'Stranger Things' theories about Season 3's devastating death are pouring in

Warning: Major spoilers from the Stranger Things 3 season finale ahead.

Season 3 of Stranger Things finally hit Netflix over the holiday weekend and, at this point, most of us have already binged the entire season. If not, then, spoiler alert. You have been warned.

If you did make that commitment then you're probably pretty heartbroken over Chief Jim Hopper's death. You're not the only one. Many fans took to social media over the weekend to share their devastation.

However, there's hope.

In case you missed it, Stranger Things did something it's never done before and pulled a Marvel move by showing an end credit scene with a small, but juicy, cliffhanger.

The scene opened at the Russians' base in Kamchatka, where two soldiers are on their way to retrieve a prisoner to feed to a Demogorgon. As the soldiers approach the first door, one of the soldiers tells the other, "No. Not the American."

So, who is "the American?"

We all want to believe that it's Hopper. After all, Joyce finally agreed to let him pick her up at 7 p.m. for dinner at Enzo's. Technically, we never saw Hopper's dead or disintegrated body, which might mean the writers are keeping the door open three inches for him to possibly come back. It wouldn't be the strangest thing.

Did he jump into the upside down? Did he somehow manage to move out of the way and was later captured by the Russians?

Not all fans are getting their hopes up. Some believe "the American" might be other characters we've lost before. Like Barb, whom we've been mourning since season 1.

This person believes that it is Dr. Martin Brenner, the man who raised Eleven in the lab, and that the Russians are using him for his intel.

However, most believe that our beloved Hop is still alive.

As of the time this story was published, Netflix has yet to officially renew Stranger Things for season 4 but, considering that loaded post-credits scene, it seems likely. If so, we better be seeing Chief Hopper in a variety of different-colored Hawaiian shirts in our futures.

Stranger Things 3 is streaming now on Netflix.

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