In Stranger Things, numbers are everything. Well, one number in particular, and that's Eleven. Another number is important, though, and that is three, as in Season 3 of Stranger Things, and the number of episodes it has. This info is kind of important, considering that most people hope the next season of the '80s tween detectives show will have a million episodes. Sadly, that's not happening, but even more sadly, the next season of Stranger Things will have even fewer episodes than Season 2. In case you're keeping track of all the numbers here, that means Stranger Things Season 3 will have fewer than nine episodes. Cue the Eleven-esque nosebleed.
As TVLine reported recently, Season 3 of Stranger Things will have eight episodes, which was the same number of episodes that Season 1 had, which actually might not be too bad. As you may remember, Season 1 of Stranger Things was an all-out cultural phenomenon. All anyone could talk about when the Netflix series first premiered was Eleven and the gang — oh, and a maddened Winona Ryder, of course. Season 2 was no different, and it just proves that no matter how many episodes each season lasts, Stranger Things rocks everyone's socks off.
So when will the show return? That's a mystery for the kids of Hawkins, Indiana to figure out. Since TVLine announced that Season 3 will start production in April, the next season likely won't come out until the end of 2018. But you never really know with these things, just like you don't know what the third season will even be about. Based on the end of Season 2, all you know is that the third season will most likely include Mind Flayer, or the Shadow in the Sky, which hovered ominously over the school at the end of Episode 9.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Matt and Ross Duffer — the twin brothers who created Stranger Things — revealed they intentionally left Season 2 open for interpretation. "We didn't want to box ourselves in for season three. We wanted to be able to start season three on a very clean slate," Matt said. It sounds like the Duffer brothers didn't necessarily have a Season 3 plot in mind while ending the last one, and that may be for the best, considering that the show's actors will probably change a lot before production even starts.
The main characters, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) are all played by actors in their early-to-mid teens. That adds minor complications to the writing of each season, as showrunners have to take the stars' changed appearances in mind. "They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three," Matt told THR. He continued, "You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump." As long as that time jump doesn't mean the characters are too old to be babysat by Steve Harrington, that should be fine.
Even if Season 2 didn't end with many cliffhangers, Stranger Things fans already can't wait for the next season. "The fans online are like, ‘What’s taking so long!'" Ross told Vulture. He continued, saying, "But there’s a handcrafted quality to Stranger Things. We’re a little controlling."
That probably means you won't get many spoilers before the third season. At least you know how many episodes to expect from it when it does come, and until then you can continue counting from one to 100 to pass the time if you need to.