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A new trailer has given us a closer look into what the Upside Down has in store in 'Stranger Things' S3, so let’s dive into the top fan theories.

‘Stranger Things’ S3: All the fan theories to watch out for

The advertising for Stranger Things season three has been relatively light-hearted, showing off the fun summer our favorite band of misfits will get to enjoy. Steve’s working at the ice cream shop at the mall, Dustin just got back from summer camp, and Billy’s making the single women swoon at the pool. But the final trailer is giving us a taste of the real action coming to us on July 4th.

A mysterious voice starts off: “You let us in, and now you are going to have to let us stay.” Red swirling clouds haunt El’s visions, and Will can’t help but feel on edge. There’s another monster coming to destroy the town and it’s time for the gang to fight back once again. 

This new trailer has given us a closer look into what the Upside Down has in store, so let’s dive into the top fan theories and how they measure up against this new information.

Spoilers abound below from seasons one and two of Stranger Things.

The new monster isn’t new – it’s the Mind Flayer

At the end of last season, we saw El close the portal to the Upside Down, which we see again in this trailer. Even in the final shot of the finale, we see the shadow monster alive – but in the Upside Down, not our world. But based on this new trailer, that may just have been a trick, and instead of locking the Mind Flayer away, El locked him in their world. 

So if the Mind Flayer is still roaming around Hawkins looking for El, who will be its next victim? Will spent last season trying to free himself of his grasp and we know how dangerous this monster can be to his host.

The latest trailer implies Max’s bad-boy older brother Billy is next. In the first trailer, we know Billy becomes a lifeguard at the local pool, and in this trailer there’s mention of a lifeguard going missing. If the Mind Flayer latches onto Billy he would disappear, as the monster would be in control of his life.

However, there’s a theory going around on Reddit that it’s actually Jake Busey’s new character in season three that’s the host. Since the mysterious voice is Busey’s, it’s implied that he becomes the host.

Since we don’t know much about his character yet, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to introduce him as the next victim. No matter who ends up becoming the next host, we can probably expect the Mind Flayer to make a reappearance.

Likelihood: Almost guaranteed

The Upside Down is just an alternate dimension that the Mind Flayer destroyed

Even after the Mind Flayer came into the Hawkins we know and love, we’ve seen through El and Will’s visions that the Upside Down is a mess. But it also looks like Hawkins in many ways, just red and desolate. One of the most popular theories with the Upside Down is that it’s actually an alternate dimension of our world – but what if it’s a version of our world that was already destroyed by the Mind Flayer?

We know the monster has a thing for taking over worlds, as they established that last season. If it’s the same monster in this season, we know it’s trying to take over this dimension was well. The destruction in the Upside Down has been obvious from the start. But this theory implies the Mind Flayer jumps between dimensions, tearing them to shreds and then opening a portal to the next one.

It also implies the Upside Down looks the way it does because it’s the Mind Flayer’s latest victim. That’s quite a stretch, considering we don’t know much about the Upside Down. Although the evidence is there, part of the mystery of the show is the Upside Down, and we can’t see them giving us the truth just yet. Netflix is good at keeping the science behind their sci-fi shows a secret.

Likelihood: Unlikely

Lynx Corp. owns the Starcourt Mall

Season two saw the end of an era as the Hawkins Lab was shut down for good. The origin of El and the reason we’re even following along this journey is no longer. Of course, we know there’s still some experimenting going on as the season three trailers show men in hazmat suits firing some sort of machine. We also know the new Starcourt Mall is becoming the hub in town.

Lynx Corp. isn’t known for being ethical, as they’ve covered up their projects and the horrible effects resulting. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they tried to find a cover for a new laboratory. Plus, we know based off the episode titles that the finale is “The Battle of Starcourt”, so if the monsters find their way there, maybe they were just trying to find their way back to the portal? 

Likelihood: Probable

One of the numbered experiments is Hopper’s missing daughter

On the less monstrous side of the theory spectrum, there’s still the question surrounding Hopper’s daughter, supposedly dead. In season one we learn this happened long before the events of the show – but we also know that the Hawkins lab has the ability to fake a death. We also know the experiments are all abductees, like El, her sister, and the Chicago-based gang of refugees.

It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume that Hopper’s daughter was kidnapped and the lab created a fake body to cover it up, so Hopper mourned and moved on. We see that he is a great father in the way he’s taken in El as his surrogate daughter. What if it turned out she was his real daughter – or one of the other numbered experiments was? 

There’s a lot in this theory that makes sense, but the episode featuring the gang of numbered experiments was panned across the board. It’s hard to believe the Duffer Brothers would want to find a way to bring them back. Even if they made it so that El is Hopper’s daughter, that would set back a lot of character development. 

Likelihood: Never gonna happen

The Cold War affects Hawkins and the gang

We know the new season takes place in 1985: peak Cold War. The phrase “where yellow and blue meet” has appeared in multiple marketing materials, which are the colors of the Ukraine flag. There’s even a point where the word “eleven” is written in Russian. The Duffer Brothers have focused on the more fun parts of the 80s, but this may be the point where they introduce the drama going on around the rest of the world.

There isn’t much else in the advertising that adds to this theory, but it wouldn’t be a long shot to say that with this going on in the background, it changes the way people feel in town. Just how much the Cold War affects our band of misfits is unclear at this point.

Likelihood: Probable

If all that sounds simply too harrowing, here’s a more cheerful look at Stranger Things season three.

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