Stranger Things: The Story So Far

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Stranger Things season 3 is only mere days away from release! After such a long delay between the second and third season naturally you may need a refresher on the story so far. So let us help you with that. Below we have the full recap of seasons 1 and 2 along with what we can expect from the characters in season 3. 

As future seasons roll on this page will become your go-to on the story of Stranger Things! Considering the Duffle brothers intend to produce of least 5 seasons of the series there’s plenty to look forward to.

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Season 1 Recap: Stranger Things

Hawkins Indiana

In the sleepy town of Hawkins, Indiana young Will Byers mysteriously disappears on his way home from playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends Mike, Dustin, and Lucas. Will’s mother Joyce Byers is convinced Will is still alive and her suspicions come true when Will appears to be able to communicate with her through the electronic devices.

A young girl known only as ‘Eleven’ is being hunted by the Department of Energy that is experimenting on young children in the hope of using them as weapons against the Soviet Union. After her escape, she is found by Mike and is taken in by the young boy and hides in his home. Eleven is a special child and shows Mike some of her abilities such as Telekinesis. When she reveals she knows who Will she also reveals where he might be. Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and El are now in search of the ‘Upside Down’ a different plane of existence where Will is trapped. Will is also being hunted by a disgusting creature which the kids name as the Demogorgon.

Throughout the season Mike’s older sister is embroiled in a love triangle between her boyfriend Steve and Will’s older brother Jonathan. Her friend Barb disappears after she and Barb went to a party at Steve’s home. Waking up in the Upside Down, Barb is captured by the Demogorgon and her fate is left unknown.

Meanwhile throughout the season the Hawkins Sheriff ‘Hopper’ is investigating the mysterious DoE in the town. As he stumbles upon a conspiracy of Cold War weapons, Kidnapping and child experiments, Hopper comes to the realization the DoE is to do with the disappearance of Will Byers.

Milly Bobby Brown as Eleven – Copyright Netflix

The Upside Down

In the finale, Will is saved by Joyce and Hopper after the DoE sends them into the Upside Down to look for him. Sadly the fate of Barb is confirmed and she suffered a grim death. When the DoE continues to hunt for Eleven, she accidentally summons the Demogorgon when it is attracted to the blood of dead soldiers that she killed with her powers. When the Demogorgon attempts to hunt down Eleven and the boys she uses her powers to sacrifice herself thus killing the Demogorgon in the process.

With Will returning home to his family, there is peace once again in Hawkins. Nancy is shown to still be with Steve with the latter replacing Jonathan’s camera after he broke it. The families are celebrating Christmas, but all is not well with Will who still appears to be connected to the Upside Down. He throws up a baby Demogorgon into the sink and the creature disappears. Meanwhile, Hopper has cut a deal with the DoE but behind their backs is storing Eleven’s favorite food ‘Eggos’ in the wood. Heavily hinting her survival.

Season 2 Recap: Stranger Things

The second starts with a car chase involving a group of young offenders escaping from the police. One of the girls uses powers to destroy the entrance to a tunnel, as a chasing Police Officer swerves to avoid crashing it’s revealed there was no collapse and the girl had made the office hallucinate. As the youths make their escape, the young girl wipes the blood from her nose and it is revealed the marking of ‘008’ indicating that she is the 8th experiment of the Department of Energy.

Meanwhile, the boys enlist a newcomer into the group known as ‘Madmax’ who previously beat all of their high scores in the local arcade. Will continues to get episodes of being in the Upside Down and witnesses a ginormous creature while there. After drawing the creature for his mother Joyce, she reveals the drawings to Hopper.

Eleven’s return

The town of Hawkins has continued to experience strange incidents in the outskirts of town which have lead Hopper back to the DoE. Hopper expresses his anger with them, as he has been leading people away from them but in return, no trouble was meant to happen for the town. It is revealed that Eleven made it back from the Upside Down and has been taken in by Hopper. As Hopper continues to break small promises with Eleven she begins to grow frustrated with her isolation and leaves the cabin home to search for Mike.

Milly Bobby Brown as Eleven in season 2 – Copyright Netflix

Relationships old and new

Nancy and Steve break up after the former reveals her true feelings about their relationship while drunk. Lucas and Max continue to grow close but Max’s brother Billy warns his sister to stay away from Lucas or he’ll do something terrible. Dustin has found a mysterious creature and has taken it in as a pet. Thinking he’s found a new species, the boys soon come to the realization it could be a baby Demogorgon and try to kill the creature. Dustin being fiercely protective, is able to hide the creature and take it home.

After refusing to run away from things that scare him thanks to the advice of Bob (Joyce’s Boyfriend), Will stands up for himself but is possessed by the giant creature when he has another episode inside the Upside Down. Eleven has a breakdown after she sees Mike with Max and mistakes their friendship for something more. After finding newspaper clippings, Eleven searches for her mother and upon finding her the traumatization from the DoE is revealed. Eleven discovers her real name is actually Jane.

Nancy and Jonathan racked with guilt tell Barb’s mother the truth. Listening in on the conversation the DoE take the pair to the Upside Down entrance and reveal the extent of the infection. They then leave Hawkins to find Barb’s investigator and that night the pair sleep together.

The Upside Down Returns

After Will draws a series of mysterious drawings, Hopper investigates the fields and finds the series of tunnels shaped like Will’s pictures. While investigating Hopper is almost consumed by the tunnel but is rescued by Joyce. Hopper is shown the full scale of the Tunnels by the DoE and realizes the town may be doomed. As the tunnels are connected to the Upside Down, whatever damage is dealt to them is also affecting will due to it damaging the creature that resides inside him

Dustin’s family cat is eaten by the baby Demogorgan so Dustin teams up with Steve to try and kill it. The creature is revealed to be a ‘Demodog’ and he is not alone. The gang takes refuge inside the junkyard bus and Steve arrives to save the day, scaring away the creatures. Meanwhile, Will, now possessed again by the creature takes out the DoE workers inside the tunnels.


Eleven is reunited with her sister Kali aka ‘008’ from the facility they grew up in. 008’s gang carry out vigilante justice upon those that have wronged them in the past. 008 also teaches Eleven how to use her powers and trains her to become more powerful. During a break in, Eleven almost kills a man with her powers, but when she remembers her friends she leaves 008 and makes her way back to help her friends in Hawkins.

Kali ‘008’ and Jane ‘Eleven’ – Copyright Netflix

The Demodogs

The Demodogs attack the facility with Bob, Joyce, Hopper and Will trapped inside. Nancy and Jonathan return to town and meet up with the rest of the gang as they devise a plan to help those trapped inside the facility. During the escape, Bob heroically sacrifices himself so the others can escape.

Dustin comes to the realization that the creature controlling Will has the same powers as Mindflayer from Dungeons and Dragons. When the Demodogs attack once again, Eleven arrives to save the day and reunites with Mike. Eleven heads to the facility with Hopper to destroy the portal to the Upside Down once and for all.

The Portal

Max’s brother Billy has been searching for her and confronts her and the boys. Max takes him down with a sedative so the boys can carry out their plan. The boys and Steve enter the tunnels and begin to destroy them. The Demodogs attempt to reach the portal being closed by Eleven but Hopper protects her with his gun ensuring she closes the portal for good.

Meanwhile Joyce, Nancy, and Jonathan attempt to rid the monster out of Will’s body. By using radiators and any extra heat they can use, the monster is exorcized from Will’s body and dissipates.

A Demodog – Copyright Netflix

One Month Later

Barb is finally laid to rest and is given a funeral. Hopper adopts Eleven and she is given the name of Jane Hopper. At the school dance, Mike and Eleven share a kiss, Max shares her first kiss to a delighted Lucas and poor Dustin strikes out. Steve had helped Dustin with his new cool looks but it was Nancy that saved the day and offered to dance with Dustin.

All seems well with the world but as the shot of the school pans out the world is flipped upside down and the monstrous creature has returned, ominously watching over the school gymnasium.

What can we expect to see from our characters in Season 3?

*There are potential spoilers ahead! So be mindful of the information below.*


Eleven had only grown more powerful in the second season and we expect her to get even stronger. Now in a relationship with Mike, we can expect to see plenty of awkward teenage romance between them.

With more danger lying ahead from the Upside Down, Eleven will be vital in the fight against the hostile dimension.

The Boys

Mike, now in a relationship with Eleven can be expected to be awkward and bumbling like most teenage boys. As the defacto leader of the group, he’ll be a huge influence on the fight against the Upside Down. The Upside Down aside, before the poop hits the fan Mike will be looking to make this Summer their best yet.

Dustin will be the same lovable character everyone fell for in the previous seasons. Hopefully, we can expect to see more scenes with Dustin and Steve after their awesome chemistry in Season 2. With 2 of the 4 boys in relationships, Dustin will likely be looking for a girlfriend.

Will has definitely faced the most hardship out of the boys. It’s unknown if his connection to the Upside Down is severed but the scars left behind will stay with him forever. Hopefully, Will can overcome his trauma and enjoy his Summer with his friends, but with the return of the Upside Down will he falter?

Lucas is now in a relationship with Max so he better watch out for her older brother Billy. With his little sister set to take a bigger role this season, he may have to become the overprotective big brother too.

Mad Max

After standing up to her brother in the previous season Max proved she isn’t one to be taken lightly. She better be careful though as Billy role in the upcoming season could have disastrous consequences for her relationship with Lucas.

Nancy and Jonathan

After her break up with Steve it was inevitable that she would end up with Jonathan. With the guilt of Barbara’s death laid to rest (literally) Nancy can finally move on with her life with Jonathan. If there’s a significant time-skip then this will be Nancy’s last summer before potentially going to college. It wouldn’t be surprising if she wanted to get away from the town of Hawkins after everything the town has been through.

As for Jonathan, he may feel like he has to stay in the town to protect his mother Joyce and his little brother Will. With his talent for photography and investigating he may get a job at the local paper but this summer will definitely decide the fate of his relationship with Nancy Wheeler.


The unsung hero of the previous season, Steve is now working at the new mall that just opened in Hawkins. Working at Scoops Ahoy he’ll be working alongside the new girl Erica for most of the Summer. With the Mall to take centre stage for the conflict ahead, we can expect Steve to be at the very heart of it.

Steve at the heart of the trouble once again – Copyright Netflix

Joyce and Hopper

After the events of the previous seasons, Joyce and Hopper have remained close friends. While many ship the pair to eventually become more than just friends, Joyce was left grieving over Bob’s death. Joyce is a fiercely protective mother and after everything Will has been through it wouldn’t be surprising if she continues to be a little too overbearing. Going off everything we know of season 3, Joyce will be at odds with the new Mayor of Hawkins, Larry Kline.

Hopper gets a second chance at being a father after adopting Eleven as his daughter. Like Joyce, we can expect Hopper to be fiercely protective over Eleven but that’s more to do with her connection to the Upside Down and her history with the Department of Energy. As the town’s chief, we can expect he’ll do everything in his power to keep the town from falling to the Upside Down.

Billy Hargrove

Out of all the characters, Billy has the most radical change of them all. His role was minimal in the previous season and was only a small adversary to the group as he had no idea of what was really going on in the town. Now as the lifeguard at the Hawkins pool, he is the centre of attention. But with the Mindflayer of the Upside Down still lingering, it ultimately chooses Billy to become its new host. As Billy comes under the control of the Mindflayer we can expect him to carry out all the evil deeds the creature needs to wreak chaos on Hawkins once again.

Billy flirting with Karen Wheeler again – Copyright. Netflix

What has been your favorite moment of Stranger Things? Let us know in the comments below.

Stranger Things: The Story So Far

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Jacob joined What's on Netflix in 2018 and serves as one of the lead writers here on What's on Netflix. Jacob covers all things Netflix movies and TV shows but specializes in covering anime and K-dramas. Resides in the United Kingdom. Contact: [email protected]