Major spoilers ahead for the Stranger Things Season 4 finale. To be a Stranger Things stan is to live in constant fear that one of your faves (and they’re all faves, at this point) won’t live to see the next season. Never has that fear felt stronger than the interim between the two volumes of Season 4, of course. The Duffer brothers confirmed to Variety there would be a “body count” by the end of the season — and on June 29, Netflix itself added fuel to the fandom fire with a “PROTECT STEVE” billboard.
Many fans were, indeed, worried that beloved cool kid-turned-babysitter Steve Harrington would be on Netflix’s (er, Vecna’s) chopping block. But they were also concerned about newcomer Eddie Munson — and, well, that concern turned out to be extremely founded. In the Stranger Things Season 4 finale, Eddie died in a major hero moment. You may be wondering, though: did Eddie really die? Or was it more of a Season 3 Hopper situation?
What Happened To Eddie In The Stranger Things Season 4 Finale?
A brief refresher, in case you missed some details through your tears (same!): during the Hawkins crew’s mission to lure Vecna out and kill him, Dustin and Eddie were tasked with decoy duty. “If things here start to go south — I mean at all — you abort, OK? Draw the attention of the bats, keep them busy for a minute or two, we’ll take care of everything,” Steve tells the pair. “Don’t try to be cute, or be a hero, or something, OK?”
Eddie obliges. “I mean, look at us,” he says. “We are not heroes.”
Well, that turned out to be a lie! After Steve, Nancy, and Robin get caught up in Vecna’s vines, Eddie decides to buy more than a minute or two for his friends — he keeps the bats at bay by luring them away and confronting them head-on.
When Dustin finds him, he’s heartbroken to see that the Hellfire Club leader is about to die from his bat injuries. Eddie, though, is just proud of himself for being brave: “I didn’t run away this time, right?”
He also tells Dustin that “You’re gonna have to look after those little sheep for me,” as he’s (sob!) planning to graduate. “I think it’s my year, Henderson. I think it’s finally my year. I love you man.”
Dustin says “I love you, too,” before Eddie dies in his arms.
But Is Eddie Really Dead?
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much room for ambiguity. Eddie’s fate in the Stranger Things 4 finale is further confirmed when Dustin talks to Eddie’s uncle later in the episode. “I wish everyone had gotten to know him. Really know him,” Dustin says, after giving him Eddie’s guitar pick necklace. “Because they would have loved him, Mr. Munson. They would have loved him. Even in the end, he never stopped being Eddie. Despite everything. I never even saw him get mad. He could’ve run, he could’ve saved himself. But he fought. He fought, and died, to protect this town. This town that hated him. He isn’t just inoccent, Mr. Munson. He’s a hero.”
So, there you have it. Though fans rallied hard for Eddie to survive Season 4, it looks like he was, in fact, destined for a heartbreaking fate. TBH, we should have known by Episode 8, when Eddie and Dustin had an adorable bonding moment before the big mission. “Never change, Dustin Henderson,” Eddie says. “Promise me?”
“Wasn’t planning on it,” Dustin responds. At least if Eddie had to die, it’s clear that he made a very positive impact on his young mentee.
Will Eddie Be In Stranger Things Season 5?
Eddie quickly attained favorite character status for many fans — so it’s natural to hope that he might still return to the show somehow. In June, Joseph Quinn even told Inverse about his plans for Season 5, saying he was “pushing” to work with his friend Charlie Heaton, who plays Jonathan.
While that seems unlikely now, it’s not totally impossible for Quinn to come back. Dustin is obviously going to be grieving his friend for some time — a lot like Max did after Billy’s death in Season 3. Such was Max’s guilt that it manifested in a Dacre Montgomery cameo! That situation was traumatic in a whole different way than Eddie’s death, but still — if the Stranger Things powers that be want to capitalize on Quinn’s charm with a cameo or flashback, they definitely could do that.