“This is Hawkins, Not Westeros”

Maybe so, but this is a feeble reply.

The reply comes from Matt Duffer in response to Millie Bobby Brown, who opined in an interview that the Duffers need to start taking things more seriously and kill off some of the major characters in Stranger Things.

Millie Bobby Brown: “They need to kill off some people. The cast is way too big. Last night we couldn’t even take one group picture, there were like 50 of us… Matt and Ross Duffer are two Sensitive Sallies that don’t want to kill anyone off. We need to have the mindset of Game of Thrones.”

Matt Duffer: “Believe us, we’ve explored all options in the writing room, but we aren’t Game of Thrones. This is Hawkins, not Westeros.”

Matt continued, saying that Stranger Things wouldn’t be Stranger Things anymore if there were deaths for death’s sake, and without ‘realistic’ ramifications. But that’s not the idea. I don’t think Millie was intending the Game of Thrones analogy that literally. All she was saying is that the Duffers need have the balls — and indeed the “realism” they disingenuously appeal to — to kill off at least one or two major characters, for Christ’s sake, and for good. They can’t just keep knocking off the Barbs and the Bobs and the Eddies, and faking it with the Hoppers and the Maxes. Not only has that formula become painfully predictable by this point, it is NOT realistic to keep your major characters shielded like this. Audiences have come to expect more in the post-Game of Thrones era — not so that body counts need to be as high as in the Westeros world, but so that show writers at least take a cue from that world, and have the artistic integrity to let a precious character die once in a while. We’re in season 4 with one to go, and that hasn’t happened yet.

I should make clear that I love Stranger Things 4 — it way exceeded my expectations after a turgid season 3 — but Millie’s point here is well taken.

4 thoughts on ““This is Hawkins, Not Westeros”

  1. I second Millie’s opinion. I really enjoyed the Season 4 finale , but I groaned a little inside when Max didn’t die (forever). The show tried to leave the possibility that she won’t ever wake up open, but I feel almost certain that Max will return triumphantly in the next season. I really hope the Duffer Brother’s consider Millie’s point for the final season. If show is truly going to have stakes, than none of the major character’s should feel safe.

    • If Max wakes from her coma blind and disfigured, then I can live with it. Some things are just as tragic as death, and frankly I’d rather be dead than blind and crippled in both hands and feet. But if she comes out of the coma with just a slight gimp, or (even worse) some kind of “second sight” despite her blindness (thanks to El bestowing powers on her), I’m going to have a conniption.

  2. I can get behind that. Whatever happens to Max, I just hope that it doesn’t lessen the impact of the season 4 finale. Hopper’s return From the dead was a major cop-out in my opinion. Even if Season 3 wasn’t his best season, it still was impactful.

    With that said, I’m curious if you’re watching Better Call Saul. You were a big fan of Breaking Bad, and I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on this prequel series. I count myself among those who find the show pretty good.

    • I agree that Hopper’s fake death was an outrageous cop-out, but I’m divided in mind about it, because his season 4 outing made me like him again. He was such a cartoon in season 3, and I’m glad that’s not how we’re left remembering him. In an odd (and surely unintended) way, the Duffers made lemonade out of lemons with the Russian prison story (which I liked).

      I almost stopped watching Better Call Saul because I couldn’t stand it whenever Chuck was on screen. Without doubt one of the most annoying TV characters I’ve ever suffered through. Then, as I was ready to call the series quits, they killed him off, and I’ve enjoyed it much more with him out of the picture and Jimmy’s life. I love Mike’s character and the Gus Fring storyline in this last season has been impressive so far. Speaking of which, we only a have a few days for the next ep!

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