As soon as Stranger Things was added to Netflix, it took the viewing public by storm. It was one of the surprise hits of 2016, and fans are at the edge of their seat about the new season.
Stranger Things is so, well, strange. It’s a breath of fresh air in the sci-fi horror genre, and combines brilliant storytelling with a truly terrifying concept. Some of the best horror stories revolve around a character or entity that the audience doesn’t fully understand, and that’s what we get here. Nobody can make heads or tales of the Demogorgon or the Upside Down. All we can do is speculate.
Speculation, naturally, leads to fan theories. Some of them are more bizarre than others, but any of them could be possible. Again, we don’t know very much about this strange dimension we call the Upside Down.
One of the best parts of finding fan theories for this show is that they don’t seem to spoil anything. The writers were just subtle enough to give us hints, but not enough for the entire internet to guess the outcome.
Without further delay, here are 15 Stranger Things Fan Theories So Crazy They Might Be True.
15. Hopper’s Daughter
One of the more popular Stranger Things fan theory is that Eleven is actually Hopper’s daughter, Sarah. The audience sees her in a couple flashbacks, but we aren’t given too much information other than that.
Additionally, throughout season one, we get the sense that Hopper isn’t telling the whole truth about his past. There’s something that we’re not seeing, which is one reason this theory has popped-up. It’s clear that Hopper knows Eleven is still alive, so what else could he be hiding from us?
Another interesting, and somewhat more realistic theory surrounding Hopper’s daughter is that she was one of the other kids in the experiment, possibly One-Ten. When Hopper visits the Upside Down in the season finale, he has a flashback to holding his daughter. His daughter appears to see something off-camera, and begins to hyperventilate. What did she see? Why did he have this specific flashback while in the Upside Down?
14. Time Travel
The Upside Down is presented as an alternate reality version of Hawkins, but what if this is just an assumption? If it possible we’re over-simplifying what we see?
Stranger Things derives inspiration from classic movies, shows, and real-life conspiracy theories – including the Montauk Project.
The Montauk Project is basically the mother of all conspiracy theories, and dealt with government-sponsored mind control, teleportation, and time travel. Runaway children were abducted and “reprogrammed,” giving them telekinetic abilities and allowing scientists to control their thoughts. Test subjects with inherent telekinetic abilities were enhanced to the point where they could move objects with their mind; sound familiar?
Because Stranger Things draws so much of its inspiration from these sources, is it possible that the Upside Down is the future of Hawkins? Maybe Eleven, Barb, and Will are transported to the future through “a hole ripped in time,” just like the test subjects in the Montauk Project.
13. A Darker Dimension
Another theory surrounding the Upside Down is that it is another dimension, but not necessarily an evil one. The Upside Down is an alternate version of Hawkins, but it was just like any other version of Hawkins with slight differences. The evil that currently haunts the Upside Down didn’t originate there, but came there from a third, truly evil dimension.
This theory presents the Upside Down as a version of Hawkins where the Demogorgon succeeded in its attack. Before it was attacked, the Upside Down was no different than the version of Hawkins we see.
Somehow, Eleven intervened in this attack, and was followed back to our dimension of Hawkins. Now, the monsters from the dark dimension are trying to take over another version of Hawkins – possibly the world.
12. Eleven’s Death
Another widely-circulated fan theory is that the monster from season one is a physical manifestation of the suffering Eleven has experienced. That’s why she was the only person who could kill the entity. It originated inside of her, so she was the only one that could harm it. This theory is aided by the on-the-nose quote by Eleven, saying she is the monster.
If we follow this theory to its logical conclusion, it means that the Upside Down dimension is somehow an extension of Eleven’s mind. Therefore, the only way to close the portal would be to kill Eleven.
Eleven probably won’t be murdered, but it’s logical to think she may sacrifice herself to save the world. We’ve already seen her do something along those lines at the end of the first season. Of course, she’s not dead, but it looks like she went back to the Upside Down to keep the monster out of range – possibly trapped inside her mind.
11. Will’s Telekinetic Powers
Will’s disappearance drives the action of the first season, but he doesn’t play much of a role, other than getting saved by his friends and family. In the second season, this is expected to change, with Will being one of the main focal points of the season.
One theory about Will is that he developed some sort of telekinetic powers when he was inside the Upside Down. If the Upside Down is (or was) a part of Eleven’s mind, maybe he took a piece of Eleven with him when he left.
Stranger Things loves references, especially when it comes to Stephen King novels. In The Green Mile, it’s established that John Coffey gifts those he has touched with part of his powers. Could the same be true here?
Will might not be as powerful as Eleven, but it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Will developed the ability to move objects with his mind. Maybe he’ll even be able to manifest things, like Eleven is theorized to have done in season one.
10. Justice for Barb
One of the most infuriating storylines of the first season was the perceived indifference of the town when it comes to Barb. Even the main characters, who know Barb was taken to the Upside Down, don’t seem to be too worried about what happened to her. She’s Nancy’s best friend, for goodness’ sake!
In the season finale, a lot of attention seems to be paid to saving Will (understandably). He wasn’t responsive, but Hopper and Joyce Byers were able to revive him. They found Barb in a similar state; so why didn’t they try to revive Barb as well?
Outrage aside, we’ve been told that Barb probably won’t be making an appearance in the next season. There was, though, tease that there will be some form justice for Stranger Things’ redheaded stepchild. Whether this is a town search party or another form of revenge remains to be seen, but it’s clear the creators and the audience haven’t forgotten about her.
9. Will as the New Monster
If we accept the theory that the monster from season one is actually a physical manifestation of Eleven’s inner demons, then the monster in the second season could follow the same theme. Instead of Eleven, though, the monster could come from inside Will.
Will had a pretty rough experience during his time in the Upside Down. Perhaps it brought a darkness out of Will – something that is juxtaposed in the “happy ending” of season one. It’s clear Will isn’t past his experience, and suppressing his feelings may lead to the monster outbreak we expect in season two.
Furthermore, if we accept the theory that Will developed some sort of telekinetic powers during his time in the Upside Down, this would give him the ability to create this monster, even if it’s unintentional.
8. A Family Reunion
It’s been teased that season two will bring more light onto Eleven’s past, so many fans are predicting some sort of reunion between Eleven and her mother. In the trailer, Eleven can be seen opening the lock of a door and coming inside. This could be Mike’s house, but many fans think it’s actually Eleven’s mother’s house.
Eleven’s past could mean anything, and the show has used flashbacks before to give us a sense of the past. They could do the same again, but it would make a lot of sense if Eleven meets her mother for the first time. Maybe she’ll even speak more than a few words.
All of this leads to the theory that Eleven won’t be with the boys for most of the season. They think she’s dead, so there’s no reason for them to go searching for her. Maybe she’ll be with her mother most of the time – possibly without Eleven’s consent.
7. Dimensional Rifts
This item is more speculative than a pure fan theory, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Eleven disappeared at the end of season one, and it’s fair to assume she went back to the Upside Down. Before this, though, the portal that Eleven opened was – as we are led to believe – a complete accident. Transitioning back to the end of the season, though, it seemed as though Eleven was able to open a portal intentionally.
Additionally, the Eggos Hopper leaves for Eleven would suggest that she can come back to Hawkins anytime. Can Eleven seamlessly travel through dimensions? Are there more dimensions she’s able to explore?
If Eleven can transition between Hawkins and the Upside Down like the Monster could, a host of opportunities present themselves. Assuming the original portal is still there, will Eleven cause the destruction of the town?
6. What Happened to One-Ten?
Hopper’s daughter is a serious candidate for one of the test subjects who didn’t survive, though she would have had to have gone through the program at a different time – or through different means. Perhaps, as we see in countless comic books, the scientists lured Hopper and his wife into the program with the hope of a miracle cure.
For this to work, Hopper and his wife would still be able to see their daughter, but wouldn’t be sure about what was happening. Hopper’s daughter’s death ties into this somehow, otherwise we wouldn’t have seen so many flashbacks about her.
In season two, though, we’re bound to find out more about subjects One-Ten. Maybe there’s even a Twelve out there somewhere. Whether Hopper’s daughter is one of the numbers or not, look forward to learning more about the program in season two.
5. Hopper the Antagonist
In any good show, movie, or book, there can never be just a monster. Sure, they gang will fight a monster eventually, but there have to be a few roadblocks on their way. The first season had Brenner, agents, and bullies, but what will the second season hold? This fan theory positions Hopper as one of the key antagonists.
Throughout the first season, the viewer gets the sense that Hopper isn’t completely honest about his past. When he and Joyce are brought in for questioning, this theory only gets stronger. Hopper’s reaction is that of a person who has been through this a million times, perhaps from the other side.
At the very end, Hopper gets into a black sedan – the universal sign of federal agents. When we see him next, he’s still just the chief of police, but sneaks food out to give to Eleven. He knows Eleven is still alive, something that no one else is supposed to know. Hopper seems like a good guy, but he may be working with the government in season two.
4. Eggs and Pumpkins
There’s only one main monster in season one, but there are a few hints that there is more than one monster in the works. When Hopper and Joyce enter the Upside Down, Hopper takes note of some of the cracked eggs on the ground. This is significant – and for more reasons than just as nod to Alien.
The other scene that alludes to the possibility of other monsters from the Upside Down is one of the very last scenes in the first season. Will is looking in the mirror and has a flashback to the Upside Down. Then, he vomits a slug into the sink in his bathroom.
In a trailer for the second season, the audience is shown rotting, cracked pumpkins. In the above promotional picture, Hopper is seen shining his flashlight on a field of rotting, cracked pumpkins, just as he did in the first season with one of the eggs. Maybe the pumpkins are how the new monster gets its opening into the Hawkins of our dimension.
3. Will Brings the Upside Down to Hawkins
The last scene in the first season and multiple trailers from the upcoming second season present the idea that Will has never truly left the Upside Down. It’s easy to see that he’ll be going into trances throughout the season, reverting back to his time spent in the Upside Down.
Since Will was in the Upside Down for so long, its possible that he brought a piece of the evil dimension back to the regular dimension of Hawkins. It’s clear from the trailers that the monster will be ratcheting things up in the second season, and has the potential to take down the town and the world.
Perhaps Will’s presence in Hawkins is going to allow the Upside Down to take over. In one trailer, we hear Will say, “Not me, everyone else,” when asked (presumably) what the monster wanted. Instead of Will being the monster, maybe he is the new gateway for this bigger, badder monster.
2. Eleven Won’t be Much Help
The popular thought is that Eleven will be the only match for the new monster. Everyone else will fail, and Eleven will come strolling into town on a white horse and save the day. This would be extremely convenient, but it doesn’t seem like the direction the show is heading.
For one, it’s entirely possible that Will is the only match for this year’s monster instead of Eleven. If Will had a hand in bringing the Upside Down to Hawkins, or creating the new monster in the first place, then it stands to reason he is the only one who can face it.
On top of that, a short clip from the trailer suggests that Eleven might be struggling with her powers. She looks as if she’s trying to move a truck in the middle of the road, but fails. Could Eleven be losing her powers?
1. The Dragon’s Lair
In the first episode of season one, the boys play a game of Dungeons & Dragons. Little did we know, the outcome of that game would dictate the narrative of the entire show going forward. The character repeatedly referenced the game, even naming the monster “Demogorgon” after a monster in the game. When Eleven is asked to show where the monster lives, she flips the board, giving rise to the name “The Upside Down.”
In the Comic Con trailer for season two, we see the gang playing a video game in an arcade. The game is called “Dragon’s Lair.”
We don’t see much of the gameplay, other than the hero dying, but if the first season is any indication, this scene will be the driving force behind everything that comes next. Pay attention to the game this season, as it will likely be just as important as the seemingly innocuous game in the first.
What’s your most believable Stranger Things theory? Share it in the comments!
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