Major spoilers for Stranger Things 3 ahead. Has everyone recovered from the heartbreaking ending of Stranger Things 3 yet? The new season dealt some major blows. Luckily, the cast is not far away on social media, and can offer some words of encouragement on these summer nights. David Harbour reacted to Hopper's ending on Stranger Things and what he said makes the character's future more uncertain than ever.
"There's a profundity to the season in terms of change, movement, and the passage of time even that's even bigger than monsters, and things like that," Harbour said of the ending in an interview with E! News. "I will say that there's a great Heraclitus quote which is like, ‘Nothing endures but change. Things have to change.' And the weird thing about doing television is you fall in love with people, you fall in love with the things about it, and you want them to always to be that thing. And then sometimes life doesn't go the way you want, and things have to change. Part of that can be painful, and part of that can be miraculous and wonderful."
Is that his way of saying goodbye to Hopper, and to Stranger Things as an actor? Even if the series is renewed for a fourth installment, this could be it for Hopper. At the end of Episode 8, Hopper is trapped inside the Russian lab when it explodes and everyone mourns his death. Eleven even goes to live with the Byers family. They've moved on.
Harbour also posted this image from The NeverEnding Story to instagram. "Cinema has its own language. Furry dragons, quests to overcome the nothing, magical books. Certain films get so scratched into our souls. Episode 8 of #StrangerThings3 is my newest," he says in the caption. "What a dream come true to play a part in making this season for you."
Both of those statements — the 'gram and the E! reaction — are maybe goodbyes, but also appropriately vague, don't you think? Are we sure that he's really gone? The Russian guards in the post-credits tag (who execute prisoners by feeding them to a demogorgon) briefly mention an unnamed American in the next cell. That's gotta be Hopper, right? Who else could "the American" be? Maybe it's Billy, though we did see significantly lethal wounds on his boy. Maybe it's Dr. Brenner, Eleven's "papa" who trained her and experimented on her in Hawkins lab.
We never saw his body being removed from Star Court Mall. We didn't see him melt or disintegrate or anything. Sure seems like Hopper was captured by the Soviet Union and is about to become Stranger Things' very own Winter Soldier.
Still, if Harbour is throwing around phrases like "things have to change," "what a dream to play this part," and "life doesn't go the way you want" — maybe he knows something we don't about Hop's future. Maybe he really is gone on Stranger Things, and that "letter" to Eleven is his unexpected farewell.