Stranger Things season 4 ended with Max nearly losing her life at the hands of Vecna. Max technically died for one minute, but she was revived by Eleven as Lucas cradled her in his arms. Turns out, killing off Max was on the table when writing season 4.
“It was discussed as a possibility,” Ross Duffer said in a recent interview. “For a while, that is what was going to happen. But we ended up in this… we wanted to end it with a little more of a question at the end of the season. It’s still really dark and if Max is going to be okay, we just don’t really know. We wanted to leave it up in the air moving forward into season 5.”
Max’s fate is still in jeopardy. Vecna was able to break her limbs and leave her blind before he was taken down for a brief period. The season ended with Max in a coma, which will be a crucial aspect of season 5. Matt Duffer confirmed that the trajectory of season 5, including what’s happening with Max, is mapped out.
“The fact that she’s in a coma, I can’t really get into the details, but it is important that she is. And that is going to have a major effect on [season] 5,” Matt said. “It’s incredibly relevant to [season] 5.”
Because Max “died” for one minute, Vecna was able to open the fourth gate to the Upside Down. The result was Hawkins being left in ruins. While the townspeople think the destruction was caused by an earthquake, Eleven and her friends know the truth.
As for what happens in season 5, Sadie Sink is still in the dark. “They’ve been very secretive about season 5 in general,” Sadie told Deadline when talking about the Duffers. ” We did have a conversation. They called me before I read the ninth episode because in the script it literally says that Max dies. So they called me beforehand and were like, ‘just warning you, this is in there, so you’re not like truly shocked.’ I have no idea what’s coming in five and what that looks like. Max’s storyline is very up in the air, ’cause obviously she’s in a coma and Eleven can’t find her in the void. So who knows where she is and what state she’s in.”