We thought the sole Demogorgon was pretty scary on its own back in season 1, but Stranger Things season 2 upped the level of threat considerably with the introduction of the Mind Flayer AKA the Shadow Monster – the enormous Cthulhu-like king of the Upside Down that commands an army of Demogorgons and Demodogs.
The creature used Will Byers as a host throughout season 2 in order to strengthen the gate between worlds, allowing it to cross over and conquer our dimension. However, Eleven was able to close the gate, trapping it back in the Upside Down once again. The final shot of the finale reminded us though that the Mind Flayer was still out there, no doubt planning its next attempt to break free.
We could infer from this that the Shadow Monster would be back but now we have it confirmed. The newly-released official companion to the show, Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down, features a passage in its epilogue that teases season 3 and promises it’s not done with Hawkins yet.
“The Mind Flayer hasn’t lost interest in Hawkins either. The tentacled creature continues to loom near Hawkins inside the Upside Down, and its malevolent influence isn’t absent from the new season.”
We’ve been told that season 3, which will take place in summer rather than the fall, will begin on a much lighter note than we’re used to. With our heroes believing the threat of the Upside Down gone for good, Eleven and her friends will have the time to be normal kids for once. Clearly, though, these halcyon days won’t last, as the Mind Flayer will grasp the town in its tentacles once again.
As you might have noticed, Stranger Things won’t be returning to Netflix this Halloween like usual, but is instead expected to arrive on the streaming service at some point next year.