**Warning: This article contains spoilers**
The highly anticipated second volume of Stranger Things season four has been released and fans are wondering why none of the main characters died.
Before the second volume landed on Friday (1 July), fans had been gearing up to bid farewell to to one of the OGs, with viewers particularly worried about Steve's (Joe Keery) fate.
The Duffer Brothers also said that season four will end with a tragic death – or more – which led to rampant speculation about who will become Vecna's next victim.
Ross Duffer told Variety: "I don't really want to say, but I would be concerned about the characters going into volume two, for sure.
"I hope that that is sort of the sense, because it is a darker season, and the kids are no longer kids. And there's sort of an ominous feeling that things might not go well. Now, whether they do [die] or not, you'll have to watch."
After watching the two new feature-length episodes and realising that Joseph Quinn's character Eddie – who was introduced at the start of season four – bites the dust.
"First off why would they kill Eddie," one fan began. "Don’t get me wrong I loved this season but they always make us get attached to new characters that are really good just to kill them off so they don’t have to kill any of the main cast.
I want the stakes to seem higher but everyone just has plot armor and there's no point in getting used to a new character because they’ll always just die."
However one fan did not think keeping the original group alive and killing off newer characters was a bad thing. "I think this was the point though - to give us a supeeerrr [sic] good character we fall in love with through nine episodes and kill him so that they don’t have to kill off a main character - that’s why Max isn’t ‘dead’.
"And they knew they needed the gang together for S5. Now that's when we’ll have to worry about main character deaths. But we all (or at least I) definitely knew it would be him. It’s a good excuse honestly."
While a third Reddit commenter aired their disappointment in the lack of killings. "I thought Ep eight was good, but seriously? They flat lined it, they hyped it up for NO reason, just to kill off Eddie?? And barely kill max? They could’ve killed more, but I guess that’ll be season five."
Countless fans praised the new entirety of season four overall, while one fan shared similar critiques about a lack of main character deaths and said they were 'disappointed' as a result. "I see people saying it and I don’t mean to say it again but I’m a bit disappointed about the deaths scenario," they wrote on Reddit.
"Don’t get me wrong, I do not want anyone to die but the Duffers said we should be worried, it’s the penultimate season, and some crazy shit has gone down. Like a big person should be dead.
"Anyways, I digress. The season was still really good and I can’t wait to see how it all ends whenever that is lol."
Another fan criticised the decision to kill Eddie. "P*sses me off that the Duffer Brothers can’t seem to have the guts to kill any main character.
"They introduce interesting characters with so much potential only to kill them just so they can say 'hey we killed someone right?'
"The main cast is always safe and even though Max is in a coma I don’t think they’ll have the courage to kill her. Classic cliffhanger to keep people wondering."
They finished with: "It’s very off putting how you know that no matter what happens they will always survive imo [sic]."
Stranger Things season 4 volume II is available to stream on Netflix now.