[Warning: SPOILERS for season 1 of Stranger Things ahead.]
Season 1 of Netflix’s Stranger Things revolved primarily around a single mystery: What happened to Will Byers? The chain of events that unraveled throughout the course of the season all began with that question and grew to an increasingly complex amount of followup questions such as “What is the Upside Down?” and “Why didn’t Barb get more screen time?”
Of course, just when all of season 1’s mysteries seemed like they were put to rest and things were back to (relatively) normal for the show’s surviving protagonists, one final scene threw all of that into turmoil. The scene featured Will, having been rescued from the Upside Down and seemingly safe from harm, coughing up something awful and having a flashback to the Upside Down. There’s no doubt that this bit of cliffhanger will have major importance in season 2, but what exactly does it mean?
Noah Schnapp, the actor who played Will, has his own theory about what that scene means for Will’s fate in season 2. Speaking to THR, Schnapp laid out a potentially dark path to come for Will. Rather than remain the innocent protagonist he was in season 1, Schnapp thinks Will might have a tremendous inner conflict to come:
“Just like you said, I don’t know. But my guess is that maybe he’s going to become evil in the next season. If he’s coughing up these baby Demogorgons, or eggs, or something, maybe he’s incubating or holding these eggs inside of him and he’s trying to fight his good side against his bad side in the next season. That would be cool to see, to see him become evil.”
Schnapp is quick to point out that this is just his guess, and that there are a number of ways the writers could take the show in season 2. The “Evil Will” scenario just happens to be one that he finds particularly appealing as an actor:
“I mean, there are so many ways Will can go in the next season with how they set it up. But honestly, any way would be pretty cool. But it would be pretty cool to play an evil Will.”
Between seasons, Schnapp believes Will is having to come to terms with the trauma of what has happened to him. After all, being abducted by a powerful, apex predator alien and hauled off to an alternate dimension is not something your average adolescent has to deal with:
“I think Will’s mind is going crazy right now. So much has happened. He’s seen this crazy monster. He’s been in another dimension. He’s seen this other world. He’s probably thinking: ‘What is happening with me?’ When he comes back, I think he’s trying to fit in and act normal. But he’s trying to hide what’s actually happening to him.”
Even though season 2 may have already begun filming, fans will have to wait until next year to find out Will’s fate and whether or not he goes to the dark side. He and the rest of the gang from season 1 might be joined by a skateboarding teenage tomboy and her Camaro-driving big brother, but that remains to be confirmed. Right now all that is known for sure is what the episode titles will be, and even that has sparked plenty of speculation.
Stranger Things season 1 is available now on Netflix. Season 2 arrives in 2017.