Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers reveal that they altered their plans for season 5’s story in response to fan feedback from season 4. Stranger Things has quickly become one of Netflix’s most popular shows since its debut in 2016. Season 4 premiered earlier this year, introducing Jamie Campbell Bower’s Vecna, the season’s main villain against whom Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) must contend. Fans and critics alike praised Season 4 for significantly upping the ante from previous seasons & featuring standout effects sequences, however the season did receive some criticism for its plethora of characters. Stranger Things season 5 is anticipated to be the series’ final season, with the writing room meeting in August.

The Duffer Brothers revealed during a recent speaking event at WGFestival 2022 (via Netflix) that COVID production delays on fourth season allowed them to completely outline the story for Stranger Things season 5. After season 4, however, the creators rewrote the entire outline, preserving some elements but adjusting others, including the show’s ending, based on feedback from fans and fellow collaborators. Matt Duffer’s full comment is below:

“We reread the document. We’re like, ‘That’s cool, that’s cool. That could be a lot better. That could be a lot better.’ Even the ending is a little bit different [now]. A lot of the big ideas are the same, but the stuff that happens within, it’s very different.”

Stranger Things’ Fourth Season Sets The Stage For The Final Season

Stranger Things Season 5's Plot Was Changed As A Result Of Season 4 Fan Feedback

Stranger Things season 4 concludes with Hopper rescued from his Soviet prison & Vecna temporarily defeated after an action-packed 9-episode run. Hawkins, however, becomes ground zero for an Upside Down incursion in the season’s final moments, and the hairs on the back of Will’s (Noah Schnapp) neck stand on end, indicating that the Mind Flayer is close. This cliffhanger ending sets up a significant showdown in Stranger Things finals season, with all the creatures of the Upside Down potentially free to roam the real world and kill people. In the Stranger Things season 4 finale, Eleven was able to severely injure Vecna, but the villain is most likely to return in season 5, possibly working with the Mind Flayer in certain capacity to destroy Hawkins and possibly the entire world.

Although many characters survive Season 4 relatively unscathed, Max (Sadie Sink) is brutally mutilated in the finale, with Vecna not only breaking three of her limbs but also blinding her. Eleven is able to save Max’s life, but Sink’s character remains in a coma at the finale of the season. It’s unclear what will happen to Max in the final season of Stranger Things, but she could end up being crucial in the upcoming fight against Vecna. Max was introduced in season 2, but she has since become a fan favorite, and the Duffers may be preparing her for a big moment in Stranger Things season 5.

Many fan concerns for season 4 focus on Will’s storyline being pushed to the sidelines, a criticism that also plagued season 3. Will’s connection to the Mind Flayer was established in season 2, and season 4 ended with a Mind Flayer tease, so it’s likely that Will will play an important role in the events to come, possibly serving as the key to beating the giant Upside Down monster. There are still some unanswered questions about Stranger Things season 5, but it’s clear that the Duffer Brothers are listening to fan feedback, both positive and negative, in order to craft a satisfying final season.

Source: WG Festival (via Netflix)