Warning: spoilers for Stranger Things season 4, part 1 ahead…
The final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 have a lot of questions to answer. After the epic end to episode seven, several characters’ fates were left up in the air, including Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), who – unlike Eddie (Joseph Quinn) and Robin (Maya Hawke) – didn’t make it through the gate from the Upside Down and back into the real world.
At the end of episode six, Steve was the first to travel through the “water gate” after the kids discovered that Vecna was creating openings to the alternate dimension every time he killed someone. Steve was sucked through and found himself face-to-face with a hoard of bat-like creatures.
Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Eddie, and Maya followed after him, but not before Steve had already been bitten several times. As Nancy patched him up, Robin was left gravely concerned that he’d end up with rabies – but a new theory ahead of Volume 2 suggests there could be something much worse on its way…
This is the first time we’ve encountered the bats in the Upside Down, so we don’t yet know the damage they may cause. Although, given that everything in the dimension seems to be out to kill our heroes, it may not be looking good for Steve.
One theory suggests the bites may cause Steve to mutate. This could be for good or evil, with one Reddit user suggesting (opens in new tab) Steve could be about to become Stranger Things’ next big villain. This theory argues that the bites may see him become a character called Kas, who is a lieutenant to Vecna in Dungeons and Dragons mythology – and he’s also a vampire, which is where the bat bites come in.
However, others are concerned Steve will not be able to recover from the injuries at all. One Redditor predicts (opens in new tab) suggests the Duffer Brothers will kill off a fan-favorite character ahead of the final season, while, over on Twitter, someone predicts (opens in new tab) Steve could sacrifice himself to save Nancy.
Speaking to Variety (opens in new tab), the Duffer Brothers also addressed the worrying speculation that a major character could be killed off in the upcoming episodes. “I don’t really want to say, but I would be concerned about the characters going into Volume 2, for sure,” Ross Duffer said. “I hope that that is sort of the sense because it is a darker season and the kids are no longer kids. So everybody is in danger. And there’s sort of an ominous feeling that things might not go well.”
We’ll have to wait until Volume 2 is released on July 1 to find out just what will happen to Steve. For more on Stranger Things, check out our guide to the Stranger Things season 4, part 1 ending, and don’t miss the Stranger Things post-credits scene. In the meantime, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows you can stream right now.