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Stranger Things’ Russian Demogorgon Plot Hole Has a Scary Solution

One of Stranger Things Season 4’s best moments was Hopper’s Demogorgon fight, but the creature’s presence hints at a much more evil monster.

The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1, streaming now on Netflix.

Season 4 of Stranger Things upped the ante by adding a brand-new villain and an unprecedented amount of horror elements. The new season also expanded its scope by adding in two new locations. Of course, there’s all the happenings in Hawkins, as Dustin, Nancy and company investigated the Creel House. Meanwhile, Mike, Eleven and their bunch were busy running from U.S. military in New Mexico. However, the most influential storyline might be what Hopper (and his tragic self) was up to in Russia.

At the end of Season 3, Hopper seemingly sacrificed himself in an explosion, but that notion was quickly dispelled in a post-credits scene. Really, he survived the blast, only to find himself a Russian prisoner. So, he was taken back to the Motherland and put into a Gulag. In the early part of Season 4, Hopper tried to escape but failed. Because of that, he was sentenced to execution — by Demogorgon. At first glance, the fact that the Russians have a Demogorgon looks like a plot hole, so let’s examine the ramifications.

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 4: Who Is Peter Ballard?

The most obvious solution is that the Russian’s captured the Demogorgon in Hawkins and shipped it back to Russia. After all, Dustin and Erica did see a Demogorgon-sized cage below Starcourt Mall. However, that’s actually not the case because the Stranger Things: Kamchatka comic series revealed that the Russian Demogorgon has never visited the Americas.

Before the events of Season 3, the Russians were working on the “Key,” which was their equivalent of the MKUltra project. The initiative failed, but a Dr. Karine found a baby Demogorgon in the process. So, all indication is that Karine (and eventually someone else) raised the Demogorgon to be a bloodthirsty slave, who would kill prisoners for entertainment. However, that raises an even bigger problem for the franchise’s established lore.

So far, Stranger Things mythology has shown that everything in the Upside Down is hive-minded. That means it all connects back to the Mind Flayer (or maybe Vecna), which was best illustrated in Season 2. The Mind Flayer controlled his army of Demodogs, and when Eleven closed the massive gate in Hawkins, all the Demodogs died. They couldn’t survive without a connection to their evil overlord.

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 4 Is Failing Nancy Wheeler

There are two possible explanations that could explain how the Demogorgon is still alive after the Starcourt Gate closed. First, Dr. Karine’s Demogorgon was mature enough to survive without being connected to the Mind Flayer. Yet, that seems impossible because even the Spider Monster from Season 3 — which was actually part of the Mind Flayer — wasn’t strong enough to survive when the Starcourt Gate closed.

The second explanation is based on the teaser for Volume 2. It showed Hopper discovering more dark experiments in the Russian base, including a captive, shadowy cloud, which has to be a part of the Mind Flayer. Maybe the Flayer was also captured before Season 3, and that’s why the Demogorgon could survive — because it was still connected to a part of its overlord. But if that’s true, the portion of the Mind Flayer should have died, just like the Spider Monster. So, all of this points to the fact that the Russians have succeeded in opening another gate post-Season 3.

If that’s the case, it’s likely that Russians are unwittingly playing into the Mind Flayer’s nefarious plots. The monster will use the new gate to communicate with and assemble his armies in the Upside Down. Then, while Eleven is busy fighting Vecna in Hawkins, the Mind Flayer will launch a surprise counter-attack, as it tries to meld the reality with the Upside Down. Even Hopper recognized that a live Demogorgon means that a gate is open and that Eleven is in danger. That’s why he is so eager to get back to Hawkins — to warn Eleven that the Mind Flayer is somehow planning a massive attack.

To see how the Russian Demogorgon connects to the Mind Flayer, watch Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 2. It premieres July 1, on Netflix.

Blake Hawkins has written TV and movie features and recaps for CBR since March of 2021. He writes about everything from NCIS to Stranger Things to The Walking Dead and everything in between. Mostly, though, he most enjoys writing about Star Wars. In fact, as recent graduate of Greensboro College’s honors program, Blake wrote his thesis on Star Wars and its religious connections. He now lives with his family in Lynchburg VA and is an avid outdoorsman. Feel free to contact him by email at, or find him on Facebook.

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