(Warning: This post contains spoilers for “Stranger Things 4” Volume 2.)
Sadie Sink’s character, Max, almost had a very different fate at the end of “Stranger Things 4.” In a recent interview, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer explained that the beloved member of the Hawkins group was originally supposed to die.
“It was discussed as a possibility,” Ross said of Max’s death. “For a while, that is what was going to happen. We wanted to end it in a little bit more of a question mark at the end of the season, where it’s still really dark and we don’t know if Max is going to be OK.”
Technically, Max does die after Vecna blinds her and breaks her bones — as he did with all his previous victims. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) manages to bring her friend back to life, but she isn’t able to undo the injuries that Vecna caused. At the end of Season 4, Max is in a coma and it’s unclear exactly what will happen to her moving forward.
“We don’t really know, and we wanted to leave it a little up in the air moving forward into Season 5,” Ross added.
Some might call it a cop out, but the brothers insisted that the decision not to kill Max will actually serve a storytelling purpose in the fifth and final season. This makes sense given that Eleven couldn’t find Max in the void space when she went looking for her in the final minutes of Episode 9, which is likely setting up some sort of search for Max in Season 5.
“In this extra half a year that we had [due to the pandemic], we went and wrote Season 5,” Matt explained. “So, the fact that she’s in a coma, I can’t really get into the details, but it is important that she is. That is going to have a major effect on [Season] 5. So, it’s not a cheat. It’s incredibly relevant.”
Despite a very anxiety-inducing season, “Stranger Things 4” ended with the death of only one major, beloved character. And as much as many fans are hoping for some kind of return for Hawkins’ favorite metalhead Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), the Duffers are still insisting that he’s gone for good.
“We fell in love with Eddie. We fell in love with Joe,” Matt said. “I think everybody in the cast fell in love with him. We knew he had to die.”
You can watch the entire interview in the video above.