Did Hopper die in Stranger Things 3? Here's evidence that proves he's alive
6 July 2019, 22:58 | Updated: 6 July 2019, 23:01
The Stranger Things 3 ending and the post-credit scene is game changing - yet also slightly confusing.
After a somewhat uplifting ending to Stranger Things 2, it was only a matter of time before all of that came crashing back down in Hawkins, Indiana to throw our faves right back into the danger zone.
In Stranger Things 3, there's a whole new threat. Well, there's two new threats actually and each one sees a different group of characters pushed to their limits before they all join up at the end in a bid to save the town - and each other.
One of those threats is tackled head on by Hawkins' favourite Dad™ and Chief of Police, Jim Hopper. In season 3, Hopper finds himself on a mission with Joyce Byers after she discovers a mysterious occurrence in town where magnets start falling off fridges.
Things happen, they find themselves in different locations and then find themselves in some serious trouble. At the end of the season, the two are required to make a huge decision that has catastrophic consequences. But the outcome of that decision has how left viewers with a hell of a lot of questions - mainly about what happened to Hopper.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR STRANGER THINGS 3.
STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN EPISODE 8.
In the final episode, Hopper and Joyce find themselves in the tunnels below Starcourt Mall, at the controls of the machine that is trying to pry open the vagina-looking gate to the Upside Down. Just as Team Jopper are about to shut down the machine using the two-key system, the Russian guy shows up and Hop leaves to fight him off. They end up next to the machine, where Hopper ultimately pushes him into it and kills him just as Dustin gives the urgent signal above ground to Joyce, who is in the control room ready to turn the keys.
Hopper is still standing next to the machine when he hears the call and looks up at Joyce, telling her to finish the job through some heartbreaking eye contact. Essentially, this is him saying “Do it. It's ok. Don’t worry about me. Save Hawkins. Save the kids. You’re the best. I literally love you. #DetectiveByers. #Jopper. #WinonaForever."
She closes her eyes, turns the keys and the screen goes blank. The machine starts to break, with sparks and bits flying everywhere. The four men in hazmats suits who came strolling in seconds before are IMMEDIATELY blown to bits by the machine.
BUT WHERE IS HOPPER? Seeing as he was standing next to the reactor, we assume that he is 100% dead. Gone. Vanished. Vaporised. RIP. Goodbye. Cut to me absolutely sobbing behind my laptop. Three months later, it’s revealed that Hopper died, as a news report is shown with the words “Hero Chief dies in fire” appearing in a newspaper column. Of course, it wasn’t a "fire" - but the rest of Hawkins don’t need to know that.
But despite the 'confirmation', there's a possibility that Hopper could still be alive... Allow me to explain.
So, is Hopper actually dead? Or is Hopper still alive?
EXHIBIT A: No blood, no bones, no nothing...
In the very opening scene, we see what happens to the Russian men who are struck by the currents when the machine malfunctions. They turn into a horrible goopy mass on the floor. When Joyce enters the room after the blast and approaches where Hopper was standing, there’s nothing. No blood, no bones.
Now, it’s entirely possible that the blast that hit Hopper was much more powerful than the shocks that happened in the first episode but there would still be some shred of bodily matter there, right? RIGHT?
EXHIBIT B: We didn't actually see Hopper die...
There’s a few seconds where Joyce closed her eyes and turns the keys before the screen goes black. In that time, it’s entirely possible that Hopper could have either been taken from the platform and bundled into another room by the Russians. Before Grigori attacked Hopper, Murray said that he had company. A group of Russians also entered the room before Joyce turned the keys. Could they have broken in, kidnapped Hopper and escaped the room before it all exploded? Steve did reveal his name to the man in charge after all...
Or, maybe he got sucked in to the gate? And ended up in another dimension? Or in the Upside Down? Maybe?
EXHIBIT C: Hopper wasn't even standing on the platform when the machine exploded...
Like, there's literally no one there. He can be seen in the wide shots prior to the blast, but as the blast is happening, there's no one standing on that platform. This further backs the conspiracy theory that he was somehow removed from the platform prior to the blast.
EXHIBIT D: The post credit scene and the identity of the American prisoner...
The all important post credit scene could hint at Hopper’s survival. After the credits of the final episode, we’re shown a Russian compound. Two guards walk down a hallway of prison cells. One says “No. Not the American.” Considering Murray made it out alive with Joyce and Mayor Kline was arrested three months later, it's possible that it could be Hopper.
Hopper’s fate will no doubt be one of the main focuses of season 4 (which is “definitely happening” but is still yet to be confirmed.) So, until then, all we can do is sit and wait… and cry about the date Joyce and Hop never went on. And cry about Eleven, who lost her dad. And cry some more about Jopper. Bye.