What will happen in Stranger Things season 3? Here are the best fan theories

It’s new Stranger Things time! The third season of the smash-hit Netflix series arrives this week. Before you hit play, here’s a handful of the best theories going around about what might happen, writes Jenna Guillaume.

Stranger Things 3 kicks off this week! This season will take place during the summer of 1985 – school is out, there’s a new mall in town, and everyone is either hanging out there or at the local pool. That is until weird stuff starts happening…because this is Hawkins we’re talking about.

We’ve only seen a couple of teasers for the season, but naturally they’ve been more than enough to get fans speculating about what’s really going to go down. So, before you hit play on the new series, here are some of the most interesting fan theories going around…

Zombie-like creatures will take over

Thanks to season three episode titles like “The Source” and “The Bite,” combined with a shot in the trailer that looks a lot like a nasty bite on someone’s arm, many fans believe the Upside Down will infect one or more residents of Hawkins, and the virus will spread from there, zombie-like. Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer in season two, after all, and the “hive mind” of the Upside Down was compared to a viral infection. A town-wide spread of the virus would make sense – and the mall setting would make for the perfect homage to Dawn of the Dead.

Billy will be possessed

This theory is popular because it’s what the trailers seem to be heavily hinting at. That bite on someone’s arm I mentioned? Well from the brief clip we see, it definitely seems like Billy’s. And there are a few ominous shots of him in the trailer, combined with Will speculating that the Mind Flayer might have found a “new host.” So this theory seems more like a guarantee – but Stranger Things usually has some surprises up its sleeve.

Dr Brenner will be back

The last we saw of Dr Brenner – the man Eleven knows as “Papa” – he was being taken down by the Demogorgon in Season 1. (Not counting the time he appeared as a vision to Eleven in season two, of course.)

But we didn’t actually see his dead body – or even see him die. And in season two, Ray Carroll, the ex-Department of Energy employee that Eleven and Kali/Eight attack, states Dr Brenner is in fact alive. Of course, Ray is pleading for his life at the time, so his information isn’t necessarily reliable. But it would make a great twist if Brenner were to still be alive. Some fans are even speculating that Cary Elwes’ character, Mayor Kline, is somehow really Dr Brenner – which is a bit more of a stretch, but you never know.

We’ll meet more of Eleven’s “siblings”

Season two revealed the identity of Eight, a.k.a. Kali, one of the children locked up in the lab alongside Eleven. But what happened to numbers One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Nine and Ten? Fans are hoping we’ll learn more about the other kids (some of whom, er, probably won’t be kids anymore) with powers in season three – even better if we get to see some of them on screen.

Will is still possessed

In the season three trailer, Will talks about the possibility that the Mind Flayer didn’t get locked behind the gate to the Upside Down when Eleven closed it in season two. Instead, he posits, the Mind Flayer somehow stayed on the Hawkins side. Will suggests he’ll be looking for another host – but there’s also a shot of Will reaching for his neck/the back of his head, which is where he described the possession starting in season two. Could it be that Will’s actually still possessed? Or, at the very least, still connected to the Mind Flayer in some way? The poor kid just can’t escape the Upside Down.

The Mind Flayer isn’t from the Upside Down

There’s been a lot of speculation about what exactly the Upside Down is ever since season one. Some people believe it’s actually Hawkins in the future, after a nuclear apocalypse. Others suggest it’s actually a parallel universe, as it appears – but the kind that was once completely normal. You see, some fans think that the Upside Down is a universe where the Mind Flayer has already successful destroyed civilisation – and he’s now seeking to do it in the next universe. Dustin named him for the “destroyer of worlds” from Dungeons and Dragons, after all.