Warning: This post contains spoilers for Stranger Things 4: Volume 2.
The series finale of Stranger Things will allow for more bathroom breaks in between Vecna's rampage of Hawkins — kind of.
Creators Ross and Matt Duffer shared that the forthcoming Season 5 finale, while "feature-length," will not be as long as Season 4's, which clocked in at two hours and 22 minutes. During an interview with Josh Horowitz on his Happy Sad Confused podcast published Monday, the Duffer Brothers said they expect the series finale to be "at least two hours."
"The only reason we don't expect it to be as long is because if you look at it, it's almost a two-hour ramp-up before our kids really get drawn into the supernatural mystery," Matt said. "You get to know them, you get to see them in their lives, what they're struggling with, adapting to high school, and so forth. Steve's trying to find a date, all of that. None of that obviously is going to be occurring in the first two episodes of [Season 5]."
Netflix Millie Bobby Brown in 'Stranger Things'
"For the first time ever," he continued, "we don't wrap things up at the end of [Season] 4, so it's going to be moving. I don't know that it's going to be going 100 miles an hour at the start of 5, but it's going to be moving pretty fast. Characters are already going to be in action. They're already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that's going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different."
The brothers joked that the series finale will be "Return of the King-ish," referencing the third and final installment of The Lord of the Rings film, which clocks in at three hours and 21 minutes. The finale will feature "like, eight endings," they joked. And, in reassuring news, the creators confirmed that Season 5 will be set entirely in Hawkins following a Season 4 that spanned California and Russia.
"We wanna go back to a lot of the things we did in Season 1," Matt said. "A lot of the original groupings and pairings that we had in Season 1 – there's something nice about coming full circle."
Tina Rowden/Netflix Natalie Dyer, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Maya Hawke, Sadie Sink, and Caleb McLaughlin in 'Stranger Things'
While the brothers know precisely how the series will end, they're not quite sure how to actually get there yet. "It's dangerous as a writer to be writing hours and hours and not know where you're going," Ross said. "I'd rather leave some of that middle journey vague and fuzzy."
"But so long as you know where that destination is, it sort of gives you that clarity. It's like that lighthouse blinking in the distance ... while a lot of Season 5 is actually pretty blurry, the last 30 minutes of it are pretty clear in our heads. So if we can make the journey entertaining, I think that we have an end that will hopefully satisfy. You can't satisfy everyone, but the hope is that it's something that feels right for this story."
The brothers also teased that the death of beloved Hellfire Club president Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) will have "huge repercussions" amongst the survivors. Yes. Sorry. Eddie is definitely dead, the Duffers confirmed, squashing all hopes of a Martin Brenner-esque resurrection. Max (Sadie Sink), however, is alive, but "brain dead, blind, and all of her bones are broken," the brothers said.
Sink recently told EW that filming Max's near-death scene in the hands of Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) was an emotional experience. "It really is just so sad," Sink said. "When you're putting yourself in that moment and then you're with someone like Caleb [McLaughlin], who I've known since I was very little, sometimes things can feel very real on that set. It was very emotional."
Stranger Things Season 4 is available to stream on Netflix.
EW's Ultimate Guide to Stranger Things is available online or wherever magazines are sold.