**Warning: This article contains major spoilers from Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2**
Max Mayfield is in serious danger heading into Stranger Things season 5. After barely surviving her onslaught against Vecna in the Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 ending, she was left fighting for her life in a coma.
However, the show creators have suggested her original ending was even darker. The Duffer Brothers planned for her to join Eddie Munson as the second major death in the season 4 finale.
“It was discussed as a possibility,” Ross Duffer revealed about Max’s death during the Stranger Things After Show (opens in new tab). “For a while, that is what was going to happen. But we wanted to end it with a little more of a question at the end of the season. It’s still really dark, and if Max is going to be OK, we just don’t really know. We wanted to leave it up in the air moving forward into season 5.”
At the end of season 4, Max is left in a coma, but doctors are not sure she’ll live. And when Eleven tries to enter her mind to bring her back, it’s completely blank. Matt Duffer explained this is all relevant for the show’s final season. He added: “I can’t really get into details but the reason she’s in a coma is important to season 5. That is going to have a major effect on 5.”
There are plenty of fan theories turning around about what Max’s fate could be. One bleak prediction suggests she could be alive but trapped inside Vecna’s mind. We’ll have to wait until season 5 to find out what’s in store for Max, which the Duffer bros have said they’ll start writing soon.
In the meantime, we’ve been breaking down Stranger Things season 4 with our round-up of Easter Eggs and movie references alongside our list of all the Volume 2 deaths. For what to watch next, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows.