Ranking the Stranger Things characters by who deserves to be killed off next

Max, my queen, you’re going nowhere

I love Stranger Things with all my heart and soul, but I do have one gripe with it. It’s a horror show too hesitant to kill off its characters. Look, I get it. The cast are amazing and nearly every character in the bunch is pretty much a fan favourite. But where are the stakes? It’s time for Stranger Things to start making braver decisions and getting rid of some of the classics, not because I want them dead necessarily but because it makes for better television! Here are the characters from Stranger Things, ranked from by how ready I am for them to get killed off by whatever the Upside Down can throw at them.

17. Joyce

Joyce Byers is Stranger Things glue. She’s a cosiness, a family tie and a narrative drive. It would add nothing to kill her off, and other characters would be too lost without her tether. She’s staying. Plus, I’d die for Winona Ryder – as we all should.

16. Erica

Too iconic to touch. If anyone lays a finger on her, they will have me to deal with.

15. Max

If they killed Max off after her euphoric escape from Vecna to the tune of Running Up That Hill, there would be hell to pay. Even though Max’s death would feel correct and would make for good plot, there’s not a chance in HELL I want to say bye to Sadie Sink on my screen. Best character and best actress in the show. Quote me!

14. Dustin

Not only is Dustin a fan favourite, his death just wouldn’t add anything. It wouldn’t be a blow. It would be really sad, but wouldn’t have astronomical ramifications. He lives!

13. Robin

We’ve barely had Robin for two seasons, so for that reason her death could be done because we aren’t AS attached to her but also might not be done so we get to no her more. I don’t think her death would further the plot, really. And it’s nice to have some iconic lesbian representation! Don’t kill her, Duffer brothers!

12. Lucas

The only reason I could see Lucas being killed off is if he sacrificed himself for Max. But I hope that doesn’t happen, because Max has had enough trauma after Billy did exactly that.

11. Jonathan

Would anyone miss him? Joyce and Nancy, but anyone else? Anyone? A wet lettuce who should have fell at the hands of Vecna I fear.

10. Will

Until Will comes out as gay, I’m fine with his demise. I also think he should have died in season two, whilst we’re here. Let’s kill some of this cast OFF, I beg! Game of Thrones had a big death a week, people!

9. Mike

Stranger Things killed off

Eleven deserves better than the nuisance that is Mike, and I would welcome this character’s demise with open arms.

8. Steve

Stranger Things killed off

If Stranger Things killed off Steve, I would be in a period of mourning. Max aside, he’s probably my favourite character in the show. I adore him. His redemption arc is so good that a LOT of shows should take note. But… like all arcs, I do feel like if he went out swinging and died in a big battle doing something heroic it would be a good thematic closer to his storyline. But I’d be heartbroken, so he’s in the middle.

7. Eddie

Stranger Things killed off

Eddie is the best new character this season, let’s face it. Our lovable king. Something in my guts says that if they kill anyone off, though, it will probably be him when season four returns for volume two. But there are other people who should be killed off before our Ed. If he dies though, fine, and I can see that for him.

6. Nancy

For no other reason than she just gets right on my nerves. The more she’s in the show, the worse her hair gets. My least fave of the investigative girlies in horror fiction character trope. She’s no Daphne Blake, is she!

5. Murray

Stranger Things killed off

I was much more partial to Murray when he wasn’t a main role. You can have too much of a good thing, apparently. He’s getting a bit too heroic. Time to bow out in flames and die, my king.

4. Argyle

Stranger Things killed off

A new face to the cast, and a bit of a one note joke that has kind of run its course in seven episodes. A stoner bro for Jonathan, great! Stranger Things should get him killed him off over Eddie, who shows much more promise. But knowing this show, both will probably live to see another season.

3. Brenner

Stranger Things killed off

How the hell this man is still alive escapes me completely. One of the least compelling villains ever. Hate that he returned for season four and STILL isn’t dead. Get him gone!

2. Hopper

Stranger Things killed off

I love Hopper so much – he’s literally been ESSENTIAL to the show for the whole time and David Harbour is outstanding. But Chief Hopper should have died at the end of season three. It was time. I really thought they went there and did it, but they chickened out. And then we had to suffer the slog of the Russia storyline in season four.

1. Eleven

Stranger Things killed off

It’s time. I’m sorry to say, but it really is time. Eleven IS Stranger Things, but of all of the characters it is her death that needs to happen to complete her journey. If she doesn’t die at the end of season four, I’ll be very shocked. She’s thee heroine, with THEE powers. And every time she uses them it feels more destructive. Her plot is complete, and she needs to go out on a very sad but very brave death. Will Stranger Things ever be bold enough to get Eleven killed off? Time will tell when volume two arrives in July.

Stranger Things is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Wait, who actually plays young Eleven in Stranger Things and is it Millie Bobby Brown?

• Quiz: Tell us your order at the Binley Mega Chippy and find out your degree result

• A rundown of all the new faces in Stranger Things season four