"Stranger Things" is indisputably one of the most successful television series in history. The most recent season alone, released over two parts in 2022, scored historic numbers. With very few exceptions that weren't received so well, it was a triumph with critics and fans.

The series is now gearing up for the production of its final season and already shaping up to be one of the most highly-anticipated TV conclusions ever. The "Stranger Things" team is probably hoping to avoid a "Game of Thrones" situation. I.e., one of the most beloved all-time series being blotted by an overwhelmingly unpopular concluding chapter.

But history is repeating itself in at least one particular way.

The cast gets a significant pay raise

The principal cast for the ultimate "Stranger Things" season is set to make a historically high combined salary. One of the biggest for a TV cast ever. Just the size of the form itself is considerable. The newly-negotiated salary deal applies to 20 actors and actresses. And that's reportedly not even including Millie Bobby Brown, as indicated by Yahoo.

Her absence from the deal has sparked concern and debate in some corners. But it's most likely much ado about nothing. Brown has several other projects in development with Netflix to go along with "Stranger Things." And in more than one case, she's also working as a producer and cast member.

As such, her contract situation differs from her colleagues, and she has a separate deal, which is also, by all accounts, a very lucrative one.

According to IndieWire, the 20-count negotiated the deal together as a team. The move has drawn comparisons to a similar one made by a group of "Game of Thrones" regulars. In that instance, it was five members of the cast.

Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage. All of them got a big pay boost in their new equally-divided deal.

The new contracts are arranged in tiers

The "Stranger Things" crew is set to receive a significant boost but in a tier system. At the top of the salary pyramid is the "Ryder-Harbour Tier," if you will.

The indicators are that they will earn $9-10 million for the next season. Not surprisingly, Ryder, a two-time Oscar nominee, was originally the cast's highest-paid member. For the first season, she made about $100,000 per episode. Two seasons later, she and David Harbour purportedly made about $3 million altogether.

That level is followed by what could be called the "Wolfhard-Matarazzo-McLaughlin-Schnapp-Sink Tier." It would also likely include Brown if her situation had been different. This is the group that, as a whole, will have made the most dramatic increase in pay from where they started. The season one statistics don't apply to Sadie Sink. But Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp made about $20,000 for an episode's work.

A hefty sum, to be sure, especially given their respective ages. But by the time the third season rolled around, their salary increased over ten-fold. This tier is set to receive $7-8 million for the season in the newly-crafted deal.

That tier is followed closely by the "Keery-Hawke-Dyer-Heaton Tier." Earlier salary details for this lot are a bit murky. Signs point to an earlier average of $150,000 an episode at one point. But now they're set to earn $6-7 million for their contributions to the upcoming season.

Details about the fourth tier are few. How much their part of the deal is worth, or even who is in it, is a mystery. Priah Ferguson, Brett Gelman, Cara Buono and Jamie Campbell Bower are all included in this grouping.

This leaves the door open for much fan speculation

Some simple arithmetic can cause a stir among the devoted "Stranger Things" fan base. Several unnamed cast members are still included in the fourth tier. And again, consider Millie Bobby Brown is not one of them. There's something else to consider. Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer say they're not introducing any new major characters in the final season.

So, that begs the obvious question: who else is coming back? And in significant enough ways to warrant being considered part of the principal cast. One possibility is Eduardo Franco, who played Jonathan's California buddy Argyle. Another is Paul Reiser's, Dr. Sam Owens. Tom Wlaschila and Nikola Djuricko are a couple more options.

Their characters seemed headed for a potential defection from the Soviet Union when we last saw them. Back stateside, we probably haven't seen the last of Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan, played by Sherman Augustus. So there's another possibility. Matthew Modine had indicated he'd like to return as Dr. Martin Brenner, a.k.a Papa. But that could be a tricky one.

And, yes, there is at least one more. One that's not necessarily likely to happen, but one that has to be mentioned. That, of course, is Joseph Quinn's, Eddie Munson. Time will tell.

Something that does seem clear is that the concluding season of "Stranger Things" is to be a pricey production. One of, if not the most, expensive seasons ever made. Meanwhile, varying stages of work continue on spin-offs to follow the original show.