'Stranger Things 4': 5 strangest fan theories about how David Harbour's Jim Hopper will return in Season 4

Hopper's heroic sacrifice may not have been as final as it appeared, and fans have a number of theories as to his return

                            'Stranger Things 4': 5 strangest fan theories about how David Harbour's Jim Hopper will return in Season 4
Jim Hopper (Netflix)

As much as 'Stranger Things' is about those meddling '80s kids, David Harbour's Jim Hopper quickly grew to be one of the fans' favorite characters on the show. The local sheriff-turned-father was the heart of the series, trying to hold everyone together as the town was ravaged by monsters from the unknown. It made his death all the more tragic at the end of 'Stranger Things 3', but if there's one thing the fans know, it's that you can't keep a good Sheriff down. Everyone knows that Hopper is going to return for 'Stranger Things 4' - the only question that remains is how. Here are 5 of the strangest fan theories about how Hopper will return.

1. Trapped Between Dimensions

'Stranger Things' fan Noah Schnapp did a deep dive into earlier seasons of 'Stranger Things,' and even other franchises like Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' to come up with a theory for Hopper's return. Schnapp believes that Hopper's transition between worlds not only got him stuck behind the dimensional barrier, but across time as well. He believes that Hopper has already gone back in time and helped people like Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and his own daughter Sara (Elle Graham). "In the movie 'Interstellar', it happens that we have a flea that walks between dimensions after an accident. It interacts in both worlds through time-space at random," writes Schnapp. "Hopper is lost in space-time, where he has already transited between the two worlds, helping throughout the show, in small acts..." he writes.

2. Murray holds the key

Fans are good at picking up Easter eggs - so good, in fact, that some believe they have found the exact coordinates as to Hopper's location. A fan on Reddit took note of the Easter egg that David Harbour had left on his Instagram page, a series of numbers that led to a voicemail from conspiracy theorist Murray (Brett Gelman), which says, "Hi, you have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. as previously discussed, okay? If this is Joyce — Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach ya. I have an update. It's about, well, it's probably best if we speak in person. It's not good or bad, but it's something..."

It's implied that Murray knows exactly what happened to Hopper, and where he is - but the fans do too. By flipping some of the numbers in the phone number around just right, you get 61.86258313, 166.8523831 - coordinates that lead straight to Kamchatka, the area that is featured in the post-credits scene of 'Stranger Things 3', with a mysterious figure referred to only as 'The American.'

3. Jim Hopper's Clone

Some fans believe that Jim Hopper isn't coming back at all - at least, not on a genetic level. Fans believe that the show may be bringing back a clone of Hopper, allowing David Harbour to return to the show but making the sacrifice of the Jim Hopper we know and love a permanent thing. We've already seen clones appear in the show, created by the Mind Flayer. Hopper could easily have been cloned as well, just before the Mind Flayer was defeated, once and for all.

4. Rescued by 'B'

A Reddit user has put forth a theory on a new character who could appear on the show to rescue Hopper, another child, like Eleven, who grew up in much rougher conditions. "A 10-year-old Russian boy starting with ‘B’ will be introduced. He’ll have some mind-related superpower like El, and his number will be, or should be, 013, He’s the person who, following the orders of the evil Russian superiors and the instructions of Dr Brenner — the American prisoner, opened the gate in Russia," he writes. He believes this child will unite with Eleven across countries to team up, and free Hopper, bringing a new child to the show.

5. Hopper faked his death to be with Joyce

Hopper's romance with Joyce (Wynona Ryder) was a major part of Season 3, but his death meant the two couldn't be together. Even before that, however, they were having some major problems, as Hopper needed to stay in Hawkins to protect it, while Joyce wanted to move away. One fan has theorized that Hopper faked his own death, and when he jumped in through the portal he didn't end up in Russia, or the Upside Down, but in the town Joyce was planning to move to. His death would have freed him from his responsibility to Hawkins, and the letter he left was a secret sign that he was okay.

What are your theories about what really happened? Let us know in the comments!

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