WARNING: We're definitely not keeping the curiosity door locked in this article — Stranger Things spoilers ahead!
With just eight episodes, Season 1 of Stranger Things is an extremely tight piece of TV - there is no unnecessary dialogue, no annoying and boring subplots and no filler episodes where the story stagnates for an hour. Instead Stranger Things presents us with a story which progresses from episode to episode, contains amazing pop culture references, and culminates in a satisfying ending which even manages to leave a few loose threads for Season 2 to grasp onto.
I've written previously about how the series cleverly uses Dungeons and Dragons to parallel much of storyline (if you missed that check it out over here), however thanks to a few fans theories floating around on Reddit, it looks likes the D&D campaign at the end of Stranger Things could have hinted at much more than previously thought - including what we might be able to expect in Season 2.
First up let's recap the more obvious hints for Season 2 that came out of the D&D campaign (yes, the same ones I mentioned in the first article), before moving onto the Season 2 monster possibility:
The obvious loose threads
As Dungeon Master Mike brought the campaign to a close in one of the final scenes of Episode 8, Dustin, Lucas and Will cry out in disbelief that their mission is over so quickly. When Mike tries to defend himself, replying "it was 10 hours!" the other three then lay out three major unresolved mysterious from the campaign:
- The lost knight
- The proud princess
- Those weird flowers in the cave
While it's easy to dismiss these unresolved details as details from the boys' D&D game, they clearly also correspond to unresolved issues from the series itself. The lost knight is Chief Hopper, who, as a police officer, is a modern day knight serving his kingdom of Hawkins, Indiana. What did those government agents want with Hopper in Episode 8, and why did he willingly go with them?
Next we have the proud princess, or Eleven (if you read my earlier D&D article, you'll know why it seems to make sense that Eleven would be given the title of princess). While it initially looked as thought Eleven died along with the monster, after we see Hopper leaving a container of food (complete with Eggos!) it suddenly seems like Eleven is probably alive. So if Eleven is alive, where is she and why is Hopper the only one who knows she survived?
Lastly we have those weird flowers in the cave, which either refer to the monster itself, and/or the egg that Hopper found while he and Joyce were in the Upside Down. The monsters mouth opens wide like the petals of a flower, which fits the "weird flowers in the cave" description perfectly. If Eleven is still alive, then theoretically the monster could still be alive as well, though even if that monster is definitely dead, there's still the possibility it has offspring that hatched from the egg in the Upside Down.
So basically, those are the three immediate loose ends that Season 2 can launch into. However, there's a very interesting theory about the monster in Season 2, which might just be crazy enough to convince you...
The Thessalhydra roars in anger!
That's right, it's the Thessalhydra, the creature that the group apparently destroyed at the end of their campaign in Episode 8. However some keen Redditors have pointed there's a few interesting things to keep in mind. First let's revisit that Thessalhydra scene from the boys' D&D campaign:
Ok, so after Will fireballs "the son of a bitch," the Thessalhydra falls to the ground, allowing Lucas to cut off seven heads, which Dustin puts in a bag to present to King Tristan. Sounds good so far, right? Well, not exactly. You see, Redditor grimdaze has pointed out that Thessalhydras actually have eight heads, and cutting off the seven fringe heads won't actually harm the main monster at all - not to mention that the severed heads can then regenerate themselves in 12 days. So basically, it seems as though King Tristan may have thanked the party for their service a little too soon.
But I know what you're thinking - this is all in a D&D campaign and what does that have to do with the actually show storyline? Well much like how King Tristan celebrated the death of the Thessalhydra too soon, the characters of Stranger Things have celebrated the death of the monster and return of Will too soon.
At the start of Season 1, the boys face a Demogorgon in their game, a creature with two heads, and by the end they're up against a monster with eight of them. Given that at the end of Season 1 Will is barfing up space slugs in the bathroom sink, and there's still the matter of that mysterious egg in the Upside Down, it doesn't seem too outrageous to assume that in Season 2 we'll be seeing multiple monsters, all tied to whatever is going on in that government facility. So basically, a real life Thessalhydra. Oh, and by the way, in the D&D world Thessalhydras live dark, damp places such as swamps or subterranean lairs - certainly sounds like the Upside Down, doesn't it?
There's even a theory from another Redditor that Will could be the incubator for future monsters, this would fit given that he doesn't seem very perturbed by coughing up that slug - almost as though it has happened several times since he returned from the Upside Down (even his mom express surprise at his excuse to leave the dinner table to wash his hands). In fact, his calmness about cough up the slug was shown even more by his clear shock at glimpsing the Upside Down briefly in his bathroom.
So there we have it, a strong theory that the Demogorgon threat from Season 1 will become a Thessalhydra threat in Season 2. Or, in non Dungeons and Dragons terms: the characters are about to face a whole lot more when Stranger Things inevitably returns for a second season, because the monster has evolved and changed in the worst possible way.
What do you think, does theory hold up to you, or is it as sloppy as Joyce's mashed potatoes?
Do you think we'll see even more monsters in Season 2 of Stranger Things?