Most of us are still reeling from how Stranger Things season 4 ended, but the writing room for Stranger Things season 5 is already hard at work. The writers, including the Duffer Brothers, reunited during the first week of August to start creating the show’s final season, and now it looks like we might have an episode count!
We are still a long way from seeing Stranger Things season 5 on our screens, but it’s nice that the writers are trying to keep fans in the loop. The wait between season 4 and season 5 was extremely long, so the renewed communication is much appreciated.
While we shouldn’t anticipate seeing new episodes until 2024 at the earliest (most likely), it’s nice to know that the writing/outlining of the final season is going according to plan. I feel like there is a good chance the show will start filming sometime in 2023, maybe sometime during the late spring or summer.
Stranger Things season 5 episode count
In late August, the official Stranger Things writer’s room Twitter account shared a photo of the “grid stage” for the show’s upcoming fifth and final season. It’s just a photo of the whiteboard where the writers are mapping out the main acts for each installment, so don’t expect to glean any spoilers from it.
Based on the grid, there will be eight episodes in season 5. That sounds pretty standard for the show, which has fluctuated between eight and nine episodes since the beginning. Even season 4, the longest season by far, only had nine episodes.
The main difference between season 4 and the rest of the show is that the episode lengths were much longer because the cast divided in three entirely different locations, which is why the fourth season was so monstrous in size.
The Duffers have already said that season 5 will be primarily set in Hawkins and will focus on the original characters and groupings rather than spend time introducing new characters. Given that intel, an eight-episode final season makes sense.
Since it is the last season, some fans were hoping for something longer, maybe even ten episodes, but we still don’t know the length of each episode. It’s unlikely any episode will be as long as the season 4 finale (which clocked in at 2 hours 19 minutes), but I would be surprised if there weren’t a few hour-long episodes, maybe even some that are 90 minutes or so.
What matters most is that the writers get to tell the story they want to tell, so I’m sure the length will be fitting to the final arc. I think we all care more about storytelling versus the runtime or episode count; those things are negligible compared to the plot and characters.
Not only that, but the writers are still early in the writing process, so who knows? That episode count could change.
Stranger Things seasons 1-4 are now streaming on Netflix.