Stranger Things 4's Infinity War Parallels Set Up Season 5 In 2 Big Ways

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Stranger Things season 4.

Stranger Things season 4's ending draws unexpected parallels to Avengers: Infinity War, and the link between them could set up season 5. The portals to the Upside Down have, for many seasons, been contained in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The dangers are commonly met by the rag-tag group of heroes, who have fought evils widely unknown to the rest of the world, and have been keeping their town safe for years. However, Stranger Things 4 finally unmasks this evil and puts Hawkins in some very real danger.

Stranger Things season 4 is the first time Eleven loses a fight, and it's a big one. Vecna successfully opens the gates to directly connect the Upside Down to the primary dimension. The end of season 4 shows Hawkins turning grey, with flowers decaying and dying due to the effect of the Upside Down, with a hellish storm brewing in the sky. These bad omens further confirm that Vecna's mission is complete, as well as show how big the heroes lose in their match against him.

Related: Why Vecna Didn't Just Attack Hawkins Himself Earlier

Losing the first time around was something that famously happened in the Infinity Saga. Thanos, shockingly, collected all six Infinity Stones in Infinity War and snapped half of the living population out of existence. This snap included a plethora of heroes turning to dust, too, and their defeat was enormous. Stranger Things season 4 ending in a similar manner to Infinity War, a loss, could mean that season 5 's key narrative points might resemble those in Avengers: Endgame.

Narratively, there was a five-year time jump from Infinity War to EndgameDue to the colossal size of Thanos' destruction, the heroes didn't see any possible way to reclaim what was lost and defeat the Mad Titan once and for all until a few years had gone by, and that was only because a rat ran across the control panel in Scott Lang's van. The time jump meant that the heroes had to live in their defeat for a long time and truly understood the severity of Thanos' mission in all its devastation. The five-year time jump gave them enough time to realize that they couldn't live like that anymore and were imbued with new hope and determination.

The Duffer Brothers have already confirmed that there will be a time jump in Stranger Things season 5 to better match the actors' ages to the characters they play. Currently, most of the younger actors are now around 18-20 years old but still playing 14-year-olds, so this jump will allow them to balance the ages out. This time jump, though, will also parallel the MCU time jump from Infinity War to Endgame and could have similar effects. Given that season 4 marks Eleven's first defeat, she probably realizes that she needs to better focus on her mental strength in order to defeat whatever evil approaches next. The rest of the gang, too, will only become more determined to correct their loss, which will allow the parallel to reach completion by having the heroes win the second time around.

After understanding that the team must do whatever it takes to defeat Thanos, some heroes sacrifice themselves for the greater good in Endgame. Natasha/Black Widow sacrificed herself on Vormir to get the Soul Stone, and famously, Tony Stark/Iron Man fashioned his own gauntlet to take the stones from Thanos and snap everyone back. Further, Steve's ending also had him leave his permanent position in the MCU. Eliminating some of the main characters allowed for a better sense of completed character arcs and brought a sense of closure to that particular chapter of storytelling, which Stranger Things could benefit from.

Related: How Long We Think Stranger Things 5's Time Jump Will Be

If Stranger Things is to truly parallel the Infinity Saga, then that would mean there will be some main character deaths in season 5. One of the only criticisms that Stranger Things garners is the show's inability to kill off any of its core characters, but as season 5 is the last Stranger Things season, perhaps it will finally take some risks. The deaths of some main characters will be a good way to end the series, satisfyingly conclude arcs, and prove how great a threat they're facing. So far, it's been slightly unrealistic that a group of largely inexperienced kids and teenagers battling monsters from another realm have only garnered one near-fatal casualty in four seasons: Max. Further, with the Duffer Brothers planning a spin-off show, killing some of the main characters would be a good way to separate the two shows and ensure they won't rely on Stranger Things to carry a new storyline.

Tony was the face of the MCU for many years, being the hero who officially started it all, and his death was handled emotionally and beautifully. Though sad, Tony's character journey between Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame marked the perfect end to the story and made sense in the overall narrative. For a true parallel, this could correlate to Eleven's death in the final season, as it all began with her and quite possibly could end with her in Stranger Things season 5.

More: Everyone Who Dies In Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 (Including The Finale)

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