- Stranger Things -David Harbour Hints At Hopper's Return To Hawkins On 'Stranger Things'
It looks like Hopper might be back in Hawkins, Indiana. Or, at the very least, David Harbour is back on the Stranger Things set. In an Instagram post shared Tuesday, March 30, Harbour hinted at Stranger Things Season 4, seemingly confirming that he was on set in Atlanta.
"My greatest wish now is to get back to Kansas, for Aunt Em will surely think something dreadful has happened to me, and that will make her put on mourning. (Just wandering through the stages here in beautiful ATL and stumbled on this empty, dead stage...)," he captioned a photo of what looks like the set of Hopper's cabin, where he lived with Eleven in Stranger Things Seasons 2 and 3.
So, what does it all mean? Well, there's a lot to unpack here. First, though he didn't explicitly confirm he was on the Stranger Things set, the fact that he was on "stages" in "ATL" pretty much implies it — the show has filmed on location in Atlanta since Season 1. But, more importantly, let's look at the caption.
Harbour started off by quoting The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a book essentially about a girl who is taken far from home and has to fight her way back to Kansas. Not incidentally, this mirrors what we can assume will be a huge part of Hopper's Season 4 journey: his quest to go home. At the end of Season 3, Hopper sacrificed himself to close the gateway to the Upside Down and protect Hawkins and Eleven. In the wake of his supposed death, a grieving Eleven moved away with Joyce and Will. But, as was revealed in the teaser for Season 4, Hopper is actually very much alive. He just happens to be working in a Russian prison camp where they keep demogorgons.
The quote pretty literally reflects Hopper's situation in Season 4. But it's the next half of the caption that holds a bit more mystery. Harbour calls the set of Hopper's cabin "empty" and "dead." Based on the giant hole in the cabin's fake ceiling, it looks like this is the cabin post-Season 3 finale, when the Mind Flayer attacked and took off a big chunk of the roof. Now, in the world of television, sets that are no longer in use tend to be struck down, so the fact that Hopper's post-Season 3 cabin is still standing definitely bodes well for a Hopper's chances of returning to Hawkins. But the fact that Harbour described the set as "empty" also suggests that Hopper's reunion with Eleven might not happen right away.
Perhaps Harbour is teasing that Hopper makes the long journey home only to find Eleven gone. Or perhaps Season 4 will find Hopper in an "empty" and "dead" version of his cabin in the Upside Down.
We still don't know when Stranger Things 4 will premiere on Netflix. COVID-19 originally shut down production last March, and though filming resumed in October, star Gaten Matarazzo said in a recent interview that the production schedule was still somewhat unpredictable due to the pandemic. "It really is more of a guesstimation on when we're gonna be filming next, when we're gonna be wrapping up, when release is gonna be, all that jazz, because we still don't know on day-to-day if we're gonna be filming next week," Matarazzo told Collider.
Whenever it returns, consider me fully invested.