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Predicting the fate of beloved ‘Stranger Things’ couples

Besides being a brilliant infusion of Stephen King’s world of horror and mystique with the supernatural and other sci-fi tropes, Netflix’s popular show Stranger Things has sprinkled in a bit of drama, romance and heartbreak to make it engaging and relatable.

Created by the Duffer brothers as an ode to the enigmatic eighties, the show has returned with the first volume of its fourth season after a three-year-long hiatus and is scheduled to release the second volume on July 1st, 2022.

Gory, dark and scary, the fourth season sees a dangerous monster named Vecna haunting the town of Hawkins while the rest of the people are scattered in California and Kamchatka, the entire season is an absolute nightmarish ride with brilliant soundtracks that complement the ominous, atmospheric tension. 

The season stars Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, Robert Englund, Jamie Campbell Bower, Matthew Modine, Brett Gelman, Raphael Luce etc.

The first volume has already smashed Netflix records with a record-breaking viewership of 287 million hours within the first weekend of its release.

Ahead of the release of the second volume, we have made some predictions for some of our beloved Stranger Things couples:

Predicting the fate of beloved ‘Stranger Things’ couples

Mike and Eleven

Mike and Eleven’s relationship has been a focal point of the show for a long time. Since the very beginning, Mike has been very protective of El, even when they were friends. The couple had a break-up in season three when an overprotective Hopper threatened Mike to stay away from his adopted daughter. Angry over his lack of response and reaction, El broke things off with him. Despite multiple separations, the fourth season begins with El and Mike being in a long-distance relationship, changing multiple letters.

However, El is seen lying to Mike in all her letters. It almost seems as if the poor girl feels pressurised to keep up a certain image and present herself as a “superhero” to be seen and validated by Mike. She later opens up about her insecurities regarding the same, talking about how a loss of her powers makes her feel helpless.

Their fight is pretty “big” as Mike later tells Will. While the duo would always be great friends, it seems pretty unlikely for a reconciliation to be on the cards, especially because of their age. Change is the only constant in teenage and the inevitability of growing up and apart might have an effect on their relationship. Whether El and Mike will overcome all obstacles is worth looking for in the upcoming volume as well as the fifth season.

Jonathan and Nancy

While actors Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton are going stronger than ever in real life, their characters, Nancy and Jonathan are not having a good time on the show. They have been in a stable relationship for years, fighting monsters and other obstacles in Hawkins. However, after Jonathan moves away with Eleven, Joyce and Will to California, it seems like their relationship is on the rocks.

They are both seen venting to their individual friends about the stress and anxiety of being together in a long-distance relationship, hinting at an impending breakup. Nancy’s clear attraction to Steve, although purely physical, seems to be a pretty solid indication of her having fallen out of love with Jonathan. Now a pothead, Jonathan is a changed man who feels pressurised by the idea of joining Nancy’s college.

While the duo might break up, their previous relationship history makes it difficult to determine whether they will manage to stay apart unless Nancy tragically dies in the Upside Down. If a reunion is in the cards, the two might get together and make a mature decision that helps them stay put against all these challenges being hurled towards them by distance and time.

Steve and Nancy 

Steve and Nancy have a history from season one. While Steve was still a bully, he has undergone unbelievable character transformation and sought ultimate redemption, becoming the mother hen of the group for the kids. While the duo have managed to maintain a cordial friendship throughout the other seasons, the fourth season could hint at a possible romance.

Nancy admires Steve’s physique while they both stare longingly way too much at each other. Having been in a long-distance relationship with Jonathan for a pretty long time, Nancy and Jonathan’s relationship is falling apart which could hint at a possible romance between her and Steve.

However, a Steve-Nancy relationship seems highly unlikely. Since the cast and crew have teased and hinted at major character death, it seems like either Steve or Nancy might become the sacrificial lamb. While Nancy is shown caught in the Upside Down within the vicious clutches of Vecna, sacrificing Steve in the fifth and final season seems to be a logical sentimental ending to the show that will add to Steve’s heroic stature.

Lucas and Max 

Lucas and Max have a pretty tumultuous relationship. Max and Lucas get together in a pretty adorable teen romance before they break off things soon. However, in the fourth season, it is revealed that Max and Lucas have broken up several times and have a pretty lukewarm relationship with each other.

Of course, Max is dealing with family trauma, lack of attention and gnawing guilt over Billy’s death in the previous season and has shut out Lucas completely. Lucas, on the other hand, is tired of getting bullied for being a nerd and is seen trying out new social groups in high school, before having to return to his old gang.

However, the duo is clearly not over one another. Lucas tries to reach out to Max multiple times and during Max’s deadly near-death encounter with Vecna, many of Lucas’ memories help bring her back to reality. If they survive all five seasons, it seems most likely for Lucas and Max to get back with one another.

Joyce and Hopper

Joyce and Hopper have been toeing the line between friendship and romantic relationships for quite some time. While Hopper has always been attracted to Joyce, the time has never been quite right for the duo. While Joyce dated Bob previously, Hopper only asked Joyce on a date in season three before he sacrificed himself and was presumed dead.

However, Hopper is later revealed to be alive and kicking in Kamchatka, Russia. When Joyce gets to know about this, she promptly embarks on an uncertain journey to bring him back to Hawkins, taking the hilarious Murray along with her. Both Hopper and Joyce undergo individual sets of obstacles, many of which nearly claim their lives. When they finally embrace, the audience members probably heave a sigh of relief.

If the duo survive the horrors of Vecna and the creative wrath of the Duffer brothers, they will surely end up together, given how they walked through ice and fire to get to one another.

Will and Mike 

Will and Mike have been best friends since the first season. Will’s sudden disappearance in the first season becomes the main stimulus for the beginning of the ominous events in Stranger Things. Mike’s concern for his friend and desperation to find him are seen as a platonic bromance. Although Mike sees Will as a brother and best friend, audience members are pretty sure of Will’s homosocial inclination toward Mike.

From getting bored of Mike and El’s romance to showing zero to no interest in girls, the fourth season cements the viewers’ beliefs in the conspiracy theory. Throughout the summer, as said by Eleven, Will paints a picture which turns out to be a gift for Mike. He feels ignored as Mike and El engage in romantic endeavours and protects the picture with his heart.

While Mike makes it very clear that he and Will are “just friends” and later they make up and become “best friends”, Will’s mysterious picture and feelings will probably prevail till the very end. Given how the show is based in the 80s, Will will probably choose to remain closeted instead of sharing his true feelings.