Stranger Things season 4 teaser confirms a seemingly-dead character's return

He's not dead, Jim!

Netflix on Friday dropped a surprise teaser for the fourth season of Stranger Things, which ends with a massive reveal: Jim Hopper is still alive.

Stranger Things' third season wrapped up with the emotional apparent death of David Harbour's character, although a popular fan theory suggested he secretly survived. The finale's final scene cryptically referred to an "American" who the Russians were holding prisoner, and although we never see this unidentified person, fans believed it to be Hopper. A teaser released Friday seems to confirm that, showing Hopper at what looks to be a Russian prison camp.

Even though Hopper's survival was a popular fan theory, many assumed Netflix would attempt to keep his return a secret up until the release of the new season, similar to how HBO's marketing for Game of Thrones' sixth season kept up the charade that Kit Harington wouldn't be back as Jon Snow. But Netflix has opted for the opposite approach, getting the return of Hopper right out of the way in the season's very first teaser.

No release date for the fourth season of Stranger Things been set, although it looks unlikely to arrive until next year or the very end of this year at the earliest. Good news, Harbour: Netflix just spared you from having to live a lie until then. Brendan Morrow