'Stranger Things' Season 3 Tackles The Concept Of Change, Features "Fatter" Version Of Hopper

We're six weeks away from seeing Stranger Things season 3, and as anticipation rises for the return of the Netflix series, a few more details have slipped out about what we can expect in the new episodes. Specifically, series creators/showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer have explained that this season deals with the notion of change, and actor David Harbour says we can expect to see a "fatter" version of his character, Sheriff Jim Hopper.

You hear that, Fat Thor? Fat Hopper is comin' to town.

A Big Stranger Things Season 3 Theme

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the Duffer Brothers addressed how one of the big themes of the new season. According to Matt:

"We wanted to explore the theme of change. The season takes place during the last summer before high school. The kids are growing up, and that transition is going to be messy and awkward and painful. Are they able to grow up without growing apart?"

This is extremely familiar ground for shows featuring characters around this age – Boy Meets World, Freaks and Geeks, and Hulu's Pen15 immediately come to mind as examples – but just because we've seen these ideas before doesn't mean it won't be interesting to see how that growth will effect this group of characters. Here's hoping the Duffers and their writing team are able to put a unique spin on it.

But unlike those other shows, there's something supernatural lurking in the background, and maybe that'll help add an extra layer of intensity to the proceedings. "Eleven closed the Gate, but the Mind Flayer is still alive in the Upside Down," Matt Duffer said. "It will find another way into Hawkins....It's just a matter of time."

What's Up With Hopper?

As for Jim Hopper, he's in full-on parent mode in season 3 as he raises Eleven/Jane. According to David Harbour:

"It thrusts him into a discussion with Joyce [Winona Ryder]. She's able to offer me some advice on how to deal with being a single parent and how to, like, you know, stop being so damn controlling...this season, Hopper does a lot of really big, like, action-y things. But he's fatter than you've ever seen him and less capable of hurting people, but a little more capable because he's just like a big elephant."

Here's a photo EW shared from the new season:

EW Stranger Things Finn Wolfhard Millie Bobby Brown

To me, this seems like it'll be a POV shot from either Hopper or Joyce's perspective as they walk in on Mike and Eleven, who were probably making out just seconds before this and quickly switched into this very innocent-looking position. Good luck with all that parenting stuff, Hopper! Head over to EW to see a photo of Steve and Dustin, who spend more time together in season 3.

Stranger Things season 3 debuts on Netflix on July 4, 2019.