Stranger Things season two details have been kept tightly under wraps ever since the show was renewed. There are some things we know already, like the fact that Will is clearly not okay after his time in the Upside Down, and that Barb isn't coming back, but there's also a lot of questions to answer. Where is Eleven now? Are Mike, Lucas, Dustin and now Will still being watched, or are they back to being normal kids again? Has the 'bad man' disappeared for good? What of the Demogorgan?
Slated to arrive on Netflix in time for Halloween, Stranger Things season two is said to be bigger and darker than its first outing, and a previous Super Bowl teaser hints at a new monster. The cast and crew of Stranger Things have since given away a few details concerning season 2, and where all our favorite characters are when the show returns.
Firstly, the reason behind the Ghostbusters costumes in the first Stranger Things season two image and teaser is due to episode one opening on Halloween, 1984, in Hawkins, and Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin are, naturally, dressing up as the characters from the movie, as most kids their age would have been at the time. Check them out, below.
Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) made it back from the Upside Down, but at what cost? The last we saw of him, he was vomiting slugs into the sink, and trying to keep that a secret from his mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder), and brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). If Matt Duffer's words to EW are anything to go by, it could be that Will has a tough time ahead:
“He seems to be seeing images from the Upside Down—the question is whether they’re real or not. So it seems like he’s having some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
It's hardly surprising that Will is traumatized; the Upside Down is hardly a nice place to find yourself lost. Also coming into the Byers family dynamic, is the first of the new characters promised; Sean Astin as Bob. Bob is an old school friend of Joyce's, and the pair are now dating, though according to Ryder it might be less about Joyce following her heart and more about her making a pragmatic decision:
“She’s trying to mask a lot. I think she’s made this choice with Bob because she wants a good father figure in her sons’ lives.”
Elsewhere, the hero that is Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) is desperately trying to mask the events that took place a year ago, in order to keep Joyce, Will and his friends safe. But that's taking a toll on Hopper, who is struggling with the lies he has to tell, according to Harbour:
“It kind of falls on Hopper to be the voice of authority to say, ‘This did happen and this didn’t happen. He’s struggling with the compromise that takes him to, having to lie and cover things up.”
In fact, struggle seems to be the key word for all of the Stranger Things characters for season 2; Mike and Nancy Wheeler are also struggling with their emotions after the loss of both Eleven and Barb. Nancy has lost a friend, and probably come to the realization that she didn't treat her all that well while she was alive, and Mike has lost not only a friend, but also his first crush. Ross Duffer says that Mike and Nancy are the most screwed-up out of everyone, and promises that we will see them grappling with their emotions in season 2.
Away from the emotive side of Stranger Things and onto the darker, more villainous side; we meet newcomers Dacre Montgomery and Sadie Sink as brother and sister Billy and Max, respectively. Max quickly becomes friends with the boys, but Billy doesn't integrate so well, and Matt Duffer teases his character in such a way that it seems as though we could be seeing some real evil lurking right under the surface of Billy:
“Stephen King always has really great human villains. The evil in the real world is often as bad or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that.”
That is definitely an intriguing prospect, and it'll be great to see all that unfold during the course of the season, but for those worrying that Stranger Things might be abandoning its supernatural elements in favor of real life; fear not. The Duffer brothers have revealed that the portal to the Upside Down remains open, and that the lab is now being run by Dr. Owens (played by Paul Reiser), who seems to be a nice enough guy (we'll wait and see on that one). Will Eleven return sooner, rather than later? And apart from lots more hair, how will she differ from before? No one's giving anything away in that regard, so we'll have to wait and see.
Though we are promised new monsters, the Duffer brothers are, understandably, not giving away details, though we did see an interesting sketch from Will in the recent teaser. Is that one of his visions, or is it an accurate depiction of what to expect? All we have to go on for now, is that Stranger Things season 2 will be exploring "different kinds of horror." The possibilities to that, are endless.
Stranger Things season 2 arrives on Netflix in time for Halloween, 2017.