Why Stranger Things Had To Kill Off That Character In Season 4, According To The Duffer Brothers

Warning: spoilers are ahead for Volume 1 of Stranger Things Season 4!

Stranger Things went harder on the horror than ever before with Season 4, proving that the deaths courtesy of the Demogorgon and Demodogs were nothing in comparison to what Vecna had in store. Vecna’s first big victim was none other than cheerleader Chrissy, who was hiding a lot of emotional pain behind her smiles and jock boyfriend. According to the Duffer brothers who created the record-breaking Netflix hit, they had no choice but to kill off Chrissy even when they found some reasons to potentially keep her alive. 

Chrissy seemed like she had the potential to play an ongoing part in Eddie’s storyline early on, when she went to him to buy some drugs. It’s not the cutest relationship origin story in the history of television, but there was some lovely chemistry between actress Grace Van Dien and Joseph Quinn (whose Eddie is one of the standout characters of Vol. 1), and it seemed like they could subvert expectations and have a future together. Instead, of course, Chrissy was the first on-screen victim of Vecna, and brutally killed in front of Eddie while being tortured in her mind by the monster formerly known as One, whose transformation was achieved via practical effects.

So, why did she die despite seemingly being set up as a fun partner for Eddie? The Duffer brothers opened up to TVLine, with Matt Duffer sharing:

We always have those moments [of ‘What have we done?’] We shot the quote-unquote drug-deal scene in the woods pretty late, actually, into shooting.

The drug deal in the woods between Eddie and Chrissy took place fairly early in the Season 4 premiere, but it was filmed late in the process of filming, which meant that the outcome was already decided. Ross Duffer clarified, adding that they “had already killed Chrissy when we shot that.” R.I.P. Chrissy! For as sweet as they were in their drug scene in the woods – and it takes talent to make a scene about selling drugs sweet – her fate was already sealed. 

At least there’s no denying that her death was one of the pivotal moments of the season, as it brought Eddie into the fold of those in Hawkins who know about all the Upside Down strangeness, and set the whole story in motion. Plus, if the teens hadn’t already been clued in that the Upside Down was causing problems again, it’s possible that they wouldn’t have had the clues they needed to find a way to save Max in time. 

Matt Duffer had nothing but good things to say about the two actors who made Eddie and Chrissy so endearing in such a brief amount of time: 

The scene came alive in a way that was just so beautiful. And so much of that was Joe and Grace. It was just one of those fortunate scenes where we were able to have two cameras rolling capturing them simultaneously. Joe was doing a lot of stuff kinda spontaneously, and we were getting these amazing reactions from Grace.

That was one of Eddie’s last big scenes before everything went wrong for him, and it’s not guaranteed at this point that he’ll survive Season 4 to make it to the fifth and final season. Hopefully he won’t follow in the footsteps of Benny, Barb, and Bob and die by the end of his first season! At least his name doesn’t start with a B? And he wasn’t the one attacked by the Demo-Bats in the Upside Down! (Lead sound effects editor Angelo Palazzo revealed the surprising sources for the bats’ sounds.)

Stranger Things returns with Vol. 2 on Friday, July 1 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix, so those with a Netflix subscription may want to spend the next few weeks watching and rewatching to prepare for what’s in store with the final two episodes. For some non-Stranger Things viewing options, our 2022 TV premiere schedule reveals plenty of shows still on the way this year.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).