Why Stranger Things' Creators Have Me Feeling Less Positive About Max's Survival In Season 5

sadie sink as max in stranger things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning: Major SPOILERS ahead for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 2. Go run up a hill and come back once you’re all caught up!

You guys? It’s been several days now since the Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 2 ending managed to wrap with a terrible and yet not entirely surprising cliffhanger. Not only did our favorite group of Hawkinites (and some choice friends from other locales) not come out as the ultimate victors against One and the other monstrous denizens of the Upside Down, but our dear Maxine Mayfield is blind, with most of her bones broken, and in a coma so deep that Eleven can’t locate her soul. On top of that, now the Duffer brothers have me feeling even less positive about Max’s chances of survival in Stranger Things Season 5.

What Did The Duffer Brothers Say About Max Surviving In Stranger Things Season 5?

I was likely not the only Stranger Things fan who was shocked when Season 4 ended with our beloved creepy town being nearly destroyed, Mr. Master of Squelching Tentacles in the wind, and Max completely missing from her own mind when Eleven tried to locate her. The great hope, of course, is that after we got to watch Max become a lot of viewers’ favorite character as she was the bravest she’s ever been, we’ll be able to see her recover, somehow, in Season 5. 

But, when the Duffer brothers spoke to Netflix Geeked, they revealed that that might not be in the cards. When asked if they ever planned to kill Max in Season 4, Ross Duffer responded:

It was discussed as a possibility. For a while, that is what was going to happen. But we ended up in this… we wanted to end it with a little more of a question at the end of the season. It’s still really dark and if Max is going to be okay, we just don’t really know. We wanted to leave it up in the air moving forward into Season 5.

Phttthppppttthhh…Well! I’d say this could very well spell some bad things (OK, fine. WAY WORSE things.) for Max in Stranger Things Season 5, seeing as how the Duffers don't say they've changed their mind about killing her. We already know that there will be a time jump involved to accommodate for the fact that the kids are no longer kids in real life. But how that will impact the plot, especially considering where we left Max and Hawkins, remains to be seen. 

As you can imagine, with Stranger Things Season 4 needing to set up an even more epic battle in Season 5, which will be the last, tragic events like Max ending up in a coma were basically destined to happen. Matt Duffer added:

We wanted them to actually lose. We wanted our characters to experience what that felt like. That was the big idea coming into Season 4 that they were going to lose. We were going to introduce Vecna and they were going to lose to him. That sets our characters up for what will be the ultimate final confrontation with Vecna and with the Upside Down in Season 5.

Obviously, we don’t know when Stranger Things Season 5 might be ready for Netflix at this point, but at least we know we’ll have one hell of an action-packed Upside Down season to watch when we can finally see it.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.