'Stranger Things 3' : Everything to Remember Before Watching the New Season

Stranger Things season 3 will stream July 4 on Netflix

It’s been nearly one year and nine months since the second season of Stranger Things premiered (yes, we’ve been counting), and there’s a lot of catching up to do before we binge-watch the third season.

At the end of season 2, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) heroically closed the gate to the Upside Down, a dark and mysterious place where the Shadow Monster (aka the Mind Flayer) lives. But in the season 3 trailer, Eleven, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp) and the rest of the gang once again face the Shadow Monster and fight to save the residents of Hawkins, Indiana, from becoming possessed.

“What if he never left? What if we locked him out here with us? He’d want to attach himself to someone again. A new host,” Will says in the trailer as Billy (Dacre Montgomery) appears, looking particularly evil.

Stranger Things
Stranger Things Season 3. Netflix

Before we get into what’s in store for your favorite characters this upcoming season, let’s take a look back at the major storylines of season 2 to better help you prepare for what’s to come.

Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer.

In season 2, Will was taken over by the monster after being trapped in the Upside Down back in season 1. The Mind Flayer took over his body and wreaked havoc on the town. But eventually, it was revealed that the Shadow Monster doesn’t like the cold. Will’s mom (Winona Ryder), brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) exorcised the monster out of Will with heat.

Hopper became a surrogate dad to Eleven.

After season 1, Hopper (David Harbour) navigated the struggles of becoming a father-figure to Eleven. The two lived in an isolated cabin in the woods, in effort to protect Eleven from the scientists who conducted experiments on her.

Stranger Things/Twitter

Eleven found her birth mother.

In a journey of self-discovery, Eleven (who was born as Jane) used her powers to track down her birth mother, Terry. When she tapped into her mother’s memory, she discovered there were others like her. She found a group of young men and women with similar powers but eventually headed back to Hawkins after realizing her friends back home were in danger.

Nancy and Steve broke up — and Nancy and Jonathan heated up!

With the stress of Barb’s sudden death taking a toll on their relationship, Nancy and Steve (Joe Keery) went their separate ways. Nancy and Jonathan spent most of season 2 getting closer, finally sparking up a romantic relationship.

New kids Billy and Max moved to Hawkins.

Billy (Dacre Montgomery), the new bad boy in town, and little sister Max (Sadie Sink) were new to Hawkins. Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) battled it out for the affections of Max, and Lucas won her heart.

Stranger Things Season 2. Netflix

Eleven and Mike kissed!

In the season’s final moments, Eleven attended the school dance (the Snow Ball), where she kissed Mike for the first time.

Eleven closed the gate to the Upside Down, or so they thought.

Eleven used all of her powers to close the gate to the Upside Down, but in the final scene, the shadow of the Mind Flayer surrounded Hawkins High.

STRANGER THINGS Sadie Sink, Noah Schnapp, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin

In the new trailer for the upcoming season, a mysterious voice threatens the gang.

“You let us in, and now you are going to have to let us stay,” the voice says in the nearly three-minute-long trailer. “We are going to end you. We are going to end your friends. And we are going to end everyone.”

“It doesn’t make sense. I closed the gate,” Eleven says.


The Starcourt Mall, the latest addition to Hawkins, is the backdrop for a giant battle with the monster.

In addition to dealing with the Upside Down and Mind-Flaying monsters, the crew have something even scarier to deal with in season 3: adolescence.

“We’re not kids anymore,” Mike says in the first full-length trailer that dropped back in March. “I mean, what did you think? We’re just going to sit in my basement all day?”

That trailer’s tagline leaves a sense of foreboding: “One Summer Can Change Everything.”

Stranger Things 3 drops Thursday on Netflix.

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