Hopper Is Alive! 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Theories Surrounding How He Survived

A new teaser clip for 'Stranger Things' Season 4 confirms Jim Hopper is alive. Check out these fan theories on how "the American" survived!

Gabrielle Bernardini - Author

Apr. 15 2020, Updated 2:13 p.m. ET

jim hopper on stranger things
Source: Netflix

After the Season 3 finale of Stranger Things ripped viewers' hearts out, the popular Netflix series decided to show fans a little love this Valentine's Day. The show's creators, the Duffer Brothers, released a teaser trailer, which confirmed one very important fact: Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is alive!

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"We're excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway – and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper!" the duo said in a statement. "Although it's not all good news for our 'American;' he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human... and other."

Adding, "Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything..."

stranger things season
Source: Netflix
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At the end of Season 3, audiences saw the Soviet's lab blown up; therefore, closing the gate to the Upside Down, at least the one located in Hawkins, Indiana. 

Unfortunately, Hopper was locked inside when Joyce (Winona Ryder) turned the key, and fans questioned if the Hawkins Police Chief survived the explosion. A post-credit clip saw an experimental Russian base, and Soviet soldiers mentioning "the American." However, it was not confirmed at the time if it was Hopper. 

In the 50-second teaser clip, Hopper is shown working at a camp in Russia, hammering away at a railroad alongside other prisoners. "Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime – pray for the American," the Duffers stated, adding, "From Russia with love." Yikes!

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So, how did Hopper survive the explosion? Check out these 'Stranger Things' Season 4 theories.

One major theory surrounding Hopper's survival post-explosion is time travel. 

"I'm predicting there will be an element of time travel in Season 4. There were several things that foreshadow this, Back to the Future, Hopper talking about 'turning back the clock' in his letter (to his adoptive daughter Eleven), and it would give them a way to save Hopper if he actually died," wrote one Reddit user. 

stranger things season  hopper
Source: Netflix
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Additionally, someone added: "The easy way to integrate it, would just be for the kids to walk into [The Upside Down], walk out of another gate and end up in a different time. There are enough unexplained aspects to [The Upside Down] that this new mechanic would not be hard to get the audience to accept." 

Since Hopper is alive in Season 4, it has also been suggested that he may have jumped through a portal to the Upside Down before the lab under the Starcourt Mall exploded and ended up walking through the portal located in Russia.

Well, we wouldn't be too surprised if the Duffer Brothers played with the timeline of events, especially since there was a pop culture reference to the cult classic Back to the Future in Season 3. 

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So, with a possible timeline in flux, could this also mean that the kids will go back in time and stop the scientists from ever opening the portal to this other dimension? "Great Scott!" 

Seriously, we need answers! As production of Season 4 of Stranger Things officially began, it seems audiences will have to wait until the latter half of 2020 to find out what really happened at the Starcourt Mall...

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