*Warning: Major spoilers ahead*

Stranger Things 4 volume 2 is finally streaming on Netflix. And while the final two episodes were undoubtedly worth the wait (think three hours and 46 minutes of nonstop action), they also presented a brand-new theory about what’s to come in season five.

Here’s what you need to know: The Stranger Things 4 finale concluded with Hawkins in ruins after Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her friends faced Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) in a fatal battle (#RIPEddie). Thankfully, the main cast made it out alive, but fans are still concerned about Max (Sadie Sink), who nearly died in the last episode.

stranger things 4 volume 2 theory
Courtesy of Netflix

When thinking about Stranger Things 5, it seems likely that one of the main characters will sacrifice themselves to defeat Vecna and save the rest of the group. The obvious choice for this task is Eleven because of her years-long connection to the character. (And the fact that she’s the reason One became Vecna in the first place.)

But based on volume 2, there’s a new theory circulating that claims Max is going to volunteer as tribute. This might surprise some fans, but it does makes sense. Max has been struggling to break free of Vecna’s curse all season long. Doctors even declared her dead in the finale, but Eleven managed to bring her back. Although she seemingly escaped this time, there’s a good chance she’s still cursed.

stranger things 4 volume 2 theory max
Courtesy of Netflix

Speaking of Eleven, it seems unlikely that she’ll die after the events in the season 4 finale. The creators have already announced that Stranger Things 5 will be the show’s last. So, now that Eleven nearly sacrificed herself to save Max, they will probably steer clear of another predictable showdown between her and Vecna for the grand finale.

That’s where Max comes in. Perhaps she feels like she owes Eleven, so Max returns the favor by facing Vecna…once and for all. Not only would it put an end to the curse, but it would also represent a full-circle moment, since her brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery) sacrificed himself in season 3.

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