Back in May, the much-anticipated fourth season of Netflix hit Stranger Things finally reached our screens after being severely delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans were delighted as Eleven and the gang returned for more supernatural happenings in their hometown of Hawkins, Indiana.
The series has followed the same group of kids since Season 1, with Eleven, Mike, Lucas, Will, and Dustin being the OGs, and Sadie Sink joining as Max in Season 2.
Mike’s sister, Nancy Wheeler, her ex-boyfriend, Steve Harrington, Chief of Police Jim Hopper, and Will’s mom, Joyce Byers, are the other major characters to have starred in the show from the first episode.
And, in a move that is particularly shocking in this day and age, every single one of the central characters has made it to the fourth season.
In a world where TV shows are constantly making headlines for their cut-throat decisions to kill off major actors in key roles at the drop of a hat, Stranger Things has kept its killings to a minimum — despite constantly putting its leads in life-threatening situations.
And while this is a decision that has been widely welcomed by fans, one of the show’s breakout stars, Millie Bobby Brown, recently dragged its creators, the Duffer Brothers, as she accused them of being too scared to kill anybody off.
In fact, the British actor called showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer “sensitive Sallies” as she advised them to take a page out of Game of Thrones’ book, which was notorious for its relentless character deaths.
Millie was just 12 years old when she was cast as Eleven in Stranger Things, and she even volunteered her character to be killed off as she shared her gripe with the series in a recent interview.
During a conversation with the Wrap in May, Millie and her costar Noah Schnapp — who plays Will — were asked what they want to happen in future episodes.
“You want Will to die,” Millie abruptly told Noah, who was visibly confused as he replied: “No? To die?”
“Oh, you don’t?” Millie asked, to which Noah said, “Oh, I mean, I guess at the end…” before deciding: “No, I don’t want [him] to die.”
Millie then told the interviewer, “The thing is, we’re all afraid of one of us dying.” Noah mused, “One of us will die.”
“They need to kill off some people, it’s too big,” he joked, and Millie was quick to share her agreement as she added: “It’s way too big. Last night we couldn’t even take one group picture because there were like 50 of us. I was like, you need to start killing people off.”
"The Duffer Brothers are two sensitive Sallies that don't want to kill anyone off,” she went on. “We need to be Game of Thrones. We need to have the mindset of Game of Thrones."
After saying that they should “kill me off,” Millie referenced Jim Hopper’s brush with death in Season 3 as she quipped: “They tried killing David [Harbour, who plays Hopper] off and they brought him back. It's ridiculous."
And the Duffer Brothers have now responded to Millie’s criticism, but luckily for fans, they don’t seem too keen to take her advice on board.
Speaking on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast, Matt said: “What did Millie call us? She said we were 'sensitive Sallies.' She's hilarious. Believe us, we've explored all options in the writing room.”
He went on to explain the complexities that come with killing off a major character as he continued: “Just as a complete hypothetical, if you kill Mike, it's like... That's depressing... We aren't Game of Thrones. This is Hawkins, it's not Westeros. The show becomes not Stranger Things anymore, because you do have to treat it realistically, right?"
Matt then referenced the death of minor character Barb early in Season 1, sharing: “So even when Barb dies, there's two seasons' worth of grappling with that, so imagine — is that something we're interested in exploring or not interested in exploring?"
But the writer went on to tease that more deaths could be “on the table” as “they are headed towards the end” of the show, before jokingly concluding: “This is me basically defending myself against these Millie Bobby Brown accusations and explaining that there are lives behind it, and it's nothing to do with my sensitivity. So there you go, Millie.”
Which is something that Millie is sure to be receptive to, as elsewhere in her interview with the Wrap she reinforced her faith in the Duffer Brothers’ work.
She explained at the time: “I trust the Duffer Brothers and their creative process, and what they’ve seen for Eleven has always been amazing and something I’ve always supported.”
Meanwhile, Matt recently revealed that there were originally more deaths in the show, with Dimitri “Enzo” Antonov set to meet his maker in an original script.
He told Collider: “In terms of who makes it, who lives or dies. I think there was a version where Dimitri, AKA Enzo, didn't make it. Then he ended up making it. But that's [the most] radical of a departure from the original idea versus what we ended up with."
The revelation came amid confirmation that the next season of Stranger Things will be the last, and the Duffer Brothers have revealed that they already know what the ending is going to be.
“We know what the ending is,” they told SFX. “It’s conceivable that it changes, but I think it's unlikely because it's one of those endings that just feels, and has always felt, right. And it also feels sort of inevitable. Then when you come up with it, you're like, 'oh yeah, well, that is absolutely what it has to be.'"
Filming for the fifth and final season of the show is yet to begin, but Matt and Ross have promised fans that they won’t need to wait as long as they did for Season 4, telling Variety: “The gap should be quite a bit shorter this time, due to the fact that we already have an initial outline, and we can’t imagine there will be another six-month forced hiatus."
And while we wait with bated breath for the grand finale, we can only hope that Millie doesn’t get her wish and that all of the residents of Hawkins get their happily ever after…