Stranger Things 5 will focus on Will and Vecna will return as the villain

8 January 2024, 15:22

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Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Stranger Things 5 is set to dive straight into the danger, continuing on from season 4's devastating ending.

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Dying to know what's going to happen in Stranger Things 5? You're in luck, because the details have finally started rolling in.

As you'll probably know by now, Stranger Things 5 is set to be the final outing for our beloved Hawkins heroes. And the final season of the show is set to be absolutely show-stopping, bringing the the whole saga to an official end.

READ MORE: Stranger Things season 5: Release date, spoilers, cast, news and trailers

Following the release of Stranger Things 4 Volume 2, the Duffer brothers have now teased a whole host of ideas, plans and storylines that are set to appear in season 5. Filming on season 5 is officially set to begin in January 2024, with the full cast on set ready to close out the final chapter.

From Will Byers' starring role and the return of Vecna, to the episode lengths and the way in which season 5 will echo season 1, here's everything we know about Stranger Things 5 so far.

What will happen in Stranger Things 5?

Stranger Things 5 plot details revealed
Stranger Things 5 plot details revealed. Picture: Netflix

At the end of Stranger Things 4, we find out that Vecna's big ol' masterplan is officially in motion. Max's "death" allowed the fourth and final gate to open, causing four massive cracks to tear through Hawkins with a huge gate opening outside Hawkins Public Library. (In case you didn't clock the reference, that's the exact location where Will was found in the Upside Down in season 1.)

In the final scene, we see that the Upside Down is now spreading throughout Hawkins. As Eleven walks out into the field by Hopper's cabin, the grass and the flowers are dying and there's ominous Upside Down "snow" falling from the sky as red lightning strikes the smoke clouds over the city.

But what does all that mean for Stranger Things 5, and how does it set up what's going to happen next? Here's what Matt and Ross Duffer have revealed...

READ MORE: Stranger Things creators confirm Max is now braindead and blind

Stranger Things 4 ending shows Hawkins completely devastated
Stranger Things 4 ending shows Hawkins completely devastated. Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things 5 will have a strong focus on Will Byers.

And just like that, it all comes back to Will Byers... Speaking to Collider, the Duffer brothers confirmed that Will's story – from his connection to the Upside Down, to his the on-going personal journey with his sexuality – will play a significant part of season 5.

"Will's going to be a big part and focus, is really all I can say of Season 5, in his journey," Matt Duffer teased. "We're starting to see his coming of age, really. Which has been challenging for a number of reasons, some of which are supernatural. But you're starting to see him come into his own."

The questions we all have now, thanks to that ominous shot of Will touching the back of his neck, are: How exactly is Will connected to Vecna? And why did Vecna/the Mind Flayer choose him, specifically, to kidnap way back in season 1?

READ MORE: Noah Schnapp responds to criticism over Will's sexuality storyline in Stranger Things 4

Stranger Things 5 will take place entirely in Hawkins.

After Stranger Things 4's world tour which saw the characters split up in four different locations (Indiana, California, Nevada and Russia), season 5 will take things right back to basics with the whole season taking place in Hawkins.

The Duffer brothers confirmed that "everyone is gonna be back in Hawkins," all joining forces to try and end Vecna and the Upside Down once and for all.

Vecna will still be the villain in Stranger Things 5.

And yep, just as we thought, Vecna will still be the big bad when season 5 rolls around. (There better be a Radio Shack megastore nearby because everyone's gonna need their own cassette player to survive his petty antics.)

At the end of season 4, we saw Nancy, Steve and Robin team up to try and kill Vecna's physical form in the Upside Down. They almost had him, but he somehow managed to escape and has now disappeared.

His fate was later confirmed by Will, who told Mike: "Now that I’m here, in Hawkins, I can feel him and he’s hurt. He’s hurting but he’s still alive. It’s strange knowing now who it was this whole time but I can still remember what he thinks and how he thinks, and he’s not going to stop. Ever. Not until he’s taken everything and everyone. We have to kill him."

Jamie Campbell Bower has all but confirmed he'll be back as Vecna, hinting to The Hollywood Reporter: “Let me put it this way: I know about season five. Take from that what you will.”

Stranger Things 5 will focus on Will Byers
Stranger Things 5 will focus on Will Byers. Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things 5's storyline will echo season 1, but on a much larger scale with higher stakes.

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt and Ross Duffer teases what fans can expect from the tone and vibe of season 5.

"It’s going to feel a lot larger in scale than season 1, but we wanna go back to a lot of things we did in season 1, a lot of original groupings and pairings – there’s something nice about coming full circle,” they teased. "So it’s gonna feel bigger than season 1 much more massive in terms of the stakes and the scale, but we wanna revisit a lot of things we did in season 1."

Stranger Things 5 will see the original season 1 pairings team up.

With the season said to be taking us back to the OG days of 1983, fans can hopefully expect to see The Party reuniting as a team. Season 1 saw Mike, Dustin and Lucas grouped up, with Eleven joining them after escaping the lab. Will, of course, was stuck in the Upside Down but he could join them in season 5.

Elsewhere, Nancy will probably be spending her time with both Jonathan and Steve. And we assume that Joyce and Hopper will be back in business as Mom and Dad.

That leaves Robin and Erica, who we can only assume will join the Nancy/Steve/Jonathan trio and The Party, respectively. As for Max? Well... let's hope she has some company in that hospital room of hers.

Stranger Things 5 will see the characters in their original groups
Stranger Things 5 will see the characters in their original groups. Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things 5 will dive straight into where season 4 left off.

At the start of every season of Stranger Things, we usually get to see a little glimpse of what each character is doing before the danger really starts. That won't be happening at the start of season 5.

"It’s gonna be moving – I don’t know if it’s gonna be going 100 miles an hour at the start of 5 – but it’s gonna be moving pretty fast," the Duffers teased on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. "Characters are already going to be in action, they’re already gonna have a goal and a drive."

Speaking to NME, Matt Duffer added that season 5 will just dive straight into the drama: "Typically in the previous seasons, everything wraps up in a nice bow. Four and five are really [connected] together. [With five], there’ll be no wind-up time – like even this season, you get to experience the kids and what they’re going through in high school before things start to escalate. Then it gets crazier and crazier and crazier – that’s typically the trajectory. Five, you’re just going to be right in the middle of it so it’s going to feel very, very different."

Max is now braindead and blind.

Speaking of picking up where season 4 left off... One of the most devastating moments in season 4 results in Max almost being killed by Vecna. Somehow, Eleven managed to bring her back to life, but she's now in a coma.

The Duffer Brothers have confirmed that she's actually braindead and blind, but she'll play an important part in the final season. Speaking on Netflix Geeked's Unlocked, Ross Duffer said: "I can't really get into the details but it is important that she is [in a coma]. And that is going to have a major effect on 5."

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

READ MORE: Stranger Things 4 originally planned to kill off Max permanently

Stranger Things 5 will not be as long in run-time as season 4

If you hate how long the episodes were in season 4, then this will be music to your ears. But if you loved the longer episode lengths? Bad times for you...

In a new interview with Collider, the Duffer brothers teased that season 5 will around eight episodes long, and those episodes will stick to the usual runtime.

"We thought Season 4 was going to be eight [episodes], and they were going to be regular length," Matt Duffer said. "So if you had interviewed us before four, that's what I would've said. I think we're aiming for eight again. We don't want it to be 13 hours. We're aiming for more like 10 hours or something. 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."

Ross Duffer added: "This season, for instance, it was two hours before our characters even realized the monster was killing people in Hawkins. They know what the threat is now, and so that will help speed it up."

Read more about Stranger Things 5 here:

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