Stranger Things season 4 trailer: How did Hopper survive? The theories


**Warning: There are spoilers for Stranger Things seasons one to three in this article.**

Stranger Things have just gone and confirmed Jim Hopper’s return in a brand new snippet of season four.

Fans were left on a cliffhanger, after being introduced to The American during the last installment of the show.

And while they’ve been guessing who the newcomer might be, their minds have now been put at ease as the teaser revealed he is in fact, Jim.

But how has he arrived at the prison? And what happened when he seemingly died after getting too close to an Upside Down portal.

Here are all the fan theories that might well point us in the direction to some answers.

Hopper travelled through time and space at the end of season three
Hopper is alive! (Picture: Netflix)

While we now know that the explosion during The Battle of Starcourt Mall didn’t actually kill Hopper, it’s possible it could have transported him through time.

The theory links back right to the beginning of Stranger Things, when Mr Clarke explains to the boys how they could (theoretically) rescue Will from the Upside Down.

The show uses the analogy of an acrobat, a tightrope and a flea: Mr Clarke says that our own dimension is a tightrope.

An acrobat can only travel forwards and backwards on the tightrope, he can’t go anywhere else because gravity holds him down.

But a flea (aka Will, who travelled to the Upside Down) can use the same tightrope in a different way. It can travel up and down, it can basically travel between dimensions.

So is Hopper like the flea? And has he travelled somewhere else?

David Harbour’s very own theory
David Harbour has given his own thoughts on how Hopper survived (Picture: Getty)

David Harbour, who plays Hopper in the show, has his very own theory about how the character might come back.

When chatting to the LA Times the 44-year-old suggested: ‘Because of this newfound relationship with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), he needs to shed his skin, make a sacrifice that allows his character to re-emerge.

‘He was finally able to really take a bullet for a child, which he had never been able to do because Sara died of cancer. I think there’s a perfection to it.

‘Now whether or not there’s some sort of second-act resurrection would be very interesting to me, clearly, for obvious reasons -the fact that I desperately love the show and desperately love the character… but that remains to be seen.

‘He would certainly have to emerge a different individual.’

You heard it from the man himself – we know what we’ll be placing bets on!

Hopper will be rescued by a new Russian character called B
Will Hopper be saved by someone we haven’t met yet? (Picture: Netflix)

One theory, which found its way onto Reddit, suggests we haven’t even met Hopper’s saviour yet.

A user shared: ‘A 10-year-old Russian boy starting with B will be introduced.

‘He’ll have some mind-related superpower like El, and his number will be, or should be, 013, He’s the person who, following the orders of the evil Russian superiors and the instructions of Dr. Brenner — the American prisoner, opened the gate in Russia.’

They added: ‘He’ll be like the new Alexei, a sweet, innocent guy who wins the hearts of all the viewers.

‘In the last episode when El, and all the other numbers she’s gathered such as 007, 009, 010, and 012 (not Kali because she’s sort of useless in battle), come together and travel to the Upside Down to rescue Hop, the Russian boy will work close alongside El in battle, and will make the ultimate sacrifice to kill the Mind Flayer and save everyone.’

Followers of the thread asked how they managed to come up with the name B: ‘Every season someone starting with B died — Benny, Barb, Bob, Billy. He’ll be the B of season 4.’

Harbour did say the character would have to ’emerge as a different individual,’ right?

The Duffer Brothers’ Star Wars analogy
Even the Duffer Brothers have teased how he might comeback (Picture: Getty Images)

Showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer have teased they always planned to give Hopper his ‘Han Solo sacrifice moment’, when Han Solo turned out to be alive – just about – and was being held prisoner by Jabba the Hut after giving himself up in The Empire Strikes Back.

‘We always talk about Empire Strikes Back, we always wanted to give him a darker ending, we always wanted to give him a Han Solo sacrifice moment,’ Matt told Entertainment Weekly.

‘It was emotional to shoot but it was really, really quick. David never asked for music but I think we did play some emotional music when we shot David’s final look at Winona [Ryder].’

Ross added: ‘There’s a tragedy there but there’s also a little bit of “it’s okay” to Joyce. There’s so much going on in his eyes and you can only script that so much.’

So will he come back like the captain of the Millennium Falcon, after being held prisoner by the Russians (aka Jabba the Hut)?

We have a while yet until we find out as Stranger Things 4 is expected to drop on Netflix in 2021.

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