The first season of Stranger Things was practically perfect in every way, but in its the original form, things were supposed to end very, very differently. According to NME, creators Matt and Ross Duffer revealed in a new companion book titled Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) was actually supposed to die in her final battle with the Demogorgon at the end of Season 1.
"Eleven was going to sacrifice herself to save the day," Ross Duffer said. "That was always the end game... But once we realized that the show was potentially going to go on longer than one season, we needed to leave it more up in the air, because deep down we knew the show just wouldn't really work without Eleven. And at that point, we knew how special Millie was. If there was going to be more Stranger Things, Eleven had to come back."
The book also reveals that our beloved Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) was marked for death in Season 1, but Keery's own likability saved him from death row. Bob Newby (Sean Astin) was another character whose actor scored him some bonus time.
"Sean Astin proved so likable that Bob's death got pushed from episode four to episode eight because we kept wanting to keep him alive," Duffer said.
All of this may seem superfluous, but it actually has us a little nervous about the eventual end of the series. Major deaths that round out the story — like Eleven's would have in Season 1 — aren't typically things writers like to give up on, even if they realize they can't get to it as soon as they like. Given that the Duffers have always incorporated such dark storytelling into Stranger Things, this could be a clue that Eleven's fate in the eventual series finale could be death.