Stranger Things fans have been reeling since Jim Hopper, the character played by David Harbour, died at the end of season 3. While most are rooting for the return of the grumpy policeman, Harbour is glad his character’s fate took the turn it did.
The Black Widow actor recently sat down with the Los Angeles Times and revealed that, while he doesn’t want to be written off the Netflix mega-hit, he is glad Hopper supposedly died. It's probably best to let Harbour explain:
“When I read that first scene with Joyce [Winona Ryder] and Hopper, and he resists helping her find her child and even makes a bit of a homophobic joke about him, you see this guy has really sort of died on the inside as a result of the death of his daughter. The fact that he lives with a certain amount of internalized rage and had been slowly killing himself with pills and alcohol ... he needed to make a sacrifice.”
Harbour continued by saying that the story arc gave Hopper the opportunity to truly shed his baggage and be reborn, so to speak, if it turns out he did survive.
"One way it could be viewed is he has to die to make it up to [his daughter] Sara and see her in the afterlife," Harbour added. "The other view is that because of this newfound relationship with Eleven [Millie Bobby Brown], he needs to shed his skin, make a sacrifice that allows his character to re-emerge. He was finally able to really take a bullet for a child, which he had never been able to do because Sara died of cancer. I think there’s a perfection to it."
While Harbour swore that he doesn't know if there will be a “second-act resurrection” for Hopper, a character that he “desperately” loves, he does think Hopper would have to “emerge a different individual” if he comes back.