Netflix’s Stranger Things dropped a little over a year ago with almost no hype. Then, suddenly last July, it seemed that all people could talk about was this bingeable ’80s throwback full of heart, friendship, monsters and Matthew Modine.
Season one of Stranger Things left us with a lot of things, like the importance of Christmas lights for communicating with the other side and a hunger for Eggos. But mostly, it left us with a hell of a lot of questions. Luckily, we’ve learned that season two will drop earlier than the expected Halloween release date (yes, only four days earlier, but still) and as you can imagine, fans already have their theories about what’s to come.
While some things have already been confirmed (everything takes place a year later and Eleven is alive, huzzah!), there is still so much still unknown. Creators the Duffer Brothers said to Entertainment Weekly, “Hopefully you’ll come to the end of season ywo and feel fully satisfied and want more but you’ll feel like it has come to a conclusion. But also we’ve laid the ground work for further seasons.” It is unclear how many actual answers we’ll get this year.
That being said, Here are 15 Craziest Fan Theories About Stranger Things: Season 2.
15. The Monster Is Eleven
When we meet Eleven for the first time, she’s more lab rat than girl; head shaved, stealing food from a local diner. She then works to find and fight The Demogorgon, save her friends. She disintegrates the monster and, seemingly, herself in the process.
Sounds like it all wraps up a little too nicely? That’s not by coincidence. Many fans believe that The Demogorgon isn’t just a creature of the Upside-Down, but a physical reflection of Eleven’s trauma, like a brain tumor come to life. These two arrive together and leave together, totally connected – like the two-headed Demogoran figured on Mike’s Dungeons & Dragons board.
Eleven even outright tells Mike, “I’m sorry. The gate… I opened it. I’m the monster.” While we thought this was just guilt for letting the Demogorgon out of its figurative cage, it’s a statement that may be more literal than you thought.
14. The New Giant Monster: The Thessalhydra
You may have seen the gigantic spider-like monster straight out of a Lovecraftian nightmare stalks the streets of Hawkins, Indiana in the trailer. So what is this new literal big bad? Many fans believe it’s the Thessalhydra, the same creature the kids were battling in D&D at the end of the last season.
Time for some background. In mythology, the hydra was killed by Hercules and his nephew Iolaus by working together, since if even one head remained, all the heads would all grow back. Fan speculate that, this time, Eleven can’t kill the beast alone; the group has to work together.
Worse, in D&D, the bigger-badder Thessalhydra isn’t a natural creation, but one purposely designed. Many believe that, this time, the monster doesn’t come from The Upside-Down, but straight from Hawkins Lab. Those crazy scientists – what will they do next?
13. Eleven’s Mom Didn’t Go Crazy After The Miscarriage
Without a doubt, in season two is going to give us more backstory about both the mysterious Eleven and the lab she was raised in, which means we’re also going to get more info about her mother: Terry Ives.
We meet Terry at her home in a catatonic state and learn that after being part of psychotropic experiments in college, Dr. Brenner faked her miscarriage and secretly kidnapped her daughter, Jane. Terry then tries to sue Brenner to get her daughter back and then, somewhere in the next five years, slipped into her lethargic state.
Fans believe this isn’t a coincidence, and Terry is psychically linked to her daughter. The farther away Eleven was put into the Upside Down, the worse Terry became. We even started to see part of her recovery, as Terry was mouthing words for the first time as Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers were leaving, although no words came out.
12. Will Byers Also Has Psychic Powers, Like Eleven
Ah, Will Byers. While the other kids got to ride their bikes and go on adventures, he had to hide in the terrifying darkness and communicate to Wynona Rider through Christmas lights. Luckily he’s home now and safe.
Just kidding! We already saw him burp up a slug and terrifyingly shift between worlds in the bathroom (more on that to come.) Many fans believe that there more to Will than we know, and that he actually has still-unknown psychic powers, similar to Eleven. This is why why the Demogorgan stalked him at the start of the show and ignored the rest of his friends. It also explains how he was able to hide and survive in the Upside Down while people like Barb were sadly not (RIP Barb!)
11. Will Byers Can Travel Through To The Upside Down
Psychic powers may not be the only thing manifesting in young Will. Fans believe that his exposure to the universe and the monster have now given him the ability to travel through dimensions – to go from our world to the Upside Down. To keep with the D&D motif, there’s even a term for this: “plainswalking.”
Last season, the only way to get through to the Upside Down was through the rip in the universe in the Hawkins Lab, and you better believe the government will have it on lockdown now.
In no way is the show done with the Upside Down, though. Fans believe that Will’s the one who will get the group back into the Upside Down and he’ll be the one who will bring back the very alive Eleven.
10. Will Is Part Monster Now
Ignoring the last two theories that Will is slowly turning into a superhero, fans are also predicting the opposite: Will is slowly turning into a monster.
We saw him switch to the Upside Down, a trait only the Demogorgan was seen doing so far, at the end of season one. Not even Eleven could bring the other kids through to the other side. Plus, coughing up slugs is never a good thing. We still do not know where the original Demogorgan came from. Perhaps he too was once a man?
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Noah Schnapp, who plays Will in the series, said, “In the last episode, I threw up a slug, so season 2 begins with what happens from there. There may have been some effect on him. I may or may not have turned into a monster. You’ll have to watch to find out.” Oh, we will!
9. The Monsters Are Reproducing In People
Now, if Will’s not the monster, then perhaps he’s creating one.
Fans are theorizing that new monsters are being born after disgustingly gestating inside of people. In season one, when we finally find Will in the Upside Down, he’s in a coma and has a living creature attached to his mouth. It looks an awful lot like the Facehugger creature from Aliens series. In fact, this season brings on Paul Reiser, who was in the first Alien, and the Duffers have admitted to Entertainment Weekly that this is not a coincidence.
Worse yet, if the monster is a Thessalhydra, those creatures reproduce in D&D by infecting their hosts with larvae, which seems like a big problem for the coughing Will. Fans are predicting baby Demogorgans this season and they will not be pretty.
8. Paul Reiser is Mathew Modine
Poor Mathew Modine’s Dr. Brenner. He just wanted to\o… well, we never do learn why he’s doing mad science in Hawkins Lab for the government – besides spying on Russians and experimenting on children. But we’re sure he had his reasons before being eaten by the Demogorgan.
Or was he? We never actually saw a body like poor Barb (RIP Barb!) and the camera cuts away before we actually see the attack on him. Fans are claiming that old Papa is still alive, pulling the strings now from the inside after his name was tarnished when Will was found alive. Some fans are even claiming that Paul Reiser’s Dr. Owens, the new head of the lab in season two, is actually Brenner, post-reconstructive surgery and back for more mayhem.
7. Barb’s Returns
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: RIP Barb! For those of you looking for a red-headed reunion, we’d grab some tissues. Producer Shawn Levy says she’s absolutely dead in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “I’ve had a lot of people, some huge celebrities come up to me at these awards shows, like, ‘So, between us, Barb’s coming back, right?’ I’m like ‘No, you saw, she had like a creature, slug, worm, snake, coming out of her mouth. I don’t know that there’s a bounce back from that!’”
However, the Upside Down is a weird place, with weird things coming out of it all the time. Fans believe we haven’t seen the end of Barb, or at least, something that looks and sounds like Barb. Don’t be surprised if those glasses are staring down your screen sometime soon. We just have to wonder if the eyes behind them are human.
6. The Nancy/Steve/Jonathan Triangle:
Ah, Jonathan Byers. His brother gets taken by a monster, he spends the entire show being the good guy, and in the end, doesn’t get to be the hero or get the girl.
His nemesis, Steve Harrington, jockish and arrogant, is obviously the villain of this love triangle. That is, right up until Steve decides to be selfless, comes back to save the day, set the monster on fire and push it back to it’s dimension. In this way, he totally redeems himself, and at the end of the last season, Nancy and Steve are still together, watching TV.
However, it didn’t take a great kid detective though to see that ambivalent look in Nancy’s eye on the couch. Fans think she may notice that Steve’s kind of a jerk after all and get with real hero (and occasional Peeping Tom) Jonathan Byers.
5. Hopper’s Now The Inside Man
Chief Jim Hopper was one of the most interesting characters of season one, coming complete with a tortured past and a driven desire to save a lost child. He got himself tangled pretty deeply, and at the end of the season, we see him get into a car with what appears to be two government agents.
The fan theory is that Hopper has now gone from conspiracy theorist to inside-man, cleaning up the mess from season one. In an interview with The Daily Beast, actor David Harbour said of his character: “Whatever’s going on with the lab, Hopper’s involved a little more deeply than we realize. And part of that may be that he has some sort of understanding of this Upside-Down world that other people don’t have.”
4. Hopper’s Daughter
One of the reasons Hopper worked so hard to find Will in season one was because of his own daughter, Sarah. We only get a few flashbacks of his little girl diagnosed with cancer, including a heart-wrenching scene of her death. Of course, this is Stranger Things, so things may not be as they seem.
Fan theories about Hopper’s daughter run the gambit. Some believe that her cancer was the result of being exposed to the Upside Down in Hawkins Lab. Others say that she’s not dead at all and she’s one of the ten other missing children from the lab. The most interesting theory, though, is that Hopper’s daughter is actually… Eleven herself! This stems from the fact that they both children had identical stuffed lions and tigers in their bedrooms
Harbour specifically said in a Reddit AMA that his daughter’s death is, “a secret we may explore in (season two),” which makes us go, “Ooooh…”
3. The Upside Down
The Upside Down is a dark mirror world to our own, but there are a lot of inconsistencies. Where are the people? Why are all the buildings destroyed? Why aren’t there Christmas lights in the Byers mirror-world home?
Fans have a theory for this. Instead of there being parallel dimensions, some people believe that Eleven actually ripped a hole in space-time. Then, the world we’re seeing isn’t a different one; it’s a future world. Some have speculated that what we’re seeing is the Hawkins, Indiana after a nuclear blast used to take out the monster from the trailer.
The Duffer Brothers told Variety: “We have a 30-page document that is pretty intricate in terms of what it all means, and where this monster actually came from, and why aren’t there more monsters — we have all this stuff that we just didn’t have time for.” Could it contain a timeline between Hawkins now and Hawkins to-come? We’ll have to wait and see.
2. Dustin’s New Pet Is ’80s Evil
We’ll say it now, the adorable Dustin did not get enough screen time in Season One. Luckily, the Duffers know this, and not only will he play a bigger role, but it’s been confirmed that he gets a polliwog-like pet. Actor Gaten Matarazzo told to Entertainment Weekly, “It’s a little creature I get to bond with. It’s obviously not from this planet or this dimension.”
However, let’s not forget the decade this show plays homage too. If films like Poltergeist, Critters, or Cat’s Eye taught us anything, it’s that a creature that starts out cute, cuddly and playful tends to become larger and terrifying. Fans are thinking this little Polywog will pull a Gremlins on us. We’re just hoping Dustin won’t feed it after midnight.
1. The Lost Brother
Fans have been obsessing over the titles of the new episode since they were released last August, trying to guess their cryptic meaning. However, it’s one title in particular that’s been creating the most interesting fan theories.
“The Lost Brother” was the final released episode title and leaves the most questions. Fans predict that in season two, we may meet a lost sibling of Eleven, or more than likely, one of the other experimented children from Hawkins Lab.
We still don’t know how Eleven got her moniker, but odds are good that there were at least ten others before her. Since they weren’t in the lab, they may have met a more disturbing fate than Eleven. Maybe at least one of Eleven’s other siblings got out alive.
Stranger Things: Season 2 will be released on Netflix on October 27, 2017.
Do you buy any of these crazy fan theories? Let us know in the comments!
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