You are fans of Stranger Things but you are starting to get lost in the lexicon of the series between the Demogorgons, the Upside Down World, the Mind Lair… AlloCiné is here to guide you!
During the four seasons of Stranger Things, the mythology of the series has been substantially expanded. From the Demogorgon, main antagonist of the first season to Vecna in season 4, a lot has happened! And the explanations to accompany all these strange phenomena have also multiplied. It is therefore time to take stock of all the term specific to Stranger Things.
The Upside Down
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Let’s start with the beginning. The Upside Down is an alternate dimension that exists alongside the world of Hawkins, also called the Upside Down in French. The dimension originally consisted entirely of sprawling mountains and floating rocks, and was home to a race of humanoid predators.
Somehow, the Upside Down transformed from its original state and became a perfect copy of the human world, exactly as it existed on November 6, 1983. However, unlike the world human, this new incarnation of the Upside Down is overrun with alien vines, spores and membranes, and it is completely devoid of human life.
Portals or gates in English appear like gaping wounds and are actually ruptures in space-time and the fabric of reality that connect the human world to the Upside Down. They serve as bridges between dimensions, allowing anyone to move back and forth between worlds instantly.
Eleven, Vecna, and the Demogorgon all possess the ability to create portals. Additionally, these portals can be considered extensions of the Upside Down, since they are made of the same vines and other components found throughout the dimension.
Also known as the “Rift”, the Mothergate is a portal to the Upside Down located in the subterranean section of Hawkins National Laboratory. The Mothergate was unwittingly opened by Eleven on November 6, 1983. She was led by Dr. Brenner to make psychic contact with the Demogorgon, an action that tore the fabric of reality, forming a rift in the wall connecting the Upside Down.
These are the first creatures from the Upside Down that we discover in the series. They are fearsome native predators. Everyone encountered so far is believed to obey the Mind Flayer and be part of its hive mind. Under his influence, the Demogorgons are murderous, violent, and have limited intelligence.
They are variants of the Demogorgons. Instead of having a humanoid-looking body, they have dog-like bodies instead. Dustin took a liking to one of them as a “baby Demodog” but it clearly wasn’t a good idea.
These nasty little creatures are bats from the Upside Down, with razor-sharp teeth. They appear in the fourth season and are mostly associated with Vecna. They also seem to be directly connected to his mind and will.
The Vines or Vines in English, also called tendrils, are one of the dominant lifeforms present in the Upside Down. And they are all connected via the Hivemind. The vine is a life form that falls somewhere between the traditional idea of a “plant” and an “animal”. They represent a real danger for those who are tied up by them.
The extraterrestrial vines, along with the Demogorgons and Demobats form a kind of hive mind that can be seen as a collective intelligence. This shared psychic connection was made possible through the Mind Flayer.
The Mind Flayer
The Mind Flayer or Mind Flayer in French is an entity from the Upside Down. When discovered, it is a gigantic entity, spanning at least 50 floors and with the appearance of a giant spider. He seems to have control over all of the Upside Down via a psychic link with all the other creatures.
We learned in episode 9 of season 4 that it was initially just a huge cloud of particles. It was Henry Creel aka One aka Vecna who gave him his spidery form when he discovered the Upside Down.
The Mind Lair
It’s an imaginary place that exists in Vecna’s mind. By casting her curse, Vecna can cause her victims to hallucinate and bring them into her mindscape. We had several glimpses of it. First with Max who managed to escape thanks to Kate Bush’s song in episode 4. Then with Nancy who showed him the future destruction of Hawkins before releasing her. When in the Mind Lair, Vecna is then vulnerable as he is in a trance-like state, levitating in the attic of his childhood home in the Upside Down.
The Void is a visual representation of Eleven’s mind as she practices the technique of astral projection where she uses extrasensory perception to locate other people or entities in places different from her own.