Not only does the show’s plot progression roughly parallel that of a typical D&D game (in that it involves a group of people with different talents and personalities banding together to explore dark, dangerous creatures to battle terrifying evil), but also the dreaded monster of the series is named after one of D&D’s most infamous demons, Demogorgon, and shares its destructive ways. And while our heroes defeated the Demogorgon, we know now from the newly released season two trailer that there’s a new creature in town, and it sure looks bigger and meaner. It also raises the question: what the hell is this new beast?
Given the vast menagerie of monsters in D&D, even back in 1983, it’s quite possible that the new creature in Stranger Things will also share its name and inspiration from a D&D creature. Here are 15 D & D Monsters That Could Be The Villain Of Season 2.
The most obvious candidate for new big beast is the dreaded Thessalhydra: a lumbering monstrosity with a pincer tail, gaping toothy maw, and a series of snake heads on the fringe of that maw. Astute fans may remember that at the end of season one, once Will has rejoined his friends and their D&D game continues, the Thessalhydra is their new foe. Luckily for our band of adventurers, Will casts the fireball spell and kills the beast.
However, after the boys celebrate their victory, Lucas and Dustin complain that the battle was too easy, and we as the audience can’t help but think the same thing once we see Will is still connected to the Upside Down. Maybe the real Thessalhydra has been awoken, like Demogorgon before it, and now means to carve a path of destruction.
The Thessalhydra’s physical description has some semblance to the monster in the season two trailer, given the two beasts both have serpentine appendages. If the Thessalhydra really is the new creature, let’s hope that somehow our heroes manage to summon a real life fireball to take it down.
14. Displacer Beast
One trope common amongst D&D monsters is having a superfluous amount of limbs. Enter the Displacer Beast, which would look like your typical puma if it weren’t for the two extra legs, as well as the two large tentacles protruding from its sides. And while it traditionally isn’t as big as the monster portrayed in the season two trailer appears to be, the extra limbs as well as the overall creep factor seem to match.
Of greater significance is the Displacer Beast’s signature ability: to project false images of itself in order to mask its actual location. The ability to project images and distort its position seems reminiscent of what the Demogorgon could do in season one when it appeared in the walls of the Byers home. The ability to perhaps blink back and forth or exist on the cusp of the Upside Down could make for an interesting nemesis for our heroes, especially now that Will himself seems to be able to go back and forth himself at random.
In D&D canon, while Demogorgon is one of the most powerful demons, Asmodeus is the ruler of devils. And yes, there is a difference between the two. Demons are of the chaotic evil alignment, which means they crave wanton destruction and pain for the sake of creating destruction and pain, whereas Devils are lawful evil, which means they crave power, dominance, and order… as well as destruction and pain.
So what does this mean for Stranger Things? Well, it could mean that season two is all about exploring a different facet of evil. Demogorgon is a prince of madness, so it was fitting that a story arc with him was all about confusion, terror, and trying to explain the unexplainable. An arc about Asmodeus would entail deceptions and subterfuge, fighting against hierarchies that were built with the sole purpose of dominance and conquest. These themes are already present in the show with the presence of Martin Brenner and his insidious experiments over at Hawkins Laboratory.
Another big bad beast sporting a lot of legs, the Behir would be a terrifying fit for the season two monster. With the body of an extraordinarily large snake, a head like a crocodile, and the ability to shoot lightning, this is a creature you’d never want to find yourself up against in a game of D&D, let alone in your real-world neighborhood.
If the new villain creature takes after this beast, who knows what kind of danger it could present to our favorite characters. Maybe instead of breathing lightning, its electric powers manifest themselves in various electromagnetic pulses and disabling or destruction of electronic devices.
One of the more iconic parts of Stranger Things was how Will Byers was able to communicate via Christmas lights, so there is some precedent for creatures from the Upside Down messing with the electrics. Maybe if anyone gets trapped in the Upside Down again, the Behir will knock out the power in the whole town, raising the stakes and completely cutting our heroes of from one another. Or maybe it’ll just shoot lightning all over the town of Hawkins from those clouds around it in the trailer. That’d be a more deliberate way of shocking the audience.
Here’s a dreadful thought: what if those long limbs the monster in the trailer has are heads, rather than arms? More specifically, what if those are all heads from different kind of dragons? If they are, then season two would surely be depicting Eleven and the rest against the horrid queen of chromatic dragons herself, Tiamat.
Facing off against any type of dragon in D&D is a special kind of terrifying ordeal (they wouldn’t be in the title of the game if it were any other way). There are many colors of dragons, each with their own deadly breath weapon; red dragons breathe fire, white dragons breathe ice, etc. But then there’s Tiamat, who sports five heads, and thus has the abilities of five dragons at once. Only the most powerful of heroes would be able to even stand a chance against that.
Tiamat is so powerful and so evil that she rules over her own plane of the Nine Hells in the D&D universe. Maybe Tiamat’s plane is the next place Eleven visits and our favorite Eggo-lover accidentally awakens the queen of the dragons. Or maybe Will is able to travel to other places with his new slug problem and he stumbles upon an otherworldly dragon hoard. Either way, if Tiamat is rolling into town, it’s gonna take a lot more than Steve swinging a baseball bat to put the hurt on her.
As we saw from Hopper and Joyce’s excursion into the Upside Down, the monsters in Stranger Things come from a really disgusting place. Ooze and muck everywhere you turn, ash and spores hovering in the air, slimy pods used to contain human captives. Entering it, you’d probably have to try your utmost every second not to vomit.
However, it sounds like just the kind of place you would find an Otyugh! These abominations consist primarily of two thorny tentacles which sprout from a big toothy mouth akin to the head of season one’s Demogorgon. Otyughs are pretty much eating machines that are always eager to dine on the fresh meat of adventurers to supplement their usual diet of carrion and dung.
Having a giant Otyugh in Hawkins would make for a gross affair, as our heroes travel to even grosser corners of the Upside Down to try and fend off a creature that spends all of its time in excrement and rot. Nothing like upsetting a few stomachs to up the ante.
For many people, there’s just nothing scarier than spiders. So naturally, one thing that could utterly terrify a lot of Stranger Things fans is a demon queen of the Abyss who takes a gigantic spider as her mortal form.
Lolth has been one of the most dreaded entities in D&D thanks to her arachnid affinities and command of the Drow, a race of subterranean elves with a nasty disposition. She’s such a foul foe that there was even an early adventure module called Queen of the Demonweb Pits entirely based on slaying her. Maybe this module is what Mike is putting Lucas, Dustin, and Will through when we pick up for season two, akin to their previous game with Demogorgon happening right before Will’s disappearance. Only instead of facing off against a mad creature, this time they have to untangle the web of evil and intrigue that surrounds a spider queen.
Also, the new monster sure looks like it has eight legs. Maybe a giant spider isn’t too far-fetched an idea for the new horror in Hawkins.
Don’t be fooled by the silly name, a Glabrezu is a fearsome demon that you don’t want to mess with. A towering beast of muscle and spikes, a Glabrezu can easily crush most opponents in its path. It has two pairs of arms, a set of muscular human arms coming out of its chest, and its primary arms, which have sharp pincers at their ends instead of hands. And if that isn’t enough to fuel your nightmares, a Glabrezu can summon a ten foot radius of pure darkness around it whenever it wants, meaning it can make pant-soiling entrances as well as perfect escapes.
The creature in the season two trailer certainly has a Glabrezu vibe to it, with multiple arms that then split out not unlike a set of pincers. And while Will is staring at its coming, the beast seems to also be summoning or parting dark clouds all around it. Come next Halloween, we might just see Hawkins have to deal with a Glabrezu.
Ahh, Beholders. The dungeon master’s dream and the player’s nightmare. The Beholder is a classic D&D monster made up of a floating orb of flesh consisting of a toothy maw, an ever-gazing eyeball, and a multitude of eye stalks that all shoot a different deadly beam.
The appearance of the new creature is long and lanky as opposed to a Beholder’s bulbous form, but the tentacle appendages could be similar to a Beholder’s eyestalks, with each of them having their own ability. And the main eye of a Beholder is able to knock out all magic abilities, so maybe our new creature’s dreadful gaze is enough to disrupt Eleven’s abilities, thus forcing the gang to come up with new ways to destroy the beast.
A creature bedecked with many eyes would also be a departure from the Demogorgon of season one, which was entirely devoid of eyes. Thematically, the transition of a blind creature to an ever-staring one would be a fitting way to show how the characters were formerly stumbling blind in the Upside Down, but can now see the true threats in our world. And the threats can see them too. And perhaps shoot rays of disintegration at them.
Slaad are nefarious and chaotic toad-like creatures from the outer planes of Limbo. And oddly enough, with its sickly grey skin and hunched posture, season one’s Demogorgon resembles some Slaadi more so than it does the monster of its own namesake. Perhaps Demogorgon was a misnomer the entire time, and it is really the Slaad entering Hawkins from Limbo instead of Demogorgon crawling out of the Vale of Shadow.
Why would this be a terrifying reveal? Because the Slaad aren’t just roaming solitary creatures; they have a whole society and hierarchy of bigger and stronger Slaadi ruling over weaker ones. Maybe the death of one of their lowly brethren convinces the other Slaadi to declare war on the city of Hawkins, and they send one of the bigger Death Slaadi as retaliation. It would certainly lend itself well to a continuing series, with the race of toad monsters and the remainder of Brenner’s shady organization studying and combating one another, with our heroes caught up in the crossfire.
We don’t yet know a lot about the new monster seen in the season two trailer, but we do know one thing for sure: it’s big. Damn big. Town-stomping kaiju big. It would only make sense then if it were named after D&D’s very own kaiju: the Tarrasque.
The Tarrasque is the largest and strongest monster in all of D&D. In the current fifth edition of the Monster Manual, it sits as the only creature with a challenge rating of 30, with the next strongest foe being an Ancient Red Dragon with a rating of 24. In the monster’s first publication, it was so tough that it needed to be brought down to -30 health and removed from existence with a Wish spell to truly die, otherwise it would just start regenerating its health back. It pretty much only exists for the amusement of the most sadistic dungeon masters looking to make their players cry.
There’d be no way to raise the stakes higher in season two than to plop down the biggest and toughest monster in all of existence. It would make season two less about hunting down a lone creature, and more about scrambling to survive the coming of what is more or less a walking natural disaster. But who knows, maybe Eleven has a Wish spell up her sleeves in addition to all her other powers.
4. Mind Flayers
Mind Flayers are some of the more disturbing monsters in D&D, earning their name from their abilities to suck the brains out of their victims’ skulls. Their horrifying appetite, combined with the unnerving tentacles coming from their cephalopod heads, and their otherworldly language add a touch of Lovecraft to the usual high fantasy of D&D’s monster universe.
Lovecraftian content would be a great fit for Stranger Things, as the two can be seen as explorations of the eldritch horrors that lurk beyond human understanding. With Mind Flayers in the mix, you can be sure season two will involve cerebral terrors and delve into the dark and weird corners of existence.
Furthermore, one of the key powers of the Mind Flayers are psionics, a type of magic derived purely from their superior mental capabilities. They can move, alter, and destroy things with nothing but their minds, which sounds an awful lot like the kind of things Eleven is capable of. Maybe Eleven has been developing psionic abilities this entire time, and now she’s able to reach out to the Mind Flayers and their mother brain. Hopefully she sticks to Eggos instead of developing a taste for brains, though.
As the only demon to rival Demogorgon in power, and the Lord of Undead in the D&D universe, Orcus is one of the most terrifying foes you could ever face in the game. He could kill you within seconds, and a few seconds later, bring your body back as a shambling corpse under his control. While many other monsters would feel like a step down after going toe-to-toe with Demogorgon, Orcus would be just as terrifying and powerful of an enemy to have.
He’s usually portrayed a bit more on the chunky side as compared to the creature we saw in the season two trailer, and he doesn’t have any vague appendages, but he does have a set of great big bat wings. Maybe the tentacles we saw in the trailer weren’t tentacles at all, but bones of Orcus’ great wings? It would be a chilling way to explain why this demon lord is writhing around on the ground and in a foul mood.
Not to mention the things that could be done with raising undead in the show. Characters who were dead could suddenly return to town, or maybe the other ten MKUltra subjects before Eleven could return under the rule of a new, vindictive master. Most importantly, maybe we could even see Barb come back to life?!
Like Mind Flayers, Aboleths are also a malicious alien race with tentacles and potent psionic abilities. However, unlike Mind Flayers, Aboleths are gigantic, and due to them being some of the most ancient races in the D&D universe, they’ve amassed unfathomable secrets about the world. They dwell in underground lairs and forever seek to conquer the denizens of the surface world.
This conquest is done through an Aboleth’s ability to project illusions and mentally enslave lesser beings. This ability to warp minds and bend wills would make for a tense season of Stranger Things, with the Byers family being subjected to dark visions on top of Will’s connection to the Upside Down, making them all question what is real.
Maybe what we saw in the trailer wasn’t happening at all, but sent to poor Will’s fragile mind from an angry Aboleth? And what it the Aboleth in the show can control minds like the Aboleth of the game? What if Joyce or Hopper becomes the minion of this monster and the children have no mature allies to fall back on? Or what if Eleven herself becomes a powerful thrall to do the bidding of the beast while it lurks below?
1. Demogorgon (Again)
No, this isn’t a joke. Because here’s the thing about Demogorgon: he’s got two heads. Since we’ve only seen one, single-headed monster so far, maybe the kids only dispatched half of the problem at the end of season one. Maybe the second half is still out there and maybe it’s really really pissed off at losing a part of itself, or at least annoyed at being denied the chance to eat delicious human flesh.
Maybe the second half of this creature looks wildly different from the first, and that’s why the new iteration is much bigger and sporting a different set of limbs. And it would make sense to see the Demogorgon show up a second time in the series; the slugs Will is coughing up most likely came from the Demogorgon, and thus they are most likely going to result in a Demogorgon showing up again.
It’s also worth mentioning that in later editions of D&D, Demogorgon is able to project smaller aspects of itself. It wasn’t a thing back in the days of 1983, but this more recent development in the Demogorgon’s abilities could influence the Duffer Bros in their upping of the ante in season two. What better way to instill fear into our heroes than for them realize that they never killed a monster at all, but a mere reflection? And now the real deal is on its way. And all of the stranger things are bound to grow even stranger.
Which Dungeons & Dragons monster would you most like to see in Stranger Things season 2? Let us know in the comments!