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Are Those Stranger Things Characters Truly Dead For Good? The Duffer Brothers Clarify

Eddie Munson and Dr. Brenner on Stranger Things
(Image credit: Netflix)

Massive spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 lie ahead, so check out the following details at your own risk.

Stranger Things Season 4 reached its conclusion this past week, and it honestly gave fans just about everything they could want: high stakes, incredible action, spine-tingling horror and sheer heart. Of course, amid all of that, there were some major losses, as a pair of significant characters were killed off during the closing chapters. Some fans may naturally still wonder whether either of them will be resurrected before the show ends with its fifth season. With that, the Duffer Brothers have provided some clarity regarding whether the two characters are actually dead for good.

The Duffer Brothers Address The Fate Of Dr. Martin Brenner

Matthew Modine’s Dr. Martin Brenner, known to Eleven and Henry/001/Vecna as “Papa” was seemingly killed off in the penultimate episode of Stranger Things Season 4, “Chapter: Papa.” Shortly after Lt. Colonel Sullivan and his military forces invaded Dr. Owens’ compound, Brenner attempted to flee the area with Eleven. However, he was ultimately shot by a sniper while attempting to do so. After one final exchange with his “daughter,” the scientist seemed to breath his last breath and, as Matt and Ross Duffer explained on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the character is indeed gone for good: 

Matt Duffer: Yes

Ross Duffer: Yes, for real this time. 

MD: Definitively, he’s dead.

RD: He’s toast.

Up until now, Papa hadn’t been seen since the final episode of the first season, during which he was apparently killed by a Demogorgon. The show, however, subsequently played with the notion that he was still alive, and Season 2’s “Chapter 7: The Lost Sister” appeared to confirm it. As a result, many fans probably weren’t too shocked to see him alive and well here, though it was surprising to see him working alongside Owens on a more benevolent cause. 

It makes a lot of sense that this would be Brenner’s last season, given that it took the time to do a deep dive into his past with Eleven. If anything, it was a perfect swan song for him, and it was effectively capped off by his final conversation with El, who refused to forgive him for his past transgressions. Such a tense scene would be undercut if the character were to live on.

Is There Hope For The Eccentric Eddie Munson?

The character whose death arguably resonated with viewers the most is Eddie Munson, played by franchise newcomer Joseph Quinn. Munson was introduced as the leader of the Hawkins High School’s Dungeons and Dragons group, The Hellfire Club. And after being accused of murdering cheerleader Chrissy Cunningham, he was drawn into the core group’s battle against Vecna and the forces of the Upside Down. Ultimately, Eddie died a hero after fending off bat-like creatures while the others sought out the aforementioned villain. When asked about Munson’s fate, the Duffer Brothers gave clear-cut answers:

Matt Duffer: Yes.

Ross Duffer: Sadly, yeah.

Eddie’s demise is truly one of the toughest that the show has delivered thus far. After the finale aired, Joseph Quinn caught up with CinemaBlend and discussed his character’s final moments. Quinn explained that shooting his final scene was “weird” because he and co-star Gaten Matarazzo shot their coverage in different places. Nevertheless, the finished sequence was so well done. It’s sad knowing that we won’t see the quirky rocker anymore, but he certainly won’t be forgotten.

Interestingly, neither Eddie nor Brenner were at the top of the list of characters that fans were most concerned about. That honor belonged to Steve Harrington, who fans worried about up until the release of the final two episodes (partly due to comments from the Duffers). While the Season 4 finale was a lot, many took comfort in knowing that Joe Keery’s jock-turned-den-mother survived.

It’s fair to assume that the Duffer Brothers are planning to kill off other notable characters before Stranger Things wraps up. And said moments are sure to be just as tense as the deaths the show has already given us. As a fan, I’m both anxiously awaiting and dreading what the crafty producers have planned for the show’s final batch of episodes.

All four seasons of Stranger Things are available to stream with a Netflix subscription.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.