Stranger Things Season 2: Everything we know, from old friends to new characters
James R | On 03, Sep 2016
Stranger Things Season 2 is officially a go – and while the Duffer brothers are keeping much of their sequel a secret, they’ve been spilling the beans on new characters, the return of old faces and the season’s episode titles.
Naturally, be warned: there are spoilers below for Season 1, as well as potential minor spoilers for Season 2; if you want to go in blind, knowing as little about Stranger Thing’s second run as possible, you may want to avoid these details.
Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things Season 2 so far:
It will span nine episodes
Season 1 set the Internet alight with just eight episodes, but Season 2 will last a little longer, with Netflix ordering nine episodes from the Matt and Ross Duffer.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Shawn Levy explained the decision: “When we started talking for real about the ideas in season two, we couldn’t see a way to contain them in eight episodes. There’s some major stakes at play and we didn’t want to stretch things out just for the idea of doing 10 or 13, but we definitely couldn’t contain them to eight. So we like that it’s an escalation from season one, but we also like that it feels like a number of episodes to where we can maintain the quality of our storytelling.”
The episode titles
Netflix released a teaser video announcing Season 2 of Stranger Things – and front and centre of those glowing red titles were the names of each episode from the new run. They are as follows:
Episode 1: Madmax
Episode 2: The Boy Who Came Back to Life
Episode 3: The Pumpkin Patch
Episode 4: The Palace
Episode 5: The Storm
Episode 6: The Pollywog
Episode 7: The Secret Cabin
Episode 8: The Brain
Episode 9: The Lost Brother
With Max set to be the name of a new character, will he be the next Eleven? Or will The Secret Cabin have something to do with where Elle is presumably hiding to eat her Eggos in the woods? Your theories and speculation below please!
The story will pick up 1 year later
Season 2 will pick up events one year after Season 1, when we left the Byer family of Will (Noah Schnapp), Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), celebrating the return of Will at Christmas time – only for the prodigal boy to pop upstairs to the bathroom and cough up a weird slug down the sink, as well as have a brief vision of the Upside Down.
Season 2 will start in 1984, which suggests that the story will continue the loose threads left by the finale.
“We are definitely digging into the questions left hanging at the end of episode eight. There were some troubling loose ends,” said Levy. “Why did Hopper get in that car? What was that thing that Will coughed up in the bathroom? There’s there loose ends that we are definitely going to pick up and follow, so that’s one piece of it. In the same way that we always talked season one as an eight-hour movie, we view season two really less as season two and more as Stranger Things 2. We really view it as a sequel, and the Duffers have spoken about sequels that have worked — whether it’s Aliens or G2 or Empire Strikes Back. We’re going to remember what brought us to this moment, which is to say the characters, but we are exploring new dark forces at play. I know I’m being frustratingly vague, but it’s intentional.”
It will not just be set in Hawkins
The show will return to Hawkins, Indiana, but Matt Duffer has told EW that the show will also branch out into pastures new.
“We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” he teased. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”
There will be justice for Barb
Played by Shannon Purser, Nancy’s friend, Barb, emerged as a surprising favourite character, with her clothes, attitude and hair sealing her identity as the walking epitome of the 1980s. But after she disappeared by Steve’s swimming pool, apparently snatched by the Demagorgon, things were looking bad for Barb. In the finale, Purser turned up one last time in the Upside Down as a corpse – confirming her tragic fate. And yet, as we got carried away discussing in our YouTube review of the show, nobody seemed to bat an eyelid.
Speaking to IGN, Matt seemed to rule out the idea of her returning, but added: “Barb will not be forgotten. We’ll make sure there’s some justice for Barb.”
What could justice for Barb look like? “Part of what we want to do with hypothetical Season 2 is to explore the repercussions of everything that happened,” he hinted.
Brenner may not be dead
One character who would make a return, though, is Brenner. The large-foreheaded villain, played by Matthew Modine, looked to be out for the count, following a corridor encounter with the Demagorgon in Season 1’s final episode, but we didn’t actually see him die. As a result, Matt suggested to IGN that he would be likely to come back.
“I would say that if we were going to kill Brenner… as an audience member watching the show, if that was his death, that would be very unsatisfying to me – when the monster jumps on him and we cut away. He would deserve much more than that as an ending. So yes, there’s a possibility of seeing him again.”
Old characters will probably return
Speaking to EW, Matt reiterated that there’s “still more story… still things that are unresolved” in Season 2, which is the closest we’ve had to confirmation that people like Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) will return.
Levy also noted: “There’s definitely a handful of really compelling new characters this season but absolutely servicing the core group first and foremost.”
What of these fresh faces making an appearance? Well, a casting call has been unearthed by THR for several new characters. They include:
Max – a 13-year-old girl with a “complicated history” and a “difficult relationship with her stepbrother, Billy”. She guards her past and remains suspicious of people around her, but she’s good on a skateboard.
Update 15th October 2016: Sadie Sink has been cast as Max.
Billy – Max’s 17-year-old stepbrother, who is “super muscular, overconfident” and there are “rumours flying around that he killed someone at a school he attended in the past”. Billy steals peoples’ girlfriends, is a drinking-game pro and drives a black Camaro, but is both violent and unpredictable.
Update 15th October 2016: Dacre Montgomery has been cast as Billy.
Roman – is a male or a female between 30 and 38, who grew up homeless with a drug-addicted mother and suffered a great loss at an early age and has been seeking revenge since.
Max and Roman are described as regulars, while Billy is described as a possible regular.
They’re aiming for a multigenerational cast
Levy said of these new cast members: “They are characters that we’ve already conceived but none of them have been completely, officially cast. We have people in mind — some of whom are names you might know, many of whom are names you won’t know. But no, no one has been officialese as one of these new characters. And as I intimated, it’s a range of generations we’re looking for because we think that’s been so much of the show’s appeal: it’s that rare show that’s multigenerational viewing and you can sit together and enjoy. We’d like to keep that very much part of the character of the show.”
The Duffers are being as secretive as possible
Otherwise, details are being kept as under wraps as possible, with Levy even refusing to comment on whether we will see Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) again:
“I cannot speak to that. And the other people you’re about to ask me about… I just cannot speak to it. I really believe that if we to divulge a ton of stuff, it would make for a less satisfying second season.”