It’s finally here! The long-awaited second season of ‘Stranger Things’ is finally upon us. First of all, the official trailers for the second season have painted a fantastic picture for us. We thought that our expectations for a small town in Indiana couldn’t be more shattered in the first season when a twelve-year-old girl helps rip open a portal to another dimension unleashing a nearly indestructible creature that has an appetite for blood.

(Scroll to the last section for theories and predictions)

The trailers have spoken

Sure enough, the second season aims to go beyond our expectations once more.

Not only will we see more of the long-lost member of the D&D crew, Will, we will get to see his inexplicable connection to the Upside Down and perhaps more insight into what the Upside Down is exactly. Also, the most foreboding question in everyone’s mind is what exactly is that huge creature that resides in the Upside Down. We’ll get to that (and more) further down. On a less important, but still interesting note, the trailers for the second season hint that the D&D crew have a new member. To fill Eleven’s place, it looks the boys have added another girl to their adventures. Hey, new characters are always a breath of fresh air. Another breath of fresh air is the return of old, dearly beloved characters, that get a second chance (hint hint).

Here's a summary of the first season

First, a quick recap of what has gone on so far. The show starts with our “main” characters Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will playing D&D (Dungeons and Dragons). They leave the game facing off against the Demogorgan (known as the Prince of Demons in the D&D world), an opponent thought to extremely difficult to take down.

On his way home from Mike’s house, Will senses something following him and the Monster eventually takes him to the Upside Down.

Mike’s sister, Nancy, and her close friend Barb deals with their own problems that involve a great deal of teenage angst. Nancy gets convinced by her “boyfriend,” Steve, to go over to his house for a party while his parents are away.

Barb, bless her soul, goes with Nancy to make sure she is safe and doesn’t get over her head. After getting cut by accident, Barb falls victim to the Monster (along with many others which get revealed later).

The story continues as the D&D crew and Nancy search for their friends. Along the way, the D&D crew meet Eleven (the center of this mystery) and Nancy teams up with Jonathan (Will’s older brother). Will’s mother, Joyce, teams up with officer Hopper to look for Will. Everyone’s separate paths converge onto one point: the Upside Down. We find out that Barb is “dead” and, in the end, Eleven vanishes in an attempt to destroy the Monster.

Now, an explanation of the science fiction

Just for clarification, I will try to explain some things (it’s going to get quite technical).

So, this whole thing started when Eleven’s mom was put into a deprivation chamber (while she was pregnant), to enhance her mental abilities. It turns out that her daughter, Eleven, received special telekinetic powers as a result of this. She was abducted by the people who run Hawkins National Laboratory for the purpose (supposedly) of listening in on spies (Russian spies to be more specific).

After a lot of experimenting they figured out that Eleven could perceive a limited amount of a parallel dimension. Dr. Brenner, the leader of these G-men, encouraged her to make contact with a creature in that dimension. When she made contact with the creature, either her or it (or a combination of both), ripped open a hole that connected the 2 worlds.

My guess is that the Monster was the one to open the portal using Eleven as a sort of beacon to do so. I say this because Eleven cannot create portal to other dimensions (as far as we know) and we have clearly seen the Monster do just that many times over.

As explained in the show, it takes an immense amount of energy to rip open a hole to another dimension. We see the monster endure gunshots, a bear trap, and being lit on fire, all the while sustaining no permanent damage. We can assume that the monster embodies a large amount of energy to sustain that endurance and to travel between dimensions so fluidly. At the end of the show we see Eleven and the Monster disappear into nothingness. Does that mean she’s dead?

A quick look at recent trailers will clearly indicate that she is not. So, did she really kill the Monster at the end of the first season or simply transfer it back to the Upside Down?

Lastly, the theories and predictions

So, I have a few theories and predictions for the new season of ‘Stranger Things.’ Firstly, the new addition to the D&D crew will most certainly be shipped (paired up romantically) with Lucas. The first season indicates a growing tension between Mike and Lucas because of Mike’s clear feelings for Eleven. Any good storyteller will address this tension by balancing out the equation. Secondly, Will was not dead at the end of the first season for a reason.

Will survived several days in the Upside Down because of his clever hiding abilities, but that’s not the whole story.

Will gets taken by something during his last day in the Upside Down. We all assume that the Monster took him, but if that was the case, why did he not get eaten? When Joyce and Hopper finally find Will, he has something like a tentacle or a root in his mouth.

Anybody who has seen a decent amount of science fiction or fantasy can assume that he was either being fed (kind of like an umbilical cord), having eggs laid inside him (like in Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’), or being drained of his energy (like in ‘The Matrix’ where people are used as human batteries). The 1st and 3rd options would certainly be preferred, but since we see Will vomit a slug-like creature at the end of the season one finale, we can assume that Will had eggs laid inside of him (or something of that nature).

There are real-life examples of creature finding a host for the offspring to hatch from. Take, for instance, the Botfly. It finds a host to lay its eggs on so that they can hatch later. So, if Will is being used a human incubator, what exactly is using him for that purpose? Is it the Monster? I don’t think that is the case since the Monster exhibits predatory type qualities and it seems unlikely that it would use a possible food source for laying eggs. This is where the giant creature from the trailers comes into play.

My theory here is that creature is a type of queen to the other creatures in the Upside Down and the Monster acts as a type of drone that gathers food (or incubators) for the queen.

Thirdly, Jonathan might experience some side effects of the Upside Down because the Monster’s saliva got into his mouth in the last episode. Not much to say here other than he might get sick or gain a weird ability. Lastly, the ‘Ghostbusters’ outfits worn by the D&D crew are a dead giveaway that there will be an outbreak of some kind in Hawkins, Indiana. Maybe those slugs that Will keeps vomiting up will become a difficult pest to deal with.

So, those are my theories and predictions for the second season of ‘Stranger Things’. There’s one more thing though. It is widely known that Barb is presumed dead, but the show is really missing a Barb-like character. If she is not reintroduced into the show somehow, then it would be a waste for them not to introduce someone to take her place (but no one can live up to the legend that is Barb let’s be real).