Warning: This story includes spoilers for Stranger Things season 3.
Now that most Stranger Things fans have binge-watched all of season 3, they're left trying to come to terms with the fact that a few of their favorite characters won’t be returning to Hawkins next season. Naturally, this has led some viewers to start cooking up a range of different fan theories as to how one particular character might be able to come back.
In other words: No one wants to believe Jim Hopper is dead.
Following the season’s heartbreaking conclusion, the post-credits scene rolled and convinced fans that Hopper might have survived the final battle at the Starcourt Mall, with one mention of “the American.” While David Harbour, the actor behind the character, has remained tight-lipped as to the status of his onscreen alter ego, Millie Bobby Brown might have just confirmed his fate.
The 15-year-old actress spoke with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the emotional scene where Eleven reads the scrapped letter from Hopper. But while recalling what it was like filming the part, Brown hinted that her onscreen “dad” isn’t really dead.
"They had prerecorded David [Harbour] and they played it out loud. I didn’t want to read that speech. I didn’t want to hear about it. I didn’t want to rehearse it. I just immediately wanted to put a camera on me and find the way I react and the way I reacted was pure devastation and sadness, and a distraught child that just lost her father or so she thinks."
... Or so she thinks?
Although a fourth season of Stranger Things hasn’t even been announced yet, fans are already sure that Hopper will be included. Even Brown admitted that she doesn't know whether a fourth season is coming.
"I know things here and there, but nothing deep or something I could tell you about," Brown said. "If there was a season 4, we would be really excited, but right now, we have to see how season 3 goes and how the fans react to it."
In the meantime, we’ll have to keep ourselves busy by re-watching season 3 again and looking for any clues that might mean Hopper is alive.
[h/t Entertainment Weekly]