The following post contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4.

Among the many cliffhangers dangling at the end of Season 4 of Stranger Things, the one we’re most curious about might be the fate of Max, who gets possessed by Vecna, dies, but is then resurrected by Eleven. The season ends with Max alive but comatose in the hospital, her fate uncertain.

Odds are, she’ll be back in some form or fashion in Stranger Things Season 5, but that might have been less likely had the Duffer brothers gone with the plan they originally discussed, which would have seen Max, played by Sadie Sink, die far more clearly and conclusively. In an interview posted to the Stranger Things Instagram page, they revealed that as part of their plan to make this season “the Empire Strikes Back” of Stranger Things (i.e. the dark chapter where the heroes lose and fail along the way to their ultimate triumph), they considered having Max make the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the group.

“It was discussed as a possibility,” revealed Ross Duffer. “And for a while, that is what was going to happen. And so, we ended up in this ... we wanted to end it in a little bit more of a question mark at the end of the season, where it’s still really dark and we don’t know if Max is going to be okay.”

“We wanted to leave it a little bit up in the air,” the Duffers added. Well sure; if you leave it up in the air you give fans even more incentive to come back and see what happens in Season 5. (Although, if Season 5 comes and goes, and Max remains in that coma and never comes back in any way, those same fans are gonna be pissed.)

We’ll see what happens in Stranger Things Season 5 on Netflix, which is currently in the early stages of pre-production.

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