Netflix’s Stranger Things came out of nowhere in 2016 as a force to be reckoned with. The ‘80s-set homage to the sci-fi and horror works of Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and John Carpenter about a boy who goes missing in a parallel dimension unexpectedly became the biggest TV hit of the summer.
Fans have been waiting for over a year for the latest season of the show, with plot details scarce. Still, the few details that have been released have been enough to get fans’ imaginations running wild with theories and predictions. So, here are the 8 Most Exciting Fan Theories About Stranger Things Season 3.
8 We’ll be meeting more test subjects
After season 2 introduced us to Eight, season 3 could see Eleven encountering more of her fellow test subjects. We’ve met those two, but based on their numbering, there are at least nine other teenagers out there with supernatural powers whose stories are waiting to be told.
If this is something the Duffer brothers are going to do in season 3, then hopefully they listen to the criticisms from the last season and the placement of these stories won’t be as unfortunate as it was in season 2, with the Chicago-set episode focusing on Eight coming directly after a huge cliff-hanger at the lab in Hawkins.
7 Hopper’s daughter was a test subject
We don’t quite know what killed Hopper’s daughter. In season 1, we saw him crying in a hospital stairwell about losing her. That stairwell returned in season 2, confirming it was in Hawkins. Due to his daughter’s hair loss, it’s assumed that she died of cancer. But this fan theory suggests she was actually one of the test subjects in the lab in Hawkins.
When we first met Eleven, she had short hair, remember? We still don’t know what arrangement Hopper came to with the feds that got everyone off the hook at the end of season 1, or the details of the loss of his daughter, or what drew him to be a father figure for Eleven. Finally, it could all make sense.
6 Eleven celebrates her birthday
There’s an episode in season 3 bearing the title “The Birthday,” and some fans predict that the character who will be celebrating the titular birthday is Eleven. Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will have birthdays every year. That’s not an event that’s worth naming an episode after.
However, Eleven has very scant details about her past and hardly any memories of growing up. So, if she suddenly had the revelation of her birthday and celebrated it for the first time with her friends, it would be quite an event. Some fans have noted that this is also a hint we’ll have more of the gaps in Eleven’s past filled in by season 3.
5 The story concerns a Soviet invasion
A lot of fans have noticed the phrase “when blue and yellow meet in the west” hidden in Morse code in some of the promotional materials for season 3. The word “Eleven” has also been found written in Russian. Now, in 1985, when the season is set, the Cold War was raging on – the battle between the United States, otherwise known as “the west,” and the Soviet Union. Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union, and the country’s flag is half blue and half yellow. So, maybe the plot of season 3 will involve a Soviet invasion, possibly with Eleven and the other test subjects being weaponized.
Maybe Mike and the gang will take on the Soviets themselves, a la War Games. The clock hands at the Starcourt Mall are also yellow and blue. They meet on the western side of the clock face at 8:45, so that could have something to do with it.
4 Max and Billy’s mom goes missing
There’s an episode in season 3 called “Suzie, Do You Copy?” that might have something to do with Max and Billy’s mother. While there aren’t any characters named Suzie on the show just yet, there is one with a variation of it – Max and Billy’s mom is named Susan.
So, maybe she goes missing and finds herself trapped in the Upside Down and the only way to communicate with her is with the walkie-talkie she took in there. Of course, Suzie could be a new character and it could just be a coincidence that she shares her name with Max and Billy’s mom.
3 There will be a zombie uprising
Hawkins, Indiana has faced demon dogs and parallel dimensions and Demogorgons. What’s next? One theory, based on the episode titled “The Bite,” is that the next supernatural nightmare the unfortunate town will face is a zombie uprising. Perhaps after the incredible showdown in the season 2 finale, in which the survival of the Upside Down was hinted at, there’s a bunch of zombies wandering around in there who could make their way through the threshold into our world.
Either that, or they’re a new threat entirely, unconnected to the events of season 2. The zombies might latch onto people through the Upside Down and turn people into the undead that way. Or, maybe the virus is spread by the rats...
2 Rats will be heavily involved in the story
Based on the episode titles “The Mall Rats,” “The Sauna Test,” and “The Bite,” and the fact that there appears to be a monster made out of rat carcasses melded together on the poster for season 3, some fans think rats will have a major involvement in the story.
It is thought that the rats will be down in the tunnels, picking up whatever residual paranormal virus is still left lingering from the events of the season 2 finale, and then they’ll come up to the surface and use it to take over the town. Whether that’s by passing on viruses or getting together to form something monstrous remains to be seen. Maybe it’s both!
1 The final battle will take place at a mall
Both seasons of Stranger Things thus far have dedicated their season finale episodes to an epic final battle against the creatures from the Upside Down. So, it stands to reason that the same will happen in season 3. The second episode of the upcoming season will be called “The Mall Rats,” suggesting a mall setting will be introduced into the story.
Meanwhile, the season finale will be called “The Battle of Starcourt,” named after the Starcourt Mall, which was recently introduced in a teaser trailer. Therefore, a lot of fans have theorized that the final battle in the season 3 finale will take place at the mall. If the zombie theory is true, this could be an homage to George A. Romero’s seminal Dawn of the Dead, which was set in a mall, although that movie was released in the ‘70s, not the ‘80s.