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Stranger Things Season 5: Cast, Theories, and Everything to Know

It's going to be a long wait until Season 5 arrives

Megan Vick

Before Stranger Things gets terminated, it's getting Terminated. Terminator's Linda Hamilton is joining the cast of the hit Netflix series for its fifth and final season. But don't expect to see her make her debut anytime soon — it's going to be a while before we can return to Hawkins to see how the mind-flaying '80s saga wraps up. 

In the meantime, we're keeping tabs on all the latest Stranger Things Season 5 news, including any information that gives us a lead on a release date, clues on what the season will be about, and any other rumblings we can find. Here is everything we know so far. 

Maya Hawke, Joe Keery, Natalie Dyer, Sadie Sink, and Priah Ferguson, Stranger Things

Maya Hawke, Joe Keery, Natalie Dyer, Sadie Sink, and Priah Ferguson, Stranger Things


Latest Stranger Things Season 5 news

It isn't a new season of Stranger Things without a new '80s icon joining the cast. Netflix announced on June 17 that Terminator star Linda Hamilton will appear in the fifth and final season of Stranger Things. Hamilton's role has not been announced.

Stranger Things Season 5 production

Production on Season 5 of Stranger Things has been delayed as writers continue to strike for fair wages. When the strike began in May, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer tweeted, "Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we're excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work."

Cast members had previously said that they were due to start filming Season 5 in May or June.

Stranger Things Season 5 release date prediction

A release date for Stranger Things Season 5 has not been announced yet, and the delay in production makes it even more likely that the final season won't be hitting Netflix for a while. In 2022, David Harbor told GQ UK that he estimated a mid-2024 release date, but his co-star Finn Wolfhard has implied that Season 5 will be out sometime in 2025. "By the time [Season 5] comes out, I will be 22," Wolfhard said in a GQ video in February.

Writing for Season 2 began on Aug. 2, 2022. The official Stranger Things Twitter account celebrated "Stranger Things Day" on Nov. 6, 2022, by sharing a pic of a Season 5 script, revealing the first episode name: "Chapter One: The Crawl." 

Stranger Things Season 5 cast 

Stranger Things Season 4 concluded with the main Hawkins crew standing on a hill and taking in the scope of Vecna's destruction, so we expect them all to return in Season 5. The big question marks for the upcoming final season include Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays Vecna, because it remains to be seen what shape Vecna is in after the finale, even though we know the entity is still alive; Paul Reiser, whose character Doctor Owens was left handcuffed to a pipe at Project Nina in Episode 8; and Joseph Quinn, who played Eddie in Season 4. Eddie did not make it out of the Vecna battle in the Upside Down in Episode 9 so we don't expect to see him in Season 5, but there's always a possibility he could return to haunt the members of the Hellfire Club, a la Billy (Dacre Montgomery) in Season 4. 

Stranger Things has been great at adding new characters into the ensemble (Maya Hawke didn't join the cast until Season 3, and now it's impossible to imagine the show without Robin), but the pace of major new character introductions will slow in Season 5 to give the existing characters their due. "We're doing our best to resist [adding new characters] for Season 5," Matt Duffer told Indiewire. "We're trying not to do that so we can focus on the OG characters, I guess." 

One exception? Linda Hamilton is joining the cast of Season 5 in an as-yet-unannounced role.

Main cast members:

Stranger Things Season 5 details

Creators Matt and Ross Duffer have given a hint about what the tone of Season 5 will be. During an awards-season panel hosted by Netflix in November 2022, the duo said that while previous seasons echoed specific types of '80s pop culture, Season 5 will have some of everything that made the show what it is. "Five, the way we see it, is kind of a culmination of all the seasons, so it's sort of got a little bit from each," Ross Duffer said, according to Variety. "Whereas before each season was so distinctly… [Season] 3 is our big summer blockbuster season with big monsters, and [Season] 4 was the psychological horror. I think that what we're trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit, in sort of the tone of 1." 

They also said that the final season is all about serving the characters who have been around since Season 1 and bringing closure to the mysteries the show has introduced over the years. "It's important to wrap up those arcs because a lot of these characters have been growing since Season 1," Ross Duffer told Variety. "So, it's a balancing act between giving them time to complete their character arcs and also tying up these loose ends and doing our final reveals."

Stranger Things Season 4 explained

If you need a refresher on who Vecna is, how he was created, and what his twisted vision is for the world, TV Guide breaks it all down in this video.

For a breakdown of Season 4, Part 2, TV Guide's sister site GameSpot explained all of the big moments in the finale and what they mean for Hawkins, and the world, going into Season 5.

Stranger Things Season 4 recap

The world of Stranger Things officially turned Upside Down at the end of Season 4. Vecna is hurt but still very much in charge after using Max to open the fourth and final gate he needed to bring the Upside Down into Hawkins. The opening of the gate left Max in a coma after she was revived by Eleven, and it remains to be seen if she will ever wake up, or if she will even still be the Max we know and love if she does. 

The entire crew, including Joyce, Hopper, Jonathan, Mike, Will, Dustin, Erica, Lucas, Eleven, Steve, Robin), and Nancy, has reunited in Indiana after spending the entire season across the country, and even across continents, from each other. They're facing a huge battle to take back their town from the demon psychic Upside Down overlord. Hawkins has fallen, and it's going to take every resource they have to save it. 

What to watch next

With a likely multi-year wait between seasons of Stranger Things, there are a lot of epic sci-fi shows to check out in the meantime. Here's a list of 17 other shows like Stranger Things for you to binge while you wait for new episodes. 

Stranger Things Seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix.