Stranger Things Season 3 left fans with sleepless nights and 99 questions. Additionally, the post-credits scene that talks about ‘The American’ gave fans hope that fan-favourite Hopper is still alive. But when we went through all the available facts, we found the bitter truth- Hopper is REALLY dead.
Yes, to all the optimistic Stranger Things fans — Hopper is not alive. The whole discussion of whether Jim Hopper is dead or alive kicked off when Season 3 Chapter 8 abruptly ended with his ‘apparent’ death. The witness to Hooper’s apparent death, Joyce Byres (played by Winona Ryder), never found the dead body. This further fueled fans’ hopes.
As if that was not enough, the post-credits scene was like confetti to Stranger Things fans. This scene set in a Russian base talked about ‘the American’. Consequently, everyone concluded that yes, Hopper is alive and kicking, locked in a Russian cell. But going through all the available dirt, we arrive at the conclusion that the Duffer Brothers were just messing around with us all.
- Stranger Things Season 3 hints that made fans believe that Hopper is still alive
- The post-credits scene was strategically placed to serve an ulterior purpose
- Hopper is never coming back. Here’s the proof!
- The Duffer Brothers’ confession in plain sight
All the hints that made fans fall for the lie
Stranger Things Season 3 surpassed all Netflix streaming records. Within the first four days of its release on 4th July 2019, over 40 million users watched the series. But that’s not all, over 18 million of them binge-watched the eight episodes and moved on to discussing major things— Is Hopper alive? Who is ‘the American’? Where is the Byers family moving to?
During the journey of finding answers to these questions, fans came up with several theories. Within months, everyone was convinced that Hopper is undoubtedly alive. While some hints were simply illogical, overly-skeptical, and downright forced; the others fitted in like a glove.
Here are the top four reasons that made sense
(We would prefer to steer clear from the forced ones).
- No one found Jim Hopper’s dead body (or innards of any sort) where he died (or in the vicinity).
- The post-credits scene talked about ‘the American’ who is clearly a very important asset to the Russians. (After all, they decided to not feed him off to the Demogorgon).
- Jim Hopper died near (and due to) the energy machine that literally opens a portal into the Upside-Down. This raised many eyebrows. It also pointed a rational and not-forced analysis that Hopper is trapped in the Upside-Down.
- A zoomed-in image showed that Hopper was already missing from the scene before the machine blew up.
These foolproof reasons, interpretations and their follow-up theories seemed so credible that Stranger Things fans closed their eyes and chose to lay back in hope and peace. They believed in a lie that the Duffer Brothers deliberately planted in their heads. But sadly, Jim Hopper is not alive.
The post-credits scene is strategically placed for Season 4
If you think about it— you would have never ‘devotedly’ hung up on ‘whether Jim Hopper is alive or dead’ if there was no post-credits scene. The Duffer Brothers intended to scratch your brains and desperately wait for Season 4 as you spread out the word about how mind-blowing was Stranger Things as a TV series.
In fact, many fan and critic theories have collectively agreed to reach on the fact that ‘the American’ is anyone but Hopper.
Duffer Brothers strategically placed this scene to see how fans react to it. (And they confess at the end of the article). We all know how Stranger Things is not based on a book or an already set script. We believe that the Duffer Brother chose to leave the last scene open-ended.
With the future of the series open to interpretation, the Duffer Brothers tried to gauge what prospect shocks fans the most. It was also a clever way to build a much larger and dedicated viewership. Currently, fans globally are on the edge of their seats waiting for the season 4. Surely many more than 18 million will binge-watch it within 8 hours.
At the very least, it will surely put Stanger Things Season 4 in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Hopper confesses Hopper is not alive
The question of whether Hopper is alive or not has spilled everywhere. The question is not just directed to fans anymore. The cast is being interviewed and direct questions are being asked. The actor who played Hopper, David Harbour, also underwent such an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers. David Harbour (Jim Hopper) talked about whether his character is alive or not.
“I always knew Hopper had to make a sacrifice because he is a j*rk. He needs to pay for that some way.” Later he moved on to explain that he too thought he would be ‘The American’ but he never got a phone call for casting.
Watch: David Harbour Calls the Duffer Brothers to Ask about Hopper’s Fate on Stranger Things
Over the months, David Harbour has learned to avoid the question ‘Is Hopper really dead’ in the most tactful manner. But in an interview with LA Times, he says that Hopper “was finally able to really take a bullet for a child, which he had never been able to do because Sara died of cancer.”
Furthermore, David says that there is a “perfection” to Jim Hopper’s death in Stranger Things Season 3. Not only this but even the makers wanted to end Hopper’s journey in, perhaps, the darkest way possible.
Hopper is not alive— The Duffer Brothers were just messing with fans
The Duffer Brothers have addressed the question ‘Is Hopper really dead’ and hard-wired their answer for the press. If you are a hard-core fan of Stranger Things, you might have heard Matt Duffer’s line, “You definitely should not assume anything”.
But it is the follow-up lines that are of interest.
Matt Duffer explained, “The line that Russian guard said is purposely intended to spark debate. We need people to ask the very questions that you’re asking. Assuming there’s a season 4 obviously the question of who that American is in that cell. And then also what they’re doing with the Demogorgon. That is a tease.”
Yes, the Duffer Brothers intended for fans to discuss the topic at great lengths. It is, in fact, a teaser for Season 4 of Stranger Things in plain sight. And if we can see it clearly, it is so brilliantly placed that it has fully served its purpose.
Talking about Jim Hopper’s death scene
Apart from this, Matt Duffer also talked about Jim Hopper’s death scene. The Duffer Brothers’ love for Star Wars gave a peep into what they planned for Hopper in Season 4. “We always talk about Empire Strikes Back, we always wanted to give him a darker ending, we always wanted to give him a Han Solo sacrifice moment.”
Matt went on to express the depth of the scene when Hopper dies. Moreover, he even revealed that there was a plan in place for Hopper’s death all along. But this death scene never felt right until Stranger Things Season 3.
Jim Hopper has said his goodbyes. His eyes spoke it all when Joyce Byers blew up the machines. We know that he is NOT ‘the American’. The actor who plays Hopper is in love with the show and might return in some form. But all fingers now point to this— Jim Hopper is really dead.
Keep coming back to DKODING for more such revelations!