Consider this your spoiler warning!

Stranger Things Season Three has been out for a couple of weeks now and it concluded with an emotional ending that left us all in tears. For those who have seen the finale, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The ending was an emotional gut punch to fans of the series, but it might not have to be this way? In the chaos of the final episode a theory emerged; a theory so bright and hopeful it might just stop me from crying.  This theory is in regards to Jim Hopper, and more specifically, what happened to him?

Stranger things, Netflix

Stranger Things, Netflix

In the season three episode of Stranger Things, “Chapter Eight: Battle For Starcourt“, we see Jim, Joyce, and Murray sneak into the secret Russian base hidden beneath the Starcourt mall. Their mission is to destroy a machine the Russians are using to open the gate. The mission ends with Jim fighting a Russian soldier in the same room as the machine. Jim sacrifices himself when he tells Joyce to destroy the machine whilst he’s still in the room, as there was no way for him to escape. Joyce does destroy the gate, thus killing Jim at the same time. or so we all thought.

The Ladder

This theory was brought to my attention on twitter by @nickrectorfm. The theory claims that Jim Hopper is in fact alive! The evidence supporting this theory is far stronger than you may think!

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Firstly we never truly see Jim die on screen, nor do we see his body (you’d think, for such a major character’s death, we’d see his body, don’t you think?) Secondly, there is the ladder. The ladder? Yes, the ladder! In a wide shot we see of the machine getting ready to explode we’re shown a ladder, a small detail that many may have missed but it’s there. Who’s to say Jim, who’s known for his resourcefulness and awareness of his surroundings, didn’t take the time to climb down this ladder, narrowly avoiding death whilst doing so?


@nickrectorfm , Twitter


Do you all remember in Season One when Will’s body was found in the lake? Do you remember the song that was playing at the time? You don’t? Well, I’ll tell you; it’s called Eulogy. Now if you also remember, Will didn’t die. That’s right, it wasn’t Will’s body. here’s the connecting thread to all this info: the song playing when Jim “died” was also Eulogy. Now why would they choose that song? Maybe they chose the song to sprinkle in some doubt to Jim’s fate.

Stranger Things, Netflix

Stranger Things, Netflix

The American?

Now this article is getting a bit long now, so I’m going to end it on perhaps the biggest bit of info that hints to Jim potentially being alive and well! Actually… just alive. If you watched all the way through the credits of the finale episode, you were surely treated to a bonus scene set in Russia. In this scene we see two soldiers walk to a prison cell door. One soldier says to the other (who is currently trying to unlock it), “not the American”. Not the American? Who’s this American? It’s got to be Jim! My bet is that Jim escaped the explosion by climbing down the ladder and, through several hijinks, ended up being captured by the Russians.

Stranger Things, Netflix

Stranger Things, Netflix

What’s going to happen in Season Four of Stranger Things? Is Jim actually alive? Will he be saved by El and the others? No one but the writers truly know the fate of Jim. I’m going to stay optimistic and say he’s alive and stuck in Russia.

Tell us your theories in the comments below. Check out some other articles while you’re here!

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