The last few days have revealed a number of details about the monster we saw menacing Hawkins in the season two Stranger Things trailer—including what sounds like the ominous name the cast used for it on the set.
This week has already had somewhat contradictory messages about how the monster will show up in season two. Co-showrunner Ross Duffer told Variety that “Hiding the monsters can be more effective than seeing them, so restraint can be a good thing.” And yet, at an event Tuesday night, Duffer was quoted as saying, “Last season, a lot of the horror and a lot of what was happening with Will was off-screen in the Upside Down. That’s not the case [in season two]. The horror is more up-close and personal.” This was interpreted by some as meaning we’ll see the monster a lot more in season two than season one, but it could also mean we’re going to see the effects of the horror on the characters more. Time will tell.
TV Guide got a few more details out of the cast: Finn Wolfhard (Mike) said, “The Shadow Monster, the new one, the big one in the sky, that was crazy for us.” This seems to be what the cast and crew were calling it on set—but is that its real name, or just a codename the show is using to keep people off track?
Either way, the name is interesting, because when the kids resume their Dungeons & Dragons game in the season one finale, they’re fighting a Thessalhydra. Since the D&D game earlier in season one had the kids fight a Demogorgon, which then went on to be the the season’s monster, it was assumed that season two’s monster would follow the same convention.
However, we’ve seen the new monster twice, once in Will’s drawing:
and then alive in the trailer:
This thing only somewhat appears like a Thessalhydra, assuming all those tendrils are the creature’s many necks. But visually, that seems like a stretch, even if the creature is half-hidden in the mists (it’s worth noting that in D&D lore, the Thessalhydra does not have any sort of shadow powers). Plus, Will’s drawing seems to very clearly give it only one head.
Perhaps the most likely scenario is that the Shadow Monster and the Thessalhydra will show up in season two to menace the inhabitants of Hawkins. Producer Shawn Levy told TV Guide, “It was clear that we’re no longer in the world of a single Demogorgon threat. The threats are more varied, and definitely darker and more menacing.”