Stranger Things writers confirm major Hopper and Joyce season 4 moment wasn’t scripted

Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers and David Harbour as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2

Hopper and Joyce had some big moments in the Stranger Things finale. The pair finally reunited after Murray, Uri, and Joyce infiltrated the prison camp, before they later admitted their feelings for each other. 

However, there wasn’t a lot of time for romance when they found out what their kids were up to back in Hawkins. In a bid to help them from afar, they make a plan to take down the hoard of demogorgons from inside the prison camp, in the hope this will weaken Vecna

Hopper volunteers to lead one into the arena where they’ll be able to kill them all – but Joyce has a warning for him before he goes. She urges him to be safe, before telling him: "I’m not having another funeral." In response, Hopper simply kisses her in reassurance.

It turns out that this moment wasn’t actually in the script for the Duffer Brothers’ show, but was instead the actors’ idea. The Stranger Things’ Writers Room shared the insight on Twitter: "This kiss wasn’t scripted, Winona and David added it on the day of filming."

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This isn’t the only moment that was improvised according to the writers who shared some insight into other key scenes. In the heartbreaking moment where Max is dying in Lucas’ arms, Caleb McLaughlin improvised "Erica, help". While Eddie Munson’s final scene also featured an improv line from Joseph Quinn when he tells Dustin: "I love you, man."

There were plenty of other dramatic moments in the Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2 ending, which we’ve broken down for viewers. So look no further for some insight into who dies in Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2, some key Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2 Easter eggs, and how this all sets up Stranger Things season 5.

Fay Watson

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.