Stranger Things' David Harbour Addresses If Hopper Will Return in Season 4

Stranger Things star David Harbour claims creators the Duffer brothers “won’t tell [him] anything” about Season 4 and explains why a spoiler about Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper “needed” to happen in Season 3. Spoilers: the latest season of the hit Netflix series ended with Hopper’s psychokinetically-powered adopted daughter Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her friends banding together to fend off the Mind Flayer in the Starcourt Mall, while Hopper and Joyce (Winona Ryder) infiltrated a Russian base below to prevent Soviet scientists from reopening a gate to the Upside Down. It was there Hopper sacrificed himself to close the rift, which seemingly disintegrated him with its paranormal energy. Could Hopper have survived the explosion?

“Oh my Lord! I don’t know. Should we call the Duffer brothers?” Harbour said at German Comic Con Dortmund over the weekend. “We don’t know yet, we don’t know. They won’t tell me anything, so we’ll have to see. I think you’ll find out at some point, we’ll find out at some point. Let’s hope he’s alive.”

When Harbour was met with cheers after asking the audience if they want Hopper to be alive, he quipped, “Guess what? Me too. Because I like working.”

Harbour then explained Hopper “needed to die” because of unresolved feelings over the loss of seven-year-old daughter Sara (Elle Graham) and her death from cancer.

“I think Hopper — from the very beginning I’ve said this — he’s very lovable in a certain way, but also, he’s kind of a rough guy,” Harbour said. “Certainly in the beginning of Season 1 he’s kind of dark, and he’s drinking, and he’s trying to kill himself, and he hates himself for what happened to his daughter. I feel like, in a sense, that character needed to die. He needed to make some sacrifice to make up for the way he’s been living for the past like 10 years, the resentments that he’s had. So he needed to die.”

The star then teased what could be an “interesting” arc for Hopper in Stranger Things 4 or beyond:

“Now whether or not there is this second act, whether or not there is some sort of resurrection, whether or not we can see him go off in a certain way, would be really interesting to me. I would love it,” he said. “Anybody watch Lord of the Rings? Gandalf the Grey fights the Balrog, descends into darkness, battles him forever, and everyone thinks he’s dead. And then he re-emerges as Gandalf the White, with sort of a new strength and a new power. That would be an interesting arc for him.”

Harbour’s co-star Jake Busey suspects the unidentified American prisoner being held captive in a Russian prison, revealed in a post-credits scene, might be Hopper. “What do you think is in that door when they say, ‘Go get the American?’” Elwes said. “Who do you think is in there?”

“Barb,” Harbour joked. “She was American!”

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All three seasons of Stranger Things are available for streaming on Netflix. The streamer has yet to announce the release date for Season 4.

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