Billy) is slated to be in Chapter Nine Piggybank, the second part of the Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 finale. He will save his sister.
100% chance of survival
Lucas and Erica appear to be in a lot of trouble as we see them entering the Creel house with Max. Still, wise-cracking Erica is all but untouchable, and Lucas is holding his own against what is almost certainly some kind of bully doppelganger. Vecna can read minds, and he would be the perfect foil for Lucas, who wanted to fit in and be popular. Dustin and his adorable singing are safe. He will forever be changed by the events of Season 4 Part 2.
Something major happens to make Eleven snap out of her inability to access her powers. We know grief and anger are potent conduits, and what better way to access her crazy side than watching friends and family die. She is the only one strong enough to defeat the Mindflayer and Vecna, so she is needed in Stranger Things Season 5.
Vecna will survive in some form. There is a Stranger Things Season 5, and a big bad is needed. Plus, there is the ominous voice-over in the trailer gloating about his victory. That might all be a head game for Eleven’s benefit, though. We know he is a master manipulator, so I predict he forces El to watch all her friends die, but it is all a trick. He thinks it will break her, but it has the opposite effect and finally is the breakthrough she needs. Unfortunately, this might be the season that doesn’t end with a win. Our group may have to retreat and live to fight another day. At least the ones who are still able to withdraw. Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 premieres on July 1st, 2022.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.