[Warning: Spoilers for every season of Stranger Things]
It was like a slow-motion car crash for Stranger Things die-hards. Since the death of Barb at the start of season one, every single season of Netflix’s sci-fi phenomenon has introduced a fan-favourite character, only to unceremoniously kill them off before the credits roll on the last episode.
Season two saw Joyce’s new boyfriend and superhero-to-be Bob get mauled by a pack of demodogs while season three saw the covert assassination of the newly defected Russian scientist Alexei. Season four was no different, and although a number of long-time main characters seemed to be on the chopping block, it was sadly no surprise to see everyone’s favourite metalhead, Eddie Munson, sacrifice himself to try and save Hawkins.
Although his death was noble and he got a sweet guitar solo out of the whole deal, season four ends with most of Hawkins believing that the initial wave of deaths was Eddie’s doing. As such, he’s vilified as a satanic worshipper, cult leader, and murderer. The only people who know otherwise are our central cast of characters and Eddie’s uncle, who puts up new missing posters for his nephew every day to replace the ones that get defaced. Perhaps The Duffer Brothers will restore Eddie’s good name in season five, but for now, it’s a hard pill to swallow for such a beloved character.
That’s why fans aren’t taking it lying down: a new petition on Change.org is demanding that the series creators bring back Eddie Munson. “This is a petition I have started to bring back fan favourite Eddie Munson,” the founder of the petition writes. “The Duffer Brothers have unfairly killed him off and many other fans and I think he deserves to be brought back and not just as a flashback, please sign this petition to spread awareness.”
As of the writing of this article, the petition is close to crossing the 30,000 signature mark and seems poised to reach its goal relatively soon. Whether Netflix or The Duffer Brothers themselves wind up responding to the petition is anyone’s guess, but the message from fans is clear: 1986 was supposed to be Eddie’s year, and now he needs justice.
The timetable for season five doesn’t actually exist yet. The Brothers Duffer have indicated that it won’t be as long of a wait as it was between seasons three and four, barring any global pandemics that might get in the way. Cast member David Harbour indicated that writing for the new season would be completed this year and filming would begin next year in his recent profile for GQ UK, but those are all just vague guesses at this point.
Will Eddie Munson die in vain as the scapegoat for Vecna’s crimes against humanity? Will the leader of the Hellfire Club get the hero’s death that he deserves? All fans can do is wait and find out, but petitions like this illustrate just how intensely fans have connected with the Eddie Munson character. Maybe Metallica can add their name to call for justice to really put the pressure on The Duffer Brothers.