Back in 2016, Stranger Things set the streaming world on fire when a group of kids befriended a girl named Eleven with telekinetic powers. After three seasons’ worth of government coverups, vicious monsters and teen drama, there’s no doubt that Eleven and her group of friends still captivate a huge fandom. To everyone’s disappointment, the wait for the penultimate Season 4 has been especially long because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, Season 4 finally has two release dates, and fans couldn’t be more excited for more Upside Down-related action.

It’s worth noting that as the thrilling and mysterious Season 4 approaches, audiences still know frighteningly little about the lore behind the franchise. For instance, it’s unclear when scientists of Hawkins National Lab became aware of the Upside Down. For that matter, it’s unknown what the Upside Down actually is. However, a recent poster may offer some insight into a particular function of the Upside Down.

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Even in Stranger Things Season 1, fans got a few extended looks at the Upside Down. Nancy briefly found herself inside it on one occasion while Joyce and Hopper traveled through the Upside Down to rescue Will. From those glimpses of an evil-looking Hawkins, most fans assumed that the Upside Down was some kind of evil, parallel universe. But no one truly knows how it works, where it came from or when or where it connected to our world. That means that most of fans’ knowledge about the evil dimension came from visual clues and conjectures, not unalterable facts.

One particular trend has lent itself to the theory that the Upside Down is a parallel universe. Through three seasons, every instance where characters have passed through the fabric of spacetime and into the Upside Down, they have seen a dark and decayed version of the same place that they just left – that is, until Stranger Things Season 3’s post credit’s scene. It showed that Hopper wasn’t dead, and for some reason, he was in Russia. Maybe there’s another explanation, but the prevailing theory is that he survived the blast by entering the Upside Down and emerging again in Russia.

Now, based on fans’ previous understanding of the Upside Down, Hopper would have had to travel the full distance to Russia inside of the evil dimension before emerging there. Yet, that makes no sense, as he has no reason to be in Russia and would’ve had to cross an ocean to get there. It’s much more likely that he entered the Upside Down in Hawkins and automatically came out in Russia – meaning that the Upside Down must have some kind of teleportative powers.

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The recent Stranger Things posters all but confirm these teleportation theories. Notably, Joyce and Murray are in Hopper’s poster, suggesting that they will end up in Russia too. After all, why would they make a poster of them in coats with Hopper if they were just going to stay in the USA? That said, there aren’t regular tickets to prison camps in Siberia. So, it looks like they will end up finding their own way to Russia – probably through the Upside Down and perhaps through a secret door in the desert.

It all makes sense when considering Mr. Clarke’s explanation of the Upside Down in Stranger Things Season 1, using the “Flea and the Acrobat” metaphor. By folding a paper plate in half and punching a hole through the plate, he connected the two dimensions by making a gate. Running with his metaphor, what’s to say that there couldn’t be multiple folds in the plate (i.e. multiple folds in spacetime)? That would mean that someone leaving one dimension could emerge in a totally different place in another dimension – hence the theory that the Upside Down can work as a portal. Regardless, it’s obvious that fans have a lot to learn about the Upside Down.

To see if the Upside Down is a portal, Stranger Things Season 4, Vol. 1 premieres May 27 on Netflix. Season 4, Vol. 2 premieres July 1.

KEEP READING: Ending Stranger Things With Season 5 Is the Right Call



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