Netflix's "Stranger Things" season four will conclude with a two-episode finale on July 1.
Star Noah Schnapp (who plays Will) has hinted that a major character will die.
We've ranked 17 characters most likely to die based on the emotional blow it would deliver to fans.
Starting with the least likely to make a devastating emotional impact, we have Dr. Brenner.
When Dr. Brenner made his return in season four of "Stranger Things," he wasn't a particularly welcome sight. The man, who has been presumed dead for two seasons, was responsible for raising Eleven and cultivating her powers. In the first part of season four, he's responsible for effectively re-traumatizing her in the name of getting those powers back.
Point being: Brenner sucks, it's very weird to see him get redeemed in any sort of way in Eleven's eyes, and we honestly probably wouldn't miss him much if he was gone.
Dr. Owens dying would be more impactful than Brenner, but still not critically upsetting.
Owens is currently an important ally for Eleven (although his approach to helping her seems fairly traumatic). As far as we can tell, he's one of the few senior government officials who wants to keep Eleven alive.
His death would be a serious blow to her support system, but not as emotionally heavy as many other characters.
Murray is a great character, but also more dispensable than most others.
Murray and Joyce Byers' action duo vibe in season four is fun, but functionally, Murray just doesn't feel important enough to kill. His primary function in the show is comedic relief, and he's a wonderful sounding board for Joyce, but in the grand scheme of things he's relatively expendable.
Argyle is the newcomer with the lowest emotional stakes linked to his survival.
Argyle is a fun addition to the show's fourth season, providing some levity and a very crucial pizza van-cum-getaway car. Still, as a newcomer, we're not quite as invested in him as others who have been around for longer on the show. Furthermore, at the end of part one of season four, he's just too far away from the action in Hawkins to feel like a plausible death.
Jonathan hasn't had must to do this season, which means he's less likely to cause total emotional havoc.
Similar to Argyle, Jonathan has felt so wholly divorced from the action — and the emotional tug — of this season of "Stranger Things" that his death seems unlikely. After moving to California, he's become more a source of teenage angst and humor than a key player.
It doesn't feel worth worrying over Jonathan, who has spent much of this season babysitting and smoking weed, when everyone in Hawkins seems to be in much more immediate danger.
The possibility of Erica's death seems low given how messed up that would be.
Erica has become a fan-favorite character for her wit, and she's a delight in season four as well. Given what we already know about "Stranger Things" though, it seems unlikely that the Duffer Brothers would veer as far into the dark to kill the youngest member of Hawkins' kids crew. Don't get us wrong, though — if they did, we'd be completely devastated.
Hopper already "died" once on the show, so it wouldn't be as unexpectedly sad if we had to say goodbye again.
Hopper's fake-out death at the end of "Stranger Things" season three gave all the characters in the show (and the fans at home) time to grieve for the police chief of Hawkins. His return to the show was pretty expected, and now season four has spent a lot of time watching Hopper try to fight his way back to America.
It's not clear right now how Hopper's journey will link back into the Hawkins battle against Vecna, but we doubt the mortal danger will focus on Hopper too much. And if he does die, well, this time it will just be a more permanent goodbye.
Joyce, on the other hand, is the one adult character on "Stranger Things" who would leave behind the biggest emotional wound.
Joyce is by far the most caring, thoughtful, persevering adult left on "Stranger Things." She's a kickass mom, fantastic investigator, and overall fighter. Her death would not only leave Will and Jonathan effectively orphaned, but have a massive ripple effect for all the children. Of all the parents on the show, Joyce has been the most staunch protector and nurturer.
If she dies, especially in some effort to protect Hopper, it would be catastrophically sad.
Robin is only just finding her footing among the main friend group in Hawkins, and her death would be heart wrenching.
Like Joyce, Robin is a key part of the team because she has excellent investigative skills and a strong sense of determination. She's best friends with Steve, and the show has been building up her friendship with Nancy. Plus, as one of the only openly gay characters on the show, Robin represents a huge faction of the "Stranger Things" fandom. If the Duffer Brothers kill her off now, it would cause a huge furor.
Here's where things start getting a little too real. Lucas's death would mean a true end of innocence for the show.
Lucas hasn't been given the strongest storyline in season four so far, which makes us doubt that he's in mortal danger. But you never know when a plot twist is coming, and killing Lucas — recent basketball star of Hawkins High and the most pragmatic and brave of his friends — would be a shocking change to the status quo of the show.
He cares deeply for Max and all of his best friends, and of course little sister Erica, so if someone is going to go down fighting it would probably be Lucas, and we would all cry.
Nancy is a pivotal part of the Hawkins crew, and a mentor to all the younger teens on the show.
Nancy's character is a rarity in television — a young woman who proves time and time again to her peers that she has killer investigative instincts and the ability to save herself and others. All while facing and uncovering terrifying supernatural threats to her town.
As the older sister to Mike, and de facto older sibling to all the other kids, Nancy is in a unique position. She's still just a kid herself at 18, but she represents a powerful potential future for the teens in Hawkins, who need all the role models they can get. Taking that away by killing her off now would be horribly sad.
Dustin is the most endearing and relentlessly optimistic kid of all the Hawkins crew, and his death would be a brutal blow to morale.
Dustin has become one of the most crucial, and beloved, characters in "Stranger Things." After ingeniously pairing him up with Steve in the show's second season, the duo's dynamic has been a driving force in bringing together the disparate group of Hawkins teens that tackle the Vecna problem in season four.
Dustin's intuition has proven to be pretty reliable over the course of season four, but he's a bit too close to Vecna for comfort. Plus, if he dies, he'll never be able to reunite with his computer-whiz girlfriend Suzie and reprise their iconic "Neverending Story" duet.
Max already came close to dying once this season, and it would be heartbreaking if it happened for real.
None of the kids on "Stranger Things" have had it easy, but Max's life seems to be one long string of enduring abuses. She grew up with an absent father, an abusive stepfather, and an abusive stepbrother. Billy's death clearly emotional wrecked her, not only because of the guilt she feels but because her relationship with him was filled with terror before he died.
Now, Max's mom is an emotionally absent alcoholic, and the poor girl is being stalked by a vengeful psychic dark wizard. We wouldn't be able to bear it if her short life ended before she had the chance to truly live.
Will has been tormented for so long and isolated from his friends. If he dies now, it will be gutting.
Aside from Eleven, Will has the most experience with the horrors of the Upside Down and the Mind Flayer. Bullied all his life by peers and his own father, as Joyce said in season one, Will has been put through the emotional wringer so many times.
He's had to grieve not only an intense loss of innocence at a young age (remember he was only 11 years old when he had to survive in the Upside Down on his own), but the loss of his childhood comforts. His friends moved on from D&D before he moved away, and now he's more isolated than ever.
If he dies, it will devastate Jonathan and Joyce and all the other characters and the fandom, who just want to see Will be happy for a change.
Eddie has become such a fan favorite in the last month that his death would elicit very strong reactions from people at home.
One of season four's breakout fan favorites, Eddie has thoroughly enmeshed himself within the Hawkins crew over the course of seven episodes. While his character initially seems simple, his interactions with Chrissy in the show's first episode show that there's a lot more to Eddie than big hair and being the reigning master of his school's Dungeons & Dragons club.
Eddie feels like a crucial part of the "Stranger Things" Hawkins squad. From his friendship with Dustin, to his banter with Steve, to his willingness to plunge into a lake and follow the other older teens into the Upside Down, his death would be a devastating blow. Even worse, as a newcomer who's been pretty integral to the plot of season four, it doesn't feel completely out of the realm of possibility. The show has done it before, a few times.
Eleven's death would be a shocking conclusion to season four, leaving not just her friends but the whole world at risk.
Eleven's death this season would be tantamount to killing off Frodo Baggins before he reaches Mount Doom. Her life has always been inextricably linked to the presence of supernatural events in Hawkins. She shouldered a grown-up's burden at an extraordinarily young age when she first defeated Vecna, and now she's still just 14 years old and finding the weight of the world on her back.
Not only has she already saved the world a couple of times, but she has saved her friends' lives again and again and again. Eleven is a powerful representation of the strength found in young women, and the positive effect love and community can have on a traumatized child.
The idea of her dying, of her truly sacrificing her life for the sake of the world, is almost too awful to consider.
Even above Eleven, the possibility of Steve Harrington dying this season is the most devastating for fans.
We think Steve is most likely to die this season for several reasons. First, his character wasn't originally meant to survive even season one — meaning he's been designed as an expendable piece of the puzzle from the start.
But this season especially seems to be bolstering Steve as a huge emotional connection for several key characters. He was Nancy's first love (and possibly her true love now), and Dustin's best friend and idol. Now he's also Robin's best friend and the sole person in Hawkins who knows she's gay and fully supports her. His death would land the biggest emotional blow to the most major characters.
The show already ended one episode with Steve in mortal danger, showing fans just how badly it would hurt if he died. Now we think the Duffer Brothers will kill him off for real. It would leave some of the innocence intact by keeping all the youngest teenagers alive, but it would still be sad enough to elicit a very strong reaction from fans.
Read the original article on Insider