Is The Mindflayer and Shadow Monster the Same Thing? 'Stranger Things' Villain Explained

Stranger Things Season 3 is finally here and the Shadow Monster is back to terrorize those in Hawkins–wait, or is it the Mind Flayer? The ominous creature from the Upside Down–who introduced itself in Season 2 by possessing Will–may go by many names, but is nevertheless a frightening being.

Easily the main antagonist within the Stranger Things franchise, the official name of the being is The Mind Flayer, which the kids dub as "The Shadow Monster." While "Shadow Monster" is a fitting alias, the creature also goes by "The Brain" do to its hive mind capabilities.

Along with the ability to take control of any creature within the Upside Down, The Mind Flayer can also possess its victims and perform tempestakinesis (storm manipulation).

Season 3 jumps right back into the action after The Mind Flayer was exercised out of Will and Eleven shut the gate to the Upside Down. Season 2 seemed to conclude on a high note; however, terror quickly resumed after the final scene saw The Mind Flayer looming above Hawkins Middle School.

The Mind Flayer, 'Stranger Things'
'Stranger Things' Season 3 premieres July 4 on Netflix. Netflix

Since Will was the last host of the ominous Mind Flayer, it would be highly unlikely for history to repeat itself (if Stranger Things writers want to keep fans on their toes, of course). Dacre Montgomery previously teased that his bad-boy character, Billy may show a much more evil side to him in Season 3.

Fans' theories seemed to be proven following the debut of the final trailer before the season's premiere, where Billy's eyes are shown with Shadow Monster-like veins.

"The fans are going to get even more than they bargained for on that front, for this season," Montgomery teased to Digitial Spy.

"Certainly, at least for Billy this season, I had a lot of CGI tracking dots on me," he added, before quickly changing course. "You don't want it to be ruined, right? Because then the whole surprise is gone."

Natalia Dyer, who plays Mike's sister Nancy, confirmed to Newsweek that Season 3 is "definitely darker."

"It definitely felt a lot bigger, which I guess is a natural progression in shows like this," she explained. "I'm personally really excited to see it because I do think it's gonna be pretty big."

Stranger Things Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.

Is The Mindflayer and Shadow Monster the Same Thing? 'Stranger Things' Villain Explained | Culture