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On April 27th, Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things made its comeback after its three-year hiatus, launching the first volume of its fourth season. As most of the fans expected, the Duffer Brothers left mysteries unsolved for most of the characters, therefore existing many possibilities as to how this fan-favorite story could end. With the one-month wait-time that viewers will have to endure, theories over the next adventures of the Hawkins crew started being developed quickly. Here are some of the best we have seen so far!
Volume I Recap (Spoilers Ahead)
Where did we leave the party at the end of volume I? The Hawkins crew found two new gates to the Upside Down and Steve, Eddie, Nancy, and Robin made their way into one of them, which got them stuck on the other side, only to later be saved by Dustin, Erica, Max, and Lucas. After communicating through lights (just like Will did in season one), they managed to get most of the adults safely out of the Upside Down – except for Nancy, who got caught in Vecna’s curse. This season’s villain reminded Wheeler of one of her biggest regrets: leaving Barb alone by the pool while she went to hang out with Steve in the first year of the show. Therefore, the show ends with the public not knowing if Nancy survived Vecna’s curse the way Max did in episode 4.
How about Eleven? Throughout the season, Eleven struggles in a secret laboratory to get her powers back as she got involved with “Project Nina”, developed by Doctor Owens and, to everyone’s surprise, Doctor Brenner, who supposedly died in season one. This way, El’s been relieving some of her life’s most centric moments in the Hawkins Laboratory. As she slowly works to get her powers back by remembering some things from her past, Eleven first believes that she was responsible for a massacre of other kids that used to live with her. But later on in the season, we get to see her almost running away with Peter, a young man that worked at the lab during her stay. But in the last few minutes of volume I, we find out that Peter is Henry Creel (Victor Creel’s son), who also is the presumed never existence 001 and the real identity of Vecna. We all find out that Peter was the one to blame for the massacre and while Eleven tries stopping him, she accidentally opened the first gate to the Upside Down, trapping him inside.
As we were talking about the Creels, the whole storyline connects to Nancy and Robin’s investigation of Victor Creel’s case – all because his whole family died similarly to Vecna’s victims. That storyline matches the one in Hawkins since Nancy and Robin investigated the murder of Victor Creel’s family – who we later discover where. While their research was still going, the California crew was trying to find a way to reunite with Eleven. Together, Will, Mike, Jonathan, and Argyle found the location of “Project Nina” with a little help from Dustin’s girlfriend, Suzie.
Will’s connection to the Upside Down
Ever since season one launched back in 2016, it is inevitable to associate the Upside Down with Will Byers, since he was the first victim to get trapped in this mysterious world. Throughout the season, that connection has been explored in many ways, from Will vomiting a slug that later became a Demodog, to being the MindFlayer’s host in the real world, to finally being able to warn people about threats that involve the Upside Down in season three. However, Will seemed far from the Upside Down connection in the first part of season four since he is yet unaware of Vecna’s existence. But fans seem to believe his connection has yet to appear in volume II when he reunites with everyone in Hawkins.
There are two theories surrounding Will. Mainly, the fans believe that he could be one of Vecna’s victims in volume II due to the way the villain prefers to attack. Since he prefers to look for people with past trauma, Will had a lot bottled up inside him ever since his disappearance, therefore marking Vecna’s requirements. This theory is also backed up by the fact that there was a leaked photo of Noah Schnapp’s (Will Byers interpreter) Snapchat where he is wearing a harness, similar to the one they used on Sadie Sink to float her on the cemetery scene.
However, Will’s connection to Upside Down could go further than him being a victim this time. Vecna is sort of the “King Of The Upside Down”, even though we weren’t aware of his existence through the first years of the show. In that sense, he definitely knew Will was once trapped there (and interestingly enough, little Byers kept singing his favorite song to calm himself down). So it’s possible that he developed his connection to him, kind of like the Mindflayer in season two. This way, he could use this bridge to manipulate Will into helping him, or perhaps, Byers could use this to give some advantage to his friends to save the world.
Fun Fact: Both Will and Henry Creel (001) do the same movements with their eyes, while Will does it when he is having a vision from the Upside Down, Henry did it before killing his family!
Eddie Munson is 010
Eddie Munson has easily become a fan-favorite character with his nerdy yet Rock & Roll personality! And fans seem to believe that he could be number 010, who was practicing in the laboratory with Doctor Brenner before 001 massacred all the experimented children. However, after the attack, we see Brenner holding 010’s body, but his “corpse” is far different from the other victims since he only had a nose bleed (like every child when using their powers in Stranger Things) while the other victims had no eyes and had their bodies deformed (just like Chrissy and Fred), leading people to believe that 010 probably didn’t die.
How could he be Eddie Munson? Many easter eggs make this theory entirely possible. The first reason that led to this theory is the fact that when talking to Chrissy, he mentions that when he was younger, he has his hair buzzed (a standard look for all of Brenner’s experiments). Also, he is always wearing a watch on his wrist where all the children have their numbers tattooed! Besides, when Steve told him about the existence of Eleven and her powers, he did not seem impressed or shocked by the possibility of superpowers existing.
The Upside Down Museum: Can the Mindflayer still exist?
In the teaser for volume 2, we can see Hopper looking at creatures dissected in a glass. Those creatures have a similar look not only to the Demogorgon but to the ones Steve had to fight as he entered the Upside Down in this season. However, the most interesting part is when Hopper finds a big glass box with something that looks like black sand floating around, this being the same form that the Mindflayer took when moving around Hawkins after exiting Will’s body. This could mean that Eleven did not trap him in the Upside Down and he could eventually come back. But the most interesting question is how could the Mindflayer be in Russia? This opened the theory that the Russians recreated the experiments being held in Hawkins and have their very own gateway to the Upside Down!
Eleven can’t defeat Vecna on her own
Vecna’s power surprised everyone this season, being far more dangerous than any other threats that our beloved characters had to fight so far! In every season, Eleven comes head to head with the villain and it has been enough to defeat them – at least while she had powers. While she goes with Doctor Owens to retrieve her powers to defeat the new menace growing in Hawkins, her powers would come back stronger (as Doctor Brenner assures). But many fans have been led to believe that she might not be strong enough to defeat Vecna and will need a little help…
In the first season, while their friend group was playing Dungeons & Dragons, Will was not able to run from the Demogorgon, and minutes later while on his way back home, he wasn’t able to escape from the real Demogorgon. In that sense, the moments where the boys play D&D have become monumental to every part of the storyline, and usually bring a little Easter egg of what will happen further in the season.
And in this volume we had the iconic Hellfire Club D&D campaign and Lucas’ basketball game scene, in which the party was having a hard time defeating the game’s villain, only having Dustin and Erica fight the battle, meanwhile, Lucas was playing a hard game with Hawkins High Basketball Team. Dustin and Erica battle side to side. The first one to throw the RPG dice is Dustin, and it falls on the number 11 and it is not enough to finish the battle. Therefore, Erica is the one finishing the last round, as she throws the dice it lands on number 8, and they defeat the monster. At the same time, Lucas is the one to bring the Hawkins Basketball team to victory, and, just like his sister, he has a relation with the number 8, this being his player’s number.
What does this mean for the final battle? If the Duffer Brothers follow their usual approach, this could mean that Kali (008) could make a comeback from season 2 and be the one to help El defeat Vecna!
The second volume launches on Netflix on July 1st, 2022. And while you wait, there’s nothing better than to comment on your theories right? So enjoy speculating about Stranger Things and soon you’ll see if you were right.
The article above was edited by Rafaela Bertolini.
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