What is Stranger Things' Demogorgon?

what is stranger things' demogorgon?


When Stranger Things hit Netflix in 2016 we were all introduced to a new terrifying villain that took inspiration from ‘80s movies and Dungeons & Dragons called the Demogorgon. That monster has been haunting us through every season of the Duffer Brothers’ sci-fi hit, and with Season 5 of Stranger Things on the way we figured we’d break down where this monster comes from, what it can do, and why it’s so gosh darn scary.

Where Did The Demogorogon Come From? 

Simply put, the Demogorgon came from The Upside Down. However, like everything else in Stranger Things, there’s a lot more to this. The reason this monster is in Hawkins in the first place is because Hawkins National Laboratory was doing experiments on kids with psychic powers, and Eleven accidentally made contact with the monster in the parallel universe.

As we see in the show, Dr. Brenner becomes fascinated by this monster and a parallel universe. Then a massive portal is opened in the lab that scientists are trying to study and maintain. However, when Will gets taken, we learn more about this creature, how it can and does haunt Hawkins, as well as its relationship to the Upside Down.

What Can The Demogorgon Do?

While the Demogorgon’s violent nature and innate strength are two big reasons why it’s so powerful, its ability to jump between dimensions is what makes it truly destructive.

The monster has a flower-like head, and its face opens as if it were a flower blooming. While that sounds pretty, trust me, it’s not, it’s terrifying. When the creature opens its face you can see tons of teeth, and its slimy nature makes it incredibly scary. It also has squid-like qualities, as CZsWrold pointed out, where it engulfs its prey using its tentacles of sorts. When you take all this, plus its dimension-hopping abilities, you have one nasty villain that is hard to stop.

While the Demogorgon doesn’t have eyes, Nancy and Jonathan find out that it tracks its prey by blood, like a shark, which makes sense as the monster has been compared to the shark in Jaws. Overall, this monster is out to hunt and kill its victims, with Steven Spielberg’s shark being a major inspiration for the creature, as Mark Steger the actor who played the monster told Vice:

As we’ve seen throughout the show, the Demogorgon is a violent, destructive and terrifying creature. In the latest season alone, as noted in our thoughts on Stranger Things’ Season 4, we see Hopper fight off the monster, while others, like Dr. Brenner,  barely survived its attacks. They’re lethal monsters, and if we look back at the history of its name its function in the show makes a lot of sense.

The History Of The Term Demogorgon

The term Demogorgon is not one the Duffer Brothers came up with out of the blue. It’s a name with a rich history, that actually provides a lot of meaning to the monster on the show. Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Demogrogon is:

In Stranger Things this definition is sort of correct, however, I’d say that this “primeval creator god” is more applicable to the series’ really big bad and ruler of The Upside Down Vecna. The Demogoron is a creature that lives in the parallel universe.

In the very first episode of the hit Netflix series, Mike and the gang are playing Dungeons & Dragons. He reveals that a Demogorgon is attacking the campaign, and Will is responsible for saving them. This evil creature that threatened the kids’ campaign inspires them to name the literal evil monster that is attacking them.

According to Dungeons & Dragons, the monster we know from Stranger Things is pretty close to how the creature is in the game. The site explains that the Demogorgon is “one of the first two demon lords” and a “spectacular foe” in Eldritch Wizardry. It goes on to say that the monster is “supreme among demons,” and has a “reptilian body, tentacled limbs, and a pair of baboon heads.” While the monsters in the show don’t necessarily look like that, the evil, dark, creepy nature of them is the same.

In a more recent D&D book, Out of the Abyss, the monster is defined as “the embodiment of chaos, confusion, and destruction,” which if you ask me, fits the description for the monster from Stranger Things pretty perfectly.

While Vecna is now the big bad of Stranger Things, and he is a Demo-type villain from the same universe, the Demogorgon was the OG big bad of the hit Netflix series. As Shawn Levy noted, the Mind Flayer and other monsters are more destructive, and do make the Demogorgon look “quaint.” However, no matter what it will always be the first terrifying villain of the show. As the series wraps with Season 5, I’m sure this big bad will play a role in the story, and while I know I’ll be scared watching it, I can’t wait to see how it continues to impact the kids of Hawkins.

If you’d like to stream Seasons 1 through 4 of Stranger Things to this monster in action you can do so with a Netflix subscription.

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