stranger things theory

We’ve been assuming for so long that the Upside Down in the hit Netflix genre show Stranger Things is just that — an alternate dimension that exists on an opposite plane than we do. But what if it wasn’t?

A new theory posits that the Upside Down could be more than just another dimension, but an alternate future. One that Will Byers and the rest of the Stranger Things crew can access because Eleven, with all her raw, psychic power, accidentally ripped a hole in the space-time continuum. It’s definitely possible.

Total Eclipse of the Multiverse

Ani Bundel at Elite Daily actually puts forward two theories about the 1980s love letter that is Stranger Things. First: that Hawkins and the Upside Down are actually part of a vast multiverse, and Stranger Things is versed in parallel worlds, not just parallel dimensions. She writes:

“Now with Will Byers able to slide between realities with a blink of an eye, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the Upside Down and Hawkins are far too alike for anyone to feel comfortable. Is the Upside Down just a dark mirror image of the world around us? Or is it something more sinister? Could it be… part of a multiverse?”

True, Will does seem to be flashing back and forth between his reality and the Upside Down, which happens more often in stories of parallel universes more than parallel dimensions. But in multiverse theory, which is the theory that there are millions of universes that branch out each time we make a new choice (also known as the “Butterfly Effect), usually comes with people hopping across universes with their physical bodies in tow, not just their souls. This is something we’ve seen in Fringe, which had entire seasons revolve around parallel worlds, and recently on CW’s The Flash. It’s famously done in comic books, like DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths or with Marvel’s multiple universes.

One show that lends to Bundel’s theory is Lost, which saw a character Desmond being whiplashed between parallel worlds, but not having to physically move across them.

Time After Time (Travel)

Here’s Bundel’s real intriguing theory though – the Hawkins, Indiana we see in the Upside Down is actually the future. She writes:

“Another theory is that it’s the same universe, but one that’s just further along in time. Eleven has serious psychic powers that the US government was testing as a weapon. What if, in their testing Eleven tore a hole through space and time, and what we’re seeing is Hawkin’s future? One where the town underwent a nuclear holocaust in order to well, prevent residents from passing through time?”

This could explain the abandoned, decrepit nature of the Hawkins we see in the Upside Down, as well as the fuzzy, radiated air. Eleven is so powerful and her powers so untested that her attempts to spy across countries could have ripped a hole in the space-time continuum, and thus created a portal to a future populated by monsters.

And just because we haven’t seen humans there doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Maybe, if this theory ends up being true, Stranger Things could cast Ben Schwartz as the much-later descendant of Steve Harrington. It makes sense that after making their fortune in Pawnee, Indiana, he and descendants would move back to their nuclear-wasted home.

Stranger Things Season 2 premieres on Netflix on October 27.

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