After Season 4 of Stranger Things, fan theories keep popping up. And there’s one about Will that deserves our attention ahead of the Netflix series’ fifth and final season. Warning, spoilers.
Warning, spoilers. It is advisable to have seen the four available seasons of Stranger Things before continuing to read this article.
The epic season 4 of Stranger Things, broadcast in two parts between May 27 and July 1 on Netflix, is the event. These new episodes have not only given the Duffer brothers’ series a resurgence in popularity, but also revived a multitude of theories about what the fifth and final season could have in store for us.
And if there is one character that deserves our attention, it’s that of Will, played by Noah Schnappas he will be a central part of the final chapter of Stranger Things, as announced by the Duffer brothers at Collider : “Will is going to play an important and central role and Season 5 – and that’s all we can say about it – will be about his journey. We’re going to see his evolution and coming of age, which was prevented for a number of reasons, some of which are supernatural. But we’re going to see him flourish during his teenage years.”
Will, central character of season 5
Just like Max (Sadie Sink) played a major role in season 4 of Stranger Things, Will will be a central character in season 5. And even if he has been somewhat neglected over the seasons, the young boy played by Noah Schnapp has always been the cornerstone of the Netflix series. It all started with Will and his disappearance in the Upside Down and it should all end with Will.
Season 4 tells us that Henry Creel/001/Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) has been the villain since the start of Stranger Things and there seems to be a big connection between Vecna and Will, as users of Reddit. Their paths are a bit similar, the two were children apart, special, lonely, “sensitive” according to their respective parents, spending their time drawing and keeping their emotions to themselves.
Since the end of Season 1 and Season 2, Will has had an intense psychic connection to the Mind Flayer and the elements of the Upside Down that he senses through the back of his neck. We now know that the Mind Flayer was created by Vecna and Will touched the back of his neck at the end of season 4, warning him that the Upside Down was starting to take possession of Hawkins.
Moreover, when the earth split into four lines – through the four portals opened by Vecna thanks to its four victims – in Hawkins, they intersected at a very specific place: Hawkins’ library, there even or Joyce (Winona Ryder) reunited with his son Will in the Upside Down at the end of the first season.
This same Upside Down is stuck on a very important day, November 6, 1983, that of the disappearance of Will, who according to some Internet users was not kidnapped by a Demogorgon but by Vecna himself. According to some netizens, a kind of clock could be heard in the very first episode of Stranger Things – a significant sound from Vecna in season 4 – and the silhouette that we see on the edge of the forest when Will falls off his bicycle would resemble that of Vecna.
Also, Will is chased home by the creature that unlocks the door lock, and Demogorgons don’t have telekinetic abilities, unlike Vecna. Will spent several weeks in the Upside Down, singing “Should I stay or shoud I go” for reassurance. But the song was able to keep him alive, like Max was able to escape Vecna’s Mind Lair thanks to “Running Up That Hill”.
But this respite was not enough for Will who was trapped mentally and physically in the Upside Down, probably by Vecna. The latter, who is clearly not dead, should seek to connect with Will in season 5 and perhaps possess him completely. Which would make the young boy a hell of a villain or antagonist in the final episodes of Stranger Things, and therefore a really important character.
What if it was all in Will’s head?
While it’s clear that Will will be a major character in Season 5 of Stranger Things, the possibility of him being a villain may come from manipulation by Vecna or some other reason, almost beyond his control, which draws less towards the fantastic. What if all the events of the Netflix series actually took place in Will’s head?
This theory has been around for a few years, especially on Reddit, but returns to the front of the stage with season 4 on Tiktok, in particular. The series starts with a game of Dungeons and Dragons that Will, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) do not finish because it is getting late, even if Will admits to Mike that his throw of dice was not successful and he gets tricked by the Demogorgon.
What if the events of the series were really just a part of life-size Dungeons and Dragons, which takes place in Will’s head? As we know, the Upside Down is stuck on the day of Will’s disappearance, which takes place right after their aborted game of D&D. We don’t know why but the Duffers warned Deadline that he “this is a major plot event”.
It is not for nothing that the gang uses the board game to approach and understand what is happening in Hawkins and give names of Dungeons and Dragons monsters to the creatures they fight: Demogorgon, Mind Flayer and now Vecna, and maybe Tiamat or the Hydra in season 5?
Stranger Things could then just be a metaphor for a little boy who struggles to grow up into adulthood and who clings to his games of Dungeons and Dragons while his friends move on and mature. . We can already see it in season 3 when Will wants to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons and his friends don’t care about the game anymore.
This hypothesis would be compatible with the vision of the Duffer brothers and their strong homage to the pop culture of the 1980s, to the works of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King and these adventure films for children which mix the passage to adulthood and the fantastic .
Will Will be affected by Peter Pan Syndrome? If he finds it difficult to leave the imaginary country – the Upside Down – this dangerous adventure will have to come to an end since Stranger Things will end during its fifth season.
Even if one would be disappointed to learn that the adventures of the series are only the fruit of the imagination of Will, this process is not new in the films and the series. We think in particular of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Total Recall, The Woman in the Portrait, Brazil, Open Your Eyes (and its remake Vanilla Sky), the St Elsewhere Hospital series or even The Claws of the Night ( according to the interpretations), which is also the major reference of season 4 of Stranger Things.
Either way, Will will be a key character in Season 5 of Stranger Things, which the Duffer Brothers have promised all the answers to fan questions about the characters, Hawkins, and the Upside Down. The duo will start writing these final episodes in August and we could hope for a broadcast on Netflix from 2024 with a conclusive end.