“Stranger Things 4” may be the darkest season yet of Netflix’s hit sci-fi series, but some of its biggest stars don’t think it goes far enough.
In a May interview with The Wrap, stars Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp were open about their desire to see more main characters killed off, citing the show’s ballooning cast size. Schnapp suggested writing a “massacre scene” into an upcoming episode to get rid of unnecessary characters, while Brown called showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer “sensitive Sallies” for refusing to kill more characters.
If that wasn’t enough of a hint, she gave the writers even more clear marching orders. “We need to be ‘Game of Thrones,'” she said. “We need to have the mindset of ‘Game of Thrones.'”
Now that all episodes of the new season have been released and spoilers have been avoided, the Duffer brothers responded to Brown this week. Appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the showrunners took the opportunity to air their side of the debate. “Believe us, we’ve explored all of it, all options in the writing room,” Matt Duffer said. “We’re not ‘Game of Thrones.’ This is Hawkins. It’s not Westeros.”
In addition to their desire to differentiate themselves from the bloody HBO hit, Matt Duffer also explained that the deaths of relatively minor players on “Stranger Things” take a large emotional toll on the young characters. (And even the actors, as star Caleb McLaughlin recently told IndieWire that he even cried while watching a dramatic scene that he appeared in.)
In Matt Duffer’s view, killing off even bigger characters could drag the show down even further and potentially ruin what fans love about it. “When Barb dies, it’s two seasons of grappling with that,” he said. “So imagine, you know, Mike dying, and it’s, like, is that something that we’re interested in exploring or not interested in exploring?”
While many fans immediately suspected that the comments were made in response to Brown’s previous statements, Matt Duffer quickly erased all doubts.
“This is me basically defending myself against these Millie Bobby Brown accusations that I’m a sensitive Sally and explaining there’s logic behind it and has nothing to do with my sensitivity,” he said. “So there you go, Millie.”