New Theory Gives 'Stranger Things' Season 3 Monster the Perfect D&D Name

Stranger Things 3 monster

In Stranger Things Seasons 1 and 2, the kids from Hawkins, Indiana reference a creature from the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual to nickname each monster that threatens them from the Upside Down. This has led to plenty of speculation over what the Stranger Things Season 3 monster might be called, and one fan has an excellent new theory makes a lot of sense after watching the latest trailer.

Potentially huge spoilers follow for Stranger Things 3.

Season 3’s new monster, revealed in the first trailer, is a lopsided, grotesque, and clawed Cronenberg creature. Based on looks alone, we previously theorized how it might be named after four different D&D monsters, including the Gibbering Mouther. But as theories developed about how Season 3 could feature an infection that transforms Billy, Max’s cruel older brother, into the new monster, a different option emerged.

Redditor nicoolmarie posted a new theory about the monster on the r/StrangerThings subreddit Wednesday, and just like naming the Upside Down’s flower-faced Demogorgon after D&D’s Prince of Demons and the Shadow Monster after a squid-faced Illithid, this theory makes the perfect amount of tangential sense. The new monster could be an Intellect Devourer.

For all the D&D-related hype that Stranger Things gets, Dustin doesn’t really give any of these Upside Down monsters accurate names. The Demogorgon and Mind Flayer in Stranger Things are similar to their D&D counterparts in function alone, not in looks. Mind Flayers, aka Illithids, are humanoid in appearance with octopus-like faces. (Almost like Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.) They use their powerful psionic abilities to control and destroy anything they want.

As u/nicoolmarie points out in her theory, “Intellect Devourers are servants to Mind Flayers.” Illithids harvest brains and then perform a ritual that causes them to sprout legs. “Intellect Devourers feed on people’s memories and mind and then jump into and control their bodies,” they write.

In the D&D adventure Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, there’s a Mind Flayer named Nihilor who’s depicted cradling an Intellect Devourers like it’s his treasured pet.

Nihilor illithid mind flayer
Nihilor, a powerful Illithid that resides in the sewers of Waterdeep and works with a Beholder named Xanathar.

The function of an Intellect Devourer from D&D could resemble what happens to Billy in Stranger Things Season 3, crossed with a face-hugger from Alien. He could get bitten by the creature, then get his brain eaten, and then the Intellect Devourer could use him as a host, mutating his body into the monstrosity we see in the trailer.

Even if this is not the case, Intellect Devourers are the go-to minion of a Mind Flayer, so Dustin might wind up calling just about anything an Intellect Devourer if it comes to it.


Stranger Things 3 will be released on Netflix July 4, 2019.