Stranger Things
Photo: Netflix

The first season of Stranger Things was loved by fans worldwide, prompting Netflix to quickly renew the show for a second season. Since the original series aired, theories about the show’s characters have been circulating, along with casting rumors. While Season 1 will be hard to top, details about Season 2 promise more horror, more mystery, and even more episodes. With just a few days standing between us and Season 2, here’s what we know so far.

1) Season 2 will be released on October 27, 2017.

Though Netflix previously said the new season would be released on Halloween, the official Season 2 poster, released today, shows it will premiere the Friday before—ideal for a weekend of bingeing. The poster hints at something ominous coming, paired with the tagline “Some doors can’t be closed.” Perhaps we’ll be returning to the Upside Down?

Here’s how Netflix describes the new season:

It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

2) Season 2 will feature nine episodes.

Increasing the order from Season 1’s eight episodes, Netflix has given the Duffer brothers even more time to expand the Stranger Things universe.

Related article: The ‘Stranger Things’ Kids Went On A Louis Vuitton Field Trip With Nicolas Ghesquière

Stranger things
From left: Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in Stranger Things Season 2. Photo: Netflix

3) The villain will be worse than Season 1’s Demogorgon.

Co-creator Ross Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s not about just taking another monster—it’s a bigger, badder monster. We want it to feel a little bit different, a little bit darker.” Producer Shawn Levy confirmed this in an interview with GoldDerby (via Bloody Disgusting) when he said, “I think overall the kind of forces of evil that are inherent in Season 2 make that Demogorgon look quaint in retrospect.” Basically, if The Monster in Season 1 seemed terrifying, then things are going to get much, much worse.

4) Will (Noah Schnapp) is still central to the plot.

Producer Shawn Levy also told GoldDerby, “Will Byers is very much at the center of several intersecting challenges and threats in Season 2.” Actor Finn Wolfhard confirmed this during a Netflix panel, stating, “Something happens to Will in the first couple of episodes that’s very, very disturbing.” Co-creator Matt Duffer echoed that to Entertainment Weekly: “He seems to be seeing images from the Upside Down—the question is whether they’re real or not… It seems like he’s having some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder.” Having just been reunited with his friends and family, it sounds as though Will’s life begins to disintegrate very quickly.

Stranger Things
Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in Stranger Things Season 2. Photo: Netflix

5) Season 2 will have a different structure.

Co-creator Matt Duffer told THR, “It’s going to be very different structurally, which is fun.” Perhaps the story will be less linear, or will span a greater period of time? Season 1’s eight episodes had a fairly narrow focus—the search for Will—but it sounds like Season 2 will expand to incorporate new characters and storylines.

6) Sean Astin from The Goonies and The Lord of the Rings will play a new character.

According to Netflix’s press release, Astin will play Bob Newby, “a kind-hearted former nerd who went to high school with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) and now manages the local Hawkins RadioShack.” Additionally, Entertainment Weekly revealed plot details about Season 2 back in February, disclosing that Bob is dating Joyce when Season 2 opens. “She’s trying to mask a lot,” Ryder said. “I think she’s made this choice with Bob because she wants a good father figure in her sons’ lives.”

Related article: 5 Iconic TV Series Revivals To Look Forward To In 2017

Stranger Things
From left: Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers and Sadie Sink as Max in Stranger Things Season 2. Photo: Netflix

7) Paul Reiser will play a new character called Dr. Owens.

According to Netflix, Reiser’s character is “a high-ranking member within the Department of Energy on a ‘clean-up’ assignment, tasked with containing the events of last year.” Dr. Owens sounds like a low-key villain, trying to cover-up the devastating events of Season 1, and hoping to get to the bottom of Eleven’s disappearance. He could be an important antagonist.

8) The first episode of Season 2, “Madmax,” refers to a new character.

THR describes Max, played by Sadie Sink as “a tough and confident girl” who’s a bit of a tomboy and has a penchant for skateboarding. Max’s step-brother, Billy, played by Dacre Montgomery, will also be introduced, and is apparently super confident, excels at drinking games, and is unpredictably violent. He also has a talent for stealing other people’s girlfriend’s, which could spell trouble for Steve and Nancy. Of Billy, Matt Duffer tells EW, “The evil in the real world is often as bad or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that.”

Stranger Things
Actress Sadie Sink, who plays Max. Photo: Netflix
Stranger Things
Actor Dacre Montgomery, who plays Billy. Photo: Netflix

9) Eleven will be back.

Fans worried that Season 1’s conclusion might spell the end for Eleven, but as Millie Bobby Brown appears in the Stranger Things teaser trailer, we know she’ll be back. Hopefully, she’ll be more powerful than ever.

10) New episodes are set in 1984, one year after the events of Season 1.

The cast have been seen sporting Ghostbusters costumes, an important nod to the year in which the new season is set.

Stranger Things
Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things Season 2. Photo: Netflix

11) We’ll find out more about Hopper’s daughter.

Actor David Harbour spoke at New York Comic Con in October 2016, and said, “I feel like with the loss of a daughter like that, I just feel like he’s truly broken in a way that almost cannot be healed.” Harbour promised that Hopper’s back story would be explored in even more detail.

Stranger Things
David Harbour as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things Season 2. Photo: Netflix

12) Barb (Shannon Purser) is definitely dead.

According to Millie Bobby Brown, Barb will not be back for Season 2as she told Entertainment Weekly, “No, she’s not alive!” It’s a sad time for Barb fans, that’s for sure, but producer Shawn Levy promises she will get justice: “Her memory and the search for justice for her is a part of Season 2,” he told Variety.

Related article: 8 Things You Missed In The ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 Trailer

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US