With season four on the horizon, we visit where it all began to unearth 9 Easter Eggs hidden in Stranger Things Season One.
It’s been a busy four years since we first visited Hawkins, Indiana. The place where we were introduced to a feisty bunch of tweens on the hunt for their missing friend. A journey through a matrix of government conspiracies, interdimensional drama and psychokinetic strangeness.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen Stranger Things, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
1. Barb and the slug
Nancy’s BBF and somewhat moral compass sadly meets her end in Season 1, and ever since there has been fan outcry for her return.
The hashtag #justiceforbarb still floods any threads or pages to do with the show. Fans have a soft spot for the responsible teen, and a thirst for the wholesome character to return.
What fans may not have noticed is the potential clue left behind. In “Chapter Seven: The Bathtub” Eleven discovers Barbs corpse in the Upside Down with a slug-like creature hanging out of her mouth. One much like the creature Will Byers coughs out as the season closes.
Could this mean that Barb isn’t dead, but merely trapped as a host of the Demogorgon?
Creators the Duffer Brothers may be playing the long game here. Whilst they had a funeral for barb, there was also a point in season one where they found’ Wills body. Perhaps this fan favourite could make her return of sorts, as some kind of Barbogorgon’ to wreak havoc on Hawkins after all.
Reddit users have also suggested a theory tying into this, wondering whether Barb could be the American referenced at the end of season 3.
One user wrote, ‘I think Barb is the American in the Russian prison, not necessarily just Hopper. Hopper will be stuck in the Upside Down at the start of Season 4 as he jumped through the portal before the machine blew up’. With the last season leaving so many loose ends, it’s possible that this small detail from the debut season was a breadcrumb trail all along.
2. D&D Mirroring
The gang are first introduced to us as they conclude a mammoth game of Dungeons & Dragons. Mike, the Dungeon Master unknowingly forwards the gang and audience of what’s to come. “Something is coming. Something hungry for blood. A shadow grows on the wall behind you, swallowing you in darkness”. Before Dustin responds, “Oh Jesus, we’re so screwed if it’s the Demogorgon”.
The mirroring of fantasy and reality become commonplace. The game is used to establish both the kids as hero’s prepared to fight the fantastical, and introduce the supernatural villain.
During the game, Lucas suggests using a fireball on the monster, another element of foreshadowing as the Demogorgon is ultimately bested by, Jonathan Byers and a lighter.
At the end of their game, Will tells Mike “The Demogorgon, it got me,” as he only rolled a seven. Soon after Will disappears as the game plays out in real life once more, and D&D is used to plant more seeds of the story.
3. Hoppers Sleeve
Stranger Things constantly pays homage to 1980’s pop culture with it’s Easter Eggs. Season One is littered with subtle nods to Steven Spielberg’s filmography.
One small detail comes in the form of on Sheriff Hopper’s uniform. It bears a striking resemblance to Police Chief Brody’s in Spielberg’s debut blockbuster, Jaws.
From the tan colours to the triangle patch, the design of Hopper’s primary outfit is a direct reference to Spielberg’s elasmobranch focused thriller. Will Byers even has a Jaws poster in the background of his room as yet another nod to the director’s work and influence on the time.
4. Holly and the Lights
One of the Stranger Things Easter Eggs comes in “Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” sees young Holly Wheeler drawn to the randomly twinkling Christmas lights. She wanders away from the oblivious adults and discovers the Demogorgon pushing through Will’s wall.
This is the first time the monster is seen to be interfering with reality from the Upside Down. Holly is used as the inquisitive innocent, a popular horror trope. A direct reference to Spielberg’s sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
The 1977 sci-fi drama sees Barry, a young child entranced by mystical lights to reveal more sinister goings-on in that of the arrival of aliens.
Both scenes play on the fears of home invasion and abduction. As the young characters are at fascinated by the supernatural events and victims; despite being at home with their parents.
5. Eleven the Extra-Terrestrial
Contrasting the use of suspense building tactics, Season One has a lot of lighter moments too.
Many of these are in the form of references to Spielberg’s E.T.
Both use humour to tell the story of a group of friends trying to keep their mysterious new friends hidden from adults and the government.
Eleven and E.T are disguised in dresses and wigs to go out in public. They are hidden in the main character’s room and use their abilities to save their friends while riding bicycles. E.T helps his accomplices fly in order to escape capture while Eleven flips a van to help her friends lose the authorities.
6. Joyce and the axe
When Joyce Byers reaches breaking point in season one, she takes an axe to the wall of her home. Believing she can chop her way into the Upside Down and retrieve Will.
The frantic shots of her breaking through the wooden panels mirror Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining.
The framing of both frantic characters trying to get to their children suggests Stranger Things planting a nod to one of horrors iconic moments.
7. Suits and slugs
Ridley Scott’s 1979 space epic Alien is secretly referenced throughout series one. Yet the Easter eggs are easy to miss when you’re engrossed in the plot. Hopper and Joyce walking around the dark parallel realm mirror LV-426, the planet where the Nostromo crew land.
The Demogorgon is even designed to resemble face-huggers. From the hatched eggs and jetsam in the atmosphere of the Upside Down to the slimy slug-like creatures that inhabit their victims.
8. The love of desert
Dustin Henderson embodies everything that made 80’s adventure films so great. He’s the rest bite from the intensity. Whether it’s the comical love of food to the over the top freakouts intense situations.
Dustin’s discovery of the secret stash of chocolate pudding is practically a shot for shot tribute to Chunk finding a freezer full of ice cream in The Goonies. The husky voice and over the top excitement of sweet treats pay respects to an iconic fellow adventurer.
9. The comic book
During the first episode, Will shouts that he wants the comic X-Men #134 form Dustin following his victory in a bike race.
This might be the most delicious Easter Egg of all. That particular issue sees Jean Gray, the powerful psychic of the Xmen become Dark Phoenix. The telepathically and telekinetically unstable badass.
This one minute reference plants the seed of another telekinetic character that was about to be introduced to the show. One who will transform throughout the series to follow.
10. The mirror
The season’s cliff-hanger sees Will stare at himself in the mirror. Just before he coughs a slug-like creature into his sink. All suggesting that this adventure is far from over and he is still haunted by the events of Season One. This is perhaps a reference to David Lynch’s twisted drama, Twin Peaks.
Lynch’s final shot concludes with Agent Dale Cooper staring into the bathroom mirror before smashing his head and cackling maniacally. To highlight the effect that investigating the death of Laura Palmer had on his sanity and indicating there was much more to come.
And that’s our list of Easter Eggs from Stranger Things Season One. What do you think? Did we miss any rumours you’ve spotted? Let us know in the comments below.
Check our more of our Stranger Things articles HERE.
Read IMDB information about Stranger Things HERE.
10 Years Of Game Of Thrones
Since it first aired on 17 April 2011, Game of Thrones has captured the imagination of many fans from start to finish. But, after the lacklustre and rushed ending of this epic fantasy series in 2019, we find ourselves wondering: has its legacy been completely ruined? After 10 years is it worth looking again at the legacy of Game of Thrones? After all, like the fallen Ned Stark once said: “some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word”.
Have Game of Thrones fan’s been hit too hard by the hurried and unjust ending? Are there storylines and characters within the eight seasons that make up for the less than favourable ending?
After looking back through the seasons, below are what we think are some of the best and most redeeming moments and characters within the series. These could be the reason why fans stay loyal to Game of Thrones and even get excited about future prequels or sequels. We already have next year’s Game of Thrones – House of Dragons series to expect.
WARNING: Only read on if you have watched the entire series as there are spoilers.
Sansa Stark becomes Queen of the North
We ended the series with Winterfell once again being led by a member of the House of Stark. Queen Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who regained The North as an independent Kingdom. This decision from the writers is easily the most satisfying conclusion to come out of the finale. And easily one of the best beginning to end character arcs in all Game of Thrones.
Starting out as quite an unfavourable character and the least liked Stark of the pack, mainly due to her spoiled and brattish behaviour. Sansa ended up being the character we were all rooting for. Especially when it came to regaining the north and standing her ground with Daenerys Targaryen – “What about the North”.
But it wasn’t an easy road for her to get to that point. She had to endure a lot of horrific scenes, storylines, and marriages which shaped her character from a little bird to a Queen. But as Sansa said herself, whilst talking to The Hound/Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), “Without Little Finger and Ramsey and the rest I would have stayed a little bird all my life”. We’re glad she didn’t stay a little bird and became the Queen the North.
Arya Stark kills the Night King
When it came to the death of the Night King there were only a handful of characters who could do the deed. But, if you were anything like us, we had our money firmly on Jon Snow (Kit Harington). But, it was his kick-ass little sister, Arya Stark (Masie Williams), that ended the long night. With a fatal blow to the Night King’s heart with her Valyrian Steel Dagger.
In this episode, there was hardly any dialogue, especially in the last 30 minutes, which made the whole cinematography of the final scenes so much more poignant. From the camera angles to the incredible score which was accompanied only by sound effects and the odd fighting shout of pain. It left us in suspense and just as we thought all hope was lost, as the Night King approached Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and fans started to believe that Game of Thrones was going to take another huge twist, winter was here to stay. Out came our hero from the dark, the epic shot where Arya was flying through the air will always be one of our all-time favourites.
The night before winter came
Another part of the final series that I think deserves some props, was episode two (mainly the last 30ish minutes). This episode was the calm before the storm. But it was also very well done, from this point, as a viewer we didn’t really know who was going to survive and who was going to die. Something that we were never sure with when watching Game of Thrones.
We managed to get some nice send-off scenes for most of the characters which kept the suspense alive. We saw Sansa and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) meet again, Arya and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) finally ‘get together’ but most notably there was a comical and heart-warming meeting by the fire with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendolin Christie), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman).
There were jokes, Brienne got knighted and we even got a song from Podrick. Which was made into a satisfying montage for other characters around Winterfell as well.
Arya Stark and the house of Frey
The demise of the House of Frey was indeed a good and a well-justified one. Positioned over the last episode of season six and the first episode of season seven. Arya Stark used her new newly found face-swapping abilities to first bamboozle Walder Frey (David Bradley) into eating a pie. Food made from his sons and then again to become Frey to poison the rest of the house.
This was the revenge we wanted for the fallen Starks of The Red Wedding and Arya was just the person to serve it! Because the revenge plot was separated between the two seasons it almost confused us fans. When we started to watch season seven and saw that Walder Fray was still alive the quick-minded ones of us straight away realised what was happening. Yet, there was a handful of us who looked just as confused at Frey’s wife/daughter who was standing next to him. That was until Arya took Walder Frey’s face off.
Cersei Lannister blows up the Sept of Baelor
Another example where the series utilises an amazing music score is in the last episode of season 10. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) finally goes all out with her vindictive evilness and blows up the Sept of Baelor. With her daughter in law Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and a host of other people she didn’t like, locked inside.
The whole scene lasts about eight minutes and also includes Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon), having his tendons slit by one of Lord Varys’s (Conleth Hill) little birds, so he couldn’t stop the destruction which was about to happen. There was also the violent demise of Pycelle (Julian Glover), once again by Lord Varys’s little birds. Which was orchestrated by the crafty Qyburn (Anton Lesser).
Whilst this is happening a very smug Cersei watches over the chaos, with a glass of red. But, one thing Cersei didn’t account for was after the acknowledgement of his new bride’s murder, her son, King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) walked himself out of the window to his death.
Battle of the B**tards
Most of the battle scenes in Game of Thrones are pretty epic, but The Battle of the B**tards was by far one of the best. Accompanied by a killer soundtrack and great sound effects this battle was both jaw-dropping and breathtaking.
From the moment Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) was killed by Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to the moment Sansa sets Bolton’s dogs on him, there was action scene after action scene that captivated all of us and also gave us the Winterfell redemption story we needed. The death of Ramsey Bolton was also the most satisfying death since that of King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson).
In this section of high intercity scenes, we get to see Little Finger/ Lord Peter Baelish (Aidan Gillen) do something useful for once by bringing the Vale Knights of House Arryn to save Jon Snow from dying… for a second time.
Daenerys Targaryen and the unsullied
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was a fan favourite from her first scene. But the admiration for her character grew and grew throughout the seasons. One of the most defining moments was when she visits Astapor on the search for an army to aid her in reclaiming the throne.
After meeting the hostile and pig-headed Kraznys mo Nakloz (Dan Hildebrand), Master of Astapor, Slaver and Unsullied overseer, who taunts Daenerys, believing she didn’t know how to speak Valyrian, he agrees to sell her all 8,000 Unsullied members for one of her dragons.
As most of their communications were through his servant Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) he believed Daenerys didn’t hear all the things he was saying. Which made the end scene so much more satisfying. Once the exchange is done, she has the Unsullied whip in hand and Krazny is trying to hold on to the dragon on a chain. She speaks to the Unsullied in clear Valyrian and finally tells Krazny who she is – Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen the blood of old Valyrian.
The moment she tells the Unsullied to slay the masters and uttered the word Dracarys, will forever be the day when we truly started to see how badass she really is!
The red wedding
As horrendous as it is to watch it’s clear that the Red Wedding is still a highlight of season three and indeed the series.
Yes, we already knew by now that anything could happen in Game of Thrones. And blood and gore was a regular occurrence. But this scene took things to a new level with a blood bath no one saw coming… Not even King of the North Rob Stark.
This heart-stopping 10 minutes of cushion grabbing TV, not only saw the death of two of the most loved Starks Rob and Catelyn Stark but also the death of Rob’s wife and unborn child. As well as the betrayal of Roose Bolton a supposed friend of the Starks (Michael McElhatton) and the house of Frey.
This scene cemented for us that no one can predict what is going to happen when you play the Game of Thrones. You win or You Die, there is no middle ground.
The two most sassy characters
When it comes to Game of Thrones, I think we can all agree that the one thing they got right, time and time again was the casting. And this never rang truer than with Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg). They didn’t have the biggest parts within the series, but boy, did they make their presence known. It got to the point where we were just waiting for their scenes to see what would come out of their mouths next.
Who’s the most impressive pre-teen in the whole of Westeros? That’s right Lyanna Mormont. Even at 10 years old I wouldn’t mess with her. Through the whole three seasons she was in, she demanded and captivated the audience. She said it how it was, and she wasn’t scared of a single thing. She came in like a warrior, back chatting Jon Snow and Sansa and acting like a total boss. Finally, she went out like a warrior taking a giant walker down with her.
The original, potty-mouthed grandmother Olenna Tyrell had line after line of roasting stingers. No one was safe from her sharp-tongued antics. But the one person that was firmly on her radar was Cersei Lannister. Especially after Cersei killed her family in the sept. In true Olenna style, even after she had been fatally poisoned, she still had the last word, admitting to Jamie Lannister that it was her that killed his and Cersei’s son, King Joffrey Baratheon.
There you have it, some of our favourites and redeeming scenes from Game of Thrones after 10 years, what do you think? What are your favourite scenes or storylines? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our seven lost plot threads from Game of Thrones HERE.
Read iMDB information on Game of Thrones HERE.
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