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'Stranger Things'—Questions and Theories That Will Turn Your World Upside Down!

Theories and Questions

May contain spoilers for season 1 and 2

Okay, first, lets start with the obvious. We're two seasons into the show and still have no absolute idea of what the Upside Down is.

What is the Upside Down, exactly?

We've seen many occurrences of the Upside Down, the Upside Down itself, the tunnels under Hawkins, but what is this place? Well, Hell could be an accurate guess, but we will discuss many views on what it could be.

Stranger Things has shown many Upside Down similarities to Hawkins, including Castle Byers, Hawkins Middle School, and the Arcade, however, these are a few of many places that are identical. At the end of season two the Snow Ball was shown while the Shadow Monster lurked above it. So a parallel dimension seems to be the answer for now.

But the Upside Down has no life, aside from the Demo-Dogs, Demogorgon, and slimy Vines, so how can buildings exist and be if no humans live there? Perhaps it's some version of Hawkins late in the future, like a time portal to future events, where Hawkins is taken over by evil. Maybe an afterlife? We will have to wait until season three for more answers to this mysterious void.

Season three will undoubtedly reveal an even bigger threat; bigger than the shadow monster, and a bigger version of the parallel reality. Maybe we get to see out of Hawkins. But if the Upside Down exist, could there be more?

The Upside Down

Is Doctor Brenner, "Papa," still alive?

Eleven's presumed adoptive father, Brenner, only made a brief appearance in season two through Kali's manipulation, but his actual fate is still open. He was last seen being jumped on and attacked by the Demogorgon, leaving us to believe he is dead. However that isn't the case. Later on in the same episode, a news clipping said he'd declined on what happened at Hawkins National Laboratory, meaning Brenner somehow survived.

Can you imagine that the show would skip the chance to have Eleven and Brenner face down? Especially now she is trying to live a normal life as Jane. Brenner is one of the very few people still alive, apart from her friends and family, that knows about Eleven's powers and could potentially come back to stop her being a normal teenager. Matt Duffer acknowledged his death as "purposefully ambiguous," telling Vulture: "You don't see Brenner die, so we don't know. The monster jumps on him, but beyond that, we don't see anything. Its not a very definitive death." Here we have a quote from co- creator, Matt Duffer, on Brenner's "death."

Doctor Brenner and Eleven

Are there more numbers like Eleven and Eight?

This one's a simple guess. We know about Jane (011) who becomes friends with Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will. We also know about Kali (008), who is a part of a gang. So, by a process of elimination, there should be at least another nine children in the world getting their fair share of nose bleeds, right? Given the three-digit number code, there could even be 997 more of them. But this may not be true, as there is no solid evidence and the numbers are purely random. But we doubt it.

Eleven's most recent fight and struggle to close the Upside Down gate with Hopper exhausted her. It seems possible that a range of special kids facing off against hordes of Upside Down monsters is the way things may be going.

Eleven's Number

What is the Shadow Monster or Mind Flayer?

The Shadow Monster, what is the Shadow Monster? Well, the thing is, no one knows and it's unclear. From what we have seen, it doesn't seem to be able to communicate or talk. The closest we have gotten is Will's possession, having Will act as a spy, but it doesn't tell us much, or does it?

Okay, the Shadow Monster, aka "Mind Flayer" is a hive mind, meaning it controls many things. This makes it insanely powerful, granting it immense power and vision with the ability to see with anything it possesses. It's a shadow-like figure and doesn't seem to consist of anything more than black, thick clouds. It has a spider-like body and an alien-type head, as seen in the picture below. For now, we can only guess what it is. 

The Shadow Monster


Are Steve and Nancy finished for good?

In season two, Nancy got down and dirty with Jonathan without having a proper break-up with Steve. It seems Steve is pretty cool with the situation, but he obviously still has feelings for her, as his beaten-up hallucination and pining over her outside the Snow Ball showed. Nancy always seems to be in conflict when choosing to be with Steve or Jonathan, maybe suggesting she still has feelings for him. After all, he has a marvelous haircut. Somehow we doubt this is the last we'll see of their relationship. 

Steve and Nancy

Will Hopper and Joyce get together?

Bob has not been dead long, but assuming the next season takes place in another year, as do the others, their "shared trauma" could possibly bring them even closer than before, giving Hopper a chance with Joyce. It's safe to assume they may be together. Maybe their smokes and cuddle combo will become much more than that in the future. Many of us want them to be together. Many seem to ship their names, "Jopper."

Hopper and Joyce

Will we see Eleven's sister, Eight again?

Eleven's special sister, Kali, was part of the "worst episode of Stranger Things Season 2," however, we doubt they would invest a whole episode into developing her character only to drop faster than Dustin clutching Dart. Speaking about Kali's potential comeback and involvement in season three, Matt Duffer told Vulture: "It feels a little bit like a loose end if we don't. If Eleven feels the need to seek her out, she can. Its definitely something that's a little bit open-ended that we could or could not revisit"

Kali, AKA Eight

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