Stranger Things is back with Volume 2 in just a few days, and there’s a lot to talk about. Volume 1 left off with some pretty crazy cliff-hangers, and I’ve personally been going nuts waiting for the last two episodes to drop. Here’s what I think we can expect from the final instalment of season four, as well as some crazy fan theories going around the internet.
1. Nancy will escape Vecna – at least for now
New first look images of Stranger Things volume 2 show Nancy, Dustin, Steve, Eddie, Robyn, Erica, Max and Lucas huddled together over a book. So for now, Nancy is safe! I can’t guarantee what will happen as the episodes go on, however. Also, kind of weird how Max is placed in the shot – she’s in the shadows and kind of blurry, which could suggest that she’s – as we know – still very much in danger. She also seems to be isolated from the bunch.
2. Steve’s fate as the Hawkins mom and babysitter
The first volume left off with fan favourite Steve Harrington having been bitten by a “demo-bat”, leaving him looking worse for wear. But some fans have found comfort in a 2018 interview with Shawn Levy, executive producer of Stranger Things.
“Honestly, the day Steve Harrington dies is the day I walk off this show,” Levy said, even confirming that “Steve is safe”. But this interview was before the release of season 3, so I’m not entirely convinced that this assurance will hold up.
Also, the Duffer brothers might have had a Freudian slip in a more recent interview, where they talk about how Steve was meant to be killed in the shows debut season. In discussing this, they mention that they were “pretty sure [Harrington] was gonna die earlier”.
The whole earlier business (34 seconds in) isn’t sitting right with me, although this could easily just be a mistake.
3. Nobody is safe
In an interview with TV line, Ross Duffer confirmed that fans should be concerned about everyone.
“It feels wrong to say ‘excited,’ but I’m excited that people are concerned. And they should be concerned going into the final two episodes – for everybody,” he said. So I’m not really feeling great about Steve – or anyone, really!
Additionally, the trailer for Stranger Things Volume 2 doesn’t look very promising, with Dustin appearing to be crying and/or screaming, and Will and Johnathon looking emotional as they share a hug.
Additionally, Robyn expresses her concern that things “might not work out” for them. I also saw a fan theory that said the show might kill Robyn off, and the rest of the episodes are released July 1st because they can’t kill her off in pride month. A ridiculous theory, but I will scream if she dies nonetheless.
Unfortunately, I think the only thing we can be certain of going into the new season is that someone is going to die.
4. Appearance from the Mind Flayer
Dustin seems to think that Vecna works for the Mind Flayer, as it wants to take over the world. While this sounds promising, I don’t think we can entirely rule out the possibility that Vecna is in charge. In reality, there’s so much we don’t know about the Upside Down and its origins.
The teaser trailer for Stranger Things Volume 2 also might have given us a sneak peek at the Mind Flayer itself, too, with some fans believing the smoke – likely in Russia – is the villain.
5. Will’s sexuality confirmation
There have been so many hints that Will is gay throughout the show, but could we finally get some closure? Maybe he’ll give Mike the painting he’s been working on, which El thinks is for a girl. But as some fans have pointed out, you’ll notice that Will brings the painting to the airport to pick up Mike. So I’m not saying he’s in love with him, but…
I think that Will may confess feelings for Mike – whether through the painting or other means – or at least come out. But that’s if there’s time in between, you know, saving the world from certain death. No biggie.
6. Clarity on the Demogorgon’s survival
Our understanding of the Upside Down up until this point has been that once the gate/s closes, the villains – Demogorgon’s included – die. But this theory doesn’t make much sense, as the Demogorgon has survived in Russia. Did they finally succeed in creating their own gate? Or is something else going on? Either way, I highly doubt that it was a plot hole, considering the thought that the Duffer Brothers put into the show.
7. Escaping the Russian prison
Now that they’ve escaped the Demogorgon, I believe Antonov will help the gang navigate their way out of the Russian prison. Or, they come across the Mind Flayer in the process. I also think that it’s very likely one of them will die – probably Antonov or Murray, as much as I hate to say it.
I also saw a fan theory on TikTok that said Murray might be targeted by Vecna because of the guilt he may feel for Alexei’s death. But they aren’t in Hawkins (yet), so let’s hope they’re all safe!
8. El’s location being revealed
Something is definitely going to go down in the facility where El is located, after the agent finally caved and revealed her location. I don’t think this will necessarily be a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, as El is already starting to get her powers back. I do think that there’ll be some form of carnage here, but that El will be able to pull through and use her powers to escape and go help everyone back in Hawkins. It’s also possible that she leaves the facility before she’s found.
As for everyone else at the facility’s fate, I’m not too confident…
9. El’s powers
I’m starting to get a bit nervous here: El’s powers still haven’t come back completely, and the new trailer shows her walking towards the exit as Dr Brenner says “You’re not ready”.
While I’m sure she’ll get them back, this season has shown us that El’s powers aren’t 100% reliable – I’m almost certain that this will have serious repercussions.
Another theory circulating the internet is that El alone won’t be strong enough to defeat Vecna, which will see the return of her sister, Eight…
10. Of course, how they defeat Vecna
My guess? Hundreds of speakers playing Kate Bush.
Considering the survival of the Demogorgon despite the (probable) closed gate, I’m not convinced that having El close the gate will be the solution this time. I think she’ll have to physically defeat Vecna herself, and I’m not sure how her health is going to be afterwards…
I also think that the jars of black widow spiders that Steve found will have some significance. Perhaps they’re part of Vecna’s curse, and will need to be destroyed in order to defeat him. In a flashback, we briefly see Henry Creel with his eyes closed behind a table full of the jars and candles, which to me looks like he’s performing a ritual.
But their victory isn’t guaranteed… A TikTok I just saw reminded me of the possibility that the season could end on a cliff hanger.
Another TikTok proposed that music might not be able to help the people of Hawkins, stating that Vecna let Max go after seeing Eleven in her memories – they even have an explanation for Victor Creel’s escape.
I don’t think this theory is on the mark, but I’m still loving the thought everyone’s putting into it!
11. Who is El’s dad?
By far the craziest theory I’ve heard is that Vecna – or 001 – is El’s father.
El’s mother was participating in the MKUltra trials while pregnant with El, and the theory suggests that Dr. Brenner used One’s semen for at least some of the children at the Hawkins lab. This sounds insane, but honestly, I’m not completely writing it off.
It would also be a nice nod to Star Wars, which we’ve seen the series do already by casting Robert Englund (who played Freddy Kreuger) as Victor Creel.
I also saw another theory that Mrs. Wheeler is 001’s sister, although I’m fairly positive that Henry’s sister was really dead after what he did to her.
In any case, we’ve only got a few days until the new Stranger Things volume 2 episodes drop, so settle in! (and bring tissues) 🥲