Stranger Things season 4 was not only the show's biggest and scariest outing yet – it’s also been its most popular, racking up some incredible viewing stats in 2022.

The show remains in the UK's Top 10 most-watched shows months after the latest season dropped on Netflix.

New villain Vecna was a chilling success and Kate Bush retook the charts by storm thanks to the use of her hit Running Up That Hill in ‘that scene’.

We all cried buckets after season 4 volume 2 dropped and *spoilers* was killed off. But at least they bowed out a hero and after one of the greatest (and the most metal!) sequences in the show's history.

Eddie Munson in Stranger Things season 4 Netflix

Fan talk has already begun about the plans for season 5 and how Stranger Things might come to an end in the show's grand finale.

The series' writers and producers the Duffer brothers have always had an ending and full series plan for Stranger Things, but it has been a closely guarded secret.

Here is everything we know so far about Stranger Things season 5…

What is the Stranger Things season 5 release date?

Sadie Sink as Max in Stranger Things Netflix

Season 5 hasn't even started filming, so let's not get too excited just yet about the show's finale.

It is most likely that we will see the show return in 2024 for its final run.

David Harbour agrees with our guess. The Hopper actor told GQ:  "I think we’ll [shoot] next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year.

"But I think that’s the plan. So it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record."

"We're walking into season 5," he told fans. "I've got a couple more months to train. We start shooting that in June, though, and that will be the final season."

The writing team updated fans on their progress with a picture of the season 5 storyboard - however, they blurred the image to avoid any spoilers leaking.

Stranger Things season 5 episode 1 - title revealed

As part of Stranger Things Day on 6 November (Yes, it even has its own day now), Netflix teased fans with the first nugget of information about the show's fifth and final season.

Season 5, episode 1 will have the title, *drum roll*, The Crawl.

Fans are already figuring out what the title might reference, with many guessing that it could allude to 'dungeon crawl' - a Dungeons and Dragons scenario where heroes navigate a labyrinth style enviroment, solving puzzles and avoiding traps.

Or it could more simply relate to the creatures of the Upside Down crawling into Hawkins. Or maybe it refers to Eddie (Joseph Quinn) crawling back into the show. OK, it's tenuous, but you've got to let us dream.

Watch the Stranger Things season 4 bloopers while you wait

If you can't face the long wait for season 5, Netflix's Tudum fan event gave us a little bit of joy to tide us over - the long-awaited season 4 blooper reel.

Get ready to enjoy Millie Bobby Brown dancing, Vecna giggling and lots of "b***ies" from Joe Keery and Maya Hawke. It's four minutes of pure joy.

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Is Stranger Things season 5 the final season?

The Duffer brothers confirmed in a letter to fans that the show would bow out with a fifth and final season.

"Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things," they wrote.

"At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but - as you'll see for yourselves - we are now hurtling toward our finale."

Sadie Sink and Caleb McLaughlin as Max and Lucas in Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 Netflix

What happened at the end of Stranger Things season 4? Unanswered questions

The 'dam' between the Upside Down and Hawkins broke

It was revealed that Vecna/001/Henry needed to kill four people to rip apart the 'dam' between the Upside Down and Hawkins.

With Max joining Vecna's death list (alongside Patrick, Chrissy and Fred), the Upside Down was able to rip through Hawkins, opening up a giant hole between the two parrallel worlds.

In the closing sequence, we saw the snow-like particles from the Upside Down raining down upon Hawkins.

The locals think they've just witnessed a devastating earthquake, but Eleven and the gang know what's really coming is the final battle with Vecna and all the creatures of the Upside Down.

Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield Netflix

Max died, came back to life and now we're not quite sure

Before Eleven fought back, Vecna was able to twist Max Mayfield's limbs, blind her and according to hospital staff, leave her dead for several minutes.

Eleven was able to use her powers to heal Max, but her abilities only stretched to keeping her friend alive physically. In the hospital, Max is in a coma and when Eleven returned into Max's mind, all she could find was an eerie, watery emptiness.

Heading into season 5, Max is technically alive, but things look pretty bleak.

The book Lucas was reading to Max - Stephen King's The Talisman - may offer some clues for what lays ahead in season 5.

The popular 80s novel has many similarities to Stranger Things with an adventure about parallel universes. The main thrust of the story is about a hero searching for a magical item to save a love one's life. That might be some foreshadowing for Lucas and/or Eleven's story in season 5.

Vecna (aka Henry Creel/001/The Mind Flayer) is still alive

As Vecna battled Eleven in Max's mind and was attacked by a tooled-up Robin, Steve and Nancy, it wasn't clear whether Vecna would make it through to season 5.

The final episodes explained how Henry/001/Vecna first explored the Upside Down and used the energy/particles/shadow in the Upside Down to create the Mind Flayer - Henry Creel's fascination with spiders was a big clue.

Will's connection to the Mind Flayer was reignited (the tingling sensation down his neck) when he returned to Hawkins and he knows that Vecna/The Mind Flayer is still alive and ready to strike again.

Only when the Hawkins gang are able to take down Vecna completely will they be able to rest easy and end their battle with the Upside Down. 

Eddie died, but we still have wild fan theories for hope

Robin, Steve and Eddie in Stranger Things Netflix

We're still not over it.

The heartbreaking (and improvised) "I love you, man" to Dustin. The Metallica Master of Puppets guitar solo. The heroic last stand against the Demobats. His uncle's tears.

Everything about Eddie's final hurrah was perfectly pitched, but some fans are determined that it won't be over for Joseph Quinn's character and that he could return from the dead in season 5.

There are various theories floating around online about time-travel, Eleven's healing powers, Dustin hiding Eddie from the rest of Hawkins. We're not convinced, but if you want a coping mechanism, reading some of the fan theories might help you get over the shock.

Stranger Things season 5 will be the story of the Upside Down

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things season 4 Netflix

The Duffer brothers have confirmed that season 4 volume 2 will deliver lots of answers about the mysteries of Stranger Things, but one big unanswered question will be the origins of the Upside Down.

That answer is coming, but not until season 5.

"The only thing we don’t fully go into in Volume 2 is Upside Down lore," they told Variety.

"We hint at it. I’m sure someone on Reddit will be able to piece it together. But lots of answers about that will be the basis of season 5."

They also spoke about the significance of the Upside Down being frozen on the day Will Byers went missing - which was revealed in season 4 volume 1.

They added: "[That is ] very significant. We don’t actually resolve that. But that is a huge part of season 5 and we wanted to put that out there and get people talking about it."

Will there be any Stranger Things spinoff series?

Millie Bobby Brown and Jamie Campbell Bower in Stranger Things season 4 Netflix

Nothing has been confirmed about further additions to the Stranger Things universe, but it would be surprising if Netflix didn't try expanding the franchise which remains the most recognised and successful show on the service.

How many spinoffs or series come after Stranger Things will be largely dependent on the show's creators, Ross and Matt Duffer. But it doesn't sound like the brothers are quite finished with the Stranger Things universe quite yet.

In their letter to fans about the show’s ending, they wrote: "There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things; new mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes."

They also confirmed to Variety: "We do have an idea for a spinoff that we’re super excited about… but we haven’t told anyone the idea yet, much less written it.”

"We think everyone - including Netflix - will be surprised when they hear the concept, because it's very, very different."

The brothers said that they would be working on the spinoff at the same time as season 5.

"There is a version of it developing in parallel [to season 5]," said Matt Duffer.

"We’re going to start getting into it. You don’t want to do it for the wrong reasons. [But] even if you took the Stranger Things title off it, I would be so, so excited about it. It’s going to be different to what anyone is expecting."

Could we get an Eleven solo series? A Robin and Nancy Detective Agency? A Steve and Dustin sitcom? We’ll have to wait and see.

What do we know about Stranger Things Season 5?

The Hellfire Club in Stranger Things Netflix

Other than it being the end, we know very little at this stage.

"5 is just going to be pedal to the metal from the opening scene," Ross Duffer told The Wrap.

Ross also revealed that their plans for season 5 left Netflix executives a blubbering mess.

“We do have an outline for Season 5 and we pitched it to Netflix and they really responded well to it,” said the writer.

“I mean, it was hard. It’s the end of the story. I saw executives crying who I’ve never seen cry before and it was wild.”

Many popular TV shows suffer from adding series after series without a plan for how it might finish one day. But director Shawn Levy reassured fans that there has been a plan all along for Stranger Things.

“I can say this. No, one's making it up as we go along and there is an endgame, if you will,” Levy told Collider.

And finally, the Duffer brothers have also said in interviews that we can expect another time jump at the start of season 5. The duo said that it makes sense to keep moving forward through the 1980s to keep pace with the aging cast.

Perhaps season 5 will start in 1988 or even 1989 and take us right through to the end of the decade.

Will Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) being in Stranger Things season 5?

It's not good news guys.

Speaking to Collider about the chances of Joseph Quinn somehow managing to be revived for the final Stranger Things season, executive producer Shawn Levy described it as "highly unlikely".

"Oh boy, a lot of people - a lot of people - can't even handle the thought of a Season 5 without some excuse for Eddie presence," said Levy.

"Highly unlikely. Highly unlikely. But we hear you, world. We know. You're obsessed with Eddie. So were we."

However, the producer did admit that the feedback from fans on Munson had made all the effort on season 5 during the Covid delays feel worthwhile.

"This is a made-up character that got introduced in the fourth year, and the world fell in love with him," said Levy. "And so the way that our fans invest in the stories and the characters, that's why we do this job, it's what we dream of when we do this job."


The Stranger Things season 5 cast

While there is no official confirmation of any new guests stars or new arrivals, we can pretty sure there will be some familiar faces in the Stranger Things season 5 cast.

We can expect all the below main cast will return in some form to the show 5th and final season...

  • Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
  • David Harbour as Detective Jim Hopper
  • Millie Bobby Brown as 'Eleven'/Jane Hopper
  • Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
  • Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
  • Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair
  • Noah Schnapp as Will Byers
  • Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
  • Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
  • Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield
  • Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
  • Joe Keery as Steve Harington
  • Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman
  • Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair
  • Joe Chrest as Ted Wheeler
  • Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler
  • Jamie Campbell Bower (Peter Ballard/One/001/Henry)
  • Eduardo Franco (Argyle)
  • Amybeth McNulty (Vickie)

Watch Stranger Things season 1-4 now on Netflix

Stranger Things gets spinoff West End stage show The First Shadow

The latest official Stranger Things spinoff is The First Shadow, a stage show prequel in the West End

Stramger Things: The First Shadow will launch in the Phoenix Theatre, London in late 2023. It is based on a story from the Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Enola Holmes) and Kate Trefry (Fear Street).

The stage show's story is below:

Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell  out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy…  and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.

Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer said: "We are beyond excited about Stranger Things: The First Shadow.  Collaborating with the brilliant Stephen Daldry has been nothing short of inspiring, and Kate Trefry  has written a play that is at turns surprising, scary, and heartfelt.

"You will meet endearing new  characters, as well as very familiar ones, on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the  future of Stranger Things. We’re dying to tell you more about the story but won't - it’s more fun to  discover it for yourself. Can’t wait to see you nerds in London!"