Is David Harbour leaving Stranger Things following the dramatic season 3 finale — and is Hopper gone for good? There are theories aplenty about this already, and through out this CarterMatt piece, we’re going to do our best to break some of it now.
For now, let’s say this: Stranger Things is a world where the impossible is often possible, and while the season 3 finale did its best to suggest that Hopper is gone, it’s still hard to buy into the story completely. For starters, the post-credit sequence gives you a slight tease that he could still be alive. He sacrificed himself for those he cared about — most notably Joyce — and there’s that part in the back of our brain that expects Hopper to hop on back to the show … somehow.
The most important thing is that David Harbour has not confirmed his exit from Stranger Things at present, and neither has Netflix. There’s a recognition that this is one of the series’ most-popular characters and someone viewers would like to have around. There’s an obvious distinction between wanting someone around and it happening, but it’s not above Netflix to spend the next year or so leaving Hopper’s status up in the air only to then surprise you with him Stranger Things 4. (We should note that there is no official season 4 renewal at present … but it’s considered to be a formality.)
What we wonder beyond the question of Harbour’s future is this: how will Netflix promote the character’s “death”? It’s such a strange place for them to be in because viewers are so wary of spoilers for many of their favorite shows — and the inherent nature of Netflix is that everyone does tend to watch at their own pace. If we were Netflix, we’d say this — give everyone a couple of months, since there’s no real need to promote a season 4 or even renew the show until then. After that, anything is fair game and promoting question marks around Hopper’s fate could be an effective way in which to keep viewers watching. At a certain point, networks shouldn’t have to claim responsibility for spoilers anymore. Maybe we’ll be at that point then.
Do you want to see more of David Harbour on Stranger Things?
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Follow her on Twitter for more updates. (Photo: Netflix.)