David Harbour says that the ending to Stranger Things is already known. The Netflix series is fresh off the release of its acclaimed (if sometimes polarizing) second season, delivering more of the same ’80s-inspired thrills and nostalgia that made it a runaway hit in season 1. Harbour continued to win over fans as police chief Jim Hopper despite showing some tough love to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) along the way, ultimately playing a major role in the season finale.
As long as it’s one of the most popular shows on TV, Stranger Things is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Despite that, the show’s creators Matt and Ross Duffer reportedly have the series’ conclusion figured out. Harbour has also acknowledged that the way it will end is already known.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Variety, Harbour was asked about how many more seasons he’d like to see Stranger Things run. He revealed that he would be happy if it went five seasons, but has heard that the Duffer Brothers want to end it at four. Comparing the show to The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, which have changed or expanded upon their source material in later seasons, Harbour said Stranger Things likely won’t drag its story out just to keep the show going. Here’s how he explained it:
I do know that there’s an end to the story. And I know that there’s an end for all of these characters. And I’m happy about that, because I don’t want it to become like other shows, which are great shows, but like “Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones” where you continue to spiral out of the story just to create content. I know that we have a story to tell. I know that it can be wrapped up either in four or five seasons. I think four is a little quick. Because I think it’s such a great show, I don’t want to let it go that soon. But I do think five will be the perfect number where we can tell our story, have it be really rich and something people can watch and go back to watch again. But we can also get out before you get tired of us.
Brown has also said that she wants to see Stranger Things get to five seasons, but that would apparently go against the Duffers’ wishes. The brothers are already hard at work on season 3, which has no official timetable but could premiere during the 2018 holiday season at the earliest. The season will also feature a time-jump in order to accommodate the show’s rapidly aging younger stars, who will likely be in high school at the start of the next batch of episodes.
It’s an encouraging sign that the Duffers want to maintain the integrity of Stranger Things’ storytelling, which quickly emerged as some of the most consistently compelling on TV. Game of Thrones and Walking Dead criticisms aside, Harbour seems to agree with them that he would rather see Stranger Things go the way of Breaking Bad and wrap up its story with the series still in peak form. Especially when you consider that they already have the endgame in mind for Hawkins and its inhabitants, the ending would likely leave fans – and the cast – wanting more.
Once Stranger Things gets to season 4 (safe to say it won’t be cancelled in a year), it will be interesting to see where the Duffers and Netflix decide to take the show. If the creators hold strong on their apparent desire to make the fourth season the final one, it could potentially lead to issues with the company, which would almost certainly want to keep it going beyond that point. For now, the series is riding high with no end in sight.
Stranger Things season 2 is now available on Netflix.