As fans await more news about the highly anticipated fifth and final season of Stranger Things, here is an extensive list of the cast expected to be returning.
Sadly, with the recently resolved WGA strike having gone on for months and the SAG-AFTRA strike still ongoing, there’s been very little official news about Season 5. While production is still a ways off due to all of that, fans did recently catch images of sets actively being prepared for filming whenever it does start back up/
While there might not be much information known about Season 5, star David Harbour did confirm in an interview that Eleven, Hopper, Joyce, Will, and Mike will all be the main parts of the final batch of episodes. But, obviously, they won’t be the only characters making their final farewells.
The Cast and Characters Expected to Return for Season 5
Millie Bobby Brown - Eleven/Jane Hopper
While it’s not hard to believe, Millie Bobby Brown will be returning as Eleven. But what exactly will her final adventure have in store for her?
At the very least, she’ll probably have one more fight with Vecna, who was simply defeated at the end of Season 4–not killed. Hopefully, she’ll get plenty of time with Hopper to make up for their season apart.
In a discussion with Woman’s Wear Daily, the actress admitted that “[she] think[s] [she’] ready” for the show to be done:
“I think I’m ready. It’s been such a huge factor in part of my life, but it’s like graduating high school, it’s like senior year… You’re ready to go and blossom and flourish, and you’re grateful for the time you've had, but it’s time to create your own message and live your own life.”
David Harbour - Jim Hopper
David Harbour’s Jim Hopper spent nearly the entire season separated from the majority of the show’s core cast. It’s only right he returns for the final season to help fix that.
He certainly has a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully, with everyone on the same page about the crazy events of Season 4, the whole team can stick together to tackle whatever threats Season 5 brings.
While speaking at Middle East Film & Comic-Con, Harbour hinted Hopper and Joyce might be getting married in this upcoming final season, saying that “the Duffer [Brothers] have a good way of paying off a lot of things… think[s] they will with this relationship as well.”
Finn Wolfhard - Mike Wheeler
Most of Season 4 didn’t give Finn Wolfhard’s Mike much to do, so hopefully, the final batch of episodes can give the character some notably fun moments.
After all, he finally has Eleven back for good this time (or so it seems), and they seem to be doing well again. But how long will that last, especially with the threat of Vecna just waiting to pop up again?
Wolfhard had a lot to share about Season 5 with Collider, revealing that he’s “only read the first three [episodes]:”
“Well, I think it answers an insane amount of questions about the lore of ‘Stranger Things’ the world-building. I think a lot of people will be happy with getting back– It's the last season, so we kind of want to get back to the roots of why the show was so special in the first place and why the dynamics are so special in the first place, and sort of getting back to that… I think it's gonna be very sad… I'm excited to see where everyone is– I didn't even know how it ends yet, truly. I've only read the first three, so we'll see. But yeah, I'm excited to see where all the characters’ journeys go.
Wynona Ryder- Joyce Byers
After her little trip to Russia, Joyce is now back in the United States with the rest of the cast—just in time for everything to turn to sh*t for Season 5 and the inevitable problems it’ll bring.
This time around, like Will (and Eleven), she too has her significant other in tow. But what will the next step in Joyce and Hopper’s relationship be?
Hopefully, both of them can survive the show’s last season.
Gaten Matarazzo - Dustin Henderson
While Dustin’s plan helped save the day in Season 4, Gaten Matarazzo’s hero still lost his new friend, Eddie, which isn’t something he’s likely going to forget. That grief and trauma will almost certainly play into the character’s story going forward.
Could it perhaps even directly affect his bromance with Steve?
As for exactly what audiences will see with Matarazzo in Season 5, the actor told USA Today just that:
“A lot of people have projects they're working on at the moment. But I know they're kicking into high gear with writing, and I can't wait to finally get back into it. I don't know when, but it'll be fun for sure."
Caleb McLaughlin - Lucas Sinclair
Caleb McLaughlin’s Lucas is undoubtedly going to be in a dark place when Season 5 starts, seeing as how his girlfriend, Max, is in a coma. While he had a brave face at the end of season 4, her (assumedly) continued bad medical condition will take a toll on him.
When Vecna does come back into the picture, Lucas is probably going to want to join the fight against the big bad in any way he can.
While speaking with ScreenRant about Stranger Things, he shared how he’ll “be sad when it’s all over,” confirming that “even if [he] hated being on the show, [he] would miss it because [he] was such a kid [when he first joined.”
Noah Schnapp - Will Byers
While Will has been the focal point of most Stranger Things seasons, he took a back seat for Vecna’s introduction—not that he didn’t have important moments here and there. Given his prominence in the story so far, though, it would be hard to imagine him not being in the spotlight for the show’s final run.
Perhaps the Duffer Brothers can loop his story in with Vecna’s return? After all, it’s hard not to wonder if the two ever encountered each other in the Upside Down at any point.
While speaking with Forbes about Strange Things, the actor shared that he’s “very, very excited for what’s to come:”
“I can just tell you that I’m very, very excited for what’s to come. I think they did a great job with Will’s character this season and beautifully addressed everything they needed to. The way they closed the show is just perfect—the story started with Will, and it’ll end with Will.”
Sadie Sink - Max Mayfield
Max Mayfield had a really rough time in Season 4’s conclusion, and Sadie Sink is likely thrilled to be coming back at all.
But, given she was in an unresponsive comatose state the last time audiences saw her, Max’s future doesn’t look too bright.
Back when she spoke with Deadline in July 2022, Sink admitted that she “[does] not know what is going to happen in season five.” Fifteen months later, it’s safe to say that she probably has a better idea now—though she did also share that “[she doesn’t want] to leave.”
Natalia Dyer - Nancy Wheeler
Nancy Wheeler, played by Natalia Dyer, was essential in fighting the good fight against the Vecna in Upside Down, but will Season 5 be just as exciting for her?
While who knows what Vecna might bring to his next fight, there is one part of Nancy’s life that looks like it could be in trouble (at least, based on those last few scenes of Season 4): her relationship with Jonathan Byers.
Charlie Heaton - Jonathan Byers
Charlie Heaton’s Jonathan Byers was among the small handful of characters who didn’t get too much to do in Season 4. Given his close proximity to the rest of the cast, however, it’s clear he’ll be returning for Season 5.
Maybe he’ll get to make a bigger mark for the show’s last hurrah. However, who knows if that will include keeping his relationship with Nancy intact.
Joe Keery - Steve Harrington
While Joe Keery’s beloved Steve Harrington had a brush with death while visiting the Upside Down in Season 4, he made it out alive. But will the final season be as kind?
While fans don’t want any of the cast to die in the last batch of episodes, someone will probably parish—and many fans feel like Steve is at the top of the list of potential candidates.
Technically, fans already had their first look at Steve in the upcoming fifth and final season, though it was just a snapshot of some animated previsualization for an unknown scene.
Maya Hawke - Robin Buckley
First introduced in Season, Maya Hawke’s Robin has now helped save the world twice. It’s pretty much a surefire thing that she’ll be there for a third time.
The actress told Rolling Stone that she would love for Robin to “die and get [her] hero moment.”
Brett Gelman - Murray Bauman
After his very eventful trip to Russia, Brett Gelman’s Murray Bauman probably still hasn’t lost his appetite for conspiracy theories. This is why it makes perfect sense for his character to spend some more time in Hawkins, especially right when things are guaranteed to get even weirder.
Priah Ferguson - Erica Sinclair
After the events of both Seasons 3 and 4, Erica Sinclair is basically one of the core cast of kids (who are pretty adult at this point). With that said, she’s very much expected to return for Season 5.
Now would be a good time for Erica to be there for her brother, perhaps allowing the Duffer Brothers to flesh out their sibling relationship a bit more before the show concludes.
Cara Buono & Joe Chrest - Karen Wheeler and Ted Wheeler
With Mike Wheeler playing a key role in Stranger Things’ final season, it would be strange for his parents to be no-shows. Though, it’s not likely they would be playing a notable role in the proceedings.
Eduardo Franco - Argyle
Argyle was only just introduced in Season 4, but he quickly became a fan-favorite addition. Provided he becomes a notable part of the final season, perhaps the last episodes can expand upon the character in exciting new ways—that, or he’ll simply remain a comedic relief.
Dacre Montgomery - Billy Hargrove
Dacre Montgomery’s Billy Hargrove perished at the end of Season 3 while sacrificing himself to save Hawkins, but that didn’t stop him from appearing in the fourth season as Vecna pried around in Max’s head.
Seeing as Max is still in a bad state, it wouldn’t be surprising if Billy is utilized in a similar fashion at some point in the final season.
Gabrielle Pizzolo - Susie
Susie was first introduced in Season 2 but didn’t properly appear until 3, going on to get another brief spotlight in 4. Seeing as she’s appeared in every new season since her inception, it seems like a safe guess that the Duffer Brothers will find a reason to involve her in the plot of the final few episodes.
Perhaps they could even give her a meatier role than she’s used to?
Paul Reiser - Dr. Sam Owens
Since Paul Reiser’s Dr. Sam Owens was first introduced in Stranger Things’ first season, it would be odd if he didn’t show up at any point in the last episodes—especially since the current status and location of his character are unknown.
Those vital questions seem like key answers the Duffer Brothers might want to solve.
Jamie Campbell Bower - Vecna/Henry Creel/One
One of the strongest components of Stranger Things Season 4 was undoubtedly Jamie Campbell Bower’s Vecna. So, thankfully, he was only defeated and not killed after his showdown with Eleven.
Vecna, otherwise known as Henry Creel or One, is teed up to be the big bad of the entire series, and he’s bound to offer up some shocking new developments for these final episodes.
While speaking with New Musical Express (NME), Bower teased that his days terrorizing the cast of Stranger Things are far from over:
“He’s pissed, he’s properly vexed… I don’t think he’s slunk off licking his wounds in misery. He’s rebuilding, and he’s out for blood. It’s like, you’ve really fucking pushed the buttons now.”
The actor also noted how he thinks there’s an unexplored connection between Vecna and Will that has yet to be explored, which he hopes could happen at some point in the final season.
Linda Hamilton - ??
Linda Hamilton was announced as a new cast member for Stranger Things Season 5 back in June, but the details of her role were not revealed. With how iconic the actress is, fans are expecting it to be something notable.
But Who Should Fans Not Expect?
Joseph Quinn - Eddie Munson
Just before Season 4 of the series came to an end, Eddie Munson met his tragic fate at the hands (claws?) of the Demo Bats in the Upside Down. While he was only part of the series for one season, fans absolutely fell in love with him.
While speaking to the Radio Times, Quinn made it clear how he felt that his character’s death “was a brilliantly realized ending for a brilliantly written character.” While the actor probably wouldn’t say no to more, he’s clearly happy with how things worked out.
Is there still a chance Eddie could appear? Absolutely—but if he did, it would probably be as some sort of flashback, ghost, trauma, or vision apparatus.
Grace Van Dien - Chrissy Cunningham
Grace Van Dien’s Chriss Cunningham had the unfortunate honor of being Vecna’s first victim in Season 4. Sadly, seeing as Crissy is dead and was very terribly important to any of the leading characters, it’s hard to imagine she’ll reappear in any way.
Matthew Modine - Dr. Martin Brenner
Yes, Matthew Monine’s Dr. Martin Brenner has beaten a supposed death sentence before—but is it a trick the showrunners will pull on audiences twice? His time in Season 4 was spent on borrowed time, so fans should consider themselves lucky to have gotten that.
While he may seem dead, the actor himself told Radio Times that he “hope[s] that there’s some way to resuscitate Dr. Brenner.”
Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix.