Stranger Things Season 4 was full of unexpected twists, turns and revelations for the Hawkins gang, and although this could arguably be the most action and adventure-packed season yet, for some beloved characters it ended on a much darker note.
It comes as no surprise that the Duffer Brothers called Stranger Things Season 4 their Game of Thrones season, with a steep increase in violence and character deaths in the latest season. The introduction and then death of Dungeons and Dragons master, rebel, and easy-to-love metal-head Eddie Munson shook fans to their core. What started in an epic guitar solo ended in his tragic death as he sacrifices himself to save his friends in a tear-jerking season finale.
So it seems to have been made pretty clear that Eddie Munson is dead, and fans have to accept that, but theories circling like absolute wildfire on the internet discussing other ways that the quirky fan favorite could still feature in Season 5 in some way, shape, or form.
Some pretty convincing ideas have arisen, one of the first ones to come about is that Eddie could return as a vision or flashback.
Eddie returning as a ghost theory
It is clear that as much as fans want Eddie Munson to appear in season 5 in some way or another, Joseph Quinn wants the same, having openly been in talks with producers and castmates trying to figure out ways his character could exist in the upcoming installment of the series.
One theory is that Eddie could return as a ghost of vision to the Hawkins gang, specifically Dustin. The pair became exceptionally close during the final season, and Dustin held Eddie as he said his final words and took his last breath in a devastating end for his character. Producers have played around a lot with the mind over the course of the series, with Vecna and Eleven being able to enter people's minds and memories, with the latest occurrence being Eleven learning to piggyback Vecna and battle his physical being in Sam's mind. It would not be a far reach to have Eddie appear in the same way in Dustin's mind and memories or any other members of the Hawkins gang.
A slightly more far-fetched theory was pointed out recently. At the end of Season 4, when Eddie's uncle is putting up missing person flyers for Eddie, his age on the flyers is stated as 17. Fans have pointed out that this is incorrect as he was estimated to be around 20 years old, having failed high school a few times before and being obviously older than his peers. Even the best TV shows and movies are not immune to making mistakes. This could simply be an error by the production crew, or it could point to an upcoming plot twist involving Eddie. It is also important not to forget that the Upside Down works on a different timeline to the real world, with it being 1983 in the Upside Down and 1986 in the real world. These two factors combined could possibly point at something unexpected in season 5, fans are eagerly waiting to see if this discovery was significant or simply coincidental.
Will Eleven bring Eddie back with her healing powers?
Fans discovered in the latest season that Eleven has healing powers. She uses them on Max after her encounter with Vecna and brings her back from the brink of death. How far do these newly found powers reach? Could Eleven possibly bring Eddie back from the dead in the Upside Down if time works differently there?
Eddie as a vampire? Sign us up!
Let us not forget the most popular, and probably the most plausible theory of them all. Eddie as a vampire. It is pretty clear that the plot themes and villains in Stranger Things have run parallel to those of the game Dungeons and Dragons, so it comes as no surprise that the game could give fans all the answers they need. In the game, Vecna has a right-hand man named Kas the Bloody Handed who was formerly an enemy of Vecna's but agreed to be resurrected as a vampire and join him as his lieutenant. This theory really could work. It would give Eddie a chance to finally redeem himself, as Kas eventually betrays Vecna, killing him and ending his reign of terror. Eddie coming back as a vampire also could work, as he was killed by Demobats. He would come back as a member of the undead, and it is also possible that death and resurrection can happen in the Upside Down. The cherry on top of the theory is that Kas the Bloody Handed favors a sword and shield as his weapon of choice, and Eddie took the same makeshift weapons into his battle in the Upside Down. Could this be foreshadowing?
Unfortunately, as strong as these theories may seem, it cannot be argued that Eddie Munson completed a pretty full character arc and there is not much left for him to do in terms of character development. He went from zero to hero, having started the series off running from any sign of danger without shame and ending off fearlessly making the ultimate sacrifice in order to save not just his friends, but the people of Hawkins who had treated him as an outcast and a murderer for most of his season. In his tragic ending, Eddie redeemed himself and unfortunately, this may have been the full role his character was intended to play.
All fans can do is hope that the Duffer Brothers have a surprise up their sleeves involving Eddie Munson for Season 5