David Harbour Revealed an Incredible '80s Easter Egg in the 'Stranger Things 4' Finale

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Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Spoilers follow for the Stranger Things 4 finale.

Each season of Stranger Things has been a richly detailed exercise in '80s nostalgia, and Season 4 was no different, with a now-famous use of the Kate Bush song 'Running Up That Hill' going viral, not to mention much darker allusions to the Satanic Panic of the time. Some of the other pop culture references and period details, however, are a little less obvious.

Like the sword which appears in the finale of Stranger Things 4 Volume 2, "The Piggyback." Previously shown in the earlier episodes "The Dive" and "The Massacre at Hawkins Lab," it was one of the many weapons which the prisoners at Kamchatka were given before entering the makeshift gladiatorial pen where they were forced to fight the captive Demogorgan.

In the climactic moments of the final episode, Hopper used the sword to slay the monster like something straight out of an old fantasy movie. Which is no coincidence, because that prop literally is straight out of an old fantasy movie. It's the weapon that was wielded by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger himself in 1982's Conan the Barbarian and 1984's Conan the Destroyer.

Actor David Harbour, who plays Hopper, explained the sword's provenance in a recent Instagram post.

"Nerd alert," he wrote. "The prop at the end of episode 9 is the Atlantean sword from the CONAN films. A lovely fan found a still of when it was established in ep 7 and used by an unlucky inmate who met an untimely death near the cells at the side of our gladiatorial pit."

"The real excitement behind this however, is that the sword the incredible ST props department (reveal yourselves guys so I can credit you) gave me is THE ACTUAL SWORD used in the filming of both CONAN films," he continued. "It was heavy as hell, and such a tremendous honor to wield." He also tagged Schwarzenegger in the post, asking for notes on his swordsmanship technique.

The character of Conan first appeared in a series of short stories by Robert E. Howard, before going on to appear in comic books, the Schwarzenegger movies (he also had a role in the spinoff Red Sonja) and ultimately an ill-fated reboot starring Jason Momoa as the titular warrior.

While issues surrounding who owns the legal rights to the character have prevented any new content from being produced for the last 10 years, Schwarzenegger has repeatedly stated that he would love to reprise the role—and as of 2020, a new series is in the works at Netflix.

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