'Stranger Things' Fan Theory Thinks an Established Character Could Become Season 3's Monster

The trailer for Stranger Things' third season debuted earlier this week, promising even more '80s nostalgia and plot twists surrounding the show's group of characters. The trailer also showed off a pretty gnarly new monster -- and some think that its origin could be more than meets the eye.

A theory has been making the rounds online since the trailer was released, which suggests that Season 3's new monster could have an established character - Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) - hidden underneath. The trailer points to a few shots in particular as evidence for the theory - where Billy freaks out in the shower after discovering a red and black growth on his arm, and another shot where his eyes appear to be infected with black tendrils.

stranger things season 3 monster billy 1
(Photo: Netflix)
stranger things season 3 monster billy 2
(Photo: Netflix)

Granted, there's always a chance that the growth on Billy's arm could be tied to some other creepiness in Hawkins altogether, but some other context clues around the season help further the theory. The poster and a cryptic teaser for the season have featured rats in some way, with one of the season's episodes even being called "Mall Rats". As PopSugar suggests, the fact that rats carry disease could somehow factor into how Billy gets infected with some sort of Upside Down energy, despite not being near much of Season 2's conflict. Whether the rats symbolize the other characters somehow carrying the disease and exposing it to Billy, or literal Upside Down rats made their way into the pool that he's working at in Season 3, remains to be seen.

As fans will remember, Billy was largely an antagonist and bully in Stranger Things' second season, but began to gain sympathy among some fans after it was revealed that he's stuck in a cycle of abuse. While having him be the monster would probably get a varied response among Stranger Things' audience, it also would evolve his character in a pretty unexpected way. It also would make the recent comment that there will be two antagonists in the season make a lot of sense.


“It does feel bigger, just filming it — obviously I haven’t seen any of it, but it does feel bigger, darker, scarier," Stranger Things star Natalia Dyer recently shared with MTV News. "It felt like they noticeably bumped it up to a different level this season. So I’m excited to see it, too. I don’t know how they do it, [creators] the [Duffer] brothers, but yeah, I’m excited.”

Stranger Things' third season will debut on July 4th on Netflix.