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Some of the best (and weirdest) ‘Stranger Things’ theories for season 3

Stranger Things theories

The second season of Stranger Things premiered nearly a year ago, meaning fans have had plenty of time to watch and re-watch the latest episodes and come up with some crazy theories as to what will happen next. And while there is no concrete release date for the third season — or the fourth, for that matter — showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer have said that we probably won’t be seeing new episodes of the ’80’s-inspired until the summer of 2019.

The Duffer brothers have already confirmed that next season will involve another time jump, however, which will allow the show to keep up with its aging, adolescent cast. They’ve also assured fans that the upcoming season will be more character-driven than the last and will include a few new Hawkins residents. Although we know that filming has officially begun, we know little else. So while we eagerly await for Netflix to release season 3 — or for the streaming giant to spill some additional details — all we can do is swap theories.. Here are some of the best (and weirdest) Stranger Things theories currently circulating the web.

Note: This post contains major spoilers for both seasons of Stranger Things.

Someone else is going to die — and their name probably starts with the letter ‘B’

As funny as it sounds, this theory has actually been gaining a lot of steam online and it kind of makes sense, or at least points to some patterns in the show. As most of us remember all too well, we’ve lost a few characters over the course of the last two seasons. From Benny Hammond (Chris Sullivan) and Nancy’s friend Barb Holland (Shannon Purser) to newcomer Bob Newby (Sean Astin), quite a few Hawkins resident have lost their lives to the perils of the Upside Down.

There is something else that all of these characters have in common: Their names all start with the letter “B.” While this could just be a crazy coincidence, you have to admit it does seem strange. It’s not crazy to assume that the next person to die — and with things ramping up the way that they are, it’s almost an inevitability — will have a name that starts with the letter “B.” This points to Becky Ives (Amy Seimetz), Eleven’s aunt, or Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) as the next possible victims.

Lucas’ sister knows about Hawkins Lab

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The Duffer Brothers have assured us that there will be added screen time for Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson), Lucas’ (Caleb McLaughlin) younger sister and runaway fan favorite, but they have yet to divulge what exactly her role will be in the upcoming season. Some fans have noticed drawings in the preteen’s room, however, that suggest Erica might know something about the experiments carried out at Hawkins Lab.

While it is a bit obscure, and could just be the set designers having a little bit of fun, these drawings are also directly tied to something another character says in the series: Terry Ives. After being left in a vegetative state by the scientists at Hawkins Lab, Terry constantly repeats the same combination of words: “Breathe. Sunflower. Three to the right, four to the left. 450. Rainbow. Breathe. Sunflower.” From the drawings (pictured above), we can see several sunflowers and a rainbow. Does Lucas’ sister have powers like Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), or know somebody else that does?

Eleven could be dying

An iconic part of Eleven and her sister Eight (Linnea Berthelsen) using their powers is the nosebleed they receive after. Using their abilities leaves them exhausted, but the fact that they actually bleed, even just a small amount, might be cause for concern. Is using their powers actually harming them? That could definitely be an interesting storyline come season 3 if Eleven is unable to use her powers. It could even point to Eleven sacrificing herself to save her friends and Hawkins, but who wants to think about that?

The monsters are mushrooms

Fans are pretty sure they’ve figured about what the monsters from the Upside Down really are: Fungi. Since season 1, the Upside Down — aka the dark, derelict version of Hawkins, Indiana — has been overrun with growths and floating, white particles. Some viewers are suggesting that these motes might actually be fungal spores, and that they are the reason the monsters are spreading.

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What we know about the creatures from the Upside Down so far seems to verify this theory. Many fungi are sensitive to light and heat, as are the monsters. Moreover, Will Beyers (Noah Schnapp) says multiple times throughout season 2 that the Mind Flayer likes it cold, and the only way the group is ultimately able to free him from its control is by raising Will’s core body temperature. Dart, the Demogorgon-Demodog, also has an aversion to heat, which is most notable when Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) turns on the light in the tank upon finding Dart.

Fungi are also known to feed on decay. The graveyard Hopper (David Harbour) finds at the heart of the tunnels may be a feeding ground for the Demodogs (since they all seem to congregate there) and the place where new ones are born. If this theory holds true, it could mean bad news for Hopper and Dustin, who were both sprayed and managed to inhale many of these spores when they were exploring the tunnels.

Bob lives… as a bloodsucking vampire

Bob Newby (Sean Astin) became an unlikely fan favorite in season 2. His popularity may be due in part to Astin having starred in The Goonies in the mid-’80s, or the fact that he was just a wholesome addition to the series. Regardless, Joyce Beyer’s nerdy boyfriend managed to capture the hearts of nearly everyone.

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Reddit user ChaoticNeutralUK suggests that there may be more to Bob than meets the eye, however. Despite being devoured by Demodogs at the end of season 2, ChaoticNeutralUK posits that Astin’s character may have survived because he is actually a vampire.

While Bob does enjoy dressing up as a bloodsucking creature for Halloween, it’s hard to imagine that the king of dad jokes is actually evil. He does offer Will some questionable advice when it comes to the Mind Flayer, though, and tries to stop Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) from helping the scientists at Hawkins Lab. Still, that’s not enough to convince us that he’s a real vampire (even if this is a work of fiction). This may not be the most coherent theory, but it’s definitely the most amusing.

Hopper’s daughter was a lab experiment

This theory has been gaining a lot of steam recently, and has even been partially confirmed by Harbour in an interview with Insider. Soon after Netflix released season 2 of Stranger Things, viewers began to notice distinct similarities in the handrails in the scenes where Hopper finds a wounded Dr. Sam Owens (Paul Reiser) and where Hopper breaks down crying in the first season after the death of his daughter, Sara.

In the aforementioned interview, Harbour admits that they are the same location or at least very similar locations, but says he can’t elaborate further. Whether the locations are intentionally the same or just the product of limited set designs, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding Hopper’s daughter.

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We did learn a bit about her during the flashbacks at the end of season 1, but they were pretty vague. One scene shows Hopper and a bald Sara sitting in a hospital bed. While her lack of hair suggests that she may have passed away from complications related to cancer, the show never actually says that she did. Could Sara have been another Hawkins Lab experiment, much like Eleven?

Papa is still out there

A recurring idea in season 2 is that Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), aka Papa, may not actually be dead. Ray Carroll (Pruitt Taylor Vince), former agent of the Department of Energy and the man Kali Prasad (Linnea Berthelsen), aka Eight, and her friends are hunting, claims that Brenner is still alive. Kali later creates an illusion of Brenner in front of Eleven, suggesting that Eleven still has a lot of unresolved trauma associated with the man she considered her father. Whether he is alive or dead, Modine’s character is likely to come up again.

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The introduction of Eight, another child experiment from Hawkins Lab, and the realization that there might be other kids with powers out there, means the show is definitely gearing up for something. Whether that’s an X-Men-style fight against Papa or simply the kids trying to cope with their powers remains to be seen, but we do know that no one is going to forget about Papa anytime soon.

Stranger Things and It take place in the same universe

The recent release of It, another ‘80s-inspired franchise, has prompted fans of Stranger Things to suggest a connection between the two. Viewers have noticed several references to various Steven King novels — including Firestarter and The Mist — since the series premiered in 2016, and season 2 has only bolstered the theory.

One scene in particular really seems to cement this theory for fans, and it’s the one in which Bob tells Will about the clown he used to have dreams about when he was a kid. Because it’s heavily reminiscent of It and King’s character Pennywise, people have been asking if the two stories could take place in a shared universe.

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The Duffer brothers even responded to the potential King connection in an interview with Vulture. “We saw the [1990] It miniseries and Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise really messed me up,” Matt says. “I think [Bob’s clown story] was really me describing something that just freaked me out.” He goes on to explain that King exists in the world of Stranger Things, but would not be something that Bob would have been interested in. So much for that theory.

Teresa Ives resides in the Upside Down

Season 2 also marked the emotional reunion of Eleven and her mother, Teresa Ives (Aimee Mullins). During Project MKUltra, Terry was unknowingly pregnant with Eleven. According to Terry’s sister, Terry miscarried late in her pregnancy, but in reality, Dr. Brenner kidnapped Eleven so he could perform experiments on her. Terry returned to Hawkins Lab to look for her daughter, only to be captured and later electrocuted, which left her in a vegetative state.

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When Eleven first meets her mother, she is able to connect with her mind and find out what happened years prior. This scene is highly reminiscent of the first season, with the flickering lights and TV static, and seems to suggest the presence of some supernatural element in Terry as well.

Does Terry have powers like her daughter, or could a part of her be trapped in the Upside Down, much like Will was in the first season? The fact that Terry’s nose begins to bleed, much like Eight and Eleven’s when they use their powers, is definitely something to keep in mind in the future.

Brie Barbee
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brie is a writer from Portland, Oregon. She received a bachelor's degree from Portland State University in 2016, where she…
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