The final trailer for Stranger Things’ second season is here and with it plenty of clues.
[Warning: The following may contain spoilers for Stranger Things’ second season.]
There are a few very notable occurrences in the trailer that we need to break down. Eleven is back and living with Terry Ives, her biological mother. The residents of Hawkins, Indiana are preparing for the fight of their lives, but this time they’re better equipped with knowledge of the horrors that transpired before. The younger kids are teaming up with older teens and the once naive adults are believing what they turned a blind eye to before.
To help make better sense of the trailer, we’ve broken down what’s happening to every character; what we think they’re going through in the scenes above and how they might have gotten to that point. Since we know very little about the second season going in, this is mostly based on detailed hypotheses and theories woven together over time.
To start, let’s scrub to the beginning of the trailer and the re-introduction of everyone’s favorite waffle-eating kid, Eleven.
Eleven is back with new hair, an adorable cap and an unwavering need for Eggo waffles. At the end of last season, Eleven took on the “Demogorgon” and, upon defeating it, vanished. We don’t know where she’s gone, but based on her return, she’s doing alright.
Running through the forest, she stops at a precise location, opens a hatch and stares a collection of supplies she has stored away. This may be her escape route from the Hawking National Laboratory, where she spent much of her time. In the GIF below, you it appears that Eleven is wearing a dress, but it’s uncertain if that’s the same pink one as before or a different outfit.
It’s not until later in the trailer — and into the next day — that Eleven’s outfit is more recognizable. It is the same dress as the one she’s wearing the finale, which makes us wonder if after Eleven defeated the Demogorgon, she was transported back to the National Hawkins Laboratory.
Everything changes in the next scene. Eleven, sporting unkempt hair, blue jeans and a white shirt, which look like they’ve been stolen or given to her, appears on the porch of an unknown house. From the treehouse in the background, we know that this is the house of Terry Ives. The suggestion is that Eleven will spend some time in the home her catatonic mother lives in, but this breeds a series of new questions. How long can she stay there and fend for herself? How long until people realize she’s back? If she escaped from the laboratory, which we can assume she has at this point, will there be a chase to bring her back?
By the end of the trailer, Eleven is in a state of distress, holding her arm out as blood runs from her nose. It’s unclear if she’s going to be instrumental in stopping season 2’s monster from destroying Hawkins — again — but there’s no question that she’ll be involved.
Poor Will. Once again, Will holds all of the secrets to what’s happening. At the end of last season, Will opened up a portal between the Upside Down and Hawkins, which we assumed meant that monsters would be able to pass through. That certainly seems to be the case, with Will being the first to notice a monster on Halloween night.
From there, it’s a non-stop series of doctors appointments for Will. Unlike the first season, where a series of doctors tried to convince Joyce Byers that everything Will was seeing and drawing was in his head, people know that what Will is seeing is a very real threat. That’s why the citizens of Hawkins are banding together to destroy it.
We also know that Will is going to be one of the main characters in solving the riddle and defeating the monster, but at what cost? Will he be reunited with the rest of his misfit team or will he have to do it on his own? Maybe he and Eleven will have to team up and use their abilities to help the rest of the town destroy the monster.
The trailer ends with Will saying, “You should go now. It’s almost here,” which implies that he could go head-to-head with the monster. It’s unlikely, however, that he’ll have to do it alone.
The kids are alright
With Will and Eleven isolated in their own nightmarish realities, it’s up to the kids of Hawkins to band together. In multiple scenes from the trailer, Mike, Dustin and Lucas can be seen with Steve. Again, this tells us one very important detail about the second season: The monster is going to be more terrifying than ever before.
This isn’t just a game that kids are caught up in and playing with each other. The threat is real — and terrifying. It’s why everyone looks petrified and is willing to do whatever it takes, speak to whomever they need to and team up with a bunch of kids to make sure their town remains in one piece.
There is one new character hanging around the ragtag team — Max. The tomboy, who can be seen near the end of the trailer gripping Steve’s bat and attacking someone, will be a key component in taking down the monster, according to Stranger Things creators Matt and Russ Duffer.
It’s evident that the kids are feeling a little loss. They don’t know what to do — as Mike tells Will, “Eleven would know” — but they also feel the immense pressure of being the army tasked with stopping impending doom.
It’s not easy for kids anymore.
Barb is gone, but not forgotten.
In one scene from the trailer, Nancy Wheeler and Jonathan Byers can be seen walking into a house where a complex web of clues is posted to a board. It’s an unsolved crime and it makes us believe that this is the house of Barb’s father.
We know that he’s being introduced this season and it makes sense that the father of Hawkins’ missing teen would be obsessed with solving the case, even if others have moved on.
The Duffer brothers have confirmed in the past that Barb will play a role in the second season, but unfortunately for the biggest of Barb stans, she won’t actually be returning.
Yes, that’s Sean Astin in the flesh
If you were watching this trailer and jumped suddenly at Sean Astin, of Lord of the Rings and The Goonies fame, appearing out of nowhere, well, yes, that’s him.
Astin is joining this season as Joyce’s boyfriend. We only see him a couple of times in the trailer, but he looks distressed each time. Joyce is going through a lot with Will’s treatments and the impending obliteration of Hawkins. As someone who’s being brought along for the ride, it only makes sense that he would be upset with what’s happening.
Although based on this scene, running from an unknown horror in scrubs, maybe Astin got in way too deep.
All of the secrets will be revealed when Stranger Things 2 streams on Netflix. The season will be available to watch in full on Oct. 27.