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This article or section reveals details from the second season. Read at your own discretion.

Demogorgons are predatory creatures originating from the Upside Down, an alternate dimension. Demogorgons obey the malicious Mind Flayer, and make up part of his hive mind. Under his influence, Demogorgons are murderous, violent and have limited intelligence.

In 1983, a fully grown Demogorgon set foot in Hawkins, Indiana after a gateway to the Upside Down was accidentally opened. This Demogorgon was eventually defeated and destroyed, but not before it could inflict damage upon the human world. Will Byers, a rescued victim of the Demogorgon, became a vessel for the Mind Flayer. Somehow, Will's possession allowed the Mind Flayer to unleash a swarm of adolescent Demogorgons upon Hawkins.

Etymology

Demogorgons have not been given a scientific title due to their secretive status. However, Eleven and her friends coined the nickname "Demogorgon", naming the original monster from 1983 after an antagonist found in Dungeons & Dragons.

Life cycle

Stage One

Larval Demogorgons are roughly the same shape and size as the standard garden slug, but they differ in terms of coloring. Larval Demogorgons are generally dark brown-green, with bright yellow spots.

The larvae inhabited the bodies of the original Demogorgon's victims:

  • Will Byers: Will was found in the Upside Down with a tendril extending down his throat following his capture by the original Demogorgon (see Stage Six below). A month after returning home, Will coughed up a larva and washed it down his bathroom sink drain. It is probable that the tendril 'impregnated' Will, so to speak.
  • Barbara Holland: While immersed in the Void, Eleven scoured the Upside Down to find Will and Barbara. She discovered Barb's corpse and saw a larva slither out of Barb's mouth and across her face.

At the tail end of October 1984, the pumpkin patches of Hawkins deteriorated in the span of only a couple of days. While Chief Hopper investigated one of the pumpkin fields on Halloween night, he could faintly hear strange chittering sounds. Later that week, a massive herd of wild Demogorgons had suddenly appeared in Hawkins.

Although never fully confirmed, it is implied that the herd of Demogorgons originated from the pumpkin fields. Dart, a Demogorgon which Dustin temporarily kept as a pet, made the same chittering sound which Hopper heard in the field.

The Mind Flayer presumably hijacked the biological function of the pumpkins, using them to spawn new Demogorgon larvae.

Stages Two to Five

Main article: D'Artagnan

After the larval stage, a young Demogorgon would develop quickly, so long as it was fed. A Demogorgon's life cycle had multiple phases; this was best illustrated by Dart, a Demogorgon which Dustin temporarily kept as a pet.

Stage Two

When Dustin first discovered Dart, he was roughly the size of his hand, and was colored yellow-green. He had a lizard-like tail, small claw-like hands and a tiny mouth. In this stage, Dart was incredibly sensitive to hot light. He happily fed upon the nougat candy provided by Dustin, displaying no urges to eat meat.

Stage Three

After molting his skin, Dart took on a dark green color and grew substantially. He sprouted an additional set of legs, and began to move in a quadrupedal manner. His tail also grew much longer and thicker.

Stage Four

Dart eventually developed into a much larger creature, becoming roughly the size of a small dog. Dart's limbs lengthened, while his skin continued to darken. Notably, his mouth began to open like a flower, revealing rows upon rows of sharp teeth.

Dart grew tired of nougat at this stage, becoming attracted to meat. Dart broke out of the tank and fed upon Mews, Dustin's unlucky pet cat.

Stage Five

The adolescent Dart continued to grow both in size and strength. He was now roughly the size of a Great Dane, and had gained the ability to dig underground tunnels.

After being locked in Dustin's storm cellar, Dart escaped via tunnel. He later encountered a whole pack of wild Demogorgons; every Demogorgon in the pack had reached the same stage of adolescence as Dart, and they appeared to be completely identical. Due to their dog-like physicality, Dustin dubbed the adolescent Demogorgons as "demo-dogs".

What distinguished Dart from his fellow "demo-dogs" was his unusual behavior. Compared to the herd, Dart's demeanor remained relatively gentle. When Dart encountered Dustin and his friends in the underground tunnels, he allowed them to pass through instead of attacking. In contrast, the herd behaved extremely violently due to being part of the Mind Flayer's hive mind. The herd essentially served as foot-soldiers to the Mind Flayer, instantly delivering upon his commands.

Dart's relatively non-violent behavior suggests that his connection to the Mind Flayer had been severely weakened, likely due to Dustin's influence.

After Eleven closed the Gate, Dart and the Demogorgon pack became cut off from the Mind Flayer, resulting in their immediate deaths.

Stage Six

Main article: The Demogorgon

The most developed form of the Demogorgon seen in the show was also the first of its kind to enter Hawkins. Unlike a larva, pre-adolescent or adolescent, the adult Demogorgon could stand on two hind legs, and had no tail. Furthermore, the adult had incredible strength and was capable of withstanding gunfire. It also possessed the ability to create inter-dimensional portals. It is unknown if this is the most advanced stage of the Demogorgon's development, or if even larger variants are possible.

Behind the scenes

The larvae

The larvae in Season 1 were added with computer graphics in post-production by visual effects studio CoSA VFX.[1]In the original script for "The Bathtub", a spider crawled out of Barb's corpse instead of the larva in the final version.[2]

References

  1. "CoSA VFX Stranger Things Season 1 VFX Reel" by Vfx Guru on YouTube. July 24, 2016.
  2. "Exclusive ‘Stranger Things’ Art Reveals ‘Upside Down’ Secrets and Barb’s Alternate End" ScreenCrush. August 22, 2016.

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