We're Not in Hawkins Anymore: 'Stranger Things 4' Theories

This past week, Stranger Things fans got the perfect start to the spooky season with the official announcement that season four is happening! Since the announcement, the release of such a mysterious teaser has fans going crazy— trying to piece together any clues for the upcoming season. As one of these huge Stranger Things fans, I will take you through the most popular theories for the next season.

Warning: Season Three spoilers ahead!

Okay first, let's start with a little recap on how we left Hawkins, Indiana. Thanks to Hopper’s great sacrifice, the last door to the upside-down has been closed in Hawkins. The Byers, along with El, have officially left Hawkins to get a fresh start. The Russians have a Demogorgon and a door into the upside-down in their facilities, as well as an unknown American prisoner.

WHERE IS HOPPER?! This has been the biggest question on everyone’s mind since he disappeared after closing the door. There isn’t any doubt in anyone’s mind that our favorite sheriff is alive (but maybe not well) because when there isn't a body, likely there wasn’t a death. Before the teaser was released, the most popular theory was that Hopper is the unnamed American being held a prisoner in Russia. Now that we have new material to pick apart a new theory has emerged.

Towards the end of the teaser, we see Hopper’s cabin in the upside-down with a light coming from the porch. Eagle-eyed fans have zoomed in on the image and believe we can see a human shadow behind the light. So now the running theory is that Hopper is stuck in the upside-down. This would make sense since Eleven got transported to the upside-down when she killed the Demogorgon at the end of the first season. As for the American prisoner, fans are now thinking it could be Dr. Brenner since he has been MIA since season two and how exactly did the Russians gain access to the upside-down, anyway?

The fact that Hopper could be stuck in the upside-down works with the major piece of information we did get from the teaser: we’re not in Hawkins anymore. At first, this sentence through me for a loop because Hawkins is home for the show. With this new Hopper in the upside-down theory, the Russians still having access to the upside-down and a quarter of our main characters not even living in Hawkins anymore it makes sense.

The main image from the teaser that the Duffer Brothers seem to want us to pay close attention to is a clock in a tree. This clock has now become the profile picture on all Stranger Things social media accounts. They also changed their bio and tweeted multiple mysterious things. Fans have also pointed out its similarity to the clock in the classic '80s film Back to the Future. This film was mentioned multiple times in season three which has led to a new theory that time travel could play a role in the new season since it was talked about in season one that the upside-down changes the laws of time.

So the question on everyone’s mind now is: when will we get this new season? To further showcase the clock in the teaser if you look closely, it seems like the clock is stopped at 11:00. Now, this could just be a fun mention of our girl El, though most fans are taking this as a possible hint to the release date. A popular prediction is November or December of next year, but some fans are hoping for an earlier date. It hasn’t even been three months since season three premiered and the filming for that season took around a year to complete. This has led fans to predict a possible late 2019 release date.

Whenever Stranger Things 4 is released, I think we can all agree that it’s going to be a crazy ride and I cannot wait! What are your thoughts on this upcoming season? Where do you think Hopper is and when will we find out? I guess we'll just have to rewatch season three until we get answers.

Images: 123, 4, 5