Published On: Fri, Jul 1st, 2022

Stranger Things season 5: Everything we know so far about the Netflix show’s final chapter

What lies in store for Eleven and the rest of the Hawkins gang…?

Stranger Things season 5 is officially on the way. The new episodes may not have started filming yet, but we still have some idea about what to expect in the next chapter of Netflix’s world-dominating series.

Creators Matt and Ross Duffer, known as the Duffer Brothers, have already hinted that a time jump is likely to feature, which makes sense considering the young actors’ growth spurts. Meanwhile, executive producer Shawn Levy has opened up about not wanting the series to outstay its welcome, suggesting that a bold, satisfying ending is on the horizon. “We don’t want to be one of those shows that is flailing while it searches for a way to stick the landing,” he said. “We really want to stick the landing.”

(Image credit: Netflix)

Season 4 saw our Hawkins heroes face off against Vecna, a powerful enemy who has a complicated history with Eleven and Dr. Martin Brenner. The battle proved one of their most challenging yet – and will carry over into season 5. And while there’s no exact Stranger Things season 5 release date just yet, we can use our knowledge of previous seasons to work out when new episodes could arrive. (Fore more, check out our guide to the Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2 ending.)

Word of caution: friends don’t lie, and they also don’t knowingly ruin things, so if you’ve yet to watch Stranger Things 4, click away and come back at a later date. There are some MAJOR spoilers below. Scroll on, fellow nerds, to catch up… 

Stranger Things season 5 release date

Considering how Stranger Things season 5 has yet to start filming, it’s safe to assume we’ve got a little bit of a wait before the next chapter arrives. Due to COVID-related shutdowns, season 4 wrapped filming in September 2021 – having originally kicked off production in February 2020 – and the first seven episodes were not released until May 2022, eight months after filming finished.

Pre-pandemic, each season has typically taken around six to seven months to shoot. Factor in lengthy VFX post-production work and it takes well over a year to complete a season from start to finish. We would therefore estimate that Stranger Things season 5 won’t come out until late 2023 at the very earliest. 

Realistically, though, the new season will probably drop in 2024. Seasons 2 and 3 were almost two years apart, and that was before coronavirus disrupted things, so we know the Duffers aren’t afraid to test our patience. As this is the final season, they’re probably going to want to go big, too, meaning that season 5 could possibly take even longer. We’ll continue to update this piece when filming starts. 

Is Stranger Things season 5 the final season?

In terms of Eleven, her friends at Hawkins, and the Upside Down, Stranger Things season 5 will be the last chapter in this story – but that doesn’t mean it’s the last Netflix series that will be set in the Stranger Things universe. 

When announcing the looming end of the Netflix show, the Duffer Brothers hinted at a potential spin-off series: “There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things. New mysteries, new adventures, new unexpected heroes.” 

“We haven’t told anyone the idea yet, much less written it,” they added later on. “We think everyone – including Netflix – will be surprised when they hear the concept, because it’s very, very different. Somehow, Finn Wolfhard – who is one crazy smart kid – correctly guessed what it was going to be about. But aside from Finn, no one else knows!”

Stranger Things season 5 plot

For now, the Stranger Things season 5 plot is firmly under wraps, but the Duffer Brothers have teased that they have the whole series’ conclusion pretty firmly mapped out. “We know what the ending is,” Matt Duffer previously said during an interview with SFX. “It’s conceivable that it changes but I think it’s unlikely because it’s one of those endings that just feels, and has always felt, right. It also feels sort of inevitable. Then when you come up with it, you’re like, ‘Oh yeah well, that is absolutely what is has to be.'”Advertisement

“We’re introducing new stuff, but we’re also tightening and wrapping up in a certain direction,” David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper, said while promoting season 4. “To make it have a clear, clean, specific, and definite ending at some point, which I can’t really talk about.”

Season 4 concluded with every group – in Nevada, Hawkins, and Russia, respectively – somewhat unknowingly teaming up to take down Vecna. While Max baits his subconscious at the Creel House, Robin, Steve, and Nancy set fire to his defenseless physical form in the Upside Down. Elsewhere, Mike and Will dunk Eleven in a makeshift sensory deprivation tank, and her mind finds its way to Max to assist her in facing off against the big bad. But as Will states towards the end of episode 9, Vecna is far from defeated.

“Now that I’m back, 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. He’s not gonna stop, ever, not until he’s taken everything… everyone… We have to kill him,” he solemnly tells Mike. 

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