The first season of Netflix's original sci-fi series Stranger Things debuted on the streaming service this past summer and quickly captivated audiences with its unique blend of a compelling storyline, Amblin-esque kid-led adventures, and supernatural horror in the vein of John Carpenter and Stephen King. The first season takes place in the town of Hawkins, Indiana after a local kid - Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) - goes missing. As a result, his mother and the town sheriff hunt down answers while Will's friends come across a mysterious girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) who possesses supernatural powers.
Although the season 1 finale of Stranger Things wrapped up a number of overarching arcs, there was plenty left unexplained about the residents of Hawkins. Shortly after the popularity of Stranger Things began to grow, fans wondered whether Netflix would renew the series for a second season. At the end of August, Netflix officially announced season 2 of Stranger Things in a video that additionally included nine episode titles for the show's second year. Now, Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer reveal when Netflix actually ordered season 2, and offer more details about the episode titles from the video.
In an interview with THR, Matt explained Netflix gave the green light for season 2 before season 1 even premiered on the streaming service, but held off on the official annoucement: "Netflix has its mysterious ways, but it actually ended up working because it had built up to this fever pitch. I guess that’s what they were intending to do all the time." Matt additionally spoke about his and Ross's writing process and how season 2 will build off the events of season 1:
Even way back when we pitched to Netflix the first season, we talked about where it would potentially go. They understood the potential. Season 1 does almost feel like a big movie that comes to a sort of ending. A lot of that was based on the character of Will and the repercussions of him being in this upside down world for a week. Exploring that would be the second season. Once we got into the room for season 2, we started expanding our mythology. We never got boxed in, because we’re dealing with an alternate dimension. It feels like the possibilities are limitless. We’re building up the mythology in a way that we know now where we want the story and these characters to end. We have more of a game plan now than we did two years ago.
Certainly, the comments from the Duffer brothers following the release of Stranger Things season 1 - particularly in regard to specifics about season 2, like the planned time jump - it seemed they had given the show's continuation plenty of thought. Additionally, the revelation that the Duffers have been working on season 2 lends more weight to the episode titles that have been released. However, while speaking to THR, Matt and Ross explained the reasoning behind using the episode titles in the season 2 announcement video and that they're subject to change:
Ross: That was all our idea, so if it blows up in our faces…
Matt: Netflix had another teaser, but it was about going back to stuff that had happened already. I thought it wasn’t exciting enough, and we wanted to provide some hint of where we were going in season two without giving anything away. I do think some of the titles will change. There were titles we didn’t want to put on there because we felt like it would give too much away. The whole season was already broken when we did this.
Ross: So we did have a lot that we could tease.
Matt: Even if they aren't the final chapter titles, everything in that teaser is major. But they’re ambiguous enough that no one is going to be able to figure it out. Some of the fan theories online are amazing. Most are wrong, but I’ve read a few that are right or very close.
Of course, learning that some of the season 2 episode titles for Stranger Things will likely change may throw off certain fan theories - but it also gives viewers a chance to expand the scope of their theories as well. Additionally, it may be a relief to fans that season 2 was largely figured out before season 1 rose to popularity since it will hopefully preserve what drew so many viewers to season 1. The Duffer brothers seem to be keeping specifics close to the vest, so it may be some time before concrete details about season 2 arrive. But until then, fans can continue speculating about the fate of Eleven, Will, and the rest of the Hawkins residents.
Stranger Things season 1 is available now on Netflix. Season 2 arrives in 2017.