Can anyone survive the Upside Down? That’s a question not many know the answer to. However, creators Matt and Ross Duffer have divulged the “Stranger Things” ending to a lucky few — including star David Harbour.
“I think it varies from person to person, from character to character, and I’m such a harassment specialist that I think I’ve gotten it out of them. It’s been back and forth about like, ‘What happens to Hopper? Is he a character that’s able to survive Hawkins or does he die?’” Harbour tells Variety. “I know what happens and it’s quite moving, and quite beautiful.”
On May 27, Netflix will release the first half of Season 4, which consists of seven episodes. The last two episodes will drop on July 1. The show has been renewed for a fifth and final season.
While the news of the series’ end was only announced this year, Harbour has known how the show ends for quite some time.
“I think that I needed to know as we were shooting early on, because I needed to know where he ends up and for what reason he ends up there. I think there is going to be somewhat of a morality — or at least responsible storytelling — to what the Duffers are doing,” he explains. “There’s a reason in Season 2 why Bob dies. He’s too innocent. You can’t go up to that monster and say, like, ‘Get away from me, get away!’ You just can’t be that person in this world. That person dies. So I think there’s a responsibility in terms of how Hopper ends up that I’m eager for people to see, and I had to know that going in so I knew where to arc it.”
Harbour notes that he’s been very good at keeping quiet and has yet to reveal any spoilers throughout the years of doing the show. “I will hold this one to my grave, I promise,” he laughs. “This is a big one.”
Season 4 follows the cast as they’ve been separated following Hooper’s apparent death at the end of Season 3. While the Byers family and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) have moved to California, the rest of the gang have entered high school in Hawkins. Hopper, meanwhile, is being kept prisoner in Russia, which meant Harbour was filming a good chunk of the season in Lithuania.
“It was different and as a result of different, kind of great,” he says before joking, “I don’t want it to get back to my fellow cast members that I liked not working with them, but I’ve gotta say it was refreshing!”
In all seriousness, he adds that over the seven years of shooting, Hopper has spent a lot of time at the center of Hawkins and as an actor, he was excited to do something a bit different.
“To have him be so far away with a bunch of Lithuanians who didn’t speak English was kind of fun! It was like doing a big old prison escape movie on my own,” he tells Variety. “I like mixing it up. There was a whole physical transformation that happens and a mental one. He’s a totally different guy. He really is stripped bare and to the core of who he is. I really like that. Playing the same note over and over again is really hard. The Duffers were really responsive to the fact that we wanted to do other things. We had talked as we were shooting Season 3, I was like, ‘We’ve got fat dad Hopper pretty much in the can. We may as well try something new!’”