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Stranger Things Season 5 - What We Know So Far

Fans the world over are preparing themselves for one last hurrah with their favorite Hawkins heroes as the hit Netflix series "Stranger Things" prepares to come to a close with its fifth and final season. The show follows a group of kids and adults in a small American town during the 1980s who get entangled in an ever-expanding series of mysterious supernatural events. With each passing season, audiences have witnessed not only the rising stakes/scope of these threats, but have also grown to laugh with, cry over, and all around love its cast of insatiably wonderful characters. From single-season fan-favorites such as Alexei (Alec Utgoff) or Eddie (Joseph Quinn) to beloved mainstays such as Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) or Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), the rich characters are what keep us coming back. 

This couldn't be any more obvious than with the show's most recent two-parter fourth season, which brought in record numbers for the streamer by breaking over a billion hours watched (via Indiewire). With the critically acclaimed season having ended on a massive cliffhanger, the fifth season is shaping up to be another major television event. What can fans expect from the upcoming season? Who is in it? When will it release? Well, we have those answers for you and then some. So kick back, relax, and heat up a box of Eggo waffles as we dissect everything we know so far about "Stranger Things" Season 5. 

When will Stranger Things 5 be released?

The fifth season of "Stranger Things" does not have an official release date. However, on August 25, 2022, the "Stranger Things" writers' Twitter account shared a post with the caption "grid stage" and a photo of a whiteboard that will act as the starting phase for their planning of the fifth season. Then, in October 2022, Netflix Queue — an official Netflix publication — did an interview with Millie Bobbie Brown, where the Queue commented on the actress' upcoming schedule, saying, "And, of course, she's set to begin filming the final season of 'Stranger Things' next year."

So now we know that Season 5 will begin filming in 2023, and according to Collider's Steven Weintraub, we won't see the show until 2024 at the earliest. That more or less follows the track record of the show's release dates thus far. The only exception to this would be Season 4, which was released nearly three years after the third, whereas past seasons came out a year or two years following their predecessors. However, it is worth noting that a large reason why the season took so long to release was due to the COVID-19 pandemic prolonging production schedules combined with series creators the Duffer Brothers' intention to make Season 4 on such a grand scale, which resulted in the long wait (via Collider). 

Fortunately, the Duffer Brothers do intend for the new season to be shorter than the fourth, with Matt Duffer telling Collider, "I think it's going to be longer than Season 1 because we just have so much to wrap up, but I don't think it's going to be as long as Season 4." Hopefully this means that production will run smoother, leading to a speedier release date.

What is the plot of Stranger Things 5?

Spanning multiple locations with a bevy of new characters and fearsome threats popping out of every corner, it's safe to say that "Stranger Things 4" more than made up for the three-year wait. To top it all off, the fourth season ends on a pretty massive cliffhanger where (spoilers) the alternate dimension known as the Upside Down finally breaches the town of Hawkins, Indiana, and our heroes stare on in awe, seeming smaller than ever before in the face of such an awesome threat. With the fifth season intended to be the last, it seems we are going to settle in for the grand showdown between Eleven, the citizens of Hawkins, and the most deadly forces of the Upside Down. 

Series creators the Duffer Brothers, who already have the plot and finale outlined (via The Wrap), expect "Stranger Things 5" to have a time jump, likely due to the once-child actors aging so rapidly. "I'm sure we will do a time jump," says co-creator Ross Duffer in an interview with TVLine. "Ideally, we'd have shot [Seasons 4 and 5] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that." It seems as though the Duffers also intend to have the fifth season be more in line with the simplicity of the first season, promising to keep the action all in Hawkins (via Happy Sad Confused Podcast) and focus on the original characters (via Entertainment Weekly).

However, we do know for a fact what the first episode will be titled. On Stranger Things Day, the show's official Twitter account shared the cover page for the premiere script, which proudly boasts the title of "The Crawl." According to TVLine, some fans think this is a reference to a "Dungeons and Dragons" scenario, where players have to go on a "dungeon crawl" and navigate their way through a massive, labyrinth-like area while fighting evil creatures and trying to figure out puzzles. Sounds exactly like the kind of situation our "Stranger Things" heroes might find themselves in when Season 5 hits Netflix.

Who is starring in Stranger Things 5?

As the Duffer Brothers intend for the final season of "Stranger Things" to harken back to its more grounded first, this logic also applies to its characters. With each successive season new cast members have been added to and taken away (R.I.P Eddie), but Season 5 promises no new characters. "We're doing our best to resist for Season 5," says Matt Duffer in an interview with IndieWire. "We're trying not to do that so we can focus on the OG characters, I guess." This means that we can expect the final season to focus on series' mainstays Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), and Chief Hopper (David Harbour), amongst others. 

Some of the actors have even stated that they'd be open to killing off some of the fan favs. In an interview with The Wrap, Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp state that the show has too many characters and that they need to start killing some of them off, with Brown even suggesting following the ruthless approach that "Game of Thrones" has to its cast. Maya Hawke, who plays Robin Buckley in the series, has a similar sentiment, saying in a Vanity Fair lie detector test, "I don't think [Eddie] should have died, but I do think the show has too many characters."

Where to watch the previous season of Stranger Things

Certain shows are basically ambassadors for the streaming sites and networks they call home. "Game of Thrones" and HBO are synonymous, "Grey's Anatomy" goes hand in hand with ABC, and when you think about the host of shows from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you automatically think of Disney+. The same is true for "Stranger Things" — it's without a doubt the most famous and most popular series that Netflix has ever produced. So if you want to go back and watch the adventures of Eleven, Hopper, Dustin, and Steve, you can check out all four previous seasons on Netflix.