The New York Comic Con Stranger Things panel was mostly a silly barrage of gushing about Winona Ryder, ’80s nostalgia, and Millie Bobby Brown anecdotes. (She apparently had a great birthday on set. Also, it’s hard to eat all those waffles.) But Brown and co-star David Harbour were remiss to give away too many—or really any—details about the upcoming season. They even tried to keep the the mystery as to whether Brown will be returning as Eleven somewhat alive: A discussion of the good old days when people had to tune into TV at a certain hour led Brown to bring up her obsession with The Vampire Diaries. Harbour impressed her with the info that he knows “Paul” (we assume Paul Wesley). He then added: “He’s going to be in Atlanta when we’re shooting.” Brown quickly, and coyly, amended that statement.“If I’m back in Atlanta,” she said. Okay, sure, kid.
Later, when an audience member asked about a potential father-daughter relationship brewing between Harbour’s Chief Hopper and Eleven, Harbour and Brown insisted that they couldn’t say anything about the second season. However, Harbour noted, “I will say that there would be a rich emotional arc there that I would love to explore.”
Harbour did put a fine point on the fate of at least one of the characters, though. Barb (Shannon Purser), he explained, is not coming back any time soon. “We do deal with some of the internet rage over Barb,” he said. “We will have justice for Barb in some sense, but those of you wishing that Barb somehow magically comes back to the show, I can assure you that Barb is very much dead.” He also noted that there will be more of the Jonathan (Charlie Heaton)-Steve (Joe Keery)-Nancy (Natalia Dyer) love triangle going forward. The loquacious Brown had a pretty implausible theory of her own about that one. “What if Barb came back and Jonathan and Barb were dating?” she posed. “That would be incredible.”
Netflix previously announced that season two will come in 2017, last nine episodes, and take place in 1984. Happy speculating.