The first Netflix teaser trailer that came out for Season 2 of “Stranger Things” in August 2016 immediately had fans scrambling to make sense of what might happen over the next 10 episodes in 2017. The teaser just listed the names of the episodes, announced that Season 2 would take place in 1984 and played more of that synth theme music from the show that we’ve all learned to love.
But when you combine those tantalizing clues with recent announcements, it’s possible to create some truly epic fan theories. The Duffer Brothers have already hinted that Season 2 would be “bigger, badder and darker” than Season 1, and that’s led to even more speculation. And then fans really started to put together some theories after the “Stranger Things” Super Bowl commercial in February. So here’s what fans are thinking right now.
#1: They continue to create theories about Will’s time in the Upside Down
Not surprisingly, fans looked carefully for any clues as to what will happen to Will in Season 2. In the Season 1 finale, he vomited up a slug, and that had people suspecting that the monster in the Upside Down may have been trying to use him as part of a new plot to breed new monsters. At the very end of Season 1, we see the world around him briefly transformed into the Upside Down world, so we know that he’s somehow created new doorways into that alternate dimension.
There are different episodes announced in the teaser trailer, and there are two big clues hidden there about Will. One is the name of Episode 2 (“The Boy Who Came Back to Life”), which is the exact title of a newspaper clipping we saw at the end of Season 1. It’s a reference to the disappearance of Will and how the townspeople in Hawkins, Indiana are starting to piece together all the strange supernatural and paranormal occurrences. What actually happened, and what are the implications?
Fans also spent a lot of time theorizing about the meaning of the title of Episode 6 (“The Polly Wog”). That name happens to be a name of a special kind of tadpole, and that would seem to hint at a bigger explanation of what the slug means. It’s obvious now what Will’s time in the Upside Down has left him with PTSD-like symptoms, and some have even speculated that he might be becoming some kind of monster himself.
#2: “The Gang” is back together
All of the clips from the Netflix Super Bowl commercial seem to hint that the whole gang – Eleven, Mike, Will, Lucas, Dustin, Nancy, Steve and Jonathan – will be back in Season 2. We’re shown images of the kids wearing Ghostbusters suits, which makes perfect sense since the initial teaser trailer said that Season 2 would be based in 1984. And the Ghostbusters suits have another, more metaphorical meaning as well — the kids are going to try to get to the bottom of the “ghosts” that inhabit the Upside Down world.
#3: The Newcomers
The teaser trailer didn’t show any of the faces of the new cast members, but since the trailer was released in August 2016, we’ve had a lot more hints about what’s going to be new in 2017. First of all, there are the two new children characters – Billy and Max. The common consensus among fans is that Billy is going to be some kind of destabilizing influence on the group of friends while Max is going to fit right in and become friends.
There are also going to be two important adult newcomers – 80s star Sean Astin (“The Goonies”), who is going to play Bob Newby, a “kind-hearted former nerd” who went to high school with Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper, and Paul Reiser (“Aliens”), who is going to play some kind of evil scientist (Dr. Owens) at the Department of Energy. The consensus among fans is that the Dr. Owens character will be involved in some kind of cover-up of the all supernatural and paranormal events happening in the town.
#4: Eleven’s Back Story
One of the most important characters of Season 1 was Eleven, the young girl who is the subject of all kinds of tests and experiments by Dr. Brenner and the team at the Hawkins National Laboratory. What’s not so certain, though, is her full back story. We only see a close-up of her face in the Netflix Super Bowl ad, but there is one clue embedded in the teaser trailer. That’s the title of Episode 7 – “The Secret Cabin.” According to fan theories, this “secret cabin” is actually a reference to Eleven and the place where she is hiding out after her fight with the demogorgon.
There’s one other question on everybody’s minds: What exactly, is her connection with Sheriff Jim Hopper? In the season finale of Season 1, we see Sheriff Hopper leaving Eggos and food in a box for her in the woods. And in the still photos that Netflix has released for Season 2, we see Sheriff Hopper (if ever so briefly) reacting to an explosion and also doing some digging with a big shovel while carrying a flashlight. What exactly is he trying to find?
#5: More 1980s pop culture references
Part of what made Season 1 so engaging for fans were all the hidden references and “Easter eggs” related to 1980s pop culture. Everywhere, it seemed, there were references to films by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Stephen King, Wes Craven and John Carpenter. Since know that the action picks up in 1984 (and not at some later date in the future), it’s a guarantee that we’ll see even more of these 1980s references to films like “Aliens.” Moreover, the Duff Brothers have hinted that the outfits and haircuts (mullets and perms!) will be true 1980s vintage, so that’s going to be exciting. And Kellogg’s has gotten in on the game, offering Netflix access to its vintage 1980s Eggo commercials for that Super Bowl ad.
#6: Speculation about the monsters and horrors from the Upside Down
Nobody quite knows what to make of the monsters from the Upside Down. The current theory among fans is that the demogorgon has been breeding and using humans as part of this strategy. We’ve seen hatched eggs in the Upside Down and we’ve also seen the giant slug-like creature attached to Will’s face, which might be the reason why we vomited up that slug in Season 1.
But it looks like there’s going to be more than just that one monster. There are going to be multiple “tulip heads.” And, based on that epic Netflix Super Bowl commercial, it looks like there’s going to be gigantic spiders as well. We see a spider twice in that commercial. The really scary spider appears when there’s a flash of lightning and we see what appears to be a giant arachnid straddling the town of Hawkins.
The clues in the initial teaser trailer were limited at best – a listing of the episodes of Season 2, a note that the action would pick up during Halloween 1984 and more of that cool (but creepy) synth theme music from Season 1. But with everything we know from Season 1, the new Netflix Super Bowl ad, and interviews and stories that have appeared in the media, there’s a lot to work with now in trying to guess what’s going to happen in 2017. One thing is certain, though – Season 2 of “Stranger Things” just looks awesome!