Netflix's web television series Stranger Things seems to have many analogues to the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, especially as they call the monster "Demogorgon", which ended up being in many fan theories suggesting Eleven is the second head of Demogorgon, which is a debate for some other day.

But, my question is: Do the kids from Stranger Things have analogues to the character classes from the D&D game? As Eleven seems analogous to a wizard and Lucas seems like a ranger, but what about the rest? Or is it just a long stretch from my end?

  • Can this not be in-universe (the kids' behavior is influenced by their role in their game, since they seem to be big fans of the game and almost continually referencing it or similar fantasy lore), rather than an out-of-universe analogue? Eleven can't act accordingly (she hasn't played the game), but the others have. There's likely a considerable correlation between their behavior and their preferred role (one can influence the other, in both directions)
    – Flater
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 13:39
  • @Flater sound like a nice theory too but Will seems to be more influenced with Wizard and fireball but seems to have no trait of that character class
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 13:44
  • 1
    @AnkitSharma Take a look at the wiki: strangerthings.wikia.com/wiki/Dungeons_%26_Dragons , it is saying that Mike is the Dungeon Master, Will is the "Will the Wise", a Wizard, Lucas is the Knight and Dustin is the Dwarf. Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 14:29
  • I can put it as an answer if you'd like. Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 14:36
  • 2
    @LeonX they could have been playing the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Set Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


Yes, each kid has analogues to the character classes

The game is used as a self-referential plot device in the series. The first campaign in Chapter One foreshadows the events of Season One with the Demogorgon appearing and taking Will as the Monster did in the following scenes

As stated in the Wiki:

  • Mike – Dungeon Master
  • Will – "Will the Wise", a Wizard
  • Lucas – Knight
  • Dustin – Dwarf

Although I find this source to be more complete/accurate:

  • Mike = Paladin. A paladin is a fighter who acts in the name of good and order (Mike is the Dungeon Master in the show, but in character he's a paladin).

  • Will = Rogue. A rogue is very stealthy and good at hiding, skills that enabled Will to survive in the monster's lair while Barb died.

  • Dustin = Bard. A bard has a great way with words, and is also very smart, and diplomatic. Dustin used these skills to keep the group united and focused many times.

  • Lucas = Ranger. A ranger is an independent and skilled hunter who uses their wilderness skills to hunt down enemies, this was shown when Lucas split from the group and undertook his own efforts to find the gate.

  • Eleven = Sorcerer. A sorcerer is innately able to use spells and magic without having studied it, they also have skills in concentration, which is something El frequently displays when using her powers.

  • 3
    You could add that The game is used as a self-referential plot device in the series. The first campaign in Chapter One foreshadows the events of Season One with the Demogorgon appearing and taking Will as the Monster did in the following scenes. i.e. this strengthens the argument, since the game is foreshadowing for the plot, it aids the argument that the character classes in their game reflect their character traits. Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 17:19
  • 3
    The second source seems to be using a more modern version of D&D. Sorcerers. for example, don't seem to show up until 3rd edition in the year 2000. So it'd be anachronistic to use those parallels. Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 20:26
  • 3
    While I don't doubt that the classes are supposed to reflect the characters, the fact that you have two sources which are completely at odds with each other shows that an explicit statement from the people running the show would be very valuable. Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 20:26
  • 1
    Can't imagine how you have El as a sorcerer rather than a psionicist? They're even contemporaneous, as by '83 there are psionics articles floating around both for BECMI and 1e D&D.
    – nitsua60
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 2:27

As I suspected, kids from Stranger Things do have analogues to the Dungeons & Dragons game character classes. It's even addressed by Mike in S02E03:

Mike is talking to Max: "I'm our paladin, Will's our cleric, Dustin's our bard, Lucas our ranger,""and El is our mage."

So as per the episode:

  • Mike is Paladin:

    The paladin is a holy knight, crusading in the name of good and order, and is a divine spellcaster.

  • Will is Cleric:

    clerics are versatile figures, both capable in combat and skilled in the use of divine magic. Clerics are powerful healers due to the large number of healing and curative magics available to them. With divinely-granted abilities over life or death, they are also able to repel or control undead creatures. Whether the cleric repels or controls undead is dependent on the cleric's alignment.

  • Dustin is Bard:

    The bard class is versatile, capable of combat and of magic (Divine magic in earlier editions, arcane magic in later editions). Bards use their artistic talents to induce magical effects.

  • Lucas is Ranger:

    Rangers are hunters and skilled woodsmen, and often live reclusive lives as hermits.

  • El is Mage:

    A wizard uses arcane magic, and is considered less effective in melee combat than other classes and The mage, as part of the "wizard" group, was one of the standard character classes available in the second edition Player's Handbook.

And Max jokingly replied that she will be Zoomer, which was just a joke.

  • 1
    Don't know why you reference the 2e PHB? That was published in '89, five years after the events portrayed. The kids are demonstrably using some 1e materials (1e monster manual is the source for the illithid description), and possibly other edition(s). (Artwork from season 1 is reminiscent of some "regular" D&D work from the early 80s, though it may have been made for the show rather than taken from extant materials?)
    – nitsua60
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 2:34
  • @nitsua60 Well, we the world of the series has real monsters, so having manuals published a bit earlier doesn't sound like a biggie in comparison.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Oct 19, 2023 at 15:11

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