Stranger Things Season 2: What We Know So Far

stranger things kids on bikes

One of the biggest TV hits of the summer, Stranger Things became a huge topic of discussion among those who still love to talk about television regardless of whether a water cooler is around or not. Discussions soon turned from how awesome the show is to how non-awesome Netflix was for failing to immediately order up a second season. But wise decisions were made and deals happened and we will definitely get Season 2 in our lives, with nine episodes instead of eight. While we wait for it to get here, let's look at everything we know about Season 2 so far. Spoilers for Season 1 are included.

stranger things kids eleven tries to contact will

When Will Stranger Things Season 2 Air?

The first season of Stranger Things aired during the summer of 2016 and was, by all accounts, a huge hit for the subscription streaming service. It looks like production is going to be taking a little longer this time around, as the Netflix drama revealed during the Super Bowl that Stranger Things Season 2 would not be premiering until Halloween 2017, which also happens to be three months later than last year. I know it's going to be a little tough to get through, but on the bright side, Netflix is producing originals left and right and in 2017 will continue to do so. Again, you can catch Stranger Things Season 2 on October 31, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. PT.

stranger things winona ryder looking worried

What Have We Seen From Stranger Things Season 2?

You might not even recall what the trailers were like leading up to Season 1, given how light the marketing push from Netflix was. (Another reason to give the genre-twisting Stranger Things a big pat on the back for.) However, when Stranger Things first hit the schedule, it wasn't expected to be a big hit. Now that it has done well in the ratings, Netflix is giving the series a big push. In fact, the first trailer for Season 2--which came complete with Ghostbusters costumes--can be found in all of its full glory, below.

We will get into those episode titles elsewhere, so keep reading!

stranger things david harewood

Is Stranger Things Season 2 Connected To Season 1?

While some viewers would rather Stranger Things take on the anthology route of a series like American Horror Story, creators Matt and Ross Duffer weren't ever on board with that train of thought. Since the brothers were and are so influenced by cinema in creating Stranger Things, it should surprise no one that they're keeping that mindset for the sophomore season. Here's how they put it to EW.

I know movie sequels get a lot of shit, but the ones we look up to aspire to pivot and do something different. There's Temple of Doom, Aliens, Terminator 2. I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he's brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.

While the more obvious influences on Season 1 came from Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, it's good to know that the brothers are aiming high with the follow-up season, as James Cameron has indeed crafted some of the best sequels in cinema. (When he gets around to making them, am I right, Avatar fans?) We don't need explosions and shape-shifting metal or anything, but I'm not against Stranger Things bringing in Bill Paxton as a wide-eyed soldier.

stranger things kids on bikes

When And Where Will Stranger Things Season 2 Take Place?

Season 2 of Stranger Things will take place in 1984, a year after everything went down in Season 1. Matt and Ross Duffer did toy with the idea of pushing the story forward in time several more years, up to a decade or so, but decided there was still too much story to be told in those early 1980s years. And everyone who watched Season 1 in its entirety knows that there are indeed far too many questions left unanswered by the finale that jumping forward forward more than two or three days feels like things are moving entirely too quickly. SLOW DOWN, DUFFERS! Ahem.

While the majority of Season 1 took place inside of Hawkins - and the bizarro Hawkins seen in the Upside Down - it appears the story could branch out in the next adventure. Matt Duffer told EW that Season 2 will "venture a little bit outside of Hawkins," with the first episode's opening scene definitely not set inside the cozy Indiana town. Surely that'll have something to do with Dr. Brenner, right?

dr. brenner with eleven in lab stranger things

What Characters Will Be Around In Stranger Things Season 2?

Because it's taking place just a year after Mike's temporary disappearance, Season 2 will still be able to follow the core characters we've grown to love. So that means the D&D-loving buddies Dustin, Mike, Lucas and Will shall return, and hopefully something will be said about Will's slug-vomiting behavior and how connected he still is to the Upside Down. As well, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are presumed to return, along with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and some of her friends. Hopefully not all the jerks, though.

Perhaps unexpectedly, one of Stranger Things' standout characters was the bespectacled Barb, Nancy's worrisome friend played by Shannon Purser. Her death was seen as unfair, given how undeserved it was, and the Duffer brothers have said Barb will get her due in Season 2, though that doesn't exactly mean she's coming back. Still, we don't really know what was going on inside that cocoon room, so maybe she's got some life left in her.

And guess what? There are going to be at least three new characters getting introduced in Season 2, though the Duffer brothers have teased a fourth. While the names probably aren't going to be what the actual characters use, the show is definitely casting for Max, Billy and Roman. Max, a series regular, is a skateboarding 13-year-old female tomboy who exudes confidence and a rough edge. She is suspicious of everyone around her and doesn't like to talk about her past, in part because of her relationship with Billy, her step-brother. Billy is an egocentric 17-year-old whose hardcore reputation includes him being a boozehound, a hothead, a lothario and a possible murderer.

Meanwhile, Roman is a 30-year-old of either male or female gender who dealt with a huge loss as the child of a drug-using mother. An outsider who doesn't have a good connection with others, Roman seeks revenge for having to go through hard years without a home. Who's he going to be targeting?

stranger things eleven fights monster

Will Stranger Things Season 2 Go Back To The Upside Down?

How disappointing would Stranger Things be if the only taste that viewers got of The Upside Down came completely within that first season? Disappointing in that the otherworldly setting was teased and then established so well, offering up just enough of the reverse-iverse to jump start all manner of curious questioning, but barely any actual answers. Thankfully, while we probably won't again be seeing that particular Monster wreaking havoc in the future, we are definitely going to learn more about The Upside Down in Season 2. Then again, the Demogorgon may return, because monster logic.

As far as what we got to see of The Upside Down in Season 1, Matt Duffer called it just a "tiny bit," and likened it to peeling back a curtain. (We're assuming it's one of those curtains that completely blocks out sunlight and also eats the souls of children.) We know that there are different doorways that can be opened into the darker dimension, but no real idea of the scope of how vast it is or what other beings are lurking. Or even who else might be trapped inside there that we haven't met yet. Also, BARB!!!

stranger things eleven in lab

What Do Stranger Things' Season 2 Episode Titles Mean?

Stranger Things had already locked itself into fans' hearts and minds with its mysteries and weirdness, and then creators Matt and Ross Duffer went and made things even cooler by coupling the Season 2 announcement with the reveal of all nine episode titles. More mysteries! Many of the titles of the first batch of installments were quite literal, so it's great that everyone involved is letting the central mystique bleed out into all elements of the show. Let's take a slightly deeper look at each of the titles.

1. Madmax - Well, we know that we're going to meet a new character named Max in Season 2 who is a 13-year-old girl with tomboy tendencies. She has issues with her step-brother, as was previously covered, so this could be a pretty on-the-nose reference to her introduction being an emotional one. Plus, George Miller's Mad Max franchise has excellent sequels, so that's a good comparison point.

2. The Boy Who Came Back To Life - This is a callback to the newspaper story written about Will after he was found. It's not a giant leap to assume that this is where we'll get to spend more time catching up with the four friends, and to see if Will is still giving monster slugs the old cough-and-flush. But perhaps another boy will meet a similarly optimistic fate.

3. The Pumpkin Patch - While I'm personally hoping for an entire episode inspired by Peanuts and Linus' holiday obsession, it's likely that the fall setting for Stranger Things Season 2 will feature pumpkin patches as a visual motif. Hopefully this is a big reference to The Upside Down and all those gross eggs Hopper found. Nothing looks grosser than rotting pumpkins in any setting, especially if they're actually monster eggs.

4. The Palace - For this title, one probably has to look to metaphors embedded within the role-playing world that Mike, Dustin, Will and Lucas love so dearly. The language there refers to princesses and knights, so it's likely the "palace" in question will be an important location that the boys and probably Nancy and maybe new characters have to visit in order something. This is a show that makes every setting important in its own right, so expect something important here, a la Castle Byers.

5. The Storm - We have multiple possible meanings here. For one, storms usually meaning lightning, and lightning ties to both The Monster's electrical powers as well as Brenner and the Department of Energy. Could weather problems result in a disaster for either the scientist's tests or for The Upside Down? Eleven was memorably first introduced to the boys during heavy rain, so maybe she'll be involved here as well. (She'd better show up before Episode 5, though.)

6. The Pollywog - The only thing the word pollywog brings to mind is a slimy tadpole, and there are a lot of easy visual comparisons to make there with things that Will might have in his system. If it's not a reference to slug beasts, then it's got to have something to do with another Upside Down entity, right?

7. The Secret Cabin - Like "The Palace," this title is pretty implicit in referring to a location, and if it's a secret place, then hot damn! We might get to meet a new character here, or perhaps find some piece of information that unlocks an entirely new set of mysteries to lead the way to Season 3. Or maybe Joyce just has a place she likes to chill and get stoned while her sons are looked after. I kind of want to keep pointing fingers at Brenner, too.

8. The Brain - This HAS to be about Brenner, right? Almost every time we saw Eleven in her testing phase, she had things hooked up to her head, or she was using her telekinetic powers. Her brain was enough to seemingly destroy The Demogorgon and also herself, so there have to be others out there that were similarly the subjects of intense testing. I'm guessing we get to see someone else's powers come to light here.

9. The Lost Brother - So many ways this one can go. In Season 1, Will was the lost brother found in the end, so it probably isn't about him, unless he succumbs to his inner slug-ness. And it doesn't seem likely that Jonathan will go missing or anything. Perhaps this is about Max's step-brother Billy, or another new set of characters to think about in the future. Maybe Eleven has a real family somewhere that's looking for her.

stranger things kids in school

Where Can I Watch Stranger Things Season 1?

To be expected, Netflix isn't going to be taking Stranger Things away from viewers any time soon, so you can currently catch Season 1 of the genre thriller right here.

Stay tune for more information about Stranger Things Season 2 whenever it becomes available to us. To see when everything else is coming to Netflix in the future, head to our premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.