5 weird Stranger Things fan theories based on the season 3 episode titles

Three words: Upside Down zombies

Stranger Things eleven

Unless you’ve been living in the Upside Down, you’ve probably seen that Stranger Things has released the titles for all eight episodes in season three.

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At first glance, it might not seem like they reveal too much – what do ambiguous titles like “The Source” have to do with what’s actually going to happen in the Netflix series?

However, fans have been prodding a little deeper and have conjured up some intriguing theories…

So, just to recap, here are the episode titles for Stranger Things season three:

  1. Suzie, Do You Copy?
  2. The Mall Rats
  3. The Case of the Missing Lifeguard
  4. The Sauna Test
  5. The Source
  6. The Birthday
  7. The Bite
  8. The Battle of Starcourt

And from these, fans have formed some bizarre and brilliant theories…

The Crown - Matt Smith, Peter Morgan, Claire Foy - Writer/Creator Peter Morgan with Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) (Netflix, TL)

1. There will be a battle in the show’s new mall

Okay, it might not take a genius to work out that episode eight’s title hints at a huge final fight in Starcourt Mall, the new location introduced to fans in a recent teaser trailer.

If a battle does break out, it’s likely to involve Steve Harrington. That’s because in the teaser we see the fan favourite working in the shopping centre’s ice cream parlour, alongside new girl Robin (Maya Thurman-Hawke).

2. There will be a zombie-type infection breaking through from the Upside Down

Yup, that’s the main theory Redditors have settled on. Although it sounds outlandish at first, it soon makes a fair bit of sense.

This theory predominantly stems from the last two episode titles, The Bite and The Battle of Starcourt. While we’ve seen Demogorgons and Demodogs tear apart people with their bare teeth (RIP Bob), the show hasn’t made the ‘bite’ itself too significant; just a bit scary.

So, why the new focus? Well, what if a bite from a creature from the Upside Down actually infects somebody, eventually making them lose control of their body? After all, we’ve already seen how The Mind Flayer latched onto and controlled Will Byers. Could more Hawkins residents bend to its will?

Granted this is a tad of stretch by itself, but this idea combined with a zombie-type showdown at Starcourt Mall in episode eight sounds very Stranger Things in how its mirrors sci-fi culture from the late ‘70s and 80s.

Specifically, this scenario sounds like exactly like Dawn of the Dead, the 1978 movie which climaxes in a mall packed with zombies.

Also, it’s worth noting that the film’s sequel, Day of the Dead, was released in 1985, the same year in which Stranger Things season three is set.

Other episode titles also hint a possible zombie plague ahead. As Redditor jeremyshelton points out: “It’s worth noting that one of the most infamous viruses in history, the Bubonic Plague, was spread by rats (or fleas on rats, but it was taught up until very recently that it was rats), and that the titles ‘Mall Rats’, ‘The Source’ and ‘The Bite’ are all extremely connotative of some sort of plague spreading, with most suggesting a zombie plague.”

3. The Hawkins kids will have to lure something to the Mall

Instead of a physical bite, some have suggested that The Bite instead refers to a creature or person taking the bait – as in fishing. But why would the gang want to lure something/body to the mall? We’re sure this will have a terrible answer.

4. Max and Billy’s mum will be in danger

After reading the first episode title ­– Suzie, Do You Copy? – we all had one question: who on earth is Suzie?

Although this could refer to a new unannounced character, it’s worth noting that there may already be a Suzie in the show: Susan Hargrove, Max and Billy’s mom, whom we met briefly last season.

Could “Suzie, do you copy?” be something one of the Hawkins kids says to her over the walkie-talkie? Does she go missing?

Or could it be that Suzie is just the name Eleven adopts to blend in? Either way, sounds like Suzie is in trouble.

5. We’ll see Eleven celebrate her birthday

Of course, the title “The Birthday” could refer to any of the characters’ big day. However, we’re initially inclined to think this refers to Eleven’s.

Due to her mysterious past and limited memory of events before the first season, it’s likely a birthday would be a big deal for the young psychic. An event significant enough to name an episode after, even.

A birthday would mean that either Eleven has learnt a bit more about her past or set a day to celebrate herself –  either way, a massive piece of character development.

You heard it here first: an Eggo Extravaganza is on its way.

Stranger Things season three will be released on Netflix in 2019

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This article was originally published on 10 December 2018


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