Stranger Things season 4 volume 2: release date, trailer, cast, plot, and more

Eleven and Doctor Brenner stare at something off screen in Stranger Things season 4 volume 2
Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 brings the curtain down on the hit Netflix show's latest entry. (Image credit: Netflix)
Key information

- Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 arrives July 1
- Season 4 finale will be two and a half hours long
- Volume 2 trailer teases a gripping and dark finale
- Picks up straight after volume 1's final entry
- Plot may not bring our heroes together after all
- Fifth and final season already greenlit by Netflix
- Spin-off series will be "different" to what fans expect

Update: Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 is out now! Go go go!

Major spoilers follow for Stranger Things season 4 volume 1.

Get ready, Netflix fans: Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 arrives tomorrow (July 1)! After a few weeks of waiting (how long has the wait felt, by the way?), part 2 of the hit Netflix show's fourth season is merely hours away from dropping on the streamer. We don't know about you, but we're equal parts excited and apprehensive for what's in store.

Why apprehensive? Because, if you believe the cast and crew (not to mention what's hinted at in the official volume 2 trailer), we could be about to say goodbye to a key character or two. And not just those who only showed up in Stranger Things season 4, but anyone who's been part of the furniture since the series' first season. We hope you've got enough tissues for that inevitably tearjerking finale.

Still, while we wait for Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 to land on Netflix, there's plenty of new information for you to catch up on. For starters, you can watch the final two episodes with some of the series' cast online. Check out our guide on how to do so, if that sounds like your idea of a good time. Additionally, you may want to watch this impressive 'what if Stranger Things was a musical?' video. Stranger Things Broadway show, anyone?

Below, you'll find even more news on Stranger Things season 4 part 2. We've compiled everything from the series' returning cast and plot points that need addressing, to volume 2's trailer and the Netflix show's future. If you're after even more Stranger Things content, find out which 11 things we want season 4 part 2 to address. Even if it doesn't provide answers to every query we have, one thing is for certain: Stranger Things will return to the top of the Netflix charts once volume 2 is released after it was dethroned earlier this week (June 28). It's too popular not to do so.

A word of warning before we begin: full spoilers for Stranger Things season 4 part 1 follow. Don't read past this point if you haven't caught up with the series yet.

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 release date

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 launch date: July 1

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Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 will launch on Friday, July 1.

Season 4 part 2 will only consist of two episodes. Episode eight, which is titled 'Papa', will run for around one hour 25 minutes. The season 4 finale – The Piggyback – will be a movie in its own right, with a runtime of two hours and 19 minutes (per the Stranger Things writers' Twitter account). Best get some snacks (we're thinking Eggos, anyone else?) and schedule a toilet break or two ahead of time, then.

Speaking about the main reason for the supersized season, co-creator Matt Duffer told Netflix's Tudum website: "Partway through outlining, we realized we needed another episode. It was originally going to be eight episodes, and we asked Netflix if they would be open to us having another episode, episode 9. Which they were super supportive of.

"Season 3 was pretty light on plot compared to this year. It’s, like, quadruple the amount of plot. We have more characters, they’re spread out and, in order to get across the story that we wanted to but also not lose sight of the characters, to give each character their moment [and] each character relationship the kind of emotional depth it wanted or craved, we just needed the length."

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 trailer

Stranger Things season 4 trailer: check out the final teaser

Released on June 21, the official trailer for Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 teases an almighty showdown between our heroes, Vecna, and the Upside Down.

Unsurprisingly, the show's next outing is being positioned as a darker and more emotional affair. Set to Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill – what else would it have been set to? – the trailer opens with Doctor Brenner telling Eleven that her friends "are not prepared for this fight". Being the stubborn and heroic character that she is, though, Eleven isn't having any of it – a decision that may prove to be her and her allies' downfall.

How so? Because it seems that everyone is preparing for the fact that they may die during their confrontation with Vecna. Just listen to those lines that Will and Robin deliver at various points of the teaser, or look at how Nancy is still trying to escape Vecna's clutches despite seemingly doing so in those first-look images we shared earlier this month. With the gang (especially the Hawkins one) splitting up to seemingly tackle Vecna in multiple locations, too, it appears that their divide and conquer plan may not be up to scratch. We hope we're wrong, but things certainly look ominous for Eleven, Hopper, Max, and company.

Meanwhile, the official season 4 trailer, which made its way online on April 12, also contains some footage that'll make up episodes 8 and 9. There are snippets in there – Eddie Munson shredding the guitar, for instance – that we've yet to see in the show's fourth season. Our advice? Go and rewatch it multiple times to get an idea of what's to come in volume 2.

And, if you need a brief recap of what went down in volume 1, check out this near three-minute long video, via the Stranger Things Twitter account, for a quick rundown on the fourth season's main events:

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Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 plot

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 plot: what storylines need resolving?

Eddie sits at the wheel of a bus while Robin and Steve watch on in Stranger Things season 4

The Hawkins gang are driving into the unknown in season 4 volume 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Understandably, there's a lot that Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 needs to get through. It's no surprise, then, that its final two episodes total almost four hours.

For one, everyone needs to work together to take down Vecna and find a way to destroy the Upside Down once and for all. Okay, there's a fifth and final season on the way, so that last point will be saved for the next installment in the series, but the former storyline should reach a successful conclusion one way or the other.

First, a brief rundown of where episode 7 left off. Hopper had reunited with Joyce and Murray in Kamchatka, but that trio were half a world away from everybody else. Eleven had regained her powers, but is still at the abandoned silo site in Nevada where Project NINA is hidden from the world. 

Meanwhile, Nancy is trapped in Vecna's realm (called the Mind Lair by the Duffer brothers) in the Upside Down. Steve is trying to save her, with Dustin, Max, Lucas, Robin, Erica, and Eddie looking on through one of Vecna's portals in Hawkins. Although, based on one season 4 volume 2 image that Netflix released ahead of its July 1 launch – a spoiler-y one at that – it seems this plot point will be resolved pretty quickly.

Finally, Jonathan, Argyle, Will, Mike, and Suzie are en route to Nevada to find Eleven. Who knows who or what they'll find if they get there in time.

That's all before we even get onto Vecna, who was revealed to be subject 001/Henry Creel in Doctor Brenner's initial experiments to replicate the superpower-like abilities (that Henry possesses) in other children. Funnily enough, Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin Henderson, actually revealed a season 4 spoiler way back in 2016 – i.e. during the first season's press tour. In a video that's gone viral since Vecna's reveal (as reported by E! Online), Matarazzo said at the time: "There's this one [fan theory] in this video and he was saying how other test subjects, besides Eleven, like, one through 10, most of them are dead. But, others were banished to the Upside Down. Like, they couldn't get out."

Speaking to about that fan theory around season 4's release, Matarazzo said: “It was crazy, I was just reading a fan theory off of Reddit that was apparently spot-on. I’m just so happy that it didn’t go viral until after [Season 4]. It was surprisingly accurate. I’m glad it didn’t gain too much traction before the show came out.”

Max and Lucas sit solemnly in the dark next to a blue light in Stranger Things season 4

Will Max finally open up to Lucas in season 4 volume 2? (Image credit: Netflix)

Anyway, back to Vecna. He's still got a vendetta against Eleven – she was responsible for casting him out into the Upside Down, after all – and the real world as a whole. Expect Vecna to use the portals he's created (by killing Chrissy and company) to release the Upside Down upon earth from multiple directions, unless the main gang can stop him.

That all said, it sounds like the main cast may not be joined at the hips again before Stranger Things season 4 ends. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly (EW), Ross Duffer said: "In previous seasons, we have these various groups, and they come together and they share their information, and they go off to defeat this evil. Obviously, this season, that's not really feasible, in that everyone is in very different parts of the world. 

"So to us, that created a challenge, both for us as writers, but also for the characters. How can we defeat this evil when we're not even in the same space? So that's something that we're really excited about, seeing how that all comes together. And just the cross-cutting. Obviously, we've been cross-cutting between these very different worlds all season, but the cross-cutting becomes very rapid in that final episode, and we were just bouncing between all of our locations really, really quickly."

Will our heroes be divided for the entirety of season 4's final two episodes? It's looking likely but, as David Harbour (that's Jim Hopper to you and me) teased in a chat with IndieWire, we could see Hopper and Eleven finally reunited at some point: "As we know, the Duffers are writing their own show that will surprise you, be all sorts of things to you," Harbour hinted. "They are responsive to what I call fan service. They want to give you what you want. It’s very possible that that reunion would come." Here's hoping we get an extremely emotional reunion between the pair, then.

Whatever happens, we can expect an almighty showdown between Stranger Things' major players. According to star Joe Quinn (per Digital Spy), who plays Eddie Munson, we should prepare ourselves for a "mad symphony of chaos and horror", with the craziness of Stranger Things season 4 "turned up to 11". Color us intrigued.

It sounds like we may have to say goodbye to a key character or two as well. Speaking to The Wrap, Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) said: "One of us will die. Or more. The cast is so big." That was in response to Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) suggested that the main cast are all afraid of being killed off by the Duffer brothers.

Giving their two cents on whether one or multiple characters will bite the dust, the Duffer brothers teased that viewers should be "concerned" for everyone's welfare. In a separate discussion with Empire magazine (via IGN), Ross Duffer added: "I don’t really want to say, but I would be concerned about the characters going into Volume 2, for sure. I hope that that is sort of the sense, because it is a darker season and the kids are no longer kids. And there’s sort of an ominous feeling that things might not go well. Now, whether they do or not, you’ll have to watch.”

Best get the tissues ready for the inevitable tears that we'll cry once the finale's credits begin to roll.

Eddie Munson plays his guitar in the Upside Down in Stranger Things season 4

It's almost time to see Eddie shred guitar in Stranger Things season 4 volume 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Elaborating on what we can expect from a character development perspective in volume 2, Matt Duffer told EW: "We have a lot of big character emotional reveals and payoffs in the final two episodes, so I don't want to say too much." 

Some of those hugely emotive moments sounds like it'll be between Eleven and Doctor Brenner. Teasing what's to come between the pair in volume 2, Matt Duffer told Tudum: "They have some scenes together [in Volume 2] that are, I think, the best acting either of them have ever done." Color us curious.

Weighing in with his own ominous tease for the season 4 finale is executive producer Shawn Levy, who told The Hollywood Reporter: "Having seen both those finale episodes, they are as emotional as they are cinematic. Holy s**t, they are definitely a treat for the eyes, but they punch you right in the heart."

Adding his thoughts to how the scope of season 4 grows even more in volume 1, Jamie Campbell Bower (Vecna) told EW: "I'm going to toe the party line here. It gets bigger. If you thought that it was as big as it could get, it's not. It goes further, visually, story-wise, and emotionally for all the characters. It really is quite an explosive climax, let's say. 

"I know lots of people have used the word explosive and scope and scale, but I do mean that. It goes a lot further and we get to know more as well. We learn a lot more as an audience in these final two episodes, as well."

Additionally, Sadie Sink has hinted at how Max will step up to the plate in Stranger Things season 4's final episodes, telling Tudum: "Max is going to have to step up. She has some pretty brave moments in Volume 1. But Volume 2 — it’s the ultimate for her. She really has to put herself on the line."

In another chat with Collider, Sink teased the possibility of Max opening up further to her friends over her PTSD and trauma. "I think you get to see more of it in Volume 2 as well, even more of her letting herself open up a bit more," Sink said. "I think after that [Vecna showdown] happens to Max, there’s just this newfound sense of resilience and bravery. She’s still in danger of course, but she chose to fight which was a really beautiful thing to see play out."

And can we expect any more Kate Bush song-inspired moments? Speaking to Tudum, co-creator Matt Duffer all but confirmed that another scene, set to another Bush track, was on its way. 

"There’s an epic Kate Bush moment in the finale [Episode 9] that we weren’t expecting, that we kind of discovered as we were editing," he teased. "The sequence was really cool and we were happy with it, but it was missing a little something. And I was like, “Well, let’s try Kate. Because when has Kate let us down?” And it just took it to this new height. 

"Then we had to go back to Kate Bush and just... [pretends to pray] We sent her the scene and she was gracious enough to let us use her song one more time. She’s been amazing. It’s arguably the most epic Kate Bush moment. It comes back in a major way."

Clearly, we're all in for a wild, action-packed, revelatory, enthralling, and potentially heart-breaking final two episodes. The stakes were notably raised in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 and, if its second part is as good as (if not better) than what preceded it, we can some big things to go down. Here's hoping they do, which will lead us nicely into the show's fifth and last season. You can read more about the Duffer brothers' plans for that in a separate section further down this page.

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 cast

Stranger Things season 4 volume 2 cast: who is playing who?

Hopper, Joyce, Murray and Dmitri enter a barn and stare at someone off screen in Stranger Things season 4

The Kamchatka gang are all back for more in Stranger Things season 4 volume 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Here's who is returning for volume 2 of Stranger Things season 4:

  • Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers
  • David Harbour as Detective Jim Hopper
  • Millie Bobby Brown as 'Eleven'/Jane Hopper
  • Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler
  • Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson
  • Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair
  • Noah Schnapp as Will Byers
  • Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield
  • Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler
  • Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers
  • Joe Keery as Steve Harington
  • Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley
  • Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson
  • Eduardo France as Argyle
  • Priah Ferguson as Erica Sinclair
  • Tom Wlashicha as Dmitri
  • Gabriella Pizzolo as Suzie
  • Mason Dye as Jason Carver
  • Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler
  • Joe Chrest as Ted Wheeler
  • Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman
  • Matthew Modine as Doctor Matthew Brenner
  • Jamie Campbell-Bower as Vecna/Henry Creel
  • Sherman Augustus as Lt. Colonel Sullivan

It's possible that some other supporting characters may return. Amybeth McNulty and Regina Ting Chen, for example, could be back as Vickie and Ms. Kelly if the main gang manage to defeat Vecna. That depends on whether the kids ever return to high school, though.

Don't expect the likes of Grace Van Dien, Logan Riley Bruner, or Myles Truitt to reprise their roles, though. Chrissy, Fred, and Patrick all died in volume 1 so, unless they return in flashback sequences or Vecna's horrifying version of Creel House in the Upside Down, they won't be back.

Stranger Things' franchise future

Stranger Things season 4: is this the final season?

Mike, Jonathan, Argyle, and Will race to meet up with Eleven in Stranger Things season 4

Is this the beginning of the end for Stranger Things? (Image credit: Netflix)

No, Stranger Things season 4 won't be the series' final instalment, but it won't be around for much longer. The Duffer brothers have confirmed that the next season – i.e. season 5 – will be the final one in the mainline story. Adding to the Duffer brothers' comments, executive producer Shawn Levy told ScreenRant that the duo "didn't want the show to run out of fumes" and outstay its welcome.

Much like Stranger Things season 4, fans should expect the show's final entry to jump forward in time. Speaking to TVLine, Ross Duffer said: "I’m sure we will do a time jump. Ideally, we’d have shot [Seasons 4 and 5] back to back, but there was just no feasible way to do that. So these are all discussions we’re going to have with our writers when we start the room up."

One thing we do know about season 5's plot is that we'll learn a lot more about the Upside Down. Discussing the series' creepy alternate dimension at Netflix Geeked Week 2022, Ross Duffer said: "The last remaining questions that are answered in that document [the Duffers' Stranger Things bible]. We’ve punted a couple of those to have some big reveals in season 5. And that’s really going to affect what season 5 is about.” 

Elaborating on the duo's plan for season 5, Ross Duffer told The Wrap: "We do have an outline for Season 5 and we pitched it to Netflix and they really responded well to it. We wrote it during the pandemic... [but] I haven’t even honestly looked at it because it’s just too overwhelming. We'll get into it."

"I don’t think it’ll be as long, though," Matt Duffer added. "And the main reason I’m saying that, I’ll probably be proven wrong, but, is that in terms of … The final few is going to be more like a “Return of the Jedi” in that … Not tonally, but just in terms of … They’re going from the beginning. There’s going to be less ramp up. And I think people will understand what I’m talking about when they see the end of this season. It’s like, we’re just going."

Don't expect Stranger Things' release schedule to change when the fifth season airs, either. Chatting to Variety, Peter Friedlander, Netflix's North American head of scripted series, said: "For the fans of Stranger Things, this is how they’ve been watching that show, and I think to change that on them would be disappointing. To not give them exactly what they’ve been expecting — which is Stranger Things is a seasonal experience, they go through that with them — I think that it would be an abrupt change for the member."

Erica, Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Max look at somebody off screen in Stranger Things season 4 volume 2

How many of these characters will return for the show's fifth season? (Image credit: Netflix)

As sad as it'll be to say goodbye to Eleven, Hopper and company, it doesn't sound like Stranger Things will officially end with season 5. In their letter, the Duffer brothers teased the possibility of telling more stories in this universe, so we could see film and TV spin-offs in the future.

It would be a strange move if Netflix walked away from Stranger Things after season 5 – after all, it's one of the streamer's biggest shows. Given that Netflix wants to create (and build) its own in-house franchises, it would make sense for the company to continue telling tales in the Stranger Things universe.

And it seems that the Duffer brothers are up for that. Speaking to SFX Magazine (via Digital Spy), Matt Duffer said: "We haven't told anyone our plans, not even Netflix! We have some ideas. In terms of if we were to do any sort of spinoff, or any continuation of Stranger Things, for us the bar was always 'Is the idea exciting enough that we feel the pull of wanting to do it again?' I want to feel the pull of 'God I really want to do this. I feel really, really excited about this.' So that's why we're being careful about what that is and whether we move forward with it or not." 

Teasing more about their first planned spin-off series, Ross Duffer told EW: "There's a version of it developing in parallel [to season 5], but they would never shoot it parallell. I think actually we're going to start delving into that soon as we're winding down and finishing these visual effects, Matt and I are going to start getting into it."

"The reason we haven't done anything is just because you don't want to be doing it for the wrong reasons," Matt Duffer added. "And it was just like, 'Is this something I would want to make regardless of it being related to Stranger Things or not?' And definitely. Even if we took the Stranger Things title off of it, I'm so, so excited about it. But it is not… It's going to be different than what anyone is expecting, including Netflix."

Fingers crossed it's as engrossing and captivating as the mainline show is, then. But, as expected, we'll have to wait and see to determine where it is.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.