Stranger Things Originally Planned To Kill Off A Major Character

Eleven in Chicago

Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things Season 2.

Stranger Things' second season has been out for a little over a week, and the fans are going absolutely bonkers over the latest adventure in Hawkins, Indiana. Stranger Things 2 was jam packed full of heart and horror, but The Duffer Brothers apparently didn't always plan on making the show last more than one season. With limited series all the rage on cable, they originally pitched the 80's sci-fi piece as just that, which would have ended after one season. And the show would have apparently ended with Eleven dying to save her friends. Mind. Blown.

This information comes to us from The Duffer Brothers' recent appearance at a Master Class Q&A session at Chapman University that CinemaBlend attended. It's here where they revealed Eleven would have died if Stranger Things only lasted one season. Ross Duffer explained this thought process, saying:

Maybe I shouldn't say this because I like to pretend that it was all planned out, but it was originally pitched as a limited series. So it was like, Eleven was gonna sacrifice herself and save the world and then that was gonna be it, because there was a moment where limited series were a big deal.

It looks like Eleven's disappearance after destroying The Demogorgon was originally going to last much longer. Like, forever. Luckily for us, Stranger Things is currently planned to run at least until Season 4, so we'll get to see plenty more of Millie Bobby Brown's signature character.

While the concept of Eleven being killed off is enough to mortify Stranger Things fans, her sacrifice in Season 1 was extremely powerful. After learning the true meaning of love and friendship, Elven stood up to the Demogorgon and saved the group of boys from certain death. It was tragic and moving, and would have been a remarkable ending if the series ended after just one season.

Luckily, Stranger Things will continue its narrative over the course of a few more seasons. Ross Ruffer explained how the business side of TV helped inspire this, including the rough plot for what would eventually become Stranger Things 2.

This is where the business side comes in. When we started pitching it it was like 'we don't make money off of limited series.' And I remember when we went into Netflix and we pitched this they were like 'well, we like this but how could it keep going?' And you're just sort of riffing in the moment and we were like 'well Will's back from this other dimension and he's not doing very well.' And they were like 'great!'

This seems to point out just how much control The Duffer Brothers have over their creation. Because just spitballing ideas would ultimately end up shaping Season 2's plot, especially when it comes to Will Byers.

Stranger Things 2 is currently streaming in its entirety on Netflix. Be sure to check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.