Iku-Turso is a famous and fearsome creature in Finnish mythology, appearing in the Kalevala. He and his brethren, the Tursa, are somewhat similar to the Kraken or the Loch Ness monster, resembling a giant octopus and sometimes with dragon-like wings. Iku-Turso is such integral figure in Finnish mythology that he has had a submarine, video game characters, an asteroid, heavy metal bands, and a brand of ale named after him.
A Finnish variety of a fairy or sprite, keiju are tiny and beautiful humanoid creatures with wings like those of a dragonfly or butterfly. They reside in forest ponds or misty meadows, usually in a parallel world, not unlike the pagan image of the fey. Like most other interpretations of fairies or fey, they are shy and avoid humans, but if encountered, they are friendly and love to dance.
They are short, humanoid creatures who wear pointed hats, live underground, enjoy dancing and riddles, and seek out shiny treasure.
Like the keiju, they are also shy and avoid humans, but sometimes wander into human habitation out of curiosity, and can be friendly if coaxed gently. Yet some are said to be mischievous and trick children into wandering deep into the forest.
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They lurk in murky bodies of water, usually under bridges or in wells, and lure in and drown careless children who swim out of their depth. Bears play an incredibly important role in Finnish mythology, and there were once cults dedicated to worshipping them as gods.
The Otso, or Kings of the Forests, are bear spirits who are treated as highly intelligent and divine beings. If a bear was killed, a ceremony was held to leave its skull in a sacred clearing with sacrificial gifts. Tapio and his wife Mielikki are the god and goddess of the forest, who hunters and farmers pray to in hopes of finding lots of game and protecting their livestock.
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They live in a wooden castle deep in the forest where they watch over their wild animals. Like a Greek siren, she sings and seduces humans into the murky depths. Brenner sought to use this power to spy on enemy Russians. While Eleven eavesdropped on a Russian spy , from within the Void, she accidentally encountered the Demogorgon. At Brenner's request, Eleven made contact with the Demogorgon while it fed off a large, yellow egg. In the moment contact was established, a gate between the two dimensions cracked open in the wall of the tank room, causing panic and confusion among the scientists.
Amidst the chaos, Eleven escaped from the lab and the Demogorgon set foot in the human world and proceeded to attack its first victims. The Demogorgon moved through dimensions by creating temporary wounds in the fabric of time and space: It began harvesting the bodies of humans and animals, storing them in the Upside Down public library. Around the same time, Hawkins Lab began investigating the dimension and discovering exactly what it contained.
Nancy Wheeler enters the Upside Down through a portal. At one point, Nancy Wheeler entered the Upside Down through a temporary portal in the base of a tree. She realized it was dangerous to stay in the dimension, quickly leaving before the Monster could find her. Although Will Byers was taken into the Upside Down by the Demogorgon, he managed to evade capture for several days. During that time, he attempted to communicate with his mother after he realized he could manipulate electricity in his home dimension.
On one occasion Will found a temporary portal in the wall, briefly talking to his mother directly through it before it resealed. The Demogorgon eventually found him inside Castle Byers and took him to the library. Hopper and Joyce later entered the Upside Down via the Gate, eventually finding Will attached to a tendril extending down his throat, which they immediately removed.
After Will was resuscitated, the three returned to their home dimension, presumably back through the Gate. At the Hawkins Middle School, to protect Mike, Dustin and Lucas, Eleven used all her remaining strength to disintegrate the Demogorgon and vanished away. However, it was revealed that she was actually transported back to the Upside Down.
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Eleven later escaped the Upside Down by enlarging a portal to the real world. One month later, everything had seemingly returned to normal in Hawkins. However, Will's time in the Upside Down had severely affected him. He began to see visions of the Upside Down temporarily flicker into existence around him.
By , the Hawkins Laboratory staff was changed from its previous workers, with Dr. Sam Owens taking over as Head of Operations. After finding out about his episodes, Joyce began taking Will to the lab where he'd be looked over by Owens. Meanwhile, the lab continued to study the still open Gate and the Upside Down, placing a probe-like machine within the dimension, presumably to gather data.
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In an attempt to keep the growth under control, they began to periodically burn the vines and tendrils extending from the Gate. Despite these attempts, the Gate eventually grew to an enormous size, extending far beneath the lab and forming a series of tunnels. On the evening of October 29, as Will was at the Palace with his friends, he began having another episode.
He walked out the door and witnessed what appeared to be a red electrical storm. The following morning, Hopper was called to Merrill 's farm to investigate a strange rot that had decimated the entirety of the pumpkin patch. During his appointment at the lab later that day, Will told Owens about his vision. Will told him that he believes an evil force wants to kill everyone. That night, Will experienced another episode while in his living room, witnessing the door swing open to reveal the Upside Down.
He stepped outside, seeing the silhouette of a massive spider-like creature. Hopper continued his investigation of the rotten crops and discovered that the rot had begun to spread to the nearby trees. He watched as the massive shadow monster ascended into the sky and began pursuing him. When returning home that night, Dustin found a small pollywog-like creature in his trashcan, naming it D'Artagnan. When Dustin brought Dart to school the next day, Will believed it to originate from the Upside Down due to its resemblance to the slug he had coughed up a year before. After warning his friends, they took Dart to the AV room where they witnessed it grow a pair of hind legs.
Mike tried to attack Dart, causing it to flee and run loose throughout the school. Will eventually found it in a bathroom; Dart screeched at him, causing Will to run away. As he ran through the halls, he suddenly began having another episode, being transported to the alternate version of the school. Running outside to the field, he was again met by the gigantic shadow monster. Instead of running, Will tried screaming at the monster to go away. The shadow monster then engulfed Will in one of his tornado-like appendages, allowing a part of himself to latch onto Will. From that point on, Will gradually became possessed by the shadow monster.
His body temperature dropped and he developed an aversion to heat. In order to better explain his now-memories, Joyce asked Will to draw what he saw. He began frantically drawing what at first appeared to be random scribbles, but Joyce and Hopper soon realized that the drawings were all connected. After assembling the drawings in the correct order, they discovered the drawings depicted a strange maze-like pattern. Believing the drawings to depict vines, Hopper went back to the pumpkin patch.
By digging into the earth, Hopper discovered the existence of the underground tunnels, overgrown with biological matter from the Upside Down. While traversing the tunnels, Hopper became entrapped in vines, unable to escape. Will learned of his predicament through his connection with the shadow monster, and with the help of Bob Newby , they were able to pinpoint his location within the tunnels. After Joyce and Bob successfully freed Hopper, soldiers from the lab arrived and urged them to leave.
As the soldiers began burning the tunnels, Will suddenly collapsed and began convulsing on the ground. Will was taken to the lab were he was quickly sedated. In a test involving a severed vine from the Upside Down, Owens asked if Will could feel anything as another scientist used a blowtorch to burn the vine.
Dustin soon discovered that Dart was actually a baby Demogorgon and trapped it in the storm cellar. He then enlisted Steve's help in dealing with it. However, when they entered the cellar, they discovered that, not only had Dart molted again, but it had also escaped through a tunnel it had dug in the earth. Dustin and Steve, along with Lucas and Max, came up with a plan to lure Dart to the Junkyard using raw meat.
While this plan succeeded, they had also managed to attract several other members of Dart's species. While the pack was attacking the bus, they suddenly stopped and began heading towards the lab. The soldiers were ambushed and killed by a pack of Demodogs.
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Shortly after, Demodogs began invading the lab. While the group was escaping the lab, Bob was tackled and killed by several Demodogs. Everyone else, excluding Owens who had stayed behind, managed to escape the lab. While speculating the shadow monster's weakness, Lucas, Mike, Dustin, and Max theorized that if they destroyed the monster, they would also destroy the monster's army.
The group then planned to interrogate Will to find the shadow monster's weakness. After making the backyard shed unrecognizable, they attempted to interrogate Will. While the Mind Flayer had taken over a majority of Will's mind and body, a part of Will managed to subconsciously signal to them in Morse code. Deciphering his message, they discovered the way to stop the Mind Flayer : closing the Gate. Soon after, the phone in the Byers' kitchen rang, giving away their location.
A pack of Demodogs quickly surrounded the house. Before they could attack, Eleven arrived and eradicated them. After taking Will to Hopper's cabin , Joyce, Nancy, and Jonathan restrained him, surrounding him with numerous heaters. This eventually caused the piece of the Mind Flayer possessing Will to be expelled from his body. Hopper guided Eleven through the lab to the Gate, so that she may finally close it for good. Drawing on all her strength and pain, Eleven successfully used her powers to seal the space-time rift, presumably cutting off the Mind Flayer from Earth.