[The following contains fairly minor spoilers for season one of Netflix’s Stranger Things and possible spoilers for its yet-unconfirmed second season. If you’d rather not be spoiled, follow the blinking Christmas lights and escape from the Upside Down before you’re never heard from again.]
One of the lesser mysteries in Netflix’s Stranger Things—at least in terms of the show’s central mythology—is what happened to police chief Jim Hopper’s wife and kids. When we first meet him on the show, we know that he has a bit of a problem with pills and alcohol, and we eventually discover that his wife left him at some point after their daughter died of cancer. That reveal comes during an emotional series of flashbacks, hammering in just how devastating this sudden loss was for Hopper.
But is there more to it than that? We know Stranger Things takes place in a weird town with a proclivity for weird stuff, so how can we say for sure whether or not Hopper’s daughter really died of cancer? Well, in a Reddit AMA with David Harbour (the guy who plays Hopper), a fan specifically asked him if he knows how his character’s daughter died, and Harbour’s answer teases what could be a pretty big mystery for the show’s second season.
In other words, there’s your last spoiler warning.
Harbor said that he does know what killed her, but, “it’s a secret we may explore in [season two], so don’t wanna say right now.” That seems to imply that it wasn’t cancer, or if it was, that she got it from a mysterious source—like, you know, the lab that conducted those experiments that caused all of the bad stuff to happen in season one. Either way, it sounds like this might be a plot point for the show’s (still unannounced) second season.
Hello Giggles ran with the theory that some stranger thing caused the little Hopper to get sick, and it dug up this particularly suspicious GIF of the exact moment when she starts to show symptoms:
As you can see, she seems to be frantically looking around at something, almost as if she just saw a monster or had a telepathic vision of some sort—neither of which would be especially unusual in this show. That scene isn’t necessarily a tease for the second season, but in light of Harbour’s comment, it’s the sort of thing that should keep fans guessing for a while.