Portals are wounds or ruptures in space-time and the fabric of reality itself. They act as bridges between two dimensions, allowing anyone to go back and forth from one plane of existence to another instantaneously.
The first portal was opened at Hawkins National Laboratory. Unlike the other portals, this portal didn't heal and close - in fact, it only grew in size, slowly spreading and unfurling in the lab. Dustin, Mike, Lucas and Eleven would later refer to this portal as the Gate.
The Monster was able to create portals that it used to travel between dimensions. These portals were temporary, essentially being dimensional "wounds" that would eventually "heal." How the Monster came to possess, and used, this ability is unclear. Considering that it would take a massive amount of energy for a dimensional rift to open, it can be assumed that the Monster somehow possessed the amount of energy required to do so. Whenever the Monster created a portal, lights would flicker, and occasionally other electronics would be affected. This indicates that some energy was involved in the creation of these portals. It's also highly likely that this was due to the fabric of reality in Hawkins was unstable due to the first portal not closing, which would require less energy to open smaller portals.
During creation, the surface of wherever the portal was located would bulge, distort, and occasionally even crumble before tearing in a manner similar to that of flesh. The inside of the portal would often be surrounded by oozing, toxic biological matter. Some portals eventually formed a visceral-like membrane over their entrance shortly before closing, occasionally resembling spider webs. The amount of time it took for a portal to close seemed to vary, as it took quite some time for the portal in Joyce's wall to heal, while the portal that Nancy entered disappeared mere moments after she was pulled out of it. After closing, the surface of where the portal was located would appear normal with no traces of its existence remaining.
On November 6, 1983, an experiment was held at Hawkins National Laboratory, where test subject Eleven was tasked with contacting an interdimensional creature. She succeeded, however the moment she touched the creature a rift to another dimension opened, unleashing the Monster upon Hawkins.
After another attempt to speak with her son failed, Joyce noticed the lights flickering in an odd pattern. Following the lights, she entered Will's room where his radio inexplicably turned on by itself. She then witnessed what appeared to be a hand trying to break through the wall, causing it to bulge and distort. The following day, Karen brought Holly along to the Byers house. As Karen and Joyce were having a conversation, Holly was attracted by the blinking lights. She followed them into Will's room where the wall again began to distort. Before the creature could break through, Joyce found her and insisted that they leave.
Determined to contact Will, Joyce used Christmas lights and paint to create a makeshift ouija board on her wall. When she asked what she should do, Will told her to “R-U-N”. Immediately after Will answered, the lights began to flicker frantically. Turning around, she witnessed the Monster tear through the wall. Joyce fled the house before the creature could pursue her. Later, when Hopper and Powell searched the house, there was no sign of the creature or the portal. The next day, as Joyce tried to get Will to talk to her using his radio, she heard tapping coming from the other side of the wall. Peeling back the wallpaper, she saw Will through the remnants of the portal the creature had created the night before. As the Monster approached the portal began to close. Joyce then attempted to use an ax to get to Will, but she was too late.
When Jonathan and Nancy went searching for the Monster on Mirkwood, they came across a wounded deer. As they were about to perform a mercy kill on it, it was suddenly pulled away by an unseen force. Following the trail of blood, Nancy discovered an open portal in the base of a tree. Entering the portal, she found herself in another dimension where she witnessed the creature feeding on the deer. When the Monster was alerted to her presence, she ran away, screaming for Jonathan's help. Following the sound of her voice, Jonathan found the portal and quickly pulled her out to safety. The portal closed immediately after.
Determined to kill the Monster, Nancy and Jonathan rigged the Byers house with traps, as well as used their own blood to lure out the creature. As they were bandaging their wounded hands, Steve arrived hoping to apologize. Suddenly, the lights began to flicker, signaling that the Monster was approaching. It then emerged from a portal that it had created in the ceiling, falling to the floor. When the teens ran to Will's room waiting for the trap to activate, the Monster seemingly disappeared only to reappear a short time later behind Jonathan, pinning him down. During the confrontation, the teens managed to trap the Monster in the bear trap and set it on fire. As it was burning, it managed to escape back to the Upside Down.
As agents stormed the school, Eleven used her powers to crush their brains. Attracted by the blood, the Monster burst through a portal it had created in the wall. It then pursued the agents, attacking Brenner in the process.
In the second season, taking place in 1984, nearly a full year after the first season, the main portal has expanded drastically. It was also revealed that Eleven was transported to the Upside Down after destroying the Monster. However, the portal it used to enter the school was still active and she was able to use her power to expand it and return back to Earth.
- Eleven was transported to the Upside Down, but not through a portal, but when she vanquished the Monster. She is also able to access parts of the Upside Down and find people without the use of the portal.
- ↑ "Stranger Things episode 6: How the Duffer Brothers created the monster"Entertainment Weekly. July 20, 2016.
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