Warning: Spoilers Ahead for Stranger Things Season 4!
Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have revealed that while Season 5 will likely be shorter than Season 4, it very well may have a “Return of the King-Ish” ending.
Speaking with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Duffer Brothers shared that they don’t expect Stranger Things’ final season to be quite as long as Season 4’s 13-hour runtime as there won’t be as much of a ramp- up this time around “before our kids really get drawn into the supernatural mystery.”
“The only reason we don’t expect [Season 5] to be as long is because, this season, if you look at it, it’s almost a two-hour ramp-up before our kids really get drawn into the supernatural mystery,” Matt Duffer said. “You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, all while they’re struggling with adapting to high school and so forth… Steve’s trying to find a date. All of that.
“None of that, obviously, is going to be occurring in the first two episodes of this. I mean, this is, for the first time ever, we don’t wrap things up at the end of 4. So, it’s going to be moving, I don’t know if it will be moving at 100 mph at the start of Season 5, but it’s going to be moving pretty fast and a drive, and I think that’s going to carve out at least a couple of hours and make this season feel really different.”
While the beginning of the season may get off to a quicker start, the Duffer Brothers have every intention of taking their time with the ending of the series. Alongside saying they expect the series finale to be similar in length to the two-and-a-half-hour-long final episode of Season 4, Matt Duffer also said “it’s going to be Return of the King-ish with eight endings. ”
While some took issue with the way the final Lord of the Rings film ended, or seemingly never ended, Matt Duffer thinks it is all worth it to give the characters a proper send-off.
“If you just watch Return of the King, it feels like too many endings,” Matt Duffer said. “If you watch all of them back-to-back, which I’ve done multiple times, it’s exactly right. If it were any shorter, it would feel cheap and wrong.”
The Duffer Brothers also chatted about how having all our heroes together again in Hawkins will “streamline things naturally.” Furthermore, the team plans on bringing the story “full circle.”
“It’s going to feel a lot larger-in-scale than Season 1,” Matt Duffer said. “We want to go back to a lot of things we did in Season 1 and a lot of the original groupings and pairings that we had in Season 1. There’s something nice about coming full circle. So, it’s going to feel bigger than Season 1 and much more massive in terms of the stakes and the scale, but we want to revisit a lot of things we did.”
In closing, Matt Duffer warns that anything can change while they work to bring Stranger Things to close, so it’s important to take his words with a grain of salt.
“We’ll see,” Matt Duffer laughed. “If you would have talked to us at the start of writing [Season] 4, I would have told you it was eight episodes and they were about an hour-long each. So, I wouldn’t trust a word that comes out of my mouth.”
For more, check out our review of Stranger Things: Season 4 – Part 2, the burning questions we have after the season finale, and our chats with Vecna actor Jamie Campbell Bower and Eddie actor Joseph Quinn on the biggest moments of Season 4.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitter