Spoiler alert! Don't read any further if you don't want spoilers for Stranger Things season 3.
- The final episode of Stranger Things 3 has fans wondering if David Harbour (aka Sheriff Jim Hopper) will return for season 4.
- Stranger Things fan theories say Hopper might not be gone, after all.
If the season finale of Stranger Things 3 is to be believed, Sheriff Jim Hopper (played by David Harbour) died in the explosion that took place below Starcourt Mall in Hawkins, Indiana, sacrificing himself so that Joyce, Eleven, and the rest of the gang could finally stop living in fear of the Mind Flayer. One fan theory making its way around the internet, however, argues that Hopper might still be alive.
It all started when, around the time of the show's season 3 premiere, a group of savvy fans noticed something fishy about actor David Harbour's Instagram. Every day for the week surrounding the release of Stranger Things 3, David changed his profile picture to an image of a different number. When strung together, the 10 digits made a phone number — the same one, in fact, that Hopper gave as a callback number for Murray Bauman's home phone in episode 6 of season 3.
Hi, you have reached the residence of Murray Bauman. Mom, if this is you, please hang up and call me between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. as previously discussed, okay? If this is Joyce — Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach ya. I have an update. It's about, well, it's probably best if we speak in person. It's not good or bad, but it's something ...
Now, because the clues leading to this message came from David's Instagram, specifically, fans were quick to jump to the conclusion that the recording must have something to do with Hopper. If what Murray has to tell Joyce is neither "good" nor "bad," perhaps it's that he has some more information on Hopper's fate — maybe Murray has evidence to believe Hopper is stuck in the Upside Down, for example.
It's all very interesting, right? But the theorizing doesn't stop there. In another theory circulating the web, Stranger Things fans believe they might have found the exact coordinates of Hopper's whereabouts.
The theory goes like this: Let's assume the string of numbers David posted on his Instagram page is not only a phone number, but also a latitude of 61.86258313. Then, let's take that string of numbers, divide it up into pairs, and flip the numbers within each pair. (So 61 becomes 16, 86 becomes 68, and so on until you get 166.8523831.) If you assume this second number is a longitude, you've now got a complete coordinate: 61.86258313, 166.8523831.
When you plot that coordinate on a map, you'll find it's smack-dab in the middle of a peninsula of Russia called Kamchatka ... which also happens to be the very same region where the post-credits scene at the end of Stranger Things 3 takes place. Knowing this, it seems likely that Hopper could very well be the "American" that the Russians allude to having in their captivity in this final scene. Whoa.
Twitter user @GPerez1996 was the original mastermind behind this fascinating location theory, which has since been translated by many other accounts across various social media platforms. It might feel like a bit of a stretch — especially when you get to that part about flipping the various digits — but considering how badly we want to believe Hopper's story isn't over, we'll happily accept it for now.
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