Stranger Things: David Harbour compares Hopper’s resurrection to Gandalf

Stranger Things season 3 Jim Hopper. Image courtesy of Netflix.
Stranger Things season 3 Jim Hopper. Image courtesy of Netflix. /

Stranger Things star David Harbour compares Hopper to Gandalf

We learned a few things about Hopper in Stranger Things season 4, thanks to a recent Total Film interview with David Harbour.

Harbour knew for a while that Hopper was going to be the American in Stranger Things season 4. Yes, he just had to pretend he didn’t know to create a little bit of suspense for fans of the hit Netflix original series.

More interestingly, Harbour compared Hopper’s “death” and resurrection to Gandalf in Lord of the Rings.

For those who don’t know and don’t care about Lord of the Rings spoilers, at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf the Grey fights off the Balrog in Moria before falling to his doom. Later, Gandalf is resurrected, basically, as Gandalf the White for the second and third books.

It’s probably one of the most famous and well-known death and resurrection stories in literature and film.

Here’s what Harbour told Total Film about Hopper and Gandalf:

"“I’ve had those discussions with them from the very first season. We were always interested in that idea of the Gandalf resurrection – Gandalf the Grey who fights the Balrog and then becomes Gandalf the White. It’s the idea of the resurrection of the character. And mythologically, Hopper, in a sense, had to change. I mean, you couldn’t go on the way he was going on. He has to resurrect in some way. So it was a great opportunity to do that. So we’ll see a very different guy going forwards. The same guy but in a different vein. It’s a very cool thing to be able to play.”"

I actually think is a great comparison to make. I rewatched the final fight between Hopper and the Big Russian, and it feels a lot like the scene where Gandalf is fighting the Balrog, too. It appears Hopper is going to win and get out of there, but the time the Big Russian is killed, there’s no time for Hopper to get back to Joyce.

In the same way, we think Gandalf is going to win, but that whip. You have to watch out for the whips!

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this changes Hopper’s character. There’s a lot that Gandalf went through that I don’t totally understand after he “died.” But, Hopper’s journey should be much more straightforward. I’m assuming when he’s able to reunite with Joyce, Eleven and the rest of the gang from Hawkins he will have a new lease on life, if you know what I mean. Clearly, he will be a changed man, and I hope that change is for the better because he was quite miserable in the third season.

Hopper is on a different path than the rest of the characters in Stranger Things. It’s going to be interesting to see how his story is executed and what exactly happens with him. I think it’s going to be difficult to pull it off in a way.

So far, we’ve seen this story confined to Hawkins. Now, it’s moving all the way to the middle of nowhere Russia. How does that change the series? We’ll find out, hopefully, in the near future.

Stranger Things season 4 is currently delayed. Production was supposed to start again on season 4 in September, but it doesn’t appear that happened, which means they haven’t filmed any new episodes since filming shut down in March 2020.

Stay tuned for more news about Stranger Things season 4. We’ll let you know when production resumes!

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