Stranger Things Season 3:

Theories That Defy the


by Inside Manila Contributor, July 19, 2019 4:40pm

Art by Dani Elevazo


Stranger Things Season 3: Theories That Defy the Ending

by Inside Manila Contributor, July 19, 2019 4:40pm
Art by Dani Elevazo

[Massive demigorgon-sized spoilers ahead]

It has been a year after season two of Stranger Things took our hearts and crushed it (basically, ended it). And when we thought we had enough time to mourn and most importantly re-watch the series about a hundred times, Season three aired and boy, we were not ready.


The Netflix original series took us on an emotional whirlwind once again as we witnessed the death of two important characters: Billy and Jim Hopper. Yes, Hopper died, and we refuse to accept it too.

Based on the first two seasons, we know the mid-credit scenes always tend to give viewers an all-access pass into making up their theories.  Since we’re avid Stranger Things fans, we share a lot of the same theories as the rest of the devastated viewers.

“No, Not the American”

During the mid-credit scene taking place in Russia, we see two Russian soldiers enter what looks like an underground prison to feed one of the prisoners to the Demigorgon. And yes, the human-worm-slug hybrid is alive. The two soldiers stop by a door and just when they’re about to open it, one of the soldiers say, “No, not the American” then the two proceed to move onto the next prison cell. One of the most popular theories running around the Internet is that “the American” is...you guessed it, Jim Hopper. 

If you pay close attention to the explosion scene, Hopper was trapped next to the machine when it exploded, but we didn’t see him die. We witness other people disintegrating into a million pieces but not Hopper. There could be a possibility the Russians retrieved him and took him back to Russia for experimentation. He could also be up for questioning seeing as he’s close to Eleven and knows of her abilities.


Other Stranger Things fans believe the prisoner is actually Bob Newby (Sean Astin) who experienced a violent “death” in season two. And although there’s a slim possibility that it is, considering the fact we saw him die and his body left behind, you never know with Stranger Things. The show knows how to put us on our toes. 

Hopper isn’t dead. He’s trapped in the Upside Down

Since there was no trace of a body left behind, It makes us wonder if Hopper got sucked into the Upside Down parallel universe just like Will Byers did in season one. Will was barely living, but he definitely wasn’t dead and was eventually resurrected from his vegetable state later on in the season.

Before the explosion, Hopper and Joyce shared a moment where we see Hopper accepting his fate, or did he? What if he was simply letting Joyce know that it’s okay for her to let go because he has a plan. A plan which may or may not work, but one that’s definitely better than dying and leaving everyone behind for good. 


Let’s take note of the fact that in season two, Hopper witnessed Eleven close the gate with her abilities, yet in season three, we find out the gate wasn’t completely closed. It’s like there was a crack—a door that’s kept open at "three inches," if you may. We’re holding onto the belief that there’s a reason as to why “keep the door open three inches” was said so often. If this time around the gate’s finally closed shut, the line can then be taken as a message from Hopper asking Eleven to use her abilities to open it instead. It may not have intentionally been his plan when he had written the letter seeing as he had no way of knowing but the dots do connect. 

‘We Can Be Heroes Just For One Day’ 

During the scene of the Byers moving out, we hear Hopper’s heartbreaking speech and just when it’s about to come to an end, “Heroes” by David Bowie starts playing. This song could be a clear reference to Hopper being a hero that sacrificed himself for the people he loved, but it could also be a hidden clue that the writers wanted us to catch up on.

If you’re one to pay attention to detail, you would know that “Heroes” was played during the episode where Will’s body was found and dun dun duuunnn..turns out he wasn’t dead. Out of all the songs that they could play during the speech, it was that song. And this could be the writers hinting at us that Hopper is still alive. 


Eleven will get her powers back, but so will the Mind Flayer 

Okay okay, we’re pretty sure no one believed Eleven lost her powers forever but let’s say we did entertain the possibility. We believe that the Mind Flayer’s bite on Eleven’s leg is what caused her powers to fade away. Maybe a chemical reaction took place that’s stopping her powers from working. Or perhaps a part of the Mind Flayer is still part of her.

Secondly, did anyone else notice that there wasn’t a funeral scene? If the writers were to kill off a principal character, you’d think they’d at least give him a two-minute funeral scene, Tony Stark-style, right? But they didn’t. We were fast forwarded to a scene three months later of the Byers moving out where we come to find Eleven is still unable to use her powers.

If our previous theories about Hopper’s whereabouts were right, then we’d have to conclude that Eleven will get her powers back and this is why Hopper’s body wasn’t found which means there wasn’t a body to bury in the first place, hence the absence of a funeral scene. If Eleven did have her powers, she’d probably use her abilities to find her Dad and save him, but then, there would be no need for a season four. 


All these theories could be a coping mechanism, or maybe we’re in denial about the characters’ death. Are any of these possible? Maybe. However, does it make complete sense? Of course! Sadly, we won’t truly know what happened 'til season four comes out so till then, we’re going to binge-watch season three all over again and keep a lookout for hidden clues. If you’ve got your own theories, join the club and let us know!

Written by Manisha Mirchandani for InsideManila.ph


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