Okay, Really, What Is Stranger Things' Scariest Monster, The Demogorgon?

Photo: Curtis Baker/Netflix.
With Stranger Things season 2 just days away, there's never been a better time to binge watch the Netflix blockbuster. Yes, we all remember becoming obsessed with the series' badass, psychic heroine Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), but what about everything else? What about the actual sci-fi monster mystery at the heart of Strangers' eight-episode first season? The absolute chaos wrought by the terrifying Demogoron is a little bit harder to remember over a year after the series debuted in July 2016.
And, even if you remember every single detail about Matt and Ross Duffer's beloved series, it's probably still a little bit difficult to understand what in the heck a Demogoron really even is. A monster with a deadly flower for a face isn't exactly intuitive for humans.
So, we decided to break down precisely what a Demogoron is, why it arrived in Hawkins, Indiana, and where its origins lie. Keep reading to get all of your major Demogoron questions answered before Eleven and friends return to your TV screen. You're going to need these deets before apparently meeting yet another Stranger monster.
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The Demogorgon Is An Inter-Dimensional Being

The Stranger Things season 1 villain clearly doesn’t hail from our dimension, but does have the ability to travel easily from our plane to its own, which is called the Upside-Down. The Upside-Down basically looks like our word, but is completely dark and filled with creepy vines, weird pieces of white debris floating through the air, and so many terrifying slug-like creatures (one terrifying slug-like creature is already too many).
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The Demogorgon Basically Looks Like A Nightmare Person

The more you think about an image of the Demogorgon, the scarier it becomes. The creature has a human-like body, with two limbs for arms and two for legs, but it’s skin is much different from ours and it has no obvious genitals.

Oh, and instead of a head with facial features, the Demogorgon has a completely flat face, which opens up to what looks like a five-petal face. Instead of sunshine, rainbows, or chlorophyll, inside of that face-flower are teeth. So many teeth. And a weird giant hole inside where one can assume the Demogorgon insides live.
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The Demogorgon Is An Actual Dungeon & Dragons Character

The Demogorgon gets its name from a D&D character, whose game piece Eleven uses to convey what the monster is like. Therefore, "Demogorgon" is not actually the creature’s official name. It’s just the one our heroes use because role-playing games are the only way they can relate to their newfound horror-filled reality.

That’s good, because I would only relate to the nightmare fiasco in Hawkins, Indiana by screaming. And no one wants a Netflix’s monster’s nickname to just be eight expletives strung together.
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The Demogorgon Is Extremely Different In D&D

While Stranger Things’ Demogorgon is a screeching interdimensional monster with a flower-face of death, D&D’s Demogorgon is a “Demon lord” who calls itself, “the Prince of Demons,” according to a Dungeon & Dragons page. This means the D&D Demogorgon can speak, unlike the one on Netflix. He also has snake and bear-like features, a dangerous tail, two heads with wildly different personalities, and a literal cult following. And, he has a feuds with other demons.

Honestly, it sounds like Netflix could dedicate its own series just to this Demogorgon.
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The Demogorgon Wasn’t Trying To Make It To Our World

In Stranger Things episode “The Monster,” we finally find out how the Demogorgon managed to find its way to Hawkins, and it wasn’t exactly its fault. Rather, the scientists controlling Eleven, especially Dr. Martin “Papa” Brenner (Matthew Modine), found out about the creature during their psychic-powered spy games and asked the child to make contact.

When Eleven found the Demogorgon once again, she touched it. The Demogorgon responded by turning around and screaming in her face. The girl got so scared, her reaction to her fear inadvertently ripped open the gate. Then, the Demogorgon just ran on through.
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In Fact, The Demogorgon Doesn’t Have Any Plots Or Schemes

The Demogorgon seemed more than content to stay in the Upside-Down, chomping on weird sheer egg things — as it was when Eleven first “made contact — and chasing down anyone who happened upon its realm. But, when the “gate” opened between the two dimensions, it was happy to terrorize a new space, which is filled with prey.

Even when the Demogorgon is hunting the people and animals of Hawkins, it doesn’t have a plan in mind for any type of meaningful domination. It’s simply hunting kills like any other predator in a new space. Even when it’s seemingly haunting the Byers household, that's not because it means to, or has some malevolent scheme.

It seems that area is simply one of the areas where the divide between the two worlds is thinnest, evidenced by the fact Will can also get through to his loved ones there, and the Demogorgon senses there is prey in the household. The creature doesn’t want anything other than food.
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The Demogorgon Is More Like Jaws Than Anything Else

Since the Demogorgon isn’t exactly a scheming super villain like The Avengers’ Loki (Tom Hiddleston), it’s more like a killer animal.

The man inside of the Demogorgon (Mark Steger), yes, that wasn’t all CGI, explained the titular villain of Jaws was actually a major influence for both Stranger Things creators the Duffer brothers, and the actor himself. “The simple directions the Duffers gave me were, "You're basically a shark, like the shark from Jaws, and you travel between realms to feed,’" Steger told Vice in August 2016. “So that was my main goal in this character.”
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The Demogorgon Is Really Attracted To Blood

As we see throughout Stranger Things season 1, have blood, the Demogorgon will travel. That is why it appeared in Steve Harrington’s (Joe Keery) backyard after Barb Holland (Shannon Purser) cut her hand open with a knife. It also hunted an injured deer and two hunters, who would all be emitting the smell of blood.

Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) exploit that attraction to blood to ambush the Demogorgon in the Byers' house. Steve was also there, but that was an accident.
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But, The Demogorgon Isn’t Only Attracted To Blood

When the Demogorgon makes it Earth-side for the first time, it kills a bunch of people who were most likely not bleeding in the Hawkins laboratory. It also kidnapped Will Byers, despite the fact he has no known wounds.

It's safe to say the Demogorgon also responds to sounds.
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The Demogorgon Behaved Out Of Character With Will

Traditionally, any prey the Demogorgon captured in our dimension and subsequently dragged back to the Upside-Down was immediately killed and devoured, as we see with Barbs’ dead body (#JusticeForBarb) and the deer carcass.

Will however, managed to escape the Demogorgon and survive for an entire week in the Upside-Down. That, in itself, is bizarre and a big question mark in the Stranger Things universe.
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The Demogorgon Is Dead

In Eleven’s final moments of Stranger season 1, she sacrifices her own life to kill the Demogorgon, since she blames herself for allowing it to enter our world in the first place. After Nancy, Jonathan, and by-accident-Steve burned the Demogorgon alive, Eleven uses her psychic abilities to destroy the creature from the inside, out.

Since Stranger Things always needs an other-worldly adversary, the promotional materials for season 2 suggests the dead Demogorgon will be replaced by a shadow monster from the Upside-Down.
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