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Is Eddie Munson Returning To Stranger Things? All the Evidence For and Against, Explained

Eddie, wake up!

Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things

Even months after the series dropped on Netflix, Stranger Things still has a death grip on internet debates, and nobody is more talked about than Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), the scene-stealing rocker and breakout star of season four. Eddie’s unapologetic personality and strong bond with Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) made him an instant favorite among fans, but just as we were getting to know him, he met an untimely death at the hands of Vecna… or did he?

Since the moment the episode hit Netflix, fans have been in denial that Eddie Munson is actually gone for good – and though his grizzly death-by-bats in the upside down certainly seems final, there’s still plenty of evidence out there that Joseph Quinn’s lovable weirdo may make a return in season five. Though the speculation is by no means definitive, there’s still absolutely an argument to be made: so here’s the breakdown of all the evidence against (and for!) the return of Eddie Munson to Stranger Things.

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The Evidence: Why Eddie Munson *Isn’t* Coming Back

As far as whether or not Eddie is actually dead, most of the most obvious, straightforward evidence would seem to suggest that yes, he is gone for good. His heartbreaking death scene didn’t leave much room for interpretation – though there’s a common sentiment in horror that if a character dies offscreen, they’re not actually dead – we see Eddie take his final breaths onscreen and die in Dustin’s arms, so that immediately rules out the ‘he never died in the first place’ argument.

Outside of the show itself, comments from the Duffer Bros. and Joseph Quinn, and others involved with production as to whether or not Eddie will return have also generally pointed towards ‘no’. On the Emmys red carpet, producer Shwan Levy said that the chances of Eddie returning were “highly unlikely.”

According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Duffer Brothers said: “Yes. Sorry. Eddie is definitely dead, the Duffers confirmed, squashing all hopes of a Martin Brenner-esque resurrection”, though it’s worth noting that it isn’t a direct quote. However, despite the fact that in interviews the cast and crew have Stranger Things have expressed skepticism about a possible Eddie return, the denials are never flat-out “no’s”. Admittedly, even if they did flat out say ‘no’, a surprise Eddie return wouldn’t be the first time talent involved with a project have lied to press – Andrew Garfield famously kept tight-lipped about a possible return as Spider-Man while on the press tour for Tick, Tick… Boom!

Perhaps the most compelling piece of evidence as to why Eddie isn’t coming back, though, is the thematic significance of his death. Eddie’s death in the Upside Down is one of the most crucial and emotional moments of season four – so if that devastating blow were to be immediately reversed, it might undermine the effectiveness of the previous finale.

The Evidence: Why Eddie Munson Could be Coming Back

There’s also, of course, the issue of whether or not Joseph Quinn would even be available to film a fifth season—if the Writer’s Room social media is to be believed, the season five scripts are complete and filming will begin in early 2023. As for whether or not Quinn has any projects lined up for that time—his upcoming films Hoard and A Quiet Place: Day One are in post-production and pre-production respectively, which would indicate that he’s available for filming.

Now for the narrative reasoning, which is the biggest roadblock—as previously mentioned, we saw the exact moment of Eddie’s death onscreen, so there’s no way to argue he might’ve somehow survived offscreen. What hopeful fans cling to, though, is the fact that his body was never retrieved from the upside. We’ve seen the Upside Down do freaky things to people before, so it’s not out of the question that it may be able to reanimate our favorite rocker. There’s no shortage of fan theories as to how he could come back, and a majority of them (including the Kas theory, a particular internet favorite) cite the Upside Down’s supernatural qualities as how Eddie could come back to life.

Recent marketing has also dropped what fans perceive as subtle hints that Eddie could be returning – in a poster for Eddie’s band Corroded Coffin, the word “live” in “live at the upside down” has the anarchist A spray-painted on top of it – which would change the poster’s message to “alive in the upside down” – coincidence? I certainly hope not. Another promotional hint fans picked up on was the use of background colors in the recent Stranger Things season four Netflix profile photos. The characters are grouped by color depending on their location.

As several Twitter users pointed out, the characters seem to have matching backgrounds depending on where they spent the majority of season four – Steve, Dustin, and Lucas all have purple for Hawkins, Will and Mike have yellow for California, and Hopper and Joyce have bright blue for Russia. Vecna and Eddie, though, both sport a dark teal for their backgrounds – which could imply Eddie is, in fact, alive in the upside down. The season five premiere title was also revealed to be “The Crawl” – which some fans infer could be a reference to a Master of Puppets lyric – “come crawling faster” – the tune Eddie rocked out to during his final performance.

As for Joseph Quinn himself, though he’s been understandably tight-lipped and coy about the possibility of Eddie coming back, he has mentioned hoping for a way to return to the series. In an interview with the Radio Times, he praised Eddie’s ending, but expressed interest in a possible return: “I think there’s a great beginning, there’s a great middle and a great end for the character.. . Me and Joe Keery (Steve Harrington) were discussing ways in which I could kind of…maybe I’d be like a figment of Gaten’s imagination or something. Like if there could be some kind of room for something like that, something a bit supernatural.”

(image via Netflix)

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Lauren Coates
Lauren Coates (she/her)is a freelance film/tv critic and entertainment journalist, who has been working in digital media since 2019. Besides writing at The Mary Sue, her other bylines include Nerdist, Paste, RogerEbert, and The Playlist. In addition to all things sci-fi and horror, she has particular interest in queer and female-led stories. When she's not writing, she's exploring Chicago, binge-watching Star Trek, or planning her next trip to the Disney parks. You can follow her on twitter @laurenjcoates

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