When we last left Hawkins, Indiana, things were relatively peaceful for the characters of Stranger Things. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) had closed the gate and reunited with Mike (Finn Wolfhard) in time to share a cute moment at the Snow Ball. Hopper (David Harbour) got a birth certificate for Eleven, and their father-daughter relationship started to feel blissfully normal. Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) shared a sweet moment with newcomer Max (Sadie Sink), Steve (Joe Keery) grew into his dad vibes, and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) gave Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) a pep talk. Will (Noah Schnapp) was finally freed from the grips of a shadow monster, much to the relief of Joyce (Winona Ryder) who was already mourning the loss of her boyfriend, Bob (Sean Astin).
But during the Snow Ball, another shadow monster lurked quietly in the sky, suggesting that the Upside Down was not done causing trouble for our faves and that Stranger Things season 3 was sure to upend all this happiness once more. Though we hated to see it on their behalf, the shadow monster’s presence left a lot of ground to cover in third season, which finally arrives on July 4. It’s been nearly two years since season 2 dropped, and several new characters have joined Stranger Things' cast.