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This article is about the species. For the individual creature, see The Demogorgon.

Demogorgons were predatory creatures that inhabited Dimension X and the Upside Down. All Demogorgons encountered thus far are assumed to obey the Mind Flayer and by extension Vecna, and make up part of the Upside Down's hive mind. Under the hive mind’s influence, Demogorgons are murderous, violent and have limited intelligence.

In 1983, a fully grown Demogorgon set foot in Hawkins, Indiana after a gateway to the Upside Down was accidentally opened. This Demogorgon was eventually defeated and destroyed, but not before it could inflict damage upon the human world.

In 1984, Will Byers, a rescued victim of the Demogorgon, became a vessel for the Mind Flayer. Will's possession allowed Vecna and the Mind Flayer to unleash a horde of adolescent Demogorgons, or 'Demodogs', upon Hawkins National Laboratory. However, following the closure of the Mothergate, the Demodogs' psychic link to the hive mind was broken, overloading them with pain and resulting in their mass death.

In 1985, the Soviet Union developed experimental technology that would allow them access the Upside Down, with at one gate to the dimension being successfully created in a base under Starcourt Mall. This technology allowed the Soviets to procure at least half a dozen Demodog specimens. These specimens were kept in a facility in Kamchatka, where all but one were stored in tanks filled with oxygenized water, keeping them alive in a paralysed state; a fragment of the Mind Flayer was also captured. One creature, through accident or design, matured into an adult Demogorgon. The Soviets occasionally fed live prisoners to the Demogorgon; they hoped to potentially weaponize the beast.[1]

In 1986, the adult Demogorgon was accidentally let loose as Jim Hopper, Joyce Byers, Murray Bauman, Dmitri Antonov and Yuri Ismaylov fled the facility. Following their escape, the guards' gunfire aimed at the creature ricocheted and shattered the chamber containing the Mind Flayer's particles; the particles leaked out and entered the paralysed Demodogs' bodies, re-animating them. The Demodog horde then joined their adult counterpart in slaughtering the Soviet personnel. The escapees later returned to the facility and successfully executed all of the creatures, destroying pieces of the Mind Flayer and inflicting damage to the hive mind.


Though Dustin jokingly christened the pollywog form of the species "Dustonious pollywogus", Demogorgons have not been given an official name or scientific title.[2] However, Eleven and her friends used the nickname "Demogorgon" in reference to the original monster from 1983, after a monster featured in Dungeons & Dragons.[3][4]



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When Henry was banished to Dimension X, he observed the creatures roaming the landscape.


Main article: The Demogorgon

Dr. Brenner tested Eleven in a remote viewing experiment, in which she used her mental void to eavesdrop on a Russian spy. However, the experiment came to an abrupt end when Eleven started hearing a Demogorgon in the distance, terrifying her.

On November 6, 1983, Brenner repeated the experiment and insisted that Eleven "make contact" with the creature. Eleven followed through, making contact with the creature while it fed off a large, yellow egg. Upon making contact, a gate to the Upside Down cracked open in the wall of the tank room, throwing the lab into chaos.


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Demogorgons are tetrapods with distinctive flower-like heads. They have oily black blood, like their flying sister species.[5] They are seemingly native to the original incarnation/predecessor of the Upside Down, their presence pre-dating the 'freeze' of November 6, 1983.[6][7]

Life cycle

See also: D'Artagnan
Demogorgon Life Cycle

All stages of the Demogorgon life cycle, minus the initial larval form. (Note: Mike is included for scaling purposes.)

The life cycle of a Demogorgon seems to have six distinct stages and is similar in some ways to that of several Earth amphibian species.

In the only cases of Demogorgon reproduction observed, the cycle began with the deposition of eggs or larvae within a host by a tendril within the Upside Down. The slug-like larvae were later vomited-up by the host, before subsequently escaping into the wild. After this, the larvae underwent a period of rapid metamorphosis[8], molting through each phase of their development until emerging as an adult. The process takes place over the span of a week. A Demogorgon's life cycle was best illustrated by Dart, a Demogorgon which Dustin temporarily kept as a pet.

A Demogorgon’s growth rate seems to be tied the amount of food and nutrients consumed. It possibly took D'Artagnan more than nine months to transform from a 'slug' into a 'pollywog' in the wild. However, after being fed and nurtured by Dustin, it achieved the "Demodog" phase in the span of a few days.

Stage One: "Larva"

Larval Demogorgons[8] are roughly the same shape and size as the standard garden slug, but they differ in coloring. Larval Demogorgons are generally dark green, with bright yellow spots.

The larvae inhabited the bodies of the original Demogorgon's victims:

  • Will Byers: Will was found in the Upside Down with a tendril extending down his throat following his capture by the original Demogorgon (see Stage Six below). A month after returning home, Will coughed up a larva and washed it down his bathroom sink drain. The tendril seemed to essentially 'impregnate' Will, using his body as a means to grow slugs.
  • Barbara Holland: While immersed in the Void, Eleven scoured the Upside Down to find Will and Barbara. She discovered Barb's corpse and saw a larva slither out of Barb's mouth and across her face.

Stage Two: "Pollywog"

After an unknown amount of time, a larval Demogorgon would molt to the next stage of its life cycle, sometimes referred to as a “pollywog” due to the resemblance to the larval stage of amphibians. The pollywogs are small enough to fit in the palm of a human hand, and their translucent skin is colored yellow-green. They possess a pair of forelimbs with small claw-like hands, a mouth, and a lizard-like tail. They are incredibly sensitive to heat; even direct exposure to the light of a table lamp is enough to cause a pollywog extreme discomfort. During this stage, they appear to be opportunistic feeders, as Dart was found foraging for food in a trashcan and ate a candy bar it received from Dustin.[9]

Stage Three: "Frogogorgon"

Unlike other stages, the third stage of the cycle is not entered by the creature molting. Instead, this stage is signaled by the pollywog's skin taking on a dark green color, as well as an increase in body mass. The pollywog will then sprout a pair of hind legs, becoming quadrupedal. Small, sharp teeth begin growing in the creature's mouth.[10][9]

Stage Four: "Catogorgon"

Once the pollywog has eaten a sufficient amount of food, it molts, growing a little larger than a standard house cat. It is in this stage that the juvenile Demogorgon develops the signature “petal mouth” that the species is best known for. In addition, the juvenile becomes carnivorous. Its skin takes on a darker color and is resistant enough to heat that it can walk in direct sunlight with no injury.[10][9]

Stage Five: "Demodog"

Upon molting to the penultimate stage of their life cycle, the adolescent Demogorgon develops to a much larger version of their previous form, which Dustin referred to as a “Demodog”. Now roughly the size of a large dog, the Demodog is strong enough to tackle a grown human. They are proficient in digging tunnels and are able to climb steep precipices. While a Demodog is not invulnerable to gunfire, it has skin thick enough to repel several gunshots.[9]However, despite their thick skin, a restrained Demodog inside the Kamchatka facility had its chest cut open and its organs exposed.

Stage Six: "The Adult"

See Also: The Demogorgon & Russian Demogorgon

After molting for presumably a final time, the Demogorgon emerges as an adult. Adult Demogorgons are primairly bipedal (though they can also take on a quadrapedal posture at times) and reach a height of approximately 6 - 10 ft. They possess immense strength, being able to knock a door off its hinges and pin down an adult human with ease. Their sense of smell is exceptionally potent, being able to detect a small amount of blood from across dimensions. Their skin has grown durable enough to withstand gunfire and numerous attacks dealt with a spiked object. One of the few things shown to cause a Demogorgon any type of significant harm was being burned, but even then the creature was able to escape fairly easily and did not seem to be hindered by its injuries.

The Demogorgon that plagued Hawkins in 1983 could open gates and appeared to possess limited telekinetic ability. It is unknown if all adult members of the species possess these abilities, or if they were somehow exclusive to that individual. This individual's relationship with Vecna and the Mind Flayer was also unclear. The Soviet-captured Demogorgon somehow survived the sealing of the Starcourt Base gate, possibly due to being cyrogenically frozen. However, it is also plausible that fully grown Demogorgons are not dependent on the hive mind to order to survive.

Notable individuals

Behind the scenes

When making Season 1, the Duffer Brothers wanted to primarily use practical horror elements to create the Demogorgon. The monster was shot partly via motion capture, with performer Mark Steger wearing a monster suit with an animatronic head on-set. However, from Season 2 and onwards, the other Demogorgons were fully created with CG.

For Season 2, the Duffers tasked the VFX team with creating four stages of a Demogorgon's life cycle. The first two stages were designed with the intention of not giving away the creature's species. D'Artagnan's red-green skin color was chosen to resemble something that would occur in nature, with his yellow spots to help distinguish him from other members of his species. The next stage, the "pollywog", had to look cute, to make it reasonable Dustin would want to adopt Dart as his pet. The crew had to strike a balance betwen hiding indicators of Dart's Demogorgon identity, like the petal-mouth, while nevertheless being a plausible version of a nascent Demogorgon. For the later stages, the production team developed physical 3D models and turned them into silicone puppets, which helped the actors act in their scenes with Dart.[10]

Evolution of a Demogorgon - Stage 1

"Evolution of a Demogorgon" Stage 1 trading card

Though the slugs are often assumed to be larval Demogorgons, and the precursor to the "pollywog" stage, this has never been confirmed by the Duffer Brothers or any other member of the production team, though Paul Graff acknowledged it was a strong possibility.[10] That said, the 2019 Topps "Evolution of a Demogorgon" trading cards depict the slugs as the first stage in the Demogorgon life cycle.[8]



Pre-vis render of a Demospider[11]

  • The fourth season introduced the Demobats, a sister species to the Demogorgons capable of flight.
    • Nicknames for two new 'Demo-creatures', "Demospiders" and "Demobats", were spotted in Stranger Things 4 merchandise. While the Demobats did appear in the fourth season, the Demospiders were seemingly cut from the final story.[12]
  • Human bodies becoming host to inhuman slugs is a probable reference to Alien, in which the Xenomorphs reproduce in a similar fashion.
    • Both species are presumably blind, due to having no visible eyes.
  • In "The Gate", Dustin and Steve shoved a Demodog's corpse into the Byers' fridge.
  • In Stranger Things: The Game, Demogorgon larvae appear as regular enemies throughout the Upside Down, as well as the fourth chapter's sewer stage and the sixth chapter's Hawkins Lab stage; when killed, the larvae split into two smaller enemies.
  • Fungus-like structures with Demogorgon-esque "heads" appear in the game Stranger Things VR. These lifeforms are possibly entirely imaginary or symbolic, since Vecna only finds them within the minds of creatures connected to the hive mind. The faces of the lifeforms notably consist of six 'petals', as opposed to the Demogorgons, which typically only have five.
  • In "The Pollywog", Dustin considers calling the species D'Artagnan belongs in (who was in his pollywog form at the time) Dustonious pollywogus.

External links