'Stranger Things' Season 2 Trailer Breakdown: Is That Monster The Thessalhydra?

Last night during the Super Bowl, Netflix debuted a Stranger Things season 2 teaser trailer which broke the internet. While the TV spot for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was apparently the most talked-about big game television advertisement, my social feeds seemed filled with shock, surprise, and excitement over the first look at the next season of Stranger Things.

/Film readers know that we love to dig in, so let's examine the new teaser trailer frame by frame to see what we can learn about the new season which will be released on Halloween 2017. Hit the jump to enter the Upside Down and explore our Stranger Things season 2 trailer breakdown.

Stranger Things Season 2 Trailer Breakdown

stranger things eggo commercial

The Eggos Commercial

The teaser trailer begins with a clip from an Eggo commercial that originally aired in December 1980, four years before the events of Stranger Things season 2's fall 1984 storyline. A fun bit of trivia: the little boy in the commercial is played by Jason Hervey, best known as the child actor who played Wayne Arnold in The Wonder Years and Milton Baines in Back to the Future.

Eggo marketing director Trinh Le says that the company's presence in Stranger Things was "a happy surprise for the brand and it was clear that fans loved it as much as we did" so they "couldn't resist partnering with Netflix in their Super Bowl ad." That's right, Eggo actually partnered (i.e., helped pay) for the Super Bowl advertisement with Netflix.

The Eggos are, of course, a reference to a food that Eleven liked in the first season. The season left off with Chief Hopper (David Harbour) leaving Eggos in the woods for the young girl, who had vanished during the climax of the finale.

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The Arcade

The commercial begins to flicker and we see a very brief glimpse of an Arcade sign with a red-colored sky in the background with quick lightening-style flashes. We didn't see an arcade in the first season but it seems likely that this will be a new location. And it makes sense that the kids would hang out in an arcade, as it was a popular hangout location for kids in the 1980s and reminiscent of '80s movies like WarGames, The Last Starfighter, Tron, and The Karate Kid.

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Eleven Is Back

We hear one of the boys call out for Eleven and see a flash of actress Millie Bobby Brown opening her eyes, reprising her role as Eleven. Of course, Eleven returning isn't a big surprise as everyone pretty much assumed she would be back for the second season. We've even seen the actress in table read photos.

But the question is, where is she? Could the framing of this shot be a clue? Eleven is framed weirdly upside down, which may hint that she is back in the Upside Down. She looks frightened and we can see that she is still having her signature nosebleeds as well. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the first shot we see of the character in the season two episode one, which is titled "Madmax."

In my discussion of the Stranger Things season 2 episode titles, I speculated that the title is not just an obvious reference to George Miller's 1979 film Mad Max, but could be a metaphor for the story at hand: the film is set in a self-destructing post-apocalyptic world, so perhaps it is a metaphor for the Upside Down. Mad Max follows a father out for revenge for the killing of his wife and son, possibly a reference to Chief Hopper who has lost not only his daughter but his surrogate daughter, Eleven. We also know that four new characters will be introduced in the new season and a girl named Max will be one of them.

stranger things season 2 bicycles

Back on Bikes

The kids are back on their bicycles, racing through the streets of Hawkins, Indiana, probably headed to school. Nothing is more reminiscent of being a child in the '80s than riding your bike with friends in a suburban neighborhood.

You might notice that the kids are wearing weird-looking backpacks. These aren't backpacks, but proton packs. They are dressed as Ghostbusters, as we'll see further in this teaser trailer. While the first season was set in November 1983, season 2 will take place in October 1984. Ghostbusters just hit theaters in July of that year and clearly has had a big effect on these kids.

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Cheif Hopper In an Explosive Situation

Chief Hopper saved the day last time around, turning on the government to help save Will and the other kids. The first glimpse we get of Hopper in the new teaser trailer looks like he's gotten himself into another mess. We see a house exploding around him, but there is no indication of why it's happening or what is causing it.

stranger things season 2 ghostbusters

The Ghostbusters Arrive at Middle School

The boys have arrived at Hawkins Middle School, and as you can see from the decorations in the background, it is Halloween. (Although I don't see any other classmates in Halloween costumes in the background.) Gaten Matarazzo, as Dustin Henderson, looks towards the camera with a nervous look. I wonder what he is looking at and thinking here.

stranger things season 2 hopper digging

Hopper Is Digging

In the next look we get of Hopper, he seems to be thrusting a shovel into the ground. What is he digging for? Could it be that he is in search of Eleven? He couldn't be trying to dig to the Upside Down, right?

stranger things season 2 flamethrower

A Real Ghostbuster?

A person dons a yellow suit with what looks to be some kind of flame thrower. Is this a real life "Ghostbuster?" It's very likely that the sinister government agency that was hiding under the guise of the US Department of Energy laboratory is still conducting their experiments, and we are seeing a bit of that here.

stranger things season 2 will experiment

Will Is Now the Experiment

We get a glimpse of a closed-circuit monitor showing Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in a doctor's office. At the end of the first season, Will was secretly vomiting up weird slug creatures and having flashes of the upside down. It looks like his mother Joyce (Winona Ryder) has taken him to get medical attention, but the question is: does she know that the Department of Energy might secretly be behind this doctor visit and using Will for their intentions? Notice the date on the timecode is the day before Halloween 1984. The holiday took place on Wednesday that year so this is the day before we see the kids at school in their Ghostbusters costumes.

stranger things season 2

The Department of Energy

We cut to a shot further back revealing what we had assumed: this is not just a security camera in a doctor's office but very likely a secret facility operated by the sinister Department of Energy. The other monitors show nothing of particular interest, just different hallways and corners of this facility.

stranger things season 2 wills drawing

Will's Drawing

We see a shot of Will agonizing over his visions of the Upside Down, followed by this shot of one of his drawings. We know that the Demogorgon has been killed but there are bigger and more dangerous monsters lurking in the Upside Down. Notice the red sky in the background.

Will Answers the Door

Will goes towards a door, and we see the same red sky through the cracks. The shot is clearly an homage to one of my favorite shots in Steven Spielberg's movies — the boy at the door in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, seen at right.


Red Lightning

We get a better look at the red-colored lightning that we saw in the arcade shot.

stranger things season 2 monster

The Monster

The flash of lightning illuminates for a brief second a monster standing on six or seven legs over the trees of the Upside Down version of Hawkins Indiana. The monster looks like something out of H.P. Lovecraft or Eldritch Horror. It also looks a bit like Louise Bourgeois's sculpture Mother, and reminds me a bit of the aliens from Spielberg's War of the Worlds as well as the monsters from Stephen King's The Mist. And yes, we know that Stranger Things season one took a lot of inspiration from King's books and movies.

Now let's just hope that this creature doesn't have the ability to cross over to the right-side-up real world, like the Demogorgon did. In the first season of Stranger Things, the kids were battling the thessalhydra in their Dungeons and Dragons game and some fans think this new monster might resemble that creature. In D&D, the hydra reproduces by infecting hosts with larvae and has many heads which regrow when they are cut off. Of course, the Demogorgon was not a direct adaptation of the D&D creature, and we shouldn't expect the same for this monster. In fact, some articles have theorized the Thessalhydra would be the Upside Down baddie for this season long ago.

If you're looking to delve further into the mysteries of Stranger Things season two, check out our previous speculation over the announced episode titles.