Steve, Robin, Max and Dustin in Stranger Things 4
7 Stranger Things 4 Theories To Keep You Guessing Until Vol. 2

There's still so much to uncover.

by Ani Bundel

When Netflix revealed Stranger Things 4 would arrive in two parts, fans knew they were in for a cliffhanger situation. Theories abounded ahead of the season’s premiere, positing everything from the return of Billy to Chernobyl being involved in Hopper’s storyline. However, by the time Episode 7 ended, the Stranger Things 4, Volume 2 theories were nothing like what fans anticipated.

Warning: Spoilers for Stranger Things 4, Volume 1 follow. Although it’s the spring of 1986 in the show, Chernobyl didn’t come up at all in Vol. 1, and the Dacre Montgomery cameo turned out to be a red herring. Instead, fans discovered the main antagonist is, for the first time, not the Mind Flayer but a far more malignant evil: Vecna. As with the first three seasons, the creature is named for a D&D character. However, this demon from the Upside Down is far more frightening — he was once a test subject from Brenner’s lab, the legendary Number One. He’s also the son of Victor Creel — before he was handed over to Brenner, he killed his mother and sister and framed his father to take the fall.

Although only Eleven knows the truth about what Hawkins is facing by the time Vol. 1 comes to an end, fans still have many questions about the final two episodes of the season. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest.


Ms. Kelly Is Connected To Vecna


One of the early theories comes from the Vecna’s exploitation of traumatic memories. The demon getting inside the heads of those outside the Upside Down seems to be linked to it, but the connection brings up the possibility the school psychiatrist, Ms. Kelly, is somehow helping Vecna.

If Ms. Kelly secretly believes depression is not a severe mental health issue, she could be working with Vecna to cull the weak. Or she could be an unwitting accomplice, unaware that her work is fueling a monster. Either way, she’s worth keeping in mind heading into the final two seasons.


Vecna Will Attack Will


Vecna went after Max because of her traumatic experience watching Billy sacrifice himself. But there’s someone who is far more traumatized by the events of the past few seasons — so much so that Joyce packed him up and moved the family to California.

Will is now on his way back to Hawkins as part of the crew working to find Eleven. When he arrives back in his hometown, the amount of unprocessed trauma he’s carrying (and his connection to the Mind Flayer) could make him the prime target for Vecna’s powers.


Mike & The Others Will Rescue Eleven

Tina Rowden/Netflix © 2022

Speaking of Eleven, trapped in the memories of the past, someone will need to pull her away from Sam and Brenner before too long. The two Hawkins teams ended Episode 7 reunited into one group, but those outside the town are still working to get back to each other.

As much as one might want Hopper to burst into Brenner’s lab and rip the scientist a new one for hurting his daughter, the reality is Mike and company are almost certainly going to reach her first. That’s going to make for an exciting rescue — kids versus adults.


Eddie Munson Will Save Nancy (But At What Cost?)

Tina Rowden/Netflix © 2022

Eddie has been a great addition to the Hawkins team in Season 4. Unlike other members (Steve, I’m talking about Steve), he does not freak out upon being confronted with the Upside Down and takes most of the abnormalities the group encounters in stride.

But the entire town is convinced Eddie is Public Enemy No. 1 and the cause for all the recent tragedies in Hawkins. Moreover, the government will need a real-world explanation to hide the Upside Down again, in order to fool the citizens into believing nothing supernatual is afoot. These two realities suggest Eddie may not survive this season. The only question is how it happens. With Nancy being set up to be Vecna’s next target, he’ll likely throw himself in front of that bus and sacrifice himself to keep her alive.


Nancy & Steve Are Endgame

Netflix © 2022

Stranger Things originally began with Nancy and Steve as high school sweethearts, but by Season 2, their relationship was over, and she was with Jonathan. However, it seems the series is reversing course. Jonathan is now a slacker stoner and Nancy’s ambition is too much for him, the way it once was for no-plans-for-college-Steve. Meanwhile, Steve and Nancy are once again monster-hunting together, and it couldn’t be more obvious their old feelings are still there.

The series is practically broadcasting “Steve + Nancy = Endgame” currently. Unless there is a significant derail, the Harrington-Wheeler connection is back on.


Will Has A Crush On Mike


Will’s sexuality has been the subject of speculation since Season 3, when he lagged behind the others in emotional development and being ready to date. But some weren’t sure, thinking his story was more an example of how teens mature at different rates.

But Season 4 added fuel to the fire, as Will displayed open jealousy over Mike’s attention to Eleven and how they have been in constant communication. Once again, it could be read as the emotional blow of growing apart after moving thousands of miles across the country from his BFF. But the cast and crew have been cagey about Will’s motives being up to viewers’ interpretation.


Fans Will Learn Why Hawkins Is The Center Of The Upside Down


Why Hawkins?

That’s been the unspoken question since Stranger Things’ debut. Why is this tiny town in the middle of Indiana the center of the Upside Down?

For the first time, fans have an outline of an answer that ties the town, the Creel House, Brenner’s experiments, and Number One together. Victor Creel’s son as Brenner’s first test subject is a good start. But why Vecna is still here, why Eleven is still the Upside Down’s obsession, and how the Russians got a Demogorgon are all questions the final two episodes seem poised to answer.

Stranger Things 1 through 3 and Stranger Things 4, Volume 1 are streaming on Netflix. Volume 2 premieres July 1, 2022.