Stranger Things 4 revealed rather a lot about Eleven’s previous and dropped an enormous twist about who’s the true mastermind behind the Upside Down’s battle on humanity. But with just one season left to go, we nonetheless have a number of unanswered questions — a number of of which focus on the Upside Down.
In an interview with Variety, Ross Duffer did promise that “answers for the Upside Down is really what the basis of season 5 is about.” But relatively than sit round and watch for all to be revealed, we’ve gathered up all the things we already know about the Upside Down so we are able to begin making our personal predictions.
[Ed. note: The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things 4 part 2.]
What is the Upside Down?
The Upside Down is an alternate dimension that mirrors our world — or no less than our world if it was a poisonous hellscape overrun with creepy, transferring vines, crammed with murderous creatures linked collectively in a hive thoughts system, and is consistently experiencing electrical storms.
Likely due to these storms, the Upside Down impacts the electromagnetic discipline of our world. This is how Will was in a position to make use of the Christmas lights to speak with Joyce and why compasses will, in the event that they’re in shut sufficient vary, level to Upside Down gates relatively than true north.
When Henry Creel/One/Vecna (who we’ll hereafter refer to only as Vecna for simplicity’s sake) first entered the Upside Down, the location he arrived at didn’t seem like a model of Hawkins, although. All we noticed was a mountainous panorama and extra electrical storms. No homes. No faculty. No Castle Byers.
But if the Upside Down didn’t at all times mirror Hawkins, is it actually a parallel dimension that displays our world or an alternate dimension that was remodeled to replicate our world? Or perhaps it’s merely that the Upside Down expands far past Hawkins and we’ve beforehand solely glimpsed a small portion of it.
Did Eleven create the Upside Down?
The first recognized human contact with the Upside Down was in 1979 throughout Eleven’s combat with Vecna. During the match, Eleven was capable of overpower Vecna, utilizing her psychic skills to maintain him pinned to the Rainbow Room wall as his physique disintegrated. But earlier than he might disintegrate fully, she unintentionally opened a gate to the Upside Down behind him, which Vecna then fell by.
There’s been debate as as to if or not this scene implies that Eleven created the Upside Down or merely opened the first gate to it. But in accordance with Millie Bobby Brown, the Upside Down existed earlier than El ever meddled with it. “I don’t think that she created the Upside Down,” Brown instructed Variety in June. “No, I think that it was always there, I think she just created a gate to it which no one could before.”
Brown is probably going proper in saying that nobody created the Upside Down and that the parallel dimension has at all times existed. And if the boys’ science instructor was proper in saying there are “infinite variations” of our world in alternate dimensions, there might even be a number of variations of the Upside Down on the market.
Why is the Upside Down caught in 1983?
In Stranger Things 4 half 1, Nancy discovered that the Upside Down turned frozen in time on Nov. 6, 1983, the identical day Eleven opened the mothergate in Hawkins Lab and that Will disappeared. Obviously, this isn’t a coincidence, however it was nonetheless good to get affirmation from manufacturing designer Chris Trujillo that the Upside Down changing into caught in time is immediately tied to Eleven opening the gate. As he defined in a featurette:
The second that the Upside Down was quote-unquote “created” inadvertently by Eleven, the set dressing and the world of the Upside Down is frozen in that second. So like once we’re in Nancy’s room, we’ll uncover in the Upside Down that Nancy’s room is because it was season 1 once we first have been launched to it.
While we’re nonetheless lacking the “why” a part of this thriller, it’s potential that after Vecna entered the Upside Down, he remodeled it to match Hawkins (he does wish to reshape the world, in spite of everything). Then perhaps, after the Upside Down got here into contact with the actual Hawkins and/or Eleven’s powers when the mothergate opened, it disturbed his management over the realm and froze time consequently.
Another principle is that for years, the Upside Down remained the barren panorama we noticed Vecna first enter, and it was solely after the mothergate opened that the actual 1983 model of Hawkins was copied into the alternate dimension.
Are both of those theories nice? Who is aware of at this level. They aren’t giving us rather a lot to work with.
What monsters stay in the Upside Down?
In addition to the harmful natural world that thrive in the Upside Down, equivalent to the poisonous vines and spores, the dimension is crawling with monsters. These embrace the Mind Flayer, the terribly highly effective, many-legged mist being; the Demogorgons, whose adolescent kinds are known as Demodogs; and Demobats, which might fly and could also be smaller than Demogorgons, however are equally vicious.
Then, after all, there’s Vecna, the monstrous evolution of Henry Creel/One who preys on people’ trauma earlier than gruesomely killing them.
Is Vecna the Mind Flayer?
In the first a part of season 4, Dustin guessed that Vecna was the Mind Flayer’s “five-star general,” however it’s really the different means round.
When Vecna first entered the Upside Down, he wandered the wasteland till he got here throughout a dwelling cloud of darkish mist, which was a primitive type of the Mind Flayer. Vecna, who absorbs beings’ consciousnesses and resultantly feeds off their energy, knew he had stumbled upon precisely what he wanted to actual his revenge on the world:
I noticed so many issues, then in the future I discovered the most extraordinary factor of all. Something that may change all the things. I noticed a way to understand my potential, to transcend my human kind, to change into the predator I used to be at all times born to be.
Vecna reached out to the Mind Flayer, seemingly utilizing his powers to reshape it into the spider-legged monster he had doodled as a toddler. It was on this second that Vecna doubtless created the Upside Down hive thoughts, changing into the puppet grasp behind all the monsters whereas concurrently rising stronger by absorbing their minds.
When Eleven opened the mothergate years later, Vecna was lastly capable of get a foothold in our world. He used the hive thoughts to ship out his troopers, like the Demogorgons and Mind Flayer, all whereas he stayed in the Upside Down, build up much more energy.
What does Vecna really need?
During Vecna’s 20-minute monologue in the season 4 half 1 finale, he made his distaste for humanity extraordinarily recognized. As Vecna defined — at size — he finds folks’s hypocrisy unforgivable and sees them as irredeemable parasites. Eleven was the one exception to this, as he noticed himself in her as somebody who is healthier than the remainder of humanity. But when she turned in opposition to him and banished him into the Upside Down, any caring emotions he had for her curdled into hatred.
So in brief, his motivations don’t appear to be that difficult: destroy Eleven and destroy humanity, all underneath the pretense of doing it for a greater world unencumbered by humanity’s stain. But how Vecna has been executing this imaginative and prescient is a little more complicated.
Vecna’s final objective is to create sufficient cracks in the barrier between our world and the Upside Down, paving a means for a full-scale takeover of our world aided by his military of monsters. But Vecna knew his energy alone wasn’t sufficient to do that and that he needed to purchase and exploit Eleven’s powers as properly, which is what all the things he’s performed up till this level has been about.
“All this time, we’ve been building it for you,” Vecna instructed Eleven by Billy in season 3.
In the season 4 finale showdown with Vecna, Eleven battled with him in Max’s thoughts whereas Steve, Nancy, and Robin attacked his bodily kind, taking pictures him and engulfing him with flames. Though they thought they defeated him, Vecna survived and even managed to enact the subsequent stage of his plan.
After the combat, an enormous earthquake rocked Hawkins, creating 4 enormous rifts in the earth that converged on the middle of city. For just a few days, these rifts didn’t present indicators of their supernatural origins; by the present’s remaining scene, the Upside Down had begun coming by the cracks, bringing with it electrical storms and the vegetation-killing an infection.
Now, with the barrier between the worlds barely intact, it’s solely a matter of time earlier than Vecna tries to totally take over our world.
What is Will’s connection to the Upside Down?
After getting back from the week he spent trapped in the Upside Down, Will was nonetheless haunted (actually) by his time there. Season 2 discovered Will having visions of the Upside Down, vomiting up monster slugs, and being possessed by the Mind Flayer. Even after the Mind Flayer was pushed out of Will’s physique, we’ve seen that Will continues to be capable of sense its presence in Hawkins. Only, the finish of season 4 revealed that Will wasn’t really sensing the Mind Flayer — he was sensing Vecna.
While that is clearly fairly unsettling for Will, his ongoing connection to the Upside Down would possibly present the gang with a bonus of their combat in opposition to Vecna. “I can still remember what he thinks, and how he thinks,” Will instructed Mike.
But why is Will nonetheless linked to the Upside Down when nobody else who has visited has skilled the identical results? Some followers speculate that it’s as a result of Will is much more carefully tied to the Upside Down that we already know. There are these even who consider that Will was particularly focused for abduction in season 1 as a result of he has unexplored powers just like Eleven’s, and that’s why he survived every week there when nobody else has survived.
How many gates to the Upside Down are there?
The first recognized gate is the short-term one Eleven opened in 1979 that she despatched Vecna by. Eleven opened the first everlasting gate in 1983 after making bodily contact with a Demogorgon/Vecna whereas in a deep psychic state.
When that Demogorgon escaped into our world, it was capable of create a number of short-term gates between the two dimensions, equivalent to the one in Will’s room and the one Nancy goes by in the base of the tree. Eleven has additionally created short-term gates in the years since her escape from the lab, together with the one in Hawkins Middle School.
In 1984, Russia found the Upside Down’s existence and commenced engaged on creating its personal gate. This is what led to the creation of the Keys, finicky and risky machines that would quickly create a gate. While there are a number of keys in existence, we solely know the places of two: the one underneath Starcourt Mall and the one in Kamchatka.
After destroying the Starcourt gate in season 3, the Hawkins gang thought they’d closed all the openings to the Upside Down. But when Vecna killed Chrissy, Fred, and Patrick, every of their deaths coincided with the opening of a brand new gate.
However, when Vecna acquired his fourth sacrifice in Max, it didn’t simply create one other small gate. Instead, enormous rifts between the worlds opened up all through Hawkins, turning the whole metropolis into the greatest gate but.
So what number of gates are there, precisely? The reply: too many.