This ‘Stranger Things 3’ Fan Theory Makes Perfect Sense

If ever there was a time to count down to Independence Day, it would be now. Why? July 4 is the day that fans welcome Stranger Things 3 into their binge-watching lists after waiting for over a year.

That’s been more than enough time for everyone to marinate on what’s to come during this next installment of the series. While the show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, have been pretty coy about details, fans have been piecing together their own predictions based on what is known and what can be decoded through clues.

Based on various interviews with the Stranger Things team, the show’s season 3 trailer, promotional artwork, and past seasons, the internet has come up with quite a few credible theories about where things are headed for the Hawkins crew. But there’s one about this season’s monster that might actually come to pass: It’s spawned from a virus and Billy is patient zero. Let’s explore the evidence.

'Stranger Things' logo at Paris Games Week.
‘Stranger Things’ logo is displayed during the ‘Paris Games Week’. | Getty Images/Chesnot


Billy is the Monster

Based off a season 3 episode titled “The Bite,” it’s fair to say that it’s an ominous thing to be the victim of one. Billy’s lifeguard duties could be at stake with that festering wound seen on his arm in the trailer. Those black veins in his arm and eyes are reminiscent of the monster virus that was coursing through Will last season.

Screen Rant points out that Billy has a rash and that Steve gets injected with something against his will. Poor Billy could be the sole monster or just one of many. Rats may be doling out pestilence through their bites, or another villain helps to spread an infection that turns people into this season’s menace.


How rats are the harbingers of doom

Rats are scavengers, swimmers, biters, and disease carriers. “Mall Rats” is a title of one of the new season’s episodes, and although the trailer contains multiple shots of Starcourt Mall and everything it has to offer, the rats aren’t a cutesy nickname for the teenagers hanging out at the place.

A teaser trailer shared on the Stranger Things Twitter account showed rats running into a warehouse in true Pied Piper fashion. The official trailer flashed a quick shot of them scurrying about, but are they running toward something or away from it? Since rats are known to be agents of nastiness, could they be a sign of what’s spreading through Hawkins?

It is also important to mention that rats are found throughout Dungeons & Dragons in the form of Moonrats, Cranium Rats, Wererats, and more. No matter what, their appearance can’t be good.


The Dungeons & Dragons connection

The Duffer Brothers have already made it clear that this season will feature a new evil baddie. It won’t be the Demogorgon or the Mind Flayer per se, but with the portal supposedly closed by Eleven, the Upside Down’s newest threat will have to find a craftier way to infiltrate the people of Hawkins, Indiana.

In keeping with the show’s track record of using Dungeons & Dragons references, it would make sense that the creature can be found in the game’s Monster Manual. The wise people of Reddit and other internet spaces have narrowed the monstrosity down to a few, but one that sticks out is the Tarrasque.  

Besides being ugly, D&D lore says that the Tarrasque is covered in spikes and horns, has multiple legs, bares sharp teeth, and oh, its claws can break stone. If that isn’t charming enough, it likes to gore, bite, and swallow its prey. Their tails are lethal and obviously, they are hard to kill.

Nerdist mentions that monsters like the Mind Flayer use vessels to do their bidding, possibly through infection. Judging by the looks of the trailer, it is possible that someone could be morphing into the monster – someone who opened a gate or stumbled across a link to one. Could it be Billy, Steve, or a new character like Jake Busey’s Bruce?

Season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things was an intense emotional rollercoaster ride that delivered the thrills, creepiness, and adrenaline surges that people have come to love about the show. Once the Fourth of July rolls around, there will be more than fireworks, hot dogs, and Scoops Ahoy to keep our attention. Time to hedge your bets on the monster.