Netflix aired the first teaser for Stranger Things’ second season last night during the Super Bowl, and there are a couple of noticeable moments that are worth investigating.
(Warning: This will contain spoilers for the first season of Stranger Things.)
Last season ended with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) destroying the monster that had haunted the town of Hawkins and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) returning from the Upside Down. It seemed like everything had returned to normal, but then in a final moment, Will excused himself to the bathroom and coughed up what appeared to be a remnant of the Upside Down.
In the new teaser for the series, there are a couple of big moments that are driving speculation online and some questions that are still left unanswered. Is Eleven alive? Did Will open the portal to the Upside Down, inviting new monsters into the town? Where is the justice for Barb?
With little to no information to go off of, we’re going to wildly speculate about what it could all mean.
Did Will open a portal?
The biggest moment in the trailer happens just before the title card plays. Will is standing in the foyer of his house as the door swings open and reveals an angry red sky, with the silhouette of a giant monster illuminated by lightning. There are a couple of possibilities that we can think of which might explain what’s happening on screen.
First and foremost, Will could be dreaming. The way the scene is shot, it seems like a dream or hallucination. We know that Will brought something back from the Upside Down and there’s a chance he’s being used by those creatures as a way to shine a light into what’s happening in that alternate universe. The way the shot is framed, it doesn’t seem like whatever’s happening is actually occurring. Not to mention there’s a scene where Will is being examined by a doctor, which points to some type of psychosis being noted by his parents.
Of course, that’s just one possibility. Another, and the more obvious one, is that Will has become a portal for the various creatures living in the Upside Down. He’s the only person that we know of who has had contact with the other side, and we know he’s infected. There’s a chance that infecting Will with the parasite made it so he could act as a portal for the creatures to come through. Even Netflix’s marketing for the new season, “The world is turning Upside Down” seems to hint at a larger portion of the creatures coming through.
What is the giant creature?
It’s hard to ignore the giant elephant in the room ... or perhaps the multi-headed beast in the sky. There are two hints we have about what the creature may be, and naturally, it comes from Dungeons & Dragons. Fans have pointed out that it looks similar to the Thestle Hydra, which can be seen below. The main difference is that the Thestle Hydra has seven heads, whereas the drawing that can seen in the trailer is more spider-like, with multiple legs and one head.
We know that Dungeons & Dragons plays an important part in Stranger Things, and during the teaser for the second season, we can see the figure drawn on a notepad. One head, one body and four legs with eight different feet. They’re not exactly the same, but the Dungeons & Dragons connection does make a lot of sense.
Is Eleven alive?
Last season ended with Eleven seemingly sacrificing herself to destroy the monster and save her friends. Since then, her character’s state has been kept quiet, but we know that Brown is returning for the second season. In the new teaser, there isn’t any hint that Eleven will be reunited with her friends, but considering the trailer started with a fake commercial for Eggo Waffles, it feels like Eleven is destined to make a return.
What about Barb?
The main presumption about Barb is that she will definitely return and may even get her justice ... as the monster that Will sees toward the end of the trailer. This is the theory that has every Stranger Things fan talking, and it kind of makes sense if you break it down. Barb has disappeared to the Upside Down and during her time there, she has turned into the demonic creature hellbent on exacting revenge against those who teased her.
It’s almost kind of poetic, in a murderous, sci-fi way, but this is the one theory that most people can get behind. After all, it is #JusticeForBarb.
Giant ass red Cthulhu tentacle monster in @Stranger_Things. Calling it: It's Barb! #StrangerThingsSeason2— Qui (@Qui_Cung) February 6, 2017
@Stranger_Things Barb is the new monster. #StrangerThingsSeason2— SaBoTage (@SCI_SaBoTage) February 6, 2017
I hope the new monster in #StrangerThings is actually Barb n she travels all the way to our realm just to eat her sad excuse for a BFF— mandz (@AmandaRoseFelix) February 6, 2017
On the official Stranger Things subreddit, one fan referred to the monster as “Nega Barb,” to which many responded there was simply no other explanation.
Unfortunately, all of these theories will have to wait until Oct. 31, when Stranger Things’ second season is available to stream on Netflix. The first season is currently available to stream in its entirety.