Stranger Things fans got an incredible surprise on Valentine's Day, thanks to a teaser trailer that lasted less than a minute but revealed a tidbit we 39; everyone has been curious. Is Hopper alive?
Turns out, everyone's favorite Indiana police chief and dad didn't die in the explosion at the end of season three. But that's not all rainbows and sunshine for Hawkins natives.
In promotion for the upcoming season, fans see Chief Hopper in a work camp in snowy Russia ̵1; confirming previous theories that the protective adoptive father was actually "American" was discussed in the closing moments for season 3.
Now that fans know he is alive live theories of Stranger Things 4 everywhere and even our own editor-in-chief Jason Fitzpatrick is on it with his own theory.
Which are some of the biggest theories Choose your fighter and place these bets on what's to come in Season 4.
The Rescue Theory
This idea comes courtesy of our own Fear Leader and Stranger Things fuck, Jason. According to our editor-in-chief, season four is a perfect setting for a continued tribute to the 80s in the form of a lesser-known teenage action movie from the era.
Jason cit specifically honors the 1988 film The Rescue as potential inspiration for a story in the next season. The film sees four American teenagers travel to North Korea to infiltrate a military base to rescue their captured POW fathers. A group of picked teenagers who rescued a father figure in distress sounds like exactly the kind of things Stranger Things that kids could find themselves stuck in, no?
It is unlikely that eleven and the rest of the crew will simply forget about Hawkins's former sheriff, and a rescue mission would certainly make for compelling television. And hey, if four non-stormy kids can sneak into North Korea and make it back alive, surely five non-stormy kids and their superpowered bestie can pull off a trip to Russia.
The Shaved Head Theory
My personal favorite theory is one that addresses the visual parallels in the teaser. ScreenRant author Jon Barr claims that Hopper now has psychic abilities a la Eleven.
Although nothing in the short teaser suggests this, Barr views Hopper's hair (or lack thereof) as a clue. Just as his adoptive daughter appeared when she first fled and began to use her powers, he is also now bald. Although his lack of locks means nothing, he was next to the reactor when it exploded, and for fans of science fiction, comic books, or really any kind of fantasy, the forces of an accident are a common trope within the genre.  The Mind Flayer Theory
On the less happy side of things we have the Mind Flayer theory. From the name it is likely that you already know that this idea is not the best. It suggests that Mind Flayer could be inhabited by Hopper, which allowed him to transport himself away from the reactor blast.
However, the downside is that Hooper's mind could now be controlled by the creature, which means that if he and El reunite in Season 4, it might not be beautiful.
The Chernobyl Theory
This theory from Reddit user Gamer_Nation is pretty much how it sounds like. Stranger Things 4 will lead to the nuclear accident in Chernobyl in Russia. The idea is based on how the previous seasons have changed between seasons and years. Season one was set in the winter of 1983, season two took place in the fall of 1984 and season three was set in the summer of 1985.
If the pattern continues, spring would be the next season and the year will be 1986 – the same time as the Chernobyl disaster. With Hopper already in Russia, this idea seems more credible than ever.
Whether you fall in line with one of the theories above or you have your own, a popular idea has been confirmed: Hopper lives. That's good enough for now.