Stranger Things 4 originally planned to kill off Max permanently

8 January 2024, 16:02

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Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

The idea of putting Max in a coma actually came about during the 6 month pandemic delay, and the proposed ending was changed.

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If you've watched the final episode of Stranger Things 4, then you'll already know what happens to our beloved zoomer and Kate Bush stan Max. (If you haven't finished it yet, what the hell are you doing here reading these spoilers?!)

Anyway, at the end of season 4, Max is left in a coma following her second encounter with Vecna. After attempting to lure Vecna into her mind so that Nancy, Robin and Steve could destroy his physical body, Max ends up being brutally killed.

However, a wild plot twist appears in the form of Eleven, who somehow manages to bring her back to life. But while Max's physical body is still with us, her brain/mind/consciousness is no longer there.

Max's coma is set to factor into Stranger Things 5 in a big way, but it's now been revealed that in the original scripts for season 4, Max really was actually meant to die for real.

Does Max actually die in Stranger Things 4?

Stranger Things 4: Max died for real in the first draft of the script
Stranger Things 4: Max died for real in the first draft of the script. Picture: Netflix

Speaking on Netflix Geeked's Unlocked after show, the Duffer brothers revealed that Max's coma was not something they had planned to include at first. In fact, it came about as a result of the delay caused by the pandemic.

As we all know, production on Stranger Things 4 was shut down due to the pandemic. But those delays meant the writers could go back into the scripts they'd already written, fix certain parts and make changes to the storyline. One of those things that ended up taking on a different path was Max's ending.

When asked by host Felicia Day if "there was any possibility that [Max] was going to die permanently," the Duffer brothers dropped a bombshell.

"It was discussed, it was discussed as a possibility. And for a while, that is what was going to happen," Ross Duffer confirmed.

Ultimately though, the brothers decided to end Max's season 4 storyline on "more of a question mark," with her fate hanging in the balance. The reason for that? "We wanted to leave it a little bit up in the air moving forward into season 5."

Stranger Things 4 Vol. 2: Unlocked | FULL SPOILERS Official After Show | Netflix Geeked

Matt Duffer then revealed that the idea of putting Max in a coma actually came about during the 6 month pandemic delay, once they figured out how it would play into season 5's storyline.

"The other thing about the coma, that idea that came as we were also in this extra half year that we had," Matt said. "We went and broke season 5. So season 5, and the fact that she's in the coma. I can't really get into the details but it is important that she is. And that is going to have a major effect on 5."

He added: "It's not a 'cheat', it's incredibly relevant to 5."

READ MORE: Stranger Things' Caleb McLaughlin lost his voice after filming Max's death scene

Stranger Things 5: Max's coma will be very important to the storyline
Stranger Things 5: Max's coma will be very important to the storyline. Picture: Netflix

Previously, the Duffer brothers addressed the questions surrounding Max's current status. Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the brothers confirmed that Max is "braindead and blind and all of her bones are broken".

At the end of season 4, we see Eleven try to find Max in the void. Usually, El is able to locate anyone in both the real world and the Upside Down using her remote viewing powers. Eleven is unable to find Max, which effectively means that Max (or perhaps, Max's mind/consciousness) somehow no longer exists.

The latest theories suggest that Max's soul now lives within Vecna, as he consumes everything when he takes a life. If that's the case, and Eleven is able to defeat him, could Max finally wake up in season 5? Here's hoping.

Read more about Stranger Things 5 here:

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