With Stranger Things 3 already at a close, everyone is on the internet is currently wondering about the fate of one of the show’s biggest characters.
Throughout this article, I’ll be breaking down my thoughts on what happened to Jim Hopper in the finale of the season as well as what the post-credits scene actually means.
There will be heavy spoiler here, so if you haven’t finished Season 3 of Stranger Things yet then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way, I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking the video, now let’s get into my fan theory of Stranger Things 3.
Did Jim Hopper Die In Stranger Things 3?
Stranger Things Season 3 is pretty similar in setup to the prior two seasons with a lot of the events unfolding in a similar fashion. You know the drill by now, normal kids discover some cross-dimensional creatures, Eleven unleashes her psychic abilities and we finally feel like we can rest. There are callbacks to movies, an awesome soundtrack and some teases for next time.
However, unlike the prior two seasons, Stranger Things 3 ends with a devastating death that leaves all of the characters lives ripped apart. During the finale, Jim Hopper played by David Harbour and Joyce journey under the Mall to attempt to close the doorway that the Russians were trying to open to the upside down. It’s paramount that the device used to do this is destroyed however Hopper is apparently caught in the blast when the machine is destroyed by Joyce.
Though this sacrifice saves the world, it complete rips our heroes lives apart and for the final few moments of the season we pick up three months later as Eleven now has to go under the care of Joyce who with the rest of the family is moving away. We see a newspaper report that says “Hero Chief Dies In Fire” and it appears like Jim Hopper is gone for good along with Billy.
Stranger Things 3 Post Credits Scene Explained
However, it’s when we cut to the post-credit scene of the season that we perhaps get confirmation that the death may have not been everything we thought.
We watch as two Russian Guards feed a prisoner to the Demogorgon, however before doing this they pass a cell and say ‘No Not The American.’
This is pretty obviously pointing towards Hopper being alive and there’s actually a lot of evidence to support that this is the case.
How Did He Survive?
The first comes with the death scene itself, in it we see Jim standing off to the side of the Russian Weapon and he then gives Joyce a glance to let her know that it’s ok to overpower the machine and destroy it. Joyce looks away and it’s at this point I believe that Jim flees the walkway which is confirmed by the next shot of the machine during its explosion. In that, we can see that Jim is not standing where he was or even anywhere near the machine when it explodes so he wouldn’t really be caught in the blast caused by it.
The next bit of evidence comes from the fact that the location we see in the post-credits scene is actually the same place that was shown during the beginning of Episode 1 where the Russians were trying to open a portal to the upside down.
Jim Escaped To The Upside Down?
Personally, I think that this shows that during the chaos at Starcourt Mall, Jim actually went through the upside down a portal in order to escape the explosion and came out at the other side in Russia which is where he was captured and put in the holding cell.
Jim has been to the upside down before so has some knowledge of how to navigate it and as he knew that Russia had been trying to open a portal there probably ventured towards it.
The Russians have clearly been opening more Portals which is how they managed to get access to a Demogorgon and Jim easily could have slipped through the doorway into the Russian installation.
Of course, we won’t know if all of this is for definite until season 4 rolls around but I can definitely see this being highly likely especially when you rewatch the scene and know of the Russian plans.
Obviously I’d love to hear your thought on this fan theory and if you agree with me or have a completely different one. Comment below and let me know!