After a three-year hiatus, Stranger Things came back with its fourth season, which is regarded as one of the best of the sci-fi series. The first volume received 13 Emmys nominations, and it broke the record of viewership for an English-language series on Netflix. However, fans are already thinking about the conclusion of the show. 

The Duffer Brothers, creators and writers of the show, confirmed that the fifth season will be the last one and, while they’re still figuring out some of the storylines for the final batch of episodes, they have been sharing some details about what fans can expect, including which characters will return. 

The fourth season ended with the death of some major characters, such as Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson and Mathew Modison’s Dr. Martin Brenner, whose appearance in the season was a surprise after he was attacked by the Demogorgon in Season 1 Meanwhile, Sadie Sink’s Max is in precarious health. While everything can happen in the sci-fi show, the creators already ruled out one return. 

The Duffer Brother say Dr. Brenner is really dead 

In an interview in the podcast Happy Sad Confused, the Duffer Brothers talked about what happened in Season 4, and how the characters will react to that. While discussing Eddie’s arc, they say that he wasdesigned from the start as a doomed character” but didn’t confirm that Joseph Quinn won't be back in some way or another. 

As far as we know, he could return the same way Billy (Dacre Montgomery) had some cameos in Max’s hallucinations. However, they also stated that Eddie’s death will have “huge repercussions” for the survivors in Season 5. As Eddie formed a strong bond with Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), we can assume he will be one of the most affected by his death. 

Nevertheless, they made it clear that Doctor Martin Brenner, played again by Matthew Modine, definitely won't be back for the final season of Stranger Things. "This time it's for real. He's really screwed,” said Matt Duffer. 

From Season 1, Dr. Brenner was presumed to be dead until he returned in this fourth installment to help Eleven recover her powers. However, he dies when attacked by the armed forces in the attempt to escape from the new laboratory. 

The new season of Stranger Things is still in pre-production. Actor David Harbour, who plays Hopper, revealed in an interview with GQ that he expects the next season to air on Netflix in mid-2024, as they’ll probably start filming in 2023.