While Stranger Things season 4 showed that Max is technically alive, there's a chance her true situation may be a fate worse than death. A new dark theory says that Max could be alive inside Vecna.
Played by Sadie Sink, Max quickly became a fan favorite after her introduction in Stranger Things season 2. But after watching her brother Billy die at the end of season 3 though, we saw Max behave differently. She partially blamed herself for Billy's death at the hands of The Mind Flayer which forced her to go into a depressed state.
In season 4, she was killed by Vecna to open a massive rift to The Upside Down. While she died for a brief moment, Eleven used her powers to somehow revive Max but she remains in a coma. Once she reaches the hospital, Eleven enters Max's mind to retrieve her. Instead, she is met with a black void, one which suggests a terrifying implication.
According to a new theory, Max's soul might have left her body and it could be under the influence of Vecna, aka Henry Creel. In one scene, Dr. Brenner told Eleven that Vecna does not just kill people, he consumes them. He takes everything from his victims. Thus the moment she died, Max's essence left her body and became the property of Vecna, which explains why Max was not there when Eleven was inside her mind. Unfortunately, Max could be trapped in a state arguably worse than death, as she could be alive inside Vecna.
We know that Max is in trouble, and she needs to be rescued during season 5. The only one who can do this is again Eleven. She will need to enter the most twisted mind of all and explore through it until she is able to find Max and bring her soul to her own body.
It will not be an easy task for Eleven as Vecna will be using his full power against her. If Eleven does manage to succeed in bringing back Max to her body during season 5 though, there is still the question of her physical state. While broken limbs can heal, Max's blindness will likely require a supernatural remedy. There is already a theory that Kali can help Max to see using her powers.