After a nearly three-year hiatus, Stranger Things is finally returning to Netflix this month. Fans cannot wait to see what their favorite characters are up to, including Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Max (Sadie Sink), and the rest of the gang. Season 3 ended on an intense note, with El leaving Hawkins with the Byers to move to California after Hopper’s (David Harbour) shocking “death,” and Max still not fully processing Billy’s (Dacre Montgomery) bitter fate.
We know that Jim Hopper is alive (but seemingly not well), and as for the rest of the characters, it looks like they’ll all be in danger in Stranger Things season 4. Let’s remember where the characters left off.
Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things seasons 1-3.
Eleven’s not in a great place at the end of Stranger Things season 3. After her father figure Hopper sacrifices himself to close the Upside Down during the big showdown at the Starcourt Mall, everyone believes he’s dead. And she still doesn’t have her powers back.
As we’ve seen from the Stranger Things season 4 trailer, Eleven isn’t exactly fitting in now that she’s living in California with the Byers. She’s in high school and isn’t making any friends. For better or worse, it looks like she won’t be in school for much longer: they’re approaching Spring Break and dangers are ahead.
Dustin comes back from summer camp ahead of Stranger Things season 3, but it’s all he can talk about because he lands himself a girlfriend named Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) there. Unsurprisingly, the group starts to suspect that Suzie isn’t real, but Dustin comes out on top after he finally reaches her via radio on the Fourth of July.
Dustin needs the number of Planck’s Constant and suspects Suzie will know it, which she does. But before she agrees to list off the numbers, she makes Dustin sing the theme song from The NeverEnding Story with her. Dustin spends the majority of season 3 with Steve (Joe Keery), Robin (Maya Hawke), and Erica (Priah Ferguson) as they try to figure out what the Russians want with Hawkins.
Mike and Eleven’s relationship got more serious in Stranger Things season 3, and they even have their first major fight and brief split. Because Mike and Eleven spend all of their time together at Hop’s kissing in El’s room, Hopper feels really uncomfortable. He wants to set boundaries, but despite help from Joyce (Winona Ryder), he can’t seem to get the words out. Instead, he threatens Mike and makes him feel like he’s not welcome at his house.
Because of this, Mike starts avoiding Eleven because he doesn’t know what to do. She gets upset, but they eventually get back together at the end of season 3 and even share their true feelings for each other. They’re in love, and being apart in Stranger Things season 4 won’t be easy.
The end of Stranger Things season 3 was a tragic one for Max. Though she and her stepbrother Billy didn’t have a great relationship, they were still family and Billy’s death traumatized Max.
In the season 4 trailer, Max’s voiceover narration can be heard as she’s reading to Billy. She says everything’s been “a total disaster” since his death, and we can only imagine what that means. She’s likely still trying to work through her grief while a new threat from the Upside Down arrives.
Though Will (Noah Schnapp) was no longer possessed by the Mind Flayer in season 3, he can still sense when danger is coming. The beginning of the season is hopeful as Will plans to spend his summer hanging out with his friends and playing Dungeons & Dragons. However, as all three of his guy friends are now in relationships, he feels left out. Mike and Eleven are always spending time together alone, while Lucas is dating Max. Though Dustin’s girlfriend doesn’t live in Hawkins, he spends season 3 with Steve, Robin, and Erica at the mall.
Come Stranger Things season 4, and Will will be in California with his family. We see him and Eleven at school in the trailer, though we can’t tell if Will has better luck than Eleven at making friends.
Lucas and Max are still going strong in Stranger Things season 3, and the group bands together to take down the Mind Flayer again. Just like Mike, he’s pretty preoccupied by his romantic relationship and, unfortunately, that means the guys have less time to hang out with Will.
In season 4, Lucas is still in Hawkins with Mike and Dustin, but there might be some changes to the friend group. In the trailer, we see Lucas run into the gym at school in a basketball team uniform while Mike and Dustin watch from the bleachers. They don’t look impressed. Now that the kids are in high school, they might be making new friends. However, Lucas joins the group to investigate the Creel House, so maybe the Upside Down will bring them back together.
Billy isn’t everyone’s favorite character in Stranger Things, but that doesn’t mean he deserved to die. The stepbrother of Max had been portrayed as a pretty big jerk in season 2 and season 3; however, he gets possessed by the Mind Flayer and everything changes for him. Because of this, he helps kidnap other people in Hawkins so they build an army and create the Spider Monster. At the end of season 3, Billy sacrifices himself at the Starcourt Mall to save Max and the group.
We see the Spider Monster stab Billy with its legs, as Max screams out and watches him die. As for Stranger Things season 4, there’s speculation that Billy could be back.
At the start of season 3, Hop is dealing with the fact that Eleven and Mike’s relationship is getting more serious and they’re basically attached at the hip. Joyce helps him try to set some boundaries, including keeping El’s door open three inches, but this proves easier said than done.
Hop works with Joyce, Murray (Brett Gelman), and Alexei (Alec Utgoff) to figure out what’s going on with the Russians in Hawkins, leading up to showtime at the Starcourt Mall. Sadly, Hopper sacrifices his life in order to allow Joyce to close the Upside Down. The season 3 finale does have a mid-credits scene, however, that suggests Hop could still be alive.
In season 3, Joyce is considering moving out of Hawkins. Will had gone through life-threatening situations, and it’s not like Jonathan was really that much safer. Though Joyce and Hop still have that will-they, won’t-they relationship in season 3, it’s obvious he wants her to stick around.
By the end of season 3, Joyce agrees to go out on a date with Hopper to a nice restaurant called Enzo’s. Of course, they don’t actually get to go because Hopper seemingly dies as the Upside Down gate gets closed. In the final moments of season 3, Joyce packs up the house and gets ready to move out of Indiana with Jonathan, Will, and Eleven, the latter of whom she’ll be taking care of now that Hopper is gone.
In the Stranger Things season 4 trailer, we see Joyce get a package with mysterious stamps. Is it from Russia? Is Hopper sending her something?
Steve has another hilarious and entertaining storyline in season 3, working at an ice cream shop at the mall called Scoops Ahoy alongside a new character named Robin. He and Robin soon get caught up in the mystery of the Russians in Hawkins, and work closely with Dustin and Erica to get to the bottom of it. Because the Russians think they’re working for someone, they catch Steve and Robin, beat them up, and even drug them. Fortunately, they get away relatively unscathed.
At the end of Stranger Things season 3, Steve and Robin decide to apply to work at their local video store. The guy working there is hesitant about Steve because he’s not a movie buff, but Robin convinces him to hire him.
In Stranger Things season 4, we predict Steve and Robin will still very much be a team as the new threat comes to Hawkins.
Robin stole everyone’s hearts when Stranger Things season 3 premiered. Her relationship with Steve is so hilarious, and even turns heartfelt when they have a heart-to-heart in the bathroom where Robin reveals she likes girls. Steve falls for Robin but he shifts gears when he finds out, and the two remain great friends.
According to Maya Hawke, Robin will get some well-deserved character development in Stranger Things season 4. “The Duffer brothers are just really free and really smart,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “They’re not allowing themselves to get stuck. They keep changing. They keep growing. They keep investing and building the characters. It’s an honor to be a part of it, and work with them, and watch them build these people, especially Robin. … They really dig into her this season and I’m really, really grateful.”
Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are still going strong in Stranger Things season 3 as they spend the beginning of their summer working for the Hawkins Post. Nancy is a budding journalist while Jonathan does photography. They eventually get fired, however, as they start to investigate something sinister going on in Hawkins. Of course, it’s connected to the Upside Down.
Nancy has a pretty big role in season 3 as she tries to figure out what happened to the possessed townswoman Doris Driscoll (Peggy Miley), and is present at the Starcourt Mall battle in the finale. In the end, she’s heartbroken over the fact that Jonathan has to move to California with his family. Will their relationship work long distance? We’ll find out in season 4.
As mentioned, Jonathan spends Stranger Things season 3 with Nancy, working at the Hawkins Post and trying to take down the Spider Monster with the gang. He and Nancy have an argument when Nancy goes against what the Post employees tell her to do. Jonathan doesn’t think Nancy understands why he needs the job because he’s not wealthy and she is. They eventually make up, but their class difference is still something that’s apparent to them both.
Jonathan packs up and moves with his mom, his brother, and Eleven at the end of season 3. Come Stranger Things season 4, we know he has a new friend named Argyle (Eduardo Franco) in California.
Suzie is a new character in Stranger Things season 3 as we get to meet Dustin’s girlfriend from camp. As mentioned earlier, Dustin’s friends start to believe that Suzie doesn’t exist because of how great he makes her seem, but they’re all proved wrong when she answers his radio call in a pivotal moment.
Many Stranger Things fans unfairly blamed Suzie for Hopper’s “death,” because she makes Dustin sing the NeverEnding Story theme song before giving him the Planck’s Constant number, which delays Hop and Joyce as they try to close the gate to the Upside Down. Netflix has not confirmed whether or not Suzie will be in Stranger Things season 4, but eagle-eyed fans believe one photo proves she will be.
Who’s ready to meet Vecna? The next big baddie for Stranger Things season 4 is another character from Dungeons & Dragons. Is he just another monster from the other world or is he someone we know being possessed?
Argyle is another new character who will be joining Stranger Things season 4. He’ll serve as one of Jonathan’s new friends out in California, and has a fun presence in one of the teasers. Remember the guy driving the pizza truck who yells out “Hold onto your butts, brochachos!”? That’s Argyle.
Horror lovers were thrilled to hear the news that legendary actor Robert Englund would be appearing in Stranger Things season 4. The Nightmare on Elm Street alum is also playing a new character, this one named Victor Creel. This character has been a bit of a mystery so far. Netflix says he’s “a disturbed and intimidating man who is imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for a gruesome murder in the 1950s.”
Watch part 1 of the new season premiering May 27, 2022 on Netflix with the second part debuting July 1, 2022.