Does 'Ravenloft' Tell Us Something About 'Stranger Things' Season 2?

The Super Bowl trailer for Netflix's hit series Stranger Things gave us our first look at the new monster which will likely be the central antagonist of the new season. We theorized in our Stranger Things season two trailer breakdown that the monster might be a loose adaptation of the Thessalhydra from the kids' Dungeons and Dragons game from the first season. But new evidence uncovered in the Super Bowl TV spot seems to suggest there may be a different inspiration for the season two baddie.

Stranger Things Ravenloft page

The Page in Question

In the teaser trailer, we see Will's drawing of the Stranger Things season 2 monster, lying on a pile of papers on a wooden desk. But if you look in the upper-right-hand corner of the shot, you might notice a book beneath the papers, opened to a page with a distinctive design running across the top. This is something we missed during our initial analysis, so I want to thank /Film reader NewbieDM for pointing this out to me.


What Is Ravenloft?

It is page 8 from the classic 1983 Dungeons & Dragons adventure module Ravenloft (see an excerpt in the screenshot above). Written by Tracy & Laura Hickman, and first published by game publishing company TSR for use with the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game, the module focuses on the villain Count Strahd von Zarovich, a vampire who pines for his lost love.

The gothic horror adventure quest involves a party of player characters who travel to the land of Barovia, a small nation surrounded by a deadly magical fog. The master of nearby Castle Ravenloft rules the country as a tyrant, having made a blood pact with Death itself in order to live forever.

In the game, the players must gather two magical weapons (the Holy Symbol and the Sunsword) before locating and destroying the evil vampire. The page that the book is opened to in the Super Bowl TV spot features short descriptions of the places and people that players could encounter as they work together towards Strahd's castle. Strahd von Zarovich is noted as being one of the first well-developed villains to appear in D&D.

Stranger Things Ravenloft Connection

Now the question is, what does this tell us about the upcoming season of Stranger Things? It could just be an Easter egg — this series features all kinds of fun references to 1980s pop culture. But the kids were seen playing D&D during the first season, and they even used it as a point of reference. The kids mention the Demogorgon and Thessalhydra — both D&D monsters who are Greek in origin. Some fans speculated that now that the Demogorgon is dead, that the second season could focus on the multiple-headed Thessalhydra.

So it's very possible that Ravenloft will be used to illustrate events in the new season. For instance, we see Will looking out at a Hawkins surrounded by a strange fog, much like the location from the roleplaying book. The vampire in the game feeds on the life force of its citizens, which might be an analogy to the monster in the television series. Will Will and the other kids have to gather magical weapons in order to defeat this monster?

Have any ideas on how Ravenloft might play into the story for Stranger Things season two? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.