Stranger Things' Creators Respond To Millie Bobby Brown's Criticism Of The Show, And Their Answer Makes Sense

A lot has been happening across four seasons of Netflix's Stranger Things, but one thing that hasn’t been happening on as high of a scale as shows like Game Of Thrones are character deaths. [Spoiler] While one popular Stranger Things character did die in the recent season, star Millie Bobby Brown recently made the comment that the show should start killing more people off. Show creators the Duffer Brothers have now responded to that idea and they have a pretty understandable reason for not making Stranger Things a blood bath.

Despite being a series with a lot of horror elements, Stranger Things does not have the body count that many of the films that inspired it do. While many characters have died in Stranger Things, most of the core cast has remained intact. Previously, Millie Bobby Brown went viral after she called the Duffer Brothers “sensitive Sallys” who are afraid to kill off characters, and she said that Stranger Things needed to be more like Game of Thrones

Speaking on a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt Duffer explained that while killing off characters has been discussed over the course of the show, one of the big reasons it hasn’t been done is because death needs to matter in Stranger Things. Duffer explained…

Believe us, we've explored all options in the writing room… We aren't Game of Thrones. This is Hawkins, it's not Westeros. … When Barb dies [in Season 1], it's two seasons' worth of grappling with that… Every death has an impact. As we're moving into the final season, more of that is on the table… There is logic behind it, and has nothing to do with my sensitivity.

Looking at it from the Duffer Brothers' perspective, the lack of character deaths certainly makes some sense. As he says, the death of Barb was a big deal on the show. It isn’t simply a question of whether or not they want to kill off a character for the shock of it or to have a big emotional moment. If they’re going to make that decision, it will be because they want to explore that death and how the remaining characters deal with it. If that’s not something they want to explore with the characters, they don’t do it. It was made clear that the way Season 4 ended will be very important in Season 5, and that's why the show went in the direction it did.

There’s something to be said for a show like Game of Thrones where your favorite character could end up dead with little to no warning. For that show, that process worked because the fact that people were willing to do anything for power -- and the fact life was cheap -- was part of the point of that story. That’s not what Stranger Things is about, so approaching death in the same way just wouldn’t work.

Of course, with Stranger Things approaching its final Netflix season, the Duffer Brothers won’t need to write episodes dealing with a character’s death after the fact, so perhaps that makes the possibility of characters dying more likely. In the end Millie Bobby Brown just might get her wish. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.