This article contains spoilers forStranger Things season 4 volume 1.
Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 features an ever-expanding cast and a staggering number of new and recurring characters. The Duffer brothers' true genius lies in their ability to continually expand the number of characters inStranger Things, somehow without compromising the narrative momentum at all. To be fair,Stranger Things season 4 is helped byextended episode lengths - episode 9 will be 2 hours 30 minutes, making it the equivalent of an entire movie. But balancing all these characters and storylines is still an accomplishment nonetheless.
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Every season ofStranger Things builds on the stories of existing characters while introducing new ones. Even the Hawkins' teenagers have grown in number; Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas have now been joined by Max and Lucas' little sister Erica, who have become firm fan favorites.Stranger Things volume 4 introduces even more new characters, however, simply because it spans the globe; one of the subplots involves Joyce and Murray head to Russia to rescue Hopper.
Related:Stranger Things Season 4's Vecna Risks Ruining Upside Down's Horror
With so many Stranger Thingscharacters in play, viewers can be forgiven for struggling to figure out where they've spotted a familiar face before, or for forgetting a side character's arc. As such, as the seminal series nears its conclusion, it's never been more important to recognize who's who. To help viewers keep track, here's the cast and character list forStranger Things season 4 volume 1.
Millie Bobby Brown is Eleven
Born in 2004, 18-year-old English actress Millie Bobby Brown delighted viewers with her performance as Eleven in Stranger Things season 1, earning a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at age 13. She's officially the youngest person to be featured in the TIME 100 list, and has used her popularity to launch a high-profile film career; she played a key human character in the recent Godzilla films, and stars as Netflix's Enola Holmes. Stranger Things season 4sees Brown present a different side of Eleven, with her character forced to confront her past to regain her powers.
David Harbour is Jim Hopper
David Harbour is no stranger to high-profile roles, appearing in the Oscar-nominated film Revolutionary Road and the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. He's been involved with Stranger Things since the start, playing Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper, who became an unlikely father figure to Eleven and a love interest for Joyce. Stranger Things season 3 ended with Hopper apparently killed when Joyce destroyed a Russian Gate to the Upside-Down, but in reality he survived - captured by the Russians and taken to a prison in Kamchatka Province. Ironically, the last few years have seen him join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well, playing the Russian super-soldier Red Guardian.
Winona Ryder is Joyce Byers
One of Hollywood's most popular names, Stranger Things'Winona Ryder (born Winona Horowitz) made her debut in 1986 in the teen drama Lucas. She earned Oscar nominations for Little Women and The Age of Innocence, and has become known for taking on complex roles in films like Heathers and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Ryder was perfectly cast as Joyce Byers, a mother whose world is turned upside-down when her son Will goes missing. Over the last three seasons of Stranger Things, Joyce has transitioned from a crusading mother to something of a hero in her own right, even infiltrating a top-secret Russian project in Stranger Things season 3. Hopper's apparent death in season 3 led to Joyce finally leaving Hawkins, heading to California with her family in hope of a fresh start - but it doesn't take her long to return to action in Stranger Thingsseason 4.
Related:Joyce Byers Needs A New Love Interest In Stranger Things Season 4
Finn Wolfhard is Mike Wheeler
A Canadian actor and musician, Finn Wolfhard shot to fame as "the kid from Stranger Things." This has translated into a number of high-profile live action or vocal-acting roles - including in It, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and The Addams Family, and his career continues to flourish. Mike remains one of the key characters in Stranger Things, Eleven's boyfriend whose relationship is tinged with more than a little hero-worship - meaning she's struggling to live up to his expectations.
Noah Schnapp is Will Byers
American actor Noah Schnapp first began forming when he was just six years old, and he shot to prominence in 2015 when he was cast as Roger Donovan in Steven Spielberg'sBridge of Spies.Stranger Things was Schnapp's big break, when he was cast for the role of Will Byers - a character most notable for his absence in season 1, but increasingly pivotal given his experience with the Upside Down. Will has a better understanding of this horrific plane of reality than anyone else, having been trapped there for a while and unwillingly bonded with the Mind-Flayer. He's surely hoping to have something of a fresh start in California inStranger Things season 4, but the curse of Hawkins will be hard to shake off.
Gaten Matarazzo is Dustin Henderson
Gaten Matarazzo began his career on Broadway in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and played a couple of minor roles before he was cast as Dustin Henderson, one of the younger members of the Hawkins kids in Stranger Things. Remarkably intelligent, Dustin tends to jump to conclusions the others find bizarre and yet which turn out to be true; season 3 saw him begin a relationship with Suzie, a girl he met over summer and stayed in contact with via radio. Matarazzo has a rare condition called cleidocranial dysplasia, and he's used his fame as an opportunity to increase its profile.
Caleb McLaughlin is Lucas Sinclair
Another American actor who started out his career in Broadway, Caleb McLaughlin had already built up an impressive reputation before he was cast for the part of Lucas Sinclair inStranger Things. Like the rest of the young cast, he's used the Netflix show as something of a launchpad, appearing in a range of TV shows - includingUltra City Smiths,The New Edition Story andShades of Blue - as well as several music videos. He's formally trained on dance, and has used those skills to delight his fanbase with impromptu performances on social media. McLaughlin's character Lucas is one of the more conflicted members of Hawkins' teen community; unlike Dustin and Mike, he visibly longs to fit in. Lucas has a tempestuous relationship with Max, although he's handled it with a somewhat worldly air that frankly irritates his sometimes-girlfriend.
Related:Stranger Things Season 3 Detail Reveals The Show’s Secret Recurring Villain
Sadie Sink is Max Mayfield
An accomplished actress who's also trained inmusic, dance, and singing, Sadie Sink began her on-screen career with a one-episode role inBlue Bloods and gained acclaim for her performance as Suzanne Ballard inAmerican Odyssey. She joined the cast ofStranger Things in season 2, playing Max Mayfield, whose family had the misfortune of arriving in Hawkins;Max fell in with the rest of the Hawkins kids, dating Lucas, but her older step-brother Billy fell under the influence of the Mind-Flayer and died in season 3. Max has always been reserved and intense, and no doubt her experience of creatures from the Upside Down will have scarred her. Sadie Sink can also be seen inThe Glass Castle,Eli, andFear Street.
Natalia Dyer is Nancy Wheeler
A graduate of the Nashville School of the Arts, American actress Natalie Dyer's first break was as Clarissa Granger inHannah Montana: The Movie. She mostly appeared in shorts until 2016, when she was cast for the role of Nancy Wheeler inStranger Things season 1, and since then has appeared in films likeVelvet BuzzsawandYes, God, Yes, as well as the TV seriesActing For A Cause. Dyer's character Nancy is Mike's older sister, who was drawn into all the strangeness surrounding Hawkins when her best friend Barb disappeared - killed by the Demogorgon. Fierce and proactive, Nancy has a reporter's instinct for the truth, and she's built up quite a reputation for herself around Hawkins after working for the local paper inStranger Things season 3. Nancy's love life is complicated, because in truth she's torn between her first love Steve and her current relationship with Jonathan; in the real world, Dyer is dating co-star Charlie Heaton, who plays Jonathan.
Charlie Heaton is Jonathan Byers
An English actor and musician,Stranger Things marked Charlie Heaton's international debut. Since 2016 he's continued to build his career with films likeThe New Mutants,Shut In, andNo Future; Heaton also played alongsideGeorge MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy and Mia Goth in the Spanish horror filmMarrowbone. His character inStranger Things, Jonathan Byers, is an introverted teenager who struggles in social situations and feels deeply responsible for his brother, Will - especially after Will's experiences with the Upside Down inStranger Things season 1. He's moved to California with the rest of the Byers family, andStranger Things season 4 will see him attempt to continue his now long-distance relationship with Nancy.
Joe Keery is Steve Harrington
An American actor and musician, Joe Keery had a string of smaller roles before he was cast as Steve Harrington inStranger Things, becoming something of a teen sensation. This has launched a successful career that's seen him appear in films and TV shows such asFree Guy,Molly's Game, andDeath to 2021. Keery'sStranger Things character Steve Harrington was originally supposed to be the show's "giant douchebag," killed off in season 1, but the Duffer brothers loved working with Keery and instead gave him a redemption arc. He's remained a key player inStranger Things to this date, bravely (if incompetently) plunging into everything from Demogorgon attacks to Russian Gate projects.
Related:Stranger Things: Steve's Demogorgon Defeat Created The Show's Worst Plot Hole
Maya Hawke is Robin Buckley
The daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, actress and model Maya Hawke made her debut in the BBC adaptation ofLittle Women before joiningStranger Things for season 3. Her character Robin Buckley was an instant hit as Steve's colleague at Hawkins Mall who wound up helping him break into the Russian lab. Robin and Steve have become close friends, in large part because there's absolutely no chance of any sparks between the two - Robin is lesbian, as she admitted to Steve while drugged in season 3. She's clearly wound up involved with the whole Hawkins gang inStranger Things season 4.
Priah Ferguson is Erica Sinclair
Born in 2006, Priah Ferguson plays Lucas' little sister Erica Sinclair. Erica was a background character untilStranger Things season 3, when she was inducted into the Hawkins gang after helping Steve and Robin break into the Russian lab beneath Hawkins Mall. The end of Stranger Thingsseason 3 saw Erica finally embrace her inner nerd when she was given Will's oldDungeons & Dragons set, and she's sure to become even better at the game than the boys. Ferguson's career began in 2015 with short and indie films, and she became noted forAtlanta andMercy Street before being cast forStranger Things. She's since appeared inThe Oath,Bluff City Law, andDaytime Divas.
Gabriella Pizzolo is Suzie
Stranger Things season 3 introduced Gabriella Pizzolo (BrainDead,Butterbean'sCafé,Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin) as Dustin's Mormon girlfriend who he met at summer camp. The other Hawkins kids initially believed Suzie was a figment of Dustin's imagination, until she proved essential in the end - even if she did force Dustin to duet to the theme tune ofNever Ending Story before helping. Suzie returns inStranger Things season 4 volume 1, demonstrating her technological genius once again.
Matthew Modine is Dr. Martin Brenner
Californian actor Matthew Modine first rose to prominence in the 1980s, when his performance caught theeye of director Harold Becker. He's known for performances inBirdy,Full Metal Jacket, andThe Trial. The veteran actor was seen as a major coup forStranger Things when he was cast as Dr. Martin Brenner back in 2015; the scientist is responsible for the experiments at Hawkins Lab, and was initially believed killed by the Demogorgon back in season 1. Eleven learned he had survived the Demogorgon attack in season 2, but he hasn't returned untilStranger Things season 4.
Related:Genius Stranger Things Hidden Message May Reveal Brenner As S4's Villain
Bree Gelman is Murray Bauman
Brett Gelman is a celebrated actor and comedian, known forThe Other Guys,A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, andLemon. He joinedStranger Things in season 2 as Murray Bauman, a conspiracy theorist who helped Hopper out of a jam. Murray's suspicious nature and keen observation skills make him an ideal fit for a series involving black ops government organizations and Russian infiltrators during the Cold War, and his role has increased every season along with the scale of the show.
Joseph Quinn is Eddie Munson
Stranger Things season 4 introduces Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson, the intense head of Hawkins High School's D&D club - the so-called "Hellfire Club." Confident and charismatic, Eddie is drawn into the chaos of the Upside Down against his wishes, and learns there really are monsters in his hometown that make his games look tame. He's played by Joseph Quinn, best known for his previous roles inDickensian,Game of Thrones, andHowards End.
Robert Englund is Victor Creel
Veteran horror actor Robert Englund is best known for his iconic performance asFreddy Krueger, the creepy villain of theNightmare On Elm Streetslasher series. This time round he's playing Victor Creel, an inmate atPennhurst Mental Hospital who was imprisoned after he was blamed forthe murders of his wife and daughter in 1959. Victor plays a crucial role inStranger Things season 4 volume 1, and it's possible he'll return in volume 2.
Jamie Campbell Bower is Vecna
Another English actor,Jamie Campbell Bower started out as a model before moving into film and television. He's no stranger to villainous roles, playingCaius - the leaderof the sinister Volturi - in theTwilight films, and even a young Gellert Grindelwald in bothHarry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1 andFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. ButStranger Things season 4 gives Bower the chance to be the main villain, Vecna, whose origin is finally revealed in episode 7.
Stranger Things Supporting Cast
In addition to the main cast,Stranger Things season 4 features an ever-growing supporting cast. These include:
- Cara Buono (Person of Interest, God Friended Me,Supergirl) as Karen Wheeler, Mike and Nancy's mother, and Joe Chrest (Sun Records,The Purge,The First Lady) as their father Ted. Tinsley Price (The Walking Dead,Forever My Girl,Galveston) plays Mike and Nancy's little sister Holly.
- Arnel Powell (Switched at Birth,Greenleaf,Snatchers) and Kareen Ceesay (Resurrection,The Gifted,Fear the Walking Dead) play Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair, Lucas and Erica's parents.
- Catherine Curtin (Orange is the New Black,Amsterdam Ave.,What Breaks The Ice) is Claudia Henderson, Dustin's loving mother.
- Mason Dye (Finding Carter,Roommates,Bosch) appears as Jason Carver, a charismatic basketball player who incites mob justice in Hawkins against the Hellfire Club.
- Paul Reiser (Married,TripTank,Red Oaks) plays Sam Owens, a government official assigned to protect Hawkins in seasons 2 and 3 who returns as an ally inStranger Things season 4.
- Eduardo Franco (The Cool Kids,Masters of Doom,Gabby's Dollhouse) is introduced inStranger Things season 4 as Argyle, Jonathan Byers' new best friend in California.
- Tom Wilaschiha (Crossing Lines,Game of Thrones,Thanks for the Memories) plays Dmitri, one of Hopper's corrupt prison guards.
- Nikola Djuricko (Black Sun,Hollands Hoop,For All Mankind) is Yuri, the Russian smuggler who becomes part of Joyce and Murray's plans.
More:Stranger Things 4's Terrifying Opening Changes How You See Eleven
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