Stranger Things: could THAT character be a clone?

As production on Netflix series Stranger Things is paused due to Covid-19 emergency, fans are coming up with theories about what is going to happen during season 4 and what is going to be the future of the main characters after the ending of last season. Be wary that there will be spoilers throughout the article, so if you haven’t watched season 3 (and you should…) don’t go on with the reading!

The time span between two seasons is the perfect moment for fans to give birth to theories: sometimes these theories can be just insane, sometimes so well elaborated that, in a few cases, the fan theory would have played much better than the choices eventually taken by the original series. With the works on Stranger Things 4 stopped because of the corona-virus pandemic and the teaser trailer that revealed the return of Jim Hopper, the fans had (and will continue to have) a lot of time to come up with some “strange” ideas, especially during the lock-down period.

After this teaser trailer was released back in February, everyone has been asking themselves: how is Jim Hopper alive? And why is he in Russia? There are two recent theories that could be quite interesting and that could potentially be one way to solve the Hopper problem, generated by David Harbour growing commitments with other projects. So, just in case he wouldn’t have been able to make it, the show-runners decided to kill his character off in the final episode of season 3, in a quite dramatic way, just to reveal in the teaser trailer that Hopper is actually alive, and in the cold Russia.

What is Hopper doing in Russia and how? One of the theories on why this happened, is that Jim eventually survived to the explosion by finding an alleged “safe zone” built by the Russians in proximity of the machine, considering their previous failures in opening the gates of the Upside-Down. After the dust settled, the Russians that rushed to the machine eventually found Hopper and took him as a prisoner, moving him to Russia to conduct more experiments on the Demogorgons and finding a way to use him to their advantage. The second one, instead, could be a little bit more harsh for Hopper. The explosion could have opened a portal for the Upside-Down, and the following shock wave would have pushed Hopper right into it. Then, he would have found himself in a hostile environment, fighting for survival and, possibly, finding a way out: which he does, when the Russians try once again to open up the portal, and Jim finds himself in Russia where he has to fight his way out once again, only to get captured and forced to work for the Russians. Both theories can be justified and valid, with the help of some suspension of disbelief.

The other theory that started to surface lately is that the Jim Hopper that we see in the trailer is actually a clone, and this leads to two possible different directions that have in common the assumption that Hopper was indeed thrown into the Upside-Down for a while after the massive explosion he was victim of. The first idea, is that then he was cloned by the Mind Flayer, with the intention of taking revenge on Eleven: this would allow the monster to have quite a big advantage and it would be the perfect way to lay a trap for her.
The second theory, instead, it is that Hopper was cloned by the Russians,with the same goal to get to Eleven and her powers (even if they are gone, for the moment). Like this, the real Jim Hopper would be kept captive and forced to work, while the second one (the clone) would be sent to Hawkins to act as the sheriff and, like this, trying to get to Eleven, eventually. Both these possibilities would mean troubling times and situations for the Hawkins kids, which will be forced to face some rough emotional shocks.

So, no matter if the Hopper they showed us is the real one or a clone, if we’ll have two versions of him or not, the common line among the fans is that Jim was catapulted into the Upside-Down, and that could be the real possibility to justify his officially confirmed return. All but confirmed, instead, is the date of the eventual return of the series on Netflix. Could it be somewhere around 2021, maybe during the second half of the year? Until then, fans will have to wait and, potentially, will have the time to come up with other mouthwatering theories.

What are your theories on Jim Hopper? Do you think there will be two versions of him during the fourth season, or do you have a completely different idea? Let us know in the comments!

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