Skip to main content

Since the show began, Stranger Things fans have been coming up with all kinds of theories to try to guess what will happen next. Season 4 returns with volume II on July 1. After that, there will only be one season left. Viewers are speculating about which characters will die, how the show will end, and more. Maya Hawke and Joe Keery especially like this one meta fan theory.

Maya Hawke and Joe Keery love this Stranger Things fan theory. Robin and Steve wear their Family Video vests.
Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley and Joe Keery as Steve Harrington in ‘Stranger Things’ | Netflix

The game Dungeons and Dragons influences ‘Stranger Things’

Dungeons and Dragons plays an important role throughout Stranger Things. Will, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas are first introduced while playing the fantasy game. After Will disappears, they name the evil monster in the Upside Down after a creature from the game — the Demogorgon. In season 2 the Mind Flayer, another evil entity that takes its name from D&D is introduced.

Finally, Stranger Things Season 4 introduced Vecna. Time Magazine writes that in D&D Vecna was a “long-vanquished lich—a wizard who used dark forbidden magics to keep themselves effectively immortal but in a perpetual state of undead decay.”

Joe Keery and Maya Hawke love this ‘Stranger Things’ fan theory

During a video hosted by Vanity Fair, Stranger Things actors Maya Hawke, Joe Keery, Natalia Dyer, and Joseph Quinn sat down to read some fan theories out loud. One especially caught Hawke and Keery’s attention. “Paul De Paula’s theory is: the whole show is just an elaborate D&D game. The kids are actually all grown up and fantasizing about their imagined childhood nightmares,” Keery read aloud.

“Love this theory,” he stated, with Hawke repeating the sentiment. The four actors then speculated who would play the older versions of the Stranger Things kids. Keery suggested Bill Hader for Finn Wolfhard’s character Mike, while Hawke added that Natalie Portman could play an adult version of Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven.


‘Stranger Things’ Season 4: Will Nancy and Steve Get Back Together?

The actors also speculated that their characters would just be figments of the kids’ imaginations. “I think the core kids, those would be the players and we would just be sort of the bards and what have you,” Keery said. “I think we’d probably be people they encounter in their normal lives. You’d be like the postman,” Quinn added to his costar.

‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 incorporated the Satanic Panic

Season 4 also incorporated the Satanic Panic which gripped much of the 1980s in the United States. The intense fear that Satan worshippers were abusing, kidnapping, and murdering innocents grew widespread. According to Collider, the hysteria surrounding D&D began in 1983, when Christian conservative Patricia Pulling founded the “advocacy” group Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons.

This intense fear plays well into Stranger Things Season 4. Head of the Hawkins High basketball team Jason Carver becomes convinced that the violent deaths occurring in Hawkins are due to the work of the Hellfire Club’s Satan worship. Of course, in reality, the Hellfire Club is nothing more than a group of teens who enjoy playing a good RPG.

All episodes of Stranger Things are currently streaming on Netflix.