It’s now been over two years since we officially found out that Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is alive and in Russia after the events of Stranger Things season 3. Remember that exciting first season 4 teaser that came out in Feb. 2020?!
To get you caught up, Hopper was in the Russian base under the Starcourt Mall in the season 3 finale when Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) blew up the machine. We don’t know how, but somehow, Hopper survived and ended up in a Russian base. It was hinted in the mid-credits scene that there was an American in a Russian prison, and we all knew, then, that it was Hopper. Netflix confirmed Hopper was the American on Valentine’s Day 2020.
Fast-forward a bit to the full-length Stranger Things season 4 trailer that was released in April 2022, and we got further confirmation that Hop is alive and definitely in the new season. We see the fan-favorite in Russia working out in the snow, and another scene of him in the middle of a Demogorgon attack!
Is Jim Hopper (David Harbour) returning for Stranger Things season 4?
So yes, we know Hopper is coming back in Stranger Things season 4. We still just don’t know how. Watch the trailer below!
We have read a lot of interesting fan theories about how the Stranger Things crew, also known on this site as the Hawkins Heroes, will save Hopper in Stranger Things season 4. We don’t want to wade too deep into the waters of Stranger Things fan theories, but as we learn more about season 4 and the characters in the new season, things are starting to fall into place.
In November 2020, Stranger Things announced some new cast members for season 4, including Nikola Djuricko, who plays Yuri, a Russian smuggler who likes peanut butter, cash, and other things, according to Netflix. It had been a minute since we learned anything new about season 4. Then, the voicemail message happened, and we’re guessing it has everything to do with Hopper.
A Stranger Things fan account on Instagram posted that they’d received a package from THE Stranger Things. In the box, there were Russian dolls and a piece of paper with a phone number: 907-206-7700. If you call the number, you get the voicemail for Yuri.
Yuri runs Yuri’s Fish and Fly, a fishing company in Anchorage, Alaska. We know that he’s also a smuggler. Are you picking up what we’re putting down? We think there’s an obvious connection between Yuri and a potential plot to save Hopper. That’s what we’re hoping, anyway.
As for how Hopper survived the explosion at the Starcourt Mall, that also hasn’t been confirmed. The Russians scooped him up pretty quickly, so it’s possible they kidnapped him right after everything cleared up. Or there could be something way crazier with the Upside Down that happened.
We’ll (hopefully) find out for sure when Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 premieres on May 27, with volume 2 following on July 1.