Stranger Things is running up that hill to the second half of its fourth season. With Vol. 1 of Netflix's blockbusters series still burning up streaming charts since its May 27 premiere, fans are steeling themselves for an epic showdown between the Hawkins Hellfire Club and the Upside Down's resident master of evil, Vecna. And a just-released trailer for Vol. 2 — coming July 1 — warns viewers to expect some casualties of this looming war. (Watch the trailer above.)
Leave it to a doctor to deliver an honest diagnosis. Early on in the two-minute teaser, Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), clearly lays out the stakes for his star pupil, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). "I'm not going to lie to you: your friends are not prepared for this fight," he says, gravely. "Hawkins will fall."
But that's not going to stop the young superhero from being there if and when the fall happens — especially now that her previously-obscured memories of Vecna's origins are fully restored. "My friends need me," she responds.
Ain't that the truth. At the end of Vol. 1, Eleven's friends were scattered between Indiana and the West Coast as Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are trying to find a way to free her, while Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Steve (Joe Keery) and Robin (Maya Hawke) are holding down the fort in Hawkins.
A reunion is presumably in the works as Vecna's master plan unfolds, although even their combined forces may not be enough. "It might not work out for us this time," Robin tells Steve, who now has even more reason to try and romantically reconnect with his ex, Nancy. Meanwhile, over in the Russian tundra, the dynamic duo of Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Murray (Brett Gelman) are in the middle of Operation Rescue Hopper, with David Harbour's ex-police chief battling Soviet soldiers and a demonic Demogorgon.
The apocalyptic nature of the trailer squares with the warnings that some of the Stranger Things cast have been giving fans in the run-up to the Vol. 2 premiere. Schnapp recently teased that viewers should anticipate "some deaths," while breakout Season 4 star Joseph Quinn — who can be glimpsed doing some serious guitar shredding in the teaser — revealed that the two-and-a-half-hour season finale is filled with "carnage." (No, not of the Venom variety.)
On Twitter, fans are already taking bets on who will live to see the show's fifth and final season ... and who will be pushing up the daisies on that proverbial hill.
Wow why is this such a powerful trailer?
And if Steve, Max, or Will dies I’ll never forgive Stranger Things! https://t.co/HNTS3Ctcyz
— Kara (@flowerinoureyes) June 21, 2022
I swear if Max dies in Volume 2 of Stranger Things 4, I will literally not recover until season 5 comes out.
— Maddy Bonilla (@bonilla_maddy) June 21, 2022
eddie please dont die stranger things dont kill him off PLEASE https://t.co/jvQ8AlMRko
— cory 🎶 (@lukebrainr0t) June 21, 2022
I swear to God if Steve Harington dies in s4 i will never watch stranger things again
— Stxve.vfx (@AepSamael) June 21, 2022
i hope mike will die
— harvey (@folkloresuprmcy) June 21, 2022
just saw the stranger things vol 2 trailer, istg if steve or will or joyce or hopper dies i will personally fly to the duffer brothers' homes and smack them in the face
— chan ✘ (@HBYSODE) June 21, 2022
— Amy🤘🏼 (@belovedfinch) June 21, 2022
Stranger Things Season 4, Vol. 2 premieres July 1 on Netflix