Sadie Sink's Max Mayfield nearly didn't survive Stranger Things Season 4, the Duffer Brothers recently revealed on the Netflix aftershow.
Season 4 ended with Max in a coma, blinded and with broken bones. She died for one minute, before Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) revived her — but series creators Matt and Ross Duffer reveal Max was originally not going to come back to life at all.
"It was discussed as a possibility," Ross Duffer said about permanently killing Max. "For a while that is what was going to happen... we wanted to end it with a little more of a question at the end of the season. It's still really dark and if Max is going to be okay, we just don't really know. We wanted to leave it up in the air moving forward into Season 5."
Matt Duffer went on to describe Season 4 as the show's "Empire Strikes Back season" because "we wanted them to actually lose. We wanted our characters to experience what that felt like."
"That was the big idea coming into Season 4 — that they were going to lose," he said. "We were going to introduce Vecna, and they were going to lose to him. That sets our characters up for what will be the ultimate final confrontation with Vecna and with the Upside Down in Season 5."
Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix.
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Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.