Not only is “Stranger Things” Season 4 the biggest season of the Netflix series yet from a scope perspective, it also boasts an enormous ensemble cast. Familiar faces from past seasons plus a bevy of new faces (and one ugly villain) abound in the new episodes, and you’d be forgiven for having trouble keeping track of who’s who.
The story in Season 4 Volume 1 has fractured into several groups or solo characters. Hopper is in Russia, and Joyce and Murray attempt to go rescue him. Mike visits Eleven and Will at Joyce’s new California home for Spring Break. And Dustin, Lucas, Steve, Nancy, Robin and newbie to the group Eddie defend Hawkins, where the eye of the storm is.
Behold, a complete “Stranger Things” Season 4 cast and character guide.
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown)
We met Eleven back in the first season of “Stranger Things.” Her head was shaved, and all she wore was a hospital gown. Mike, Dustin and Lucas found her the same night that Will first went missing all those years ago. Eleven barely spoke back then, but she had incredible telekinetic powers that pretty much made her a threat to anything else, even the crazy creatures she accidentally let into Hawkins from the Upside Down.
Eleven came from the Hawkins lab, where “Papa” aka Dr. Brenner gathered her and a bunch of other children whose mothers he convinced to take drugs so that he could try to shape the powers in their children. Before she was 011, which is tattooed on her wrist, she was Jane, daughter of Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins).
Eleven began to live with Hopper after the first season, but now she lives in Lenora Hills, California with the Byers family. She also loves Eggos.
Millie Bobby Brown has also starred in the Netflix film “Enola Holmes” (2020) with a sequel currently in post-production.
Will Byers (Noah Schnapp)
Will is really the one who started it all. He went missing in Season 1, taken by a Demogorgon and unknowingly swept into the Upside Down, the world beneath Hawkins where creepy things abound. Will’s mother figured out that he hadn’t died, even after the goons from the Hawkins lab tried to cover it up with a fake body resembling him. She raised her boys pretty much on her own, and estranged ex-husband Lonnie only comes around if there’s money involved.
After Season 3, Joyce moved her family to California to escape the curse of Hawkins, so Will now lives with Eleven and goes to high school with her. Other film roles for Schnapp include “Hubie Halloween” (2020), “Waiting for Anya” (2020) and “Abe” (2019).
Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard)
Mike was Will’s best friend at the start of the show. They formed a D&D Party along with Dustin Henderson and Lucas Sinclair. When Mike meets Eleven, he offers to shelter her in a tent in his basement until she can get some of her strength back. He grows to love Eleven, and their relationship takes off after Season 2.
Wolfhard is known for the role of Richie Tozier in “It” (2017) and “It Chapter Two” (2019). He was recently in “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (2021), and he played Young Boris in the 2019 adaptation of Donna Finch’s novel “The Goldfinch.”
Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo)
Dustin is another close friend in The Party who lives with his mother and their cat(s). Over the seasons, Dustin falls for Max (Sadie Sink), but doesn’t end up dating her because Lucas does. He bonds with Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) at the end of Season 2 as Steve gives him advice about girls and takes him under his wing. They bond further in Season 3 as the Scoops Troop branch of the group that fights at the Hawkins mall. Dustin comes back from science summer camp with a girlfriend Suzy, who is Mormon and lives in Utah. They communicate via his radio contraption Cerebro.
Matarazzo is very involved in theater outside of his screen acting, and will return to Broadway in “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin)
Lucas rounds out The Party and the friend group as the fourth member. Like the other boys, he is really into science, and they all enjoy their classes with Mr. Clarke at elementary school. When Lucas meets Max in Season 2, he is immediately smitten, and eventually wins her over. In Season 4, Lucas has branched out a bit from his friends by joining the basketball team. His little sister Erica (Priah Ferguson) also gets involved in the Upside Down antics in Season 3, and she can kick some but at nerd stuff.
Recent film roles for McLaughlin include “High Flying Bird” (2019) and “Concrete Cowboy” (2020).
Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink)
“Mad Max” first becomes known at the Hawkins arcade in Seaosn 2. She skateboards and isn’t afraid to say what she thinks or be sarcastic. She’s had a rough go of it with Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) becoming her older step brother when his dad gets together with her mom. Max befriends Dustin and Lucas, and she becomes good friends with Eleven over the third season as they can bond over boy troubles. Losing Billy to the Mind Flayer was really hard for Max, which can be seen in Season 4.
Sadie Sink has starred in the “Fear Street” trilogy alongside “Stranger Things” co-star Maya Hawke. She also recently portrayed “Her” in the Taylor Swift’s self-directed short film for “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” alongside Dylan O’Brien. Sink also portrayed Young Lori in 2017’s “The Glass Castle.”
Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer)
Nancy is Mike’s older sister. She starts out the series in high school, and dates Steve Harrington for a little while. Nancy holds on to the relationship for a little bit, but Steve is a bit of a jerk in the beginning, and his friends aren’t super nice either. But Nancy holds her own when she starts to put pieces together about Barb’s going missing and the Demogorgon. She grows close with Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), and they end up together. Nancy had an internship at the Hawkins Post, and in her senior year at Hawkins High, she is Editor in Chief of the school newspaper, dreaming of going to Emerson for college.
Dyer is known for roles like Alice in “Yes, God, Yes” (2019), Virginia in “Tuscaloosa” (2019) and Coco in “Velvet Buzzsaw” (2019).
Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton)
Jonathan is Will’s older brother. He goes to high school with Nancy and Steve at first, and he kind of comes off as creepy with his Minolta film camera. He is super close with Will, until Will disappears, and while he doesn’t have the same certainty as his mom does that Will is still alive after he goes missing, he and Nancy soon figure out some clues of their own. After Nancy breaks up with Steve, she and Jonathan get together with the help of “love doctor” Murray Bauman.
Heaton is also known for “The New Mutants” (2020), “Marrowbone” (2017) and “Shut In” (2016).
Steve Harrington (Joe Keery)
The heartthrob of Hawkins High, Steve Harrington is definitely the pretty boy at the beginning of the series. He is dating Nancy Wheeler, and really does love her, but soon she realizes that she can’t be with him. He is known for his spiked bat that he wields against the Demodogs in Season 1. He tries to rebound a lot after Nancy, but nothing sticks. He becomes fast friends with Dustin in Season 2, and they further bond in Season 3 when Steve works his ice cream job at Scoops Ahoy and Dustin calls on him to help deconstruct a Russian signal. Steve grows close with his Scoops co-worker Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) who he falls for, but she tells him she likes girls. Season 4 finds Steve and Robin working at the Family Video store.
Keery is known for roles in “Molly’s Game” (2017), “After Everything” (2018), “Slice” (2018), “Death to 2020” (2020), “Free Guy” (2021) and “Death to 2021” (2021).
Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder)
Joyce is Will’s (and Jonathan’s) mother. She has sole custody of the boys after their father Lonnie left. She encourages Will’s drawing and Jonathan’s film and photography pursuits. The town of Hawkins doesn’t always look too kindly on her, and when Will goes missing, people blame her parenting, and then judge her when she thinks he’s still alive. But her maternal instinct proves powerful, and she has a very smart — but slightly offputting to those who don’t understand — idea to hang up Christmas lights and paint letters beneath them so that Will can communicate with her from The Upside Down. Joyce continues to use that intuition throughout the seasons whenever something is slightly amiss and it usually means the Upside Down has a new threat.
Ryder’s past iconic roles include Veronica in “Heathers” (1988), Kim in “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), Jo in “Little Women” (1994) and Susanna in “Girl Interrupted” (1999).
Jim Hopper (David Harbour)
Hopper has quite the history. He is Hawkins’ police chief, and his introduction paints a very distinct picture of him that he disproves throughout the series. When Hopper was married, he had a daughter Sara, but she got sick and died early on in her childhood. His wife left him, and he took on life solo for a while, but had pills and alcohol handy. When Will goes missing, Hopper is on the case, and he actually proves to be a really good detective. He starts to believe Joyce when she says Will isn’t gone, and he makes some key discoveries that help them prove this is true. Hopper adopts Eleven as his daughter and she lives with him through seasons 2 and 3. Now Hopper is in Russia, being held captive.
Harbour is known for “Revolutionary Road” (2008), “Suicide Squad” (2016), “Hellboy” (2019) and most recently, playing Alexei in “Black Widow” (2021).
Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman)
Murray Bauman makes his first appearance in Season 2 as an investigator that helps Nancy dilute the truth of Barb’s death. One night when Nancy and Jonathan stay at his house, he helps them realize they have feelings for each other. Bauman returns midway through Season 3 as the one person Hopper knows who can speak Russian. He brings not only his linguistic knowledge but also his ‘love doctor” skills back out when he points out the major tension between Hopper and Joyce. Gelman was bumped up to a series regular for Season 4, and he traverses the Midwest, California and Alaska in the newest season.
Gelman has previously appeared in “The Other Guys” (2010), “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas” (2011), “Lemon” (2017) and “Fleabag” (2016-2019).
Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson)
Erica, Lucas’ sister, became a more prominent character in Season 3. She constantly demanded free ice cream samples at Scoops Ahoy where Steve and Robin worked in the Starcourt Mall, and that got her roped into crawling through the air vents of the mall when Dustin, Steve and Robin discovered some sinister Russian operations inside of it. Erica calls them all nerds, but Dustin points out after she does crazy math in her head that she isn’t so far off from being a nerd herself, especially because she likes “My Little Pony.” Dustin gives Will’s old D&D game to Erica, and she returns better than ever in Season 4, having studied up.
Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke)
Robin also joined the group in Season 3. She is a self-identified band geek with a penchant for languages, and overall she’s just a really good sleuth. Robin gets involved because she works with Steve at Scoops Ahoy in Starcourt, and while she gives him a hard time, they eventually develop a really close friendship. At the end of Season 3, Steve confesses he has a crush on Robin, but she subtly hints that she likes girls.
Hawke starred in the “Fear Street Trilogy” (2021) alongside “Stranger Things” colleague Sadie Sink. She also played Jo March in a 2017 TV miniseries adaptation of “Little Women,” and she appeared in “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” (2019). Her parents are Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.
Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn)
Eddie, a new character in Season 4, leads the Hawkins High Dungeons & Dragons club, which he has named The Hellfire Club. He’s a little all over the place, but he welcomes those who are otherwise shunned at high school. He took Mike and Dusitn under his wing, and since he hopes to actually graduate this year (he’s failed a class the past two years), he aims to pass the club down to them eventually. Eddie gets called a freak by many, and certain developments early in season 4 don’t exactly help his case. He lives with his Uncle Wayne in the trailer park where Max and her mom have moved.
Quinn has starred in “Overlord” (2018), “Dickensian” (2015-2016) and “Howard’s End” (2017).
Chrissy (Grace Van Dien)
Chrissy is on the cheer squad at Hawkins High. She is dating star basketball player Jason Carver, and her life seems perfect. But Chrissy, like everyone else, has her demons, as viewers will very soon find out. Previous works for Van Dien include “Charlie Says” (2018), “The Village” (2019) and “The Binge” (2020).
Jason Carver (Mason Dye)
Jason is the star of the basketball squad at Hawkins High. His good looks and charm get him pretty far in the social crowd, as does his status of dating Chrissy, who is the most popular girl in school. Carver has a mean side to him though, and he’s not very open to Lucas having interests other than basketball. Dye has appeared in TV shows like “Teen Wolf” (2014) and “Bosch” (2019).
Victor Creel (Robert Englund)
Victor Creel currently resides in a psych ward, and has been there for a long time. Back in the 1950s, Creel bought a house in Hawkins that he thought would be a great place to settle down with his kids after serving World War II. But quickly, he realized his house was haunted, and he was blamed for the murder of his wife and children, bringing him to Pennhurst where he now spends his time.
Englund is known for playing Freddy Kreuger in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films.
Argyle (Eduardo Franco)
Argyle is described as a fun-loving stoner, pizza delivery boy, and Jonathan’s new best friend out in California. Argyle drives a pizza delivery van around town and is Jonathan’s, Will’s and El’s ride to Lenora Hills High School. He soundboards all of Jonathan’s worries, and doesn’t go anywhere without some weed and his yo-yo.
Franco had a prominent role in Oliva Wilde’s “Booksmart” (2019) and has also appeared in “The Package” (2018), “American Vandal” (2017) and 2020’s “The Binge.”
Peter Ballard (Jamie Campbell Bower)
Peter Ballard works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital, aka the Hawkins Lab where Dr. Brenner experiments on the children. Eleven has memories of him. Jamie Campbell Bower played Young Gellert Grindelwald in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (2018) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” (2010), Jace in the adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” (2013), Caius in the “Twilight” films. One of his earlier roles came along in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007).
Lt. Colonel Sullivan (Sherman Augustus)
Sullivan is a no-nonsense man who thinks he knows what is causing all the problems in Hawkins. He believes he knows how to stop the phenomenon too, and once he gets that idea in his head, he won’t be convinced otherwise. Augustus appeared in “The Young and the Restless” (2002-2005), “Bad Guys” (2008) and “Virus” (1999).
Dmitri (Tom Wlaschiha)
Dmitri is a smart and charming prison guard, who weasels his way into interesting deals and developments. He takes chances, and sometimes they pay off. Wlaschiha is known for playing Jaqen H’ghar in “Game of Thrones” (2012-2016).
Yuri (Nikola Djuricko)
Yuri was introduced as “an unpredictable Russian smuggler who loves bad jokes, the cold hard cash, and crunchy style peanut butter. Djuricko has previously starred in “World War Z” (2013), “In the Land of Blood and Honey” (2011), “The Living Man” (2020) and “Legends” (2015).
Vickie (Amybeth McNulty)
Vickie is a cool, fast-talking band nerd “who catches the eye of one of our heroes” according to her Instagram introduction. McNulty recently brought “Anne with an E” (2017-2019) to life as an adaptation of the “Anne of Green Gables” books by L.M. Montgomery.
Patrick (Myles Truitt)
Patrick is a Hawkins basketball star “who has friends, talent, and a good life … until shocking events send his life spiraling out of control.” Truitt appeared in “The New Edition Story” (2017), “Kin” (2018) and “Dragged Across Concrete” (2018).
Ms. Kelly (Regina Ting Chen)
Ms. Kelly is the school counselor, and she sees many students. She cares deeply for all of them, but especially the ones struggling the most. Chen played a reporter in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021) and is also known for “Queen of the South” (2021).
Vecna is the new formidable foe that the Upside Down has presented this season. Reminiscent of the Mind Flayer in the way he has tentacles attached to him, Vecna operates in a horrific manner. In Dungeons & Dragons, Vecna is known as the Undying Wizard and the spellcaster among other names, and he casts a harsh curse.
Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine)
Matthew Modine plays Dr. Brenner, or as Eleven and her siblings call him “Papa.” Brenner is largely responsible for Eleven’s powers, the leaking of the Upside Down into Hawkins and more. When Eleven flashes back to her memories of Brenner, they are not exactly warm, because he treated her more like an experiment than a human. Modine’s lengthy resume includes “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012), “Cutthroat Island” (1995) and “Full Metal Jacket” (1987).
Dr. Sam Owens (Paul Reiser)
Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) was brought in after Dr. Brenner made a mess of things with the Upside Down. Owens thought he had everything under control in Season 2, but that very quickly got out of hand. He makes a brief appearance at the end of Season 3, but by then it is too late and the damage has been done. He is slightly more compassionate toward Will and Eleven than Brenner would be. Reiser’s well known roles include “Whiplash” (2014), “Mad About You” (1992-2019), “The Kominsky Method” (2019-2021), “Aliens” (1986) and “Beverly Hills Cop“ (1984).