Season 1 of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” left fans with a lot of questions. Now that information is finally trickling out for Season 2, fans are formulating all-new theories to make guesses about everything from what the Upside Down is to who Nancy Wheeler will end up dating. Here are nine of the most interesting.
1. Eleven is alive, but she’s in serious trouble
The Super Bowl 51 trailer confirmed what everyone suspected: Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) survived her encounter with the Demogorgon creature in Season 1, and she’ll be coming back in Season 2. Show creators Matt and Ross Duffer said we’ll see more of Elle’s background and origins. It seems very likely that finding and saving Eleven will be another element that looms large in Season 2.
2. Eleven is inextricably tied to the Upside Down
She said it herself in an early episode — that she’s the monster. We discover more toward the end of Season 1 during a flashback, when Elle touches the faceless creature for the first time through a sensory tank at a government lab. It’s that contact with the Demogorgon that has fans thinking that’s when she was infiltrated by its darkness. The idea that there’s more to her relationship with the monsters is gaining some traction in Season 2.
3. The Thessalhydra from ‘D&D’ is Season 2’s monster
Fans paid very close attention to the final “Dungeons & Dragons” game of Season 1, in which Will defeated a creature called the “Thessalhydra.” Like the hydra of Greek myth, the Thessalhydra has several heads. The giant creature shown in the Super Bowl teaser looks an awful lot like it could be a multi-headed hydra monster.
4. Nancy Wheeler may ultimately wind up with Jonathan Byers
Sure, the show ends with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) in Steve Harrington’s arms, but one observant fan noted her distant stare. Just seconds prior, she had given Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) a still camera to replace the one that Steve (Joe Keery) broke in an earlier episode. Jonathan and Nancy were the ones to team up against the monster and Steve only barged in on their plot unwittingly at the last minute. The two have a strong connection.
5. Barb’s disappearance will be a major problem
The small amount of information trickling out about Season 2 has confirmed one thing: Barb’s dead. Bummer. The Duffer Brothers said Barb will get justice in Season 2. But Barb’s disappearance sounds like it looms large over Hawkins. It also sounds like Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) has been covering up the circumstances of Barb’s death and Will’s disappearance to protect the Byers family.
6. Will Byers is part monster now
We see Will cough up one of those slimy things from the Upside Down world in which he resided for nearly the entire season. Then the bathroom in which he’s standing flickers, bringing the world’s creepy darkness into view momentarily. If the above fan theory No. 2 is true, it stands to reason that since Will was in contact with the faceless monster, that he too has a touch of its evil inside of him. Clips from the teaser suggest to fans that Will has some connection with the giant Season 2 monster shown there.
7. Hopper works for the government now
He’s spotted stepping into a car with a couple of the bad guys from the lab. Earlier on Hopper cut a deal with them to keep their nefarious secrets under wraps in exchange for Will. Some fans think he’s infiltrating the organization in attempts of taking it down while others think he’s rejoining the team after a long absence as a federal agent. The Duffers have suggested Hopper is helping cover up the events of Season 1, and that seems to add more credence to this theory.
8. The Upside Down is Hawkins’ future
Fans are still trying to figure out what the Upside Down actually is. One suggestion: it’s not another dimensions, its Hawkins’ future. The supposition is that, somehow, Eleven tore a hole in the space-time continuum, allowing bits of a potential future to flow into Hawkins to create a time loop. The future she’s seeing? It’s Hawkins after the site has been nuked by the U.S. government to stop the giant mutant creature from the teaser, and the Upside Down.
9. The Upside Down isn’t an evil dimension, it was attacked
An even better theory to explain the Upside Down is that it’s an alternate dimension, but not a necessarily malignant one. The Upside Down looks like Hawkins because it’s just an alternate version of the town where people live. The gross tentacles, the creatures, the slugs, and the toxic atmosphere are symptoms of an invasion from a third dimension. This invader destroys life. Eleven attracted the invasion, but it’s still in the early stages of taking over Earth — until Season 2.
10. Hopper’s daughter is actually Eleven
This theory takes a little heavy lifting to get to, but YouTuber Planet Calvin lays out a fairly compelling case for it. It centers hints in Season 1 that maybe Hopper’s memory of his daughter Sarah’s death from cancer isn’t really what happened, but a lie he tells himself. The timeline of what happened to Hopper’s daughter also matches fairly well with the timeline of what happens to Terry Ives, Eleven’s mother, if you look for some clues. Planet Calvin does a good job of breaking it down in two complementary theory videos you can watch here. At the very least, Planet Calvin has probably picked up on some minor details that might actually be pretty significant in the future.
11. The only one who can stop Monster Will is Eleven
This one just makes some thematic sense from a narrative standpoint, but it stands to reason that if Will has been taken in by the monster-ness of the Upside Down, Eleven is the only person equipped to deal with it. A showdown is one way it could go; another is the pair of them trying to figure out how to deal with their dark, conflicted natures together.
How does “Stranger Things” stack up against the rest of Netflix’s Original Series? Check out Top 20 Best Netflix Original Series, Ranked from Great to Phenomenal