For those of you who haven't heard of it, "Stranger Things" is a Netflix Original Series that will knock your socks off. It's sort of like the best X-Files episode of all time expanded into an eight-hour story line. I'm a very busy mother of two young kids, and I've watched it twice. That should tell you something.
*Here come the spoilers*
The first season left us with a lot of unanswered questions: Is Eleven alive? Who is Hopper working for? What was that egg? How did Will survive? Is there any conceivable way that poor Barb will make it out alive? (Give it up, guys. She's gone.)
The most interesting questions, I think, are about the Demogorgon and the Upside Down. Where did it come from? What else is in the Upside Down? Some people have hypothesized that the Demogorgon and Eleven are linked, like she accidentally created him or maybe he's a part of her that got separated and now is running amok.
I believe there's no connection between the Demogorgon and Eleven because there's proof the monster has been there for much longer. The show left us a really big clue that no one saw, and it was right under our noses:
The skeleton in the Upside Down.
The events of the show take place over the course of one week, and during that week, the Demogorgon takes six people. When you first watch this show you might think the skeleton belongs to one of the six, but Barb (let's take a moment of silence for poor Barb) was recognizably intact. This guy has been dead for much, much longer.
You might be thinking, "Okay, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Perhaps the slugs ate all the flesh. Perhaps things decompose faster in the Upside Down. Perhaps Barb was so intact because she isn't really dead and we're going to see her in season two." (Let it go! She's gone.)
Here's the thing, though. I believe the show told us exactly who this skeleton belonged to, and that it wasn't one of the six who disappeared over the course of the show.
Hopper dropped the bomb (possibly) in episode 2 when he was standing on his porch talking to Sandra. He said, "The last person to go missing here was in '23."
Does that skeleton look like someone who died in 1923? Yup. It does.
If someone got taken from the town in 1923, that means a Demogorgon has been around for almost a century.
That leaves us with an interesting question: what happened to all the slugs that came out of the corpse taken in 1923? This Demogorgon seems to be all by himself in the Upside Down, so if there's already been a round of slug-hatching, one must wonder why we don't see any others.
Notice that the Demogorgon only traveled in a small area of the town. Jonathan and Nancy point this out when they start hunting it. They also compare the monster to other predators in our dimension, and predators can be very territorial.
Perhaps the Demogorgon only prowled such a small area because that was his territory. He couldn't go outside of it because there are other Demogorgons all over the world with their own claimed patches of earth, waiting for portals to open so they can snatch up unsuspecting humans and lay their slug babies inside them.
Either the Demogorgon we see in the show snatched the person in 1923 and all his slug babies have moved on to their own territory, or that's the corpse he was born in when he was a slug baby. Maybe he ate his brothers and sisters.
Need more convincing? There is another clue that suggests the monster has visited the town before. Hawkins Lab is a mysterious building where Doctor Brenner experiments on Eleven (and possibly ten other kids). It might not be a coincidence that the building was placed in that particular town. We don't know all that was going on in that lab, only that at one point, they use Eleven to spy on the Russians.
Doctor Brenner doesn't seem surprised when Eleven finds the Demogorgon. In fact, he's pleased and is eager to communicate with it. It's possible that the building is there because that was the last known sighting of the Demogorgon, and finding the Upside Down was one of Hawkins Lab's many projects.
One thing is for sure; we're going to be seeing a lot of monsters in season two. In the foreshadow-heavy Dungeons and Dragons game at the end, the Thessalhydra appears. And as we all know, when you cut off one head from a hydra. many more appear.