Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things 3. Pour out a can of Schlitz beer for Chief Jim Hopper. In a new photo, David Harbour appeared to confirm Hopper's Stranger Things 3 fate. Fans aren't going to be happy about what his caption may reveal. Joyce Byers may be pretty heartbroken, too.
Over the weekend, Harbour posted a photo of himself looking rather chummy with Salma Hayek. The shot was in celebration of them both joining Phase 4 of the MCU: he as part of the long awaited Black Widow prequel; she as one of The Eternals. As celebratory as the shot was, though, the caption certainly sounded like a final farewell to his Stranger Things family.
"Even as I move into this magical @marvelstudios world with colossal talents like @salmahayek," he wrote, "My heart still bleeds for them. And the life that could have been. Post a romantic Enzo’s eve."
That "them" in question is Hopper and Joyce (Winona Ryder), who were supposed to meet at Enzo's at 7 pm the night after the Mind Flayer took over the Starcourt Mall and the Russians evil plan was thwarted. Of course, Hopper disappeared after Joyce turned the key to close the Upside Down and before the two could share a bottle of wine on this get together that was very much a date.
If that doesn't get fans emotional, the zoomed in look at what Harbour had in his jacket pocket certainly will. Yes, that is a monogrammed handkerchief with the name "Jopper" on it, the shipping name of Joyce and Hopper. Someone pass that hanky, please.
While Harbour makes it clear he's in mourning, fans aren't so convinced that this isn't all a red herring. A way to make fans think Hopper died when in actuality he's very much alive. Perhaps, he's even The American referenced in the Stranger Things 3 finale.
Fans certainly aren't ready to give up hope, coming up with Hopper theories that range from him
Others, though have chosen to blame Dustin and Suzie for Hopper's (likely) death. "Just saying, if Suzie didn’t want to sing that song, Hopper would of got out alive," a fan tweeted about their "NeverEnding Story" duet.
Since the newest season of Stranger Things dropped on July 4th, Harbour has said fans should hold out hope for Hopper. "I mean, we should always hold onto hope. We should never let go of hope — but Barb is really dead," he joked to Entertainment Tonight back in July.
Harbour further killed some of that hope with comments he made to People. "In terms of my involvement, I love the show, but we'll have to see what happens moving forward. I don't really know," he said. "[Stranger Things creators the Duffer brothers], I do believe, have a plan, but we'll have to see what they have in mind."
It might be a slip of the tongue that reveals what Matt and Ross Duffer have in mind for Hopper. “We always talk about Empire Strikes Back – we always wanted to give [Hopper] a darker ending," Matt told the Stranger Things Behind The Scenes podcast. "We always wanted to give him a Han Solo sacrifice moment."
But Han Solo didn't really die in Empire, he came back in Return of the Jedi. Could Hopper return in Season 4? Fans will have to wait and see. They'll also have to wait and see if Harbour reveals where he bought his Jopper handkerchief because let's all agree we need one.