Sometimes, it’s tough to accept that a thing is just a thing. The Stranger Things monster, for instance. Isn’t it just a monster from an alternate dimension? A new monster never before seen on screen, or in pop culture, created expressly for the show? Is it HECK.
Lots of people think there’s more to it. I mean, even the kids in the show dubbed Season 1’s creature the Demogorgon, the powerful demon prince from the Dungeons and Dragons game we see them playing at the start of the season.
Trailers for Season 2 have given us a glimpse of what appears to be another monster. But whether it’s the same creature or not, there’s plenty of conjecture around the show’s monstrous presence. Here are some of the craziest theories.
The Dragon from Dragon’s Lair
At the beginning of the trailer for Season 2, Will, Mike, Dustin and Lucas are playing an old arcade version of the game Dragon’s Lair. In the sequence we see, the dragon from the game defeats the knight character — Dirk the Daring to give him his proper name — by breathing fire on him, turning him into a skeleton that crumbles to the ground. Immediately after, we hear snarling sounds and ominous music. And then Will is back in the Upside Down.
He steps outside of the alternate reality version of the arcade and sees a giant beast emerge from a red sky before he’s brought back to the real world by Mike. Did playing the game call the dragon into being?
A Large Slug
Don’t laugh. There’s some actual science behind this theory. There’s a type of giant slug that has a lot of similarities to the Demogorgon. It lurks in tree trunks and preys on baby birds, eating them alive in the nest.
It has four antennae or tentacles protruding from its head and looks a bit like the Stranger Things monster. Its mouth is similarly lined with rows of small but deadly teeth. It leaves the scene of the ‘crime’ littered with the bodies of half-dead fledglings covered in slime.
At the end of Season 1, we saw Will vomit up a slug. Is this a baby version of the Demogorgon, and does it use the human body as an incubator for its young? Ew. But quite possibly.
Which leads us to this theory. It’s a Xenomorph. The Xenomorph from Alien uses the bodies of humans in exactly the same way. You probably don’t need reminding of the chestburster scene. There’s also the moment that Will is found with a facehugger attached to his visage. The monster nest in the Upside Down has similarities with Alien too. So there’s that.
That sky creature from the trailer. It’s definitely not the Demogorgon — unless it has shape-shifted, of course. And there’s evidence to suggests that’s a distinct possibility. It doesn’t really look like the dragon from Dragon’s Lair either. It’s multi-limbed for a start. We get a better look at it in the final trailer.
If the monster from the first season was the Demogorgon, and this is something new, it could be the Thessalhydra from Dungeons and Dragons. Why? Well, if you remember the finale to the first season, you might recall the creature popping up as a game piece during the kids’ D&D game. The mythical creature is based on the many-headed Hydra from Greek mythology. And the scariest thing about it? It can reproduce other monstrous creatures.
A Manifestation of Eleven’s Psyche
There are lots of links between Eleven and the monster. The experimentation performed on Eleven by Dr. Brenner allowed her to connect to the Demogorgon and it’s this that opened an interdimensional gate that allowed it through to terrorise Hawkins. This we know.
However, could it actually be a manifestation of the inner workings of Eleven’s mind? Stranger Things refers to the X-Men 134 comic in which Jean Grey transforms into Dark Phoenix, an evil manifestation of her dark side. Could there be more significance to this than a passing Easter Egg? Are there parallels being drawn here? Quite possibly.
It’s also true to say that the Upside Down is a mirror image of the real world. Tellingly, there’s a moment at the end of Season 1 when Eleven lifts her right hand in front of the monster and it reciprocates by also lifting its right hand. Of course, strictly speaking, if it were a mirror image, it would be raising its left hand…
Another parallel, incidentally, is that both need to binge eat – Eleven after exerting herself with her psychic powers and the monster after travelling between dimensions.
Whether the creature is one or many, we can’t wait to find out when Season 2 of Stranger Things premieres on Netflix on October 27.