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Sadie Sink Defends Duffer Brothers' Decision Not To Kill Off Max In Stranger Things Season 4

Over the course of the last four seasons, "Stranger Things" has handily become one of the boldest and most exciting shows in the streaming space. Combining nostalgia with effective sci-fi/horror storytelling, the 1980s-set Netflix series follows a group of adults and teenagers as they work to uncover the mysteries of an alternate reality known as The Upside Down, as well as vast government conspiracies to harness the monsters and dark energy that lie within that realm.

With Season 4 of "Stranger Things" in the rearview, many fans wonder how the show will finally conclude its long-running storylines when Season 5 finally premieres. However, one element of fallout to the debut of Season 4 is the notion that some fans feel that "Stranger Things" is afraid to kill significant characters. One major reason for this is the fact that Max (Sadie Sink) was initially supposed to die during the most recent season but was ultimately saved by the Duffer Brothers. Now it seems that the actress behind Max has her own opinions concerning this major creative decision. In fact, Sadie Sink recently opened up about the decision not to kill Max and defended the Duffers for making that move. Here is what the actress had to say.

Sadie Sink trusts that the original plan to kill Max would've served the Stranger Things story well

Addressing the events of Season 4 (via Variety), "Stranger Things" star Sadie Sink spoke out about the original plan for Max to die. Noting that the Duffer Brothers did, in fact, plan to take her off of the table, she said, "I think Matt and Ross were planning to kill me off and that was in, like completely kill me off, and that was kind of in the original plan for the season, but then they did change it."

The decision not to have Max die follows the move to not kill Jim Hopper (David Harbour) in Season 3 as well, leading some to accuse "Stranger Things" of not committing to significant character deaths, thus potentially sucking some of the tension out of the series. Speaking out about this, Sink noted that the Duffers only keep characters around if it will ultimately serve the overall story down the line. The actress continued, "What I do know is that the Duffers are very smart, they're very calculated, and they'd only choose to kill a character off if it was good for the plot or would come in handy later, and they'd only keep a character if it was going to serve the plot later, as well. So everything's very calculated, they know what they're doing, but I understand." In short: Max's survival serves the series better than her death possibly could.

Max ultimately suffered a horrific fate, but Sadie Sink is happy she survived

In the end, Max survives her encounter with Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) during the climax of "Stranger Things" Season 4. However, she is left in very bad shape by the end of the finale. Specifically, before Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) can save her, Vecna breaks her arms and legs and leaves her blind. She also briefly dies for a minute before Eleven is able to bring her back to life, and her friends can get her to a hospital.

Of course, Sadie Sink does seem to agree with some fans that the full-blown death of Max would've ultimately had a massive impact on the audience and the overall "Stranger Things" story. Continuing in her remarks about what happened to the character in Season 4, Sink noted that she is happy that Max will continue to stick around into Season 5. She explained, "I think if Max did completely die, then it would've had a bigger impact for sure. But I'm personally happy she's still around." With all of that said, how Max will continue to factor into the story after her grisly encounter with Vecna remains to be seen, and fans will have to wait until Season 5 to learn more.

Despite the decision not to kill Max, Stranger Things 4 did see some big deaths

While the Duffer Brothers ultimately decided to stay away from any significant deaths in the core "Stranger Things" ensemble during the events of Season 4, the show still saw plenty of major characters die off. One of the most heart-wrenching deaths in the history of the show came with the death of Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), who sacrificed himself in The Upside Down in order to help defeat Vecna.

Another major death on the show came in the form of Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). The character had been presumed dead since the events of Season 1 but ultimately returned to help Eleven get her powers back. Dying at the hands of a sniper during the attack on his bunker-based laboratory, Brenner's return and death mark a significant turning point for Eleven — who seems to have finally moved on from his control.

Of course, whether or not these characters will return for "Stranger Things" Season 5 remains to be seen. The show has always often found ways to bring characters back from the dead, but for now, they seem firmly to be deceased. Sadie Sink's Max may have survived the most recent season, but death certainly seems to be omnipresent throughout "Stranger Things" and likely will continue to be as the show moves to its final season.