‘Stranger Things’ May Have Revealed Season 5’s Monster

in Movies & TV

Noah Schnapp as Will Byers looking scared in the 'Stranger Things' Season 4 finale

Credit: Netflix

We may already know the main villain in Stranger Things Season 5.

So far, every season of Stranger Things has featured a new grotesque antagonist from the Upside Down. Season 1 has the Demogorgon, Season 2 has the Shadow Monster, Season 3 has the Mind Flayer, and Season 4 has Vecna (played by Jamie Campbell Bower), an all-powerful, god-like being who’s revealed to be in control of all those other creatures.

Newer entities are always more terrifying than the last, but their arrival rarely means it’s the last we see of their predecessor. Season 1’s Demogorgon returned in Season 4 (only to get beheaded by David Harbour’s Jim Hopper in a Russian prison in the finale, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”), and Season 2’s Shadow Monster becomes the Mind-Flayer in Season 3.

Here’s a quick reminder about those otherworldly fiends.

The Mind Flayer in Stranger Things being created
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5 Episodes Leak Reveals Which Character Will Likely Be Killed Off

Demogorgon — Season 1 and Season 4

The Demogorgon is heavily inspired by the Xenomorph from the Alien movies (its face closely resembles the Face-hugger egg, and it lays small creatures inside its victims) and the alien warrior from the Predator movies (its face also resembles those large mandibles). The dreaded Demogorgon is easily the most iconic creature in the Stranger Things franchise.

The Shadow Monster — Season 2

This is where things can get quite confusing. The Shadow Monster first appears as a gigantic, six-legged monster comprised of shadow and smoke that dwells in the Upside Down. In Season 2, it possesses Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) from the shadow dimension; however, in Season 3, it becomes a more physical entity known as The Mind Flayer.

The Mind Flayer — Season 3

Formerly The Shadow Monster, The Mind Flayer is a grotesque physical entity that possesses Max Mayfield’s brother Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) in Season 3, and turns several Hawkins residents into mindless “Juju Zombies” before eventually melting and absorbing them so that it can become bigger and more powerful. Yes, it’s gross.

Vecna/Henry Creel/One — Season 4

But while they’re all extremely deadly in their own right, those creatures are controlled by Vecna (formerly Henry Creel, AKA One). Without the “dark wizard,” they’d still be the stuff of nightmares, but now that they’re all part of a “hivemind,” this makes them even more dangerous (just imagine having a gigantic lion literally “sent” after you).

Vecna feeding in the Upside Down in Stranger Things Halloween Horror Nights 2023
Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things Season 5, which has no release window, will likely up the ante even more by featuring an Upside Down predator so terrifying it will send all its predecessors running for the hills (or “running up the hill,” as Kate Bush would say). And, if the show has taught us anything, it’s that size definitely matters (unless we’re talking about Season 2’s Demo Dogs).

We may have been tricked into believing Vecna is the “big bad” of the Stranger Things series, as there may be an even greater threat lurking in the Upside Down. Now that the fabric between Hawkins and the shadow dimension has been compromised, as seen in the Season 4 finale, there might be no stopping a certain leviathan beast from emerging.

In 2022, following the release of Season 4, a video from @JustTheNobodys podcast on YouTube, which shares theories about Stranger Things and other popular franchises, suggested that the show may have already revealed the Stranger Things Season 5 monster.

Check out the video titled “Stranger Things Season 5 Monster Theory” below:

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Has Revealed 3 Characters Likely to Die in Season 5

Just as the podcasters remind us, in every season of Stranger Things so far, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), and Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) play the popular fantasy table-top roleplaying board game, Dungeons & Dragons (commonly abbreviated as D&D). The game is used throughout the show as a frame of reference and analogy for the hellish landscape and its inhabitants (the flipping of the board in Season 1 to explain the Upside Down alone is pure genius).

In the video, the podcasters explain:

“The monster they fight in D&D is usually the monster they fight in real life,” before elaborating, “So, in Season 1, we see the kids fight the Demogorgon in their Dungeons & Dragons game, and that ends up being the big bad of Season 1. And in Season 2, we see Dustin [Henderson] use a D&D book to find out what the Shadow Monsters is, and figure out that it was the Mind Flayer infecting Will [Byers]. And in Season 3, we don’t see the kids play D&D that much, but we see [that] Will sets up a campaign where they have to fight Juju Zombies, and we know the Mind Flayer infected a bunch of people in Hawkins, basically making them zombies.”

They’re right — in fact, D&D is where the kids get the names for all the creatures they go up against (Vecna probably has no idea that’s even his new name!).

The co-host adds, “We also see in Season 4 they actually fight Vecna in Dungeons & Dragons,” to which the main host replies, “Exactly, so the only monster we haven’t seen from Season 1’s final game is the Thessalhydra. So the theory is we’re finally going to see it in Season 5.”

But what is a Thessalhydra? And will it still fall under Vecna’s control?

The 'Stranger Things' gang looking up at the sky at the end of Season 4
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Star Discusses Character Death Ahead of Season 5 Release

Thessalhydra — Season 5

In Dungeons & Dragons, Thessalhydras are giant, hideous, reptilian creatures with eight heads. In short, they’re the stuff of nightmares that put all those other Upside Down monsters to shame. D&D Wiki describes them as follows:

“The Thessalhydra resembles an eight-headed hydra. It has a large, reptilian torso and tail measuring 40 feet long (9 feet tall at the shoulder). Eight serpentine heads surround a larger reptilian head with a hideous maw rimmed with jagged teeth. Each serpentine head and neck measures 9 feet long. At the end of the 20-foot-long tail is a sharp pincer. Most of the shiny bide is a deep green. The undersides of the necks, torso, and tail are ochre yellow. Patches of reddish-yellow hair cover the chest and upper forelegs. The eyes are dark red.”

Like all the other monsters, the Thessalhydra would likely form part of Vecna’s hivemind. But if it does emerge in Season 5, our heroes will have their work cut out. Not only is Hawkins being consumed by the Upside Down, but Vecna is more than likely still alive, despite being beaten by Eleven during their battle in the Season 4 finale, while his physical form is, at the same time, defeated by Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), and Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) in the real world.

Jamie Campbell Bower as Vecna in 'Stranger Things 4'
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Stranger Things: Deliver Me From Evil’ Gets Imminent Release Date

More From Stranger Things

There are new Stranger Things spinoffs in development, including an animated series and a live-action series. Meanwhile, the stage play Stranger Things: The First Shadow (2023) has been given an extension until December. “Stranger Things VR” (2024) is now available, and a comic book titled “Stranger Things: Deliver Me From Evil” (2024) will be released on May 4.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow is now playing at the Phoenix Theater. For information on tickets and showtimes, visit the official website. Check out the trailer below:

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ May Have Revealed Max’s Fate in Season 5

Stranger Things seasons 1 — 4 are now streaming on Netflix.

Stranger Things stars Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Bob Newby (Sean Astin), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane Hopper), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson), Paul Reiser (Dr. Sam Owens), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Matthew Modine (Papa/Martin Brenner), Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), and Jamie Campbell Bower (Vecna/One/Henry Creel).

Are you excited about Stranger Things Season 5? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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