“Stranger Things” star Gaten Matarazzo has dropped some subtle hints about the upcoming season of the hit Netflix original series, as well as discussing some of the fan theories. Furthermore, Gaten, alongside the “Stranger Things” writers, might be dropping hints that we could be getting more info soon. 

Matarazzo, who plays Dustin Henderson in “Stranger Things,” sat down with Variety to offer some insider information on the fourth season of the sci-fi thriller. Just before production on the new season begins in January, Matarazzo talked about plot details. 

What people mainly want to know is which fan theories (if any) are even close to the truth. 

“They’re all interesting. My favorite theory is that Suzie’s actually a Russian mastermind and spy working with the Russian government,” the 17-year-old actor said of his “favorite” fan theory. “I think it’s so stupid and so funny. I hope that doesn’t play out because that would be weird.” 

However, there might be some other fan theories with more merit out there worth exploring. As Metro pointed out, Reddit is a place chock-full of TV investigators and speculators. They just might have some “Stranger Things” season 4 fan theories worth considering. 

Hopper Is Still Alive

Many users of the website have come together to proclaim that Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is still alive after being caught in the blast in the underground Russian lab. The theory began with the post-credit scene at the end of season 3 that revealed the Russians had obtained a Demogorgon and an unnamed American prisoner. 

While this doesn’t necessarily confirm that Hopper is alive, the “Stranger Things” marketing team has an ongoing ARG game where they provide a phone number for viewers to call. Murray Bauman answers the phone and provides subtle information about Hopper potentially being alive. 

Harbour played a big part in this marketing game, putting numbers in his profile picture box, which ultimately led to Bauman’s phone number being revealed. The “Stranger Things” writers’ Twitter account did something similarly cryptic that has fans asking questions. 

The cryptic messaging from the writers’ Twitter could mean we’ll get a teaser in the coming months, or even next month during production. Whatever this “New Year” revelation will be, it just may indulge fans on their Hopper theory. 

Eleven Could Be A “Monster” Of Sorts

When the writing team of “Stranger Things 4” offered up other cryptic hints on the new season, upon being asked about plot details, one very interesting resulting fan theory emerged. 

The writing team gave fans some lyrics to the song “Cosmic Love” by Florence + The Machine, in lieu of the requested plot details. This got fans thinking, so after tearing apart and evaluating the lyrics, people came to the conclusion that Eleven is going to descend into darkness and turn evil in the coming season. 

The song is about coping after losing someone and the ensuing darkness that can overcome someone. Since Eleven thinks she has lost Hopper, she is likely to spiral down a dark path we previously saw hints of in season 2 when she found herself in a band of misfits, wreaking havoc in Chicago. 

After all, since season 1, theories have scattered across the internet of Eleven actually being a monster herself, being somehow linked to the Demogorgon or Mindflayer. 

“Stranger Things” Will Link To The Real World In A Tragic Way

Looper pointed out that the timeline and thematic elements of the show align quite perfectly for a real-life event to occur organically within the show’s four walls. “Stranger Things” season 4 is likely set to take place in 1986 -- the same year of the infamous Chernobyl Disaster. 

With Russians as a regular “bad guy” in “Stranger Things,” along with the 1986 set piece, a link to the Chernobyl disaster would add up. It’s already been stated in the teaser trailer that the story would unfold outside of Hawkins (“We’re Not In Hawkins Anymore…”).

TV show theorists have quite the argument for it, stating that Eleven could be the cause of the disaster herself. Parallels have been pointed out between the Upside Down and the environment surrounding Chernobyl following the nuclear disaster. The alternate dimension “The Upside Down” appears to be in some post-disaster state, with particles resembling nuclear fallout descending from clouds. 

“Stranger Things” has even touched on the idea of government cover-ups, hiding the truth of what really goes on with more realistic tragedies. 

Season 4 Will Be The Last

Another tragic fan theory states that this could be the end of the story. The Duffer Brothers and Shawn Levy have both stated that they really only planned on creating 4 seasons of “Stranger Things.” 

Levy later stated that the chance of a 5th season is possible, but beyond that, it’s “undecided” (via Collider). While no one has stated that season 4 is officially the last and, things do line up for a big finale. In any case, the Duffer brothers intend to finish the story the way they’ve always wanted to, no matter how many seasons that adds up to. 

Whether it’s the end of “Stranger Things” or just the beginning, Matarazzo wants fans to get excited about what’s to come. He claims that fans are going to “freak out” when they see what they do with the characters -- which could be happening soon, as was hinted by the “Stranger Things” writers. 

When we last left off with the characters, Eleven and Will were moving in together away from Hawkins. We will have to wait and see if these theories ultimately land or if season 4 will be a total surprise when the next details emerge in the “New Year.” Matarazzo hints at the latter.