Stranger Things 3 end credit scene: Who is the American prisoner?

4 July 2019, 18:09

Who is the American prisoner and how did the Russians get the Demogorgon? Here's the absolutely game changing post-credit scene in the Stranger Things 3 ending, explained.

If you're reading this, you'll have probably made it all the way to the end of Stranger Things 3. Congrats! I hope you've managed to stop crying! If you haven't made it to the end yet, turn around immediately because we're about to discuss one of the biggest plot twists and explain the Stranger Things 3 ending.

For the first time in the Netflix show's three seasons, there is a post credit scene at the end of the final episode - and it will change absolutely everything. So whatever you do, do not close your laptop or turn off your TV after that last scene.

READ MORE: Stranger Things 3: Is Dustin's girlfriend Suzie real?

There will now be MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for the ending of Stranger Things 3 in article. Stop reading now if you haven't finished yet. Seriously. There's still time to turn away. You've been warned...

What happens in Stranger Things 3 post credit scene and what does it mean?

Stranger Things 3: Post credit scene explained
Stranger Things 3: Post credit scene explained. Picture: Netflix

At the end of episode 8 (Chapter Eight: The Battle of Starcourt), it is revealed that Joyce has finally decided to move out of town after losing two very important men in her life - Bob Newby, in season 2 and more recently Jim Hopper in season 3.

The devastating scene shows the entire Byers family packing up their house and leaving town, taking the now orphaned Eleven with them. The scene is underscored by Hopper's speech he wrote for Eleven and Mike with Joyce's help, as El reads on in tears. The final shot of the episode shows Joyce standing at the threshold of her empty house before closing the door.

READ MORE: Stranger Things season 4: News, spoilers, release date, cast and everything we know

Unlike every other episode, the credits don’t roll on a completely black background. The sounds of whistling winds are heard before snow starts falling behind the names as they flash across the screen. As they finish, the words 'Kamchatka, Russia' appear and we see a Russian base covered in snow.


Stranger Things 3: Who is the American prisoner in Russia?
Stranger Things 3: How did the Russians get the Demogorgon? Picture: Netflix

Who is the American prisoner in Russia at the end of Stranger Things 3?

The scene then cuts to two Russian officers walking down a dingy metal corridor, with cells on one side. As one goes to open one of the prison cells, the other replied "No. Not the American." THE AMERICAN?!

Now, there's a number of people who that prisoner could be. Some more obvious than others. Here are the main suspects:

Chief Hopper

Given the fact that we didn't see Hopper die (major red flag when it comes to character deaths like this), it could very well turn out that Hopper is somehow alive and was captured and taken prisoner just before Joyce turns the keys to stop the machine. It might be a long shot, but it's not impossible.


Before Joyce turned the keys, Murray mentioned that he was surrounded by Russians in the tunnels. He manages to escape with Joyce and is saved by US forces. But who's to say the Russians didn't try to capture him because of what he saw and what he knows? He could have been taken at any point after the events of the explosion, or the three month later epilogue.

Dr Brenner aka Papa

Brenner's status is currently unknown, with rumours circulating from one of his co-workers that he is still alive. At the end of season 1, it is assumed that he is killed by the Demogorgon. He only appears as an illusion in season 2 and is not seen at all in season 3. Given that the Russians are trying to desperately get into the Upside Down and learn more about it, they could have captured the one person who knows a lot of about it and has actively been involved in it.

Stranger Things 3: Who is the American prisoner?
Stranger Things 3: Who is the American prisoner in Russia? Picture: Netflix

How did the Russians get the Demogorgon?

The American prisoner is not the only revelation that happened in the post credit scene. It was also revealed that the Russians have also somehow come into possession of the original Demogorgon. The very same Demogorgon that we haven’t seen since Eleven destroyed it in season 1. As prisoners are dragged out of their cells, they are then thrown into a cage where the Demogorgon appears in a weird gladiator type situation.

But how did the Russians get the Demogoron? Who knows! What do they want to use the Demogorgon for? WHO KNOWS!

All we know is, season 4 is about to be bonkers.