The creepy Super Bowl spot for “Stranger Things” answered one question — when the second season will arrive — but raised plenty of more, not the least of which is, What the hell is that enormous monster looming over Hawkins, Indiana?
Yes, when executive producer Shawn Levy teased that the threat “has grown” in the upcoming season, he was being literal, as Season One’s terrifying Demogorgon has nothing on this thing. So, yeah, what is it?
One theory is that it very well may be the Thessalhydra, which like the Demogorgon, springs from “Dungeons & Dragons.” If the name sounds familiar, and you’re not well-versed in the “Monster Manual II,” it’s likely because the creature was mentioned in the closing moments of the Netflix drama’s first season. You remember: With Will returned from the Upside Down, and everything seemingly back to normal, the boys enjoy another “D&D” campaign, in which they encounter the dreaded Thessalhydra, a reptilian creature that resembles the hydra, except that its eight serpentine heads form a ring around a large circular mouth rimmed with jagged teeth. It also boasts an 18-foot tail with sharp pincers.
In short, it’s a nasty, acid-spewing critter that makes the Demogorgon seem downright cuddly.
At least one fan predicted four months ago that Season One’s final scene was merely foreshadowing the threat the come, noting that:
i found that a Thessalhydra has 8 heads, and that the only way to kill the beast is by removing all 8. of you remove only one, two, or even seven, the monster will simply grow back two heads in the place of each missing head. now remember when the boys beat the thessalhydra in their D&D game, and Mike says “you cut off the Thessalhydra’s seven heads, and place them in Dustin’s bag of holding.” they only cut off seven heads. i believe this is hinting at the possibility that even though they seemingly got rid of the monster, the fact that there are potential monster babies growing inside Will may mean that there will just be an all new, stronger (possibly hybrid) monster, as the metaphorical Thessalhydra simply regrows twice the number of its metaphorical heads.
It’s definitely plausible, and certainly fits within the mythology of “Stranger Things,” in which the boys battled the Demogorgon in “D&D” only to then face the creature in real life. If that’s the case, we’re left so speculate whether there’s any tangible link between the kids’ imaginations and the world of the Upside Down — hey, we have until Halloween to think about it! — and the potential gruesome origins of this new creature, Thessalhydra or otherwise. Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers, may have offered a clue to the latter last month.
“In the last episode, I threw up a slug, so Season Two begins with what happens from there,” he teased. “There may have been some effect on him. I may or may not have turned into a monster. You’ll have to watch to find out.”’
Indeed, we will. The second season of “Stranger Things,” which picks up in 1984, about a year after Will’s return, also stars returning cast members Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery and Matthew Modine. They’re joined by Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin, Paul Reiser, Linnea Berthelsen and Brett Gelman.
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