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How Stranger Things' Demogorgon Is Completely Different From The Dungeons & Dragons Monster

"Stranger Things" follows the story of Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) as he and his friends attempt to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). However, when the group comes into contact with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), a young girl who has escaped from a nearby government research facility, they become embroiled in a supernatural mystery. The fantasy horror series was a surprise hit for Netflix back in 2016, leading to three subsequent seasons (via Variety).

Deliberately nostalgic, "Stranger Things" is heavily influenced by major '80s cultural touchstones like "The Goonies," "Poltergeist," and "Stand by Me." It is also notable for leaning into geek culture, with video games, science fiction, and fantasy role-playing featured at the heart of the central characters. The fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons is particularly important to the series. It's not just a regular pastime that the characters engage in as a hobby — it's also the metaphor by which they name and describe their many supernatural foes over the course of the series.

The Demogorgon was originally even stranger

However, one of the key monsters at the heart of the series is a bit different from the Dungeons & Dragons creature the characters of "Stranger Things" name it after. The Demogorgon is one of the main villains of Season 1 of the show and regularly reappears throughout the remainder of the series, but are the comparisons between the Hawkins menace and the fictional monster warranted?

Though the Demogorgon depicted on-screen is deeply strange to begin with, the description of the creature in its original incarnation is even more bizarre. A demon with two baboon heads, tentacles, and a reptilian body, the Demogorgon began as a boss fight for players at the end of a campaign (via CBR). As if this weren't strange enough, the Demogorgon's separate heads both have different names and personalities that are often at odds with one another. While these dueling personalities keep it from ever finding peace with itself, it seems this warlike nature also may have helped the creature inevitably gain its status as the demon prince and ruler of the Abyss.

Aside from being vicious bipedal monsters, the Demogorgon in Dungeons & Dragons and the Demogorgon in "Stranger Things" seem to have little in common physically. However, the boys may have found inspiration in its nature — "Out of the Abyss," which accompanies the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, describes the Demogorgon as "the embodiment of chaos, madness, and destruction" (via Dungeons & Dragons). One could easily say the same thing about its on-screen counterpart. Either way, with a final season of the Netflix hit on the way, it's unlikely we've seen the last of this beast in the series.