Although audiences usually want no beloved characters to die in the series finales of their favorite shows, in the case of Stranger Things season 5, character death is an absolute must. Stranger Things is a Netflix sci-fi hit with four seasons currently streaming and a fifth and final season in the works. The series follows the mysterious happenings in a small, Midwestern town, spurred on by the disappearance of a young boy and the introduction of a telekinetic girl.


Over the years, Stranger Things has had no problem killing off its most beloved side characters, the latest and greatest being Eddie Munson’s death. However, now that the series is coming to a close, the possibility that a main cast member will die is much greater, and theories have already begun to swirl about who could be in danger next season. While some believe that Stranger Things doesn’t need a major character death in season 5, the reality is that that kind of ending would most likely be very disappointing.

Stranger Things Needs Character Deaths To Create Higher Stakes

Hawkins on fire in Stranger Things season 4 ending

The main reason for character death, and the best reason Stranger Things would include it, is to have higher stakes. When the lives of amazing characters are at stake, it is hard not to worry and get invested. In terms of Stranger Things, the story needs high stakes, particularly in this last season. Over the years, the scope of Stranger Things has only grown wider and the stakes have grown along with it. So, with this final season and the rise of Vecna, it’s necessary that showrunners prove just how serious the current situation is. The danger needs to be at an all-time high for audiences to truly care.

This is especially important for Stranger Things season 5 because the stakes have already been so high in the past. From Will’s disappearance and demogorgons to Vecna’s insane power and desire to rule the world, the series has seen some significantly scary situations. In this way, it’s vital that Stranger Things 5 make the stakes appropriate for a series finale and on track with the storylines they’ve already built. The stakes must build to a life-threatening peak and the perfect way to do this is to put their characters’ lives at risk.

Stranger Things Has Already Killed Beloved Characters

Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things 4

The idea of major character death isn’t out of the ordinary for Stranger Things either. Over four seasons the series has killed a great many likable characters: Barb, Bob, Alexei, Billy, Chrissie, Eddie, etc. Unfortunately, this means that the show wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be too protective of its main characters. If the series can be so wrought with death, it would be illogical to miraculously save every main character when so many others have died. Therefore, a major character death needs to happen.

Related: Why Stranger Things 5 Killing Off Max Would Be A Huge Mistake

Stranger Things’ decision to kill so many characters has also paid off fairly well for the show. While some of these deaths have been more shocking or upsetting than others, they have all made some sort of impact on viewers each season. When it comes to the Stranger Things series finale, these same emotions must be evoked but on a greater scale. The risk must be high and the deaths themselves should have the importance to really affect the audience.

Every Major Character Surviving Stranger Things 5 Would Be Unrealistic

Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Sadie Sink, Charlie Heaton, and Natalia Dyer in Stranger Things season 3.

On the most basic level, Stranger Things must kill a main character because it makes the most sense. As previously mentioned, the series has killed plenty of minor and supporting characters, so it would be unrealistic for the main cast to all survive. Additionally, this type of happy ending would simply be disappointing. To create such an intense and high-risk world means that there needs to be some sort of follow-through. If everyone lives, there will be a sense of imbalance and like the end was anticlimactic. With a Stranger Things major character death, the stakes will have been properly utilized in a logical manner.

Though it’s unfortunate to say, Stranger Things 5 needs a major character death. Without one, the end of the series will seem unrealistic, less intense, and unfair. In this way, the showrunners need to sacrifice at least one main character to prove that the world they have built can truly hurt and that the danger is especially high. By doing this, Stranger Things will have a better, more appropriate ending.

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