I’m underemployed and bored today and just finished a freelance gig, and it’s not time to go home yet. Hence: some theories I’ve been rolling around inside my head for awhile. If you like Stranger Things and are bored, this one’s for you. I cross-posted this in Reddit’s fan theories subreddit as well, but I’m not that familiar with Reddit. Anyway, enjoy, or not.
Theory #1: Eleven did not punch the interdimensional hole or gate herself – the monster did that.
Evidence: She doesn’t appear to be able to make other gates, even when begged to by her friends. Even when she contacts people/things in the Upside Down, she does so from the Void (which is what I’m calling the mindspace she utilizes in the sensory deprivation chamber). She also doesn’t actually enter the Upside Down with them – I think what we see visually as the Void is representative of her being able to connect and communicate with their frequencies rather than physically finding them.
The Demogorgon, on the other hand, punches multiple interdimensional holes: when it takes Will, when it takes Barb, when it enters the school, when it enters the Byers’ house, etc. Interestingly, these gates appear to be transient – Nancy can crawl through the gate made when the Demogorgon comes for the dying deer, for example, but the gate barely lasts long enough for her to escape back through it.
My theory is that the gate in the Hawkins National Lab appeared because Eleven touched the Demogorgon and alerted it to the presence of prey and/or reproductive opportunities in her dimension (e.g., this one), so when it turned to her and roared, it was deciding to punch through to here to ‘get’ her or things like her. I think Eleven’s powers and terrified reaction protected her from being injured or killed right then and there, but on the other hand, I think her powers also amplified the Demogorgon’s gate-making action so much that this gate not only endured, it appeared to grow outward over the course of the show.
So what does this mean for our heroes? Well, assuming Eleven killed this Demogorgon in the final episode, it means that there are going to be no more gates created by it, transient or otherwise. On the other had, we have no idea if the original gate at Hawkins is sealed, and if it is, whether anything might still come in and out of it.
Hold that thought for now – I’m definitely going to come back to the question of future monster portals.
Theory #2: the Demogorgon uses victims as prey AND/OR as reproductive opportunities.
Evidence: the slug crawling out of Barb’s mouth; the same slug being coughed up by Will; the monster nest in the Upside Down with multiple bodies in it found by Joyce and Hopper; the Alien-esque facehugger found on Will.
I’m not sure how the monster makes the distinction between the two choices – do you eat your capture, or do you oviposit some kind of larval form in it? who knows – but it does seem to be that the monster is able to choose. Based on the sequences we observe with Will and Barb, I think that a typical Demogorgon attack goes as follows. First, the monster decides it wants you. Second, it punches a gate through to somewhere where it can grab you. Third, it grabs you and brings you back through the portal it made. As it pulls you through the portal, it loses its grip on you – this is your opportunity to escape! (See Will being able to run away from it and hide in the Upside Down for a week, and see Barb waking up at the bottom of the pool and doing her best to get away.) Once it catches you, it either eats you – like the deer – or it oviposits an egg or a larvum or some other reproductive propagule in your gut via your mouth. If decides to use you reproductively, it leaves you with a facehugger (I’m guessing Barb had one too that had gone by the time Eleven found her body) to look after its propagule for a certain time period of gestation; during this time, it probably uses your body tissues as a nutritive source. I reckon the damage wrought by the facehugger slowly digesting you from the inside out is what eventually kills you. (For real-world reference and Alien inspiration, check out some parasitic wasps: )
I do wonder if not all prey is created equal to the Demogorgon. It goes to considerable effort to chase, catch, and capture Will – is there something special about him specifically that it wants? Or maybe it’s just coincidence. After capturing its first victim – the mustachioed scientist in the elevator at Hawkins National Lab – it must have made a new gate near Will’s house at Mirkwood; maybe Will was just the first and only person it encountered there and it went for him with enthusiasm.
Which brings me to…
Theory #3: There are now NEW Demogorgons, with interdimensional gate-making abilities!
Evidence: At least one slug was birthed in the Upside Down from Barb’s body, and there might be more from other victims mentioned by not shown in the series. There is another one as well in this dimension – see the slug coughed up by Will in his bathroom during his flashback. Note that Barb’s slug is considerably bigger than Will’s – is it more well-developed or nourished, as according to Theory #2?
If Theory #2 is correct, then those slugs are offspring set to grow up into big new Demogorgons. How long will this take? What will the baby Demogorgons do in the process? And, most importantly, will these new Demogorgons be able to punch holes through to the Upside Down (as per Theory #1)?
I think these will feature heavily in the next season, and I think the need to defeat them is ultimately why the government and the good people of Hawkins will need Eleven so that she can use her abilities to safely get rid of MULTIPLE Demogorgons, or at least banish them to the Upside Down where they can’t get to people here. I think new interdimensional portals will be a real problem for everyone as the Demogorgon that Will coughed up punches holes back to the Upside Down, and in doing so, alerts the Demogorgons there that this world exists and is tasty! I have no theories about how and why Eleven will reappear, but I do think a new deal will need to be struck between Hopper and the rest of Hawkins and the Men In Black government types. They’ll do so because of their common interest in resolving the threat posed by new interdimensional portals getting made by those dastardly Demogorgons.
So, any rocks to chuck at these theories? Any thoughts on where these theories might take us plot-wise, if true? Any other theories that slot in with these ones?
Meanwhile, wish me luck in waiting around for this postdoc grant to come through, if it does. Blergh.