Of all the emotional moments in Stranger Things season 3, the Hopper speech may be the most heartfelt.
If you were holding back tears during the final moments of Stranger Things season three, then welcome to the majority! The Duffer Brothers' nostalgic sci-fi series has finally returned to Netflix and audiences weren't ready for the emotional onslaught offered throughout eight captivating episodes.
Arguably, it's the very best yet. Since 2016, these characters have grown so much, with the central kids blossoming into teenagers, coming to terms with the changes part and parcel with such transition. However, it isn't just the younger characters who have changed.
Every character in the series has pride of place, but if we're talking favourites, Jim Hopper (David Harbour) has been with us through it all.
Hopper was a highlight of season one, again in season two, and of course, he's better than ever in the third.
As Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) continues to mature and grow up, Hopper inevitably begins to spiral into full-parent mode; he worries he's losing her, allowing their connection to slip away. Taking advice from Joyce (Winona Ryder), he decides to approach a heart-to-heart, writing down what he intends to say to her.
However, he never gets the chance to read it, and simply gives Mike a warning to give her some space.
If you're reading this, you'll know that Hopper essentially sacrifices himself to save the day in the season's final episode. It's a heartbreaking moment, but it's nothing compared to the concluding scene, in which Eleven reads her dad's heart-to-heart speech. The words offer narration to a series of emotional goodbyes, rewarding the entire series with it's most beautiful moment yet.
in which jopper have a heart-to-heart about a heart-to-heart pic.twitter.com/dceq9Og5Pz— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) July 5, 2019
Here is the speech transcribed in full:
"Feelings... Jesus. The truth is, for so long I've forgotten what those even were. I've been stuck in one place, in a cave you might say; a deep dark cave.
And then, I left some Eggos out in the woods and you came into my life, and for the first time in a long time, I started to feel things again. I started to feel happy. But lately, I guess I've been feeling distant from you - like you're pulling away from me or something.
I miss playing board games every night... making triple-decker Eggo extravaganzas at sunrise, watching westerns together before we doze off. But I know you're getting older, growing, changing, and I guess if I'm being really honest, that's what scares me. I don't want things to change. So I think maybe that's why I came in here, to try to maybe, stop that change; to turn back the clock, to make things go back to how they were.
But I know that's naive, it's just not how life works, it's moving, always moving whether you like it or not. And yeah, sometimes that's painful, sometimes it's sad, and sometimes, it's surprising, happy, so you know what, keep on growing up kid. Don't let me stop you.
Make mistakes, learn from 'em, and when life hurts you, because it will, remember that hurt. Hurt is good - it means you're out of that cave. But please, if you don't mind, for the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open three inches."
Will he be back?
Some are wondering if he could still be alive; after all, we thought Eleven was dead at the end of season one, only for her to return in the next.
When the note was being read out at the end, audiences were in disbelief. Could they really, like really, have killed Hopper? It's an incredibly bold move, but inevitably, there are those who believe that he never died.
During the post-credits scene at a facility in Kamchatka, Russia, two guards walk past a number of cells. When one of them attempts to open a door, the other swiftly cuts in; “No. Not the American,” he insists. He then proceeds to open another cell and feed the stranger to a caged Demogorgon... as we suspected, things are not over.
It's that line though: "Not the American." Could Hopper somehow have been transported to the base as a result of the blast? Did the impact teleport him as a result of being so close? There are no answers - only burning questions. Honestly though, that "American" is more likely to be Hopper than anyone else. It's far too significant of a hint, we hope!
In other Stranger Things news, did you catch that awesome pool reference?
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