Fans itching for Stranger Things's return now know that it'll hit Netflix this July, giving us more action from Hawkins, Indiana as everyone's favorite group of '80s teens look to stave off another attack from the Upside Down.
In the wake of the release of a teaser video and poster, many have already begun speculating what the third season's plot could revolve around and what other monsters will be menacing the crew this time around. With that in mind, we're running down some of the strangers -- and strangest -- fan theories to emerge so far.
Starting with the poster, it's apparent that while most of the gang is occupied with looking on at Independence Day fireworks, Will (Noah Schnapp) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) are blatantly terrified by something lurking in their background. Their faces indicate that we're seeing things from this creature's perspective, and given that both teens are the only ones who have a direct connection with the Upside Down, it seems this could very well be another of the Mind Flayer's beasts preparing to attack.
Season 2 focused on Will being haunted and eventually possessed by the Mind Flayer, so it stands to reason he and Eleven (who was first to traverse the otherworldly realm in the debut season) are seeing whatever's spying on them from the dark dimension. Other fans have posited that because they're the only ones reacting, it could be a sign they're going to grow apart from the gang. Given the tagline, "One summer can change everything," it's a possibility we might see the core cast splinter, especially since they're a group of hotheaded teenagers dealing with hormones, romances, and everything else puberty brings.
In the poster, we see Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) enjoying the festivities, while Mike (Finn Wolfhard) is holding hands with Eleven, presumably now his girlfriend. Some believe this foreshadows Will and Eleven becoming an outcast duo due to their 'weird' link to the Upside Down, which not only divides the group but also leaves Mike torn in the middle -- hence his look of concern towards Eleven. Eagle-eyed loyalists also believe the poster features a monster's legs made out of rat corpses. Whether that's true or nor, there's a high probability that when Will and Eleven begin to freak out once more, it's going to throw the other teens for a loop as they were certain they defeated the Mind Flayer's forces for good last season.
As for the monster, from the teaser image, some fans think it could be a Drider (a half-dark elf, half spider from the Dungeons and Dragons game). Seeing as the Mind Flayer and Demogorgon were adapted for this series from D&D, it's logical enough to think the Duffer brothers might be ready to put their spin on the spider, giving it a body made from dead rats. Others are hoping it's going to be a Beholder, a floating orb of flesh with a large mouth, a giant eye, and many smaller eyestalks on top, so we'll just have to wait and see if this season's villain really is linked to D&D once more.
With regard to the announcement video of the Season 3 premiere, sleuths have already decoded some messages, although no one knows for sure what they mean. "When Blue and Yellow Meets In The West" has fans thinking it's a reference to the colors of Mike and Eleven's clothes and their romance. Others think it's the ocean meeting the sun, as the season is rumored to have scenes at a California beach, while others believe "The West" could mean Russia, against whom Dr. Brenner and the rest of Eleven's government handlers from MKUltra were plotting in Season 1.
Others spotted hidden Russian text, deciphered to mean "11" in the clip, while "The Silver Cat Feeds" hints at LYNX TRANSPORT, a mysterious company in Season 3 that could be a government agency -- maybe even China, thanks to the "A Trip to China Sounds Nice..." line fans have extracted.
Then again, this simply be an Easter egg for a Chinese restaurant at Starcourt Mall in Hawkins, where we know a lot of action will take place against the Upside Down's monster(s). Well, until we get a more detailed trailer with footage, all we can do now is continue guessing, but what's for certain is fans are as excited as ever to see how Eleven and Co. deal with the imminent, monstrous threat.
Created by the Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalie Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Priah Ferguson, Cary Elwes, Jake Busey and Maya Thurman-Hawke. Season 3 will debut on Netflix on July 4, 2019.