If you’ve been awaiting the second season of Stranger Things as eagerly as we have, you’re probably counting down the days until the show premieres—and now it looks like we have an official date. Netflix first announced the new season would debut on Halloween, but it turns out it’ll return a bit earlier than expected, on October 27. You’ll probably want to set a Google alert, follow the cast and crew on Instagram and trawl the internet for fan theories in anticipation.
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) July 11, 2017
And even though deets about the second season are being guarded with Game of Thrones–like secrecy, there are a few things we know for sure. Spoilers, obviously, follow.
1. Barb is dead. We know, we’re devastated too. But the creators put to rest the idea that Barb may come back—something we were hoping for even though the last time we saw her she looked very much not alive and had a slug coming out of her mouth. “I mean, yes―yes, she’s dead. I thought we were pretty clear about that,” co-creator Matt Duffer said.
2. Season two will have nine episodes. That’s one more episode than season one. Yasss.
3. It’ll be even darker than the first season. “We want to retain the tone, but all of our sequels feel a little different. It’s not about just taking another monster—it’s a bigger, badder monster. We want it to feel a little bit different, a little bit darker,” said co-creator Ross Duffer.
4. Joyce will be dating Mikey from The Goonies (Sean Astin). His name is Bob, and apparently they’re old high school classmates. “I think she’s made this choice with Bob because she wants a good father figure in her sons’ lives,” said Winona Ryder, who plays Joyce.
5. There will be a cute (maybe?) animal sidekick. According to EW, Dustin will have a pet that’s not from this dimension. The actor who plays him, Gaten Matarazzo, said, “It’s a little creature I get to bond with.” Hopefully it gets its own Instagram account because we need pics.
6. A mysterious step-sibling duo is coming to town. And one of them might be evil! “The evil in the real world is often as bad or worse than the supernatural evil, so we wanted to introduce a character like that,” Matt has said.
7. We’ll be spending more time in the Upside Down. “The plan in that second season is to get into more [questions like] why there was only one monster and what the Upside Down is exactly,” said Ross.
There are still so many unanswered questions, but it’s only a few more months until October. (Sigh.) In the meantime, you can find us dissecting old episodes and eating Eggos.