The Stranger Things 4 teaser has already sparked some major theories
1 October 2019, 17:15
The new Stranger Things teaser has inspired fan theories ranging from time travel to Hopper being in the Upside Down in season 4.
After months of waiting and fan speculation, Netflix has finally announced that Stranger Things will officially return for season 4. Along with the announcement came a teaser with very few details, but enough clues to fuel fan theories of varying probabilities. One thing we know for sure? We're definitely not in Hawkins anymore, at least according to the super spooky new teaser.
Shortly after season 3 dropped, fans came up with season 4 theories about who "the American" was, whether Hopper was stuck in the Upside Down, and when the next season would take place. Now, the short teaser has inspired theories that, if true, could signal some big drama in season 4.
These are some of the most compelling Stranger Things season 4 theories following Netflix's renewal announcement and the teaser video.
Will Stranger Things season 4 involve time travel?
The Stranger Things time travel theory has been floating around since the show began teasing a giant ticking clock. Along with the clock, Stranger Things has also been signposting an upside-down smiley face.
No one can quite agree on what time the clock is displaying, however, it’s led to plenty of speculation that there could be a time travel plot in season 4.
Generally, fans have been lukewarm on the idea of Stranger Things incorporating time travel. Mainly because it can get messy very quickly.
i swear if stranger things, another one of my favorite pieces of media along with the mcu, decides to mess with time travel i will fucking build a time machine myself and tell them to stop right there before they do it— ems | madison day!! (@stxvetonys) September 30, 2019
Meanwhile, others have guessed that the clock could be a reference to the "Doomsday clock", a visual aid that was historically meant to represent the likelihood of a world-ending global crisis such as nuclear holocaust. Factor that into another theory that Chernobyl could play a part in season 4 and suddenly a "Doomsday Clock" is making more and more sense.
Will season 4 take place in the Upside Down?
This one is less of a "theory" and more of a foregone conclusion. We will definitely be seeing more of the Upside Down in season 4. The teaser made that point loud and clear.
Up until now, only a few of the characters on the show have spent any extended time in the Upside Down. Will and El have been there but season 4 could be the first detailed look at the mysterious parallel dimension that has terrified fans since season 1.
Fans have spotted a "welcome to Hawkins" sign in the right corner of the teaser. Meanwhile, fans also think they can also see Hop's cabin with the porch light on. Both of these bread crumbs strongly point at viewers witnessing Hopper or even someone else trapped in the Upside Down.
Will we get to see survivalist Hop fighting for his life in the Upside Down?
Were season 3 and 4 of Stranger Things shot at the same time?
Some fans have floated the idea that season 3 and season 4 of Stranger Things were shot simultaneously and that a release date is coming sooner rather than later. It's not entirely implausible, especially considering the 21-month wait between season 2 and 3.
Fans have also pointed to the fact that there have been some interesting hair transformations among some of the cast members (ahem Joe, David, and Millie, we're looking at you!), which likely wouldn't happen if filming were to start shortly.
Then there is the fact that Thanksgiving and Christmas were referenced in the final episode of season 3 which a few fans have even guessed could mean a late 2019 or even New Years drop. That, however, doesn't seem very likely. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
What does the clock chiming mean in the Stranger Things season 4 teaser?
At the end of the teaser, a clock chimes with a familiar tune. But what does the chiming mean? While some guessed it might be a reference to Big Ben, Insider theorises that the bells we hear are more similar to a clock tower called Old Joe located at the University of Birmingham in the UK.
Could Stranger Things be going fully international on us?
Fans have also theorised that the clock could have a drop date hidden somewhere in it.
Season 4 Chernobyl theory rears its head (again)
It's not our favourite theory but we have to mention it. Talks of Chernobyl have been floating around since season 3 ended and it became clear that we weren't quite finished with the Russian plot. The Chernobyl disaster takes place in April 1986, 9 months after Hopper's disappearance.
If you factor in the Doomsday clock theory then the ticking timepiece in the teaser could be warning that somehow messing with the Upside Down in Russia may trigger the catastrophic events of Chernobyl. We like this theory about as much as we like the time travel theory but these things have to be mentioned!
Brenner, aka "Papa", is definitely probably "the American".
Let's revisit the facts, shall we? We never saw Dr. Brenner die on screen. What we actually saw was him being attacked by a Demogorgon in season 1. But, no dead body to speak of. Interesting!
Secondly, who else would have enough insight to be able to help the Russians gain access to the Upside Down?
Thirdly, with Hopper all but confirmed as the one stuck in the Upside Down (and with no sensible way for him to have made it to Russia) we're struggling to think of an American asset valuable enough to escape torture in the Kamchatka prison.