Why ‘Stranger Things’ Needs an ‘Ender’s Game’ Reference in Season 3

campaignfinal_v1If you’re one of the last people on the planet who hasn’t seen Netflix’s original science fiction- horror series, ‘Stranger Things’, let me fill you in.

Set in the 1980s, the story follows a group of nerdy boys in Hawkins, Indiana. After 12-year-old Will Byers goes missing, his friends uncover a clandestine, government-operated experiment linked to Will’s disappearance. The experiment opens a portal to an alternate dimension called “The Upside Down” where a monster called the Demogorgon lives.

The series is noted for having several nods to 1980s nerd culture, including ‘Star Wars’, Dungeons and Dragons, and X-Men. So it’s not a stretch that ‘Ender’s Game’ could be a book Will’s friends love.

Coincidentally, the publication of the ‘Ender’s Game’ novel fits in perfectly with the ‘Stranger Things’ timeline.

Season 1 of ‘Stranger Things’ begins in November 1983 and season 2 will pick up in October 1984. If season 3 follows the same pattern, it will take place around fall 1985, about 10 months after the publication of ‘Ender’s Game’ in January 1985. Season 4 should theoretically take place in fall 1986, about 7 months after the publication of ‘Speaker for the Dead’ in March 1986.

‘Ender’s Game’ and ‘Speaker for the Dead’ were both awarded two of science fiction’s most prestigious awards, The Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. In fact, Orson Scott Card remains the first and only author to have received both awards in consecutive years. Card complete dominated science fiction in 1985 and 1986!

This gives ‘Stranger Things’ producers the perfect excuse to insert a clever ‘Ender’s Game’ or ‘Speaker for the Dead’ reference in season 3 or 4.

Will’s friends could easily make a reference to the classic line, ‘The enemy’s gate is down,” because the Demogorgon lives in The Upside Down. Or, I’d love to see a copy of ‘Ender’s Game’ casually sitting on a bookshelf or nightstand.


If you agree that ‘Ender’s Game’ needs to be referenced in ‘Strangers Things’, why not share one of our images with the producers of ‘Stranger Things’ using #EG1985 and #Season3. I’d love to add ‘Stranger Things’ to our growing list of culture references to ‘Ender’s Game’.

Photos were edited from these originals: photo 1 and photo 2.