Stranger Things Season 4 had some huge deaths, leaving fans heartbroken, but the Duffer Brothers announced another fan-favorite hero was supposed to die.
There has been a lot said about Stranger Things Season 4 since its debut this summer to record-breaking numbers on Netflix. The streaming platform has provided Stranger Things audiences with endless amounts of entertainment, especially when it strikes up nostalgic memories and 1980s hit songs, much like season four did. Much of that is to the credit of an incredible cast of young actors, but just as responsible is the creative mind shared by Matt and Ross Duffer. Showrunners from the start, the Duffer brothers have largely stayed away from main cast members’ deaths throughout the run of the series, despite calls by series star Millie Bobby Brown to do just that. Now it seems that the cat may be out of the bag in the Duffer brothers’ thinking as it seems they were interested in killing off a major character, an idea that eventually got changed.
According to a report by comicbook.com, Stranger Things Season 4 character Max Mayfield, played by Sadie Sink, was going to be killed off in season four. This was an idea that was thrown around and Ross Duffer confirmed it in an interview on Netflix’s Geeked. In the interview, Duffer speaks about Max’s death as a plot point, they would have ended the season with but decided against it in favor of keeping season four’s ending more open. In the end, Max is shown in a coma after fending off Vecna’s advances in a wild fight between Vecna and Millie Bobby Brown’s character, Eleven. This subplot will open new avenues for season five, which will most likely be a focus for the Duffer brothers leading up to the series’ epic conclusion.
In their interview with Geeked, Matt Duffer also let a lot of information out about their initial plans for Stranger Things season four, including what they want to see with the upcoming season five. As Variety reports, the Duffers originally designed season four to resemble Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, in that they wanted it to reflect that the characters lose to Vecna at the end of the season. In Star Wars, this is the episode where Han Solo is frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader, a similar state that Max is left in at the end of Stranger Things Season 4.
Expanding on their failed plans for Stranger Things Season 4, the Duffer brothers stressed the importance of their characters’ drive. On Geeked, Matt Duffer states about losing to Vecna, “We wanted our characters to experience what that felt like,” especially since the young characters have been the victors throughout the series. This would set up the eventual final confrontation with Vecna, with the Upside Down, and with each other in season five. Ultimately, it may have been the right decision, as season four served as a dark introduction to Vecna as the big bad of the series. The showrunners have also confirmed that they don’t have an interest in making Stranger Things look like Game of Thrones, where many of the main characters are killed off of the series in spectacular and surprising fashion.