Even though the third season premiered only a month ago, fans are already anticipating what's to come in Season 4 of Stranger Things. Season 3 ended in a big way with some hints at major changes to come in the future. One of the things fans are speculating about the most is which characters will return and which are gone for good.
The show has had success sticking to its main group of characters as well as adding in some fun new additions along the way. There are certainly a few missing characters that could still have a part to play while some characters can remain gone. Here are some of the characters who could return in Stranger Things Season 4 and some we hope do not.
Dr. Brenner has been one of the biggest mysteries in the show since the end of Season 1. He was the scientist who helped Eleven unlock her powers and served as a twisted surrogate father for her. Though briefly seen in Season 2, there has been no hint about where he is and what he's up to.
It seems pretty likely the show is not done with Brenner yet. Some have suggested he might now be working for the Russians which is certainly possible. Regardless, it feels like a final confrontation between him and Eleven is necessary.
Sam Owens was an interesting character in Season 2 of the show. Working with a shady government organization, he seemed to be a replacement for Brenner in the new season. Surprisingly, Owens turned out to be a pretty good guy and helped the heroes save the day.
Owens makes a very brief appearance at the end of Season 3 as the government comes in to clean up the mess. While there's nothing wrong with the character, involving the government like this could make the story feel too big and take away from the kids' adventures.
Cary Elwes was a fun addition to the new season as Hawkins' slimy mayor, Larry Kline. In typical 80s mayor fashion, Kline is more concerned with the town's Fourth of July celebrations than with potential threats to the townspeople.
After his dealings with the Russians comes to light, Kline is apparently arrested. While that seems like the end of the character, he wasn't given much of substance in the season. If they can find a way to bring him back, they could have a lot of fun with his corrupt ways.
Certainly, the most divisive episode on the series was the Season 2 detour in which Eleven met Kali, a girl who part of the same experiments as her and also had special powers. The existence of Kali confirmed the theory that Eleven wasn't the only one of these gifted youngsters.
There is certainly a lot of potential to explore with this revelation, but Kali doesn't need to be a part of it. Her character and her punk vibe felt out of place in the series. It would be much more interesting to see new characters explored.
There is a running joke among fans of the show that the parents of the main kids in the show are extremely neglectful. Their children are always out fighting monsters and these parents seem totally oblivious. This feels especially true of Lucas' parents as they are never around at all.
Though we've seen them in brief moments, they have been played by different actors in Season 1 and Season 2, highlighting their significance in the story. Now that Lucas' sister Erica seems to have joined the gang, their absence is even more noticeable.
One of the most famous moments in the show has been the sudden and brutal death of Barb in Season 1. Barb was Nancy Wheeler's best friend and attended a party just to look out for her. For her troubles, Barb was killed by the Demogorgon.
Barb's death had a significant impact on the series with Nancy dealing with the aftermath in Season 2. Still, there has always been speculation of her potential return, but it would be a mistake to rob the show of one of its most shocking moments.
There is still a lot of mystery about Eleven's past and what happened to her. One of the keys to these unanswered questions seems to be her real mother, Terry Ives. In Season 2, Eleven tracks down her mother only to find her in a catatonic state.
The fact that Terry also seems to have the same powers as Eleven opens up the possibility of the two connecting in some other way. She may even play a part in Eleven regaining her powers.
Though the various supernatural monsters that threaten the characters are effectively frightening, sometimes the show feels it is lacking human antagonists. That is why the Season 3 inclusion of Grigori was so fun.
In a clear nod to Terminator, this silent badass was an unstoppable force that didn't even seem human at times. Though he seemingly was killed by Hopper, perhaps he wasn't human after all and could return. It might seem like a stretch but anything is possible in this show.
Another inventive way to have a more human threat in Season 3 was by having to Mind Flayer possess the minds of several Hawkins residents. And Billy was the perfect choice to be the leader, making an effective and ultimately tragic villain.
Finding out more about Billy's backstory made his death all the more heartbreaking. It was a genuinely moving moment and it would be a shame for the show to undo it by bringing Billy back from the dead.
Hopper has been a great flawed hero for the show so far. He has a lot of anger issues and can be impatient, but he is always there to save the day. Ending the season with his death was a bold move for the show but few fans think he really is gone.
The post-credit scene for Season 3 certainly hinted that we may see Hopper again. The show could be tricking us which might make for an interesting Season 4, but it feels like Hopper is too integral to the show to have him gone for good.