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In “The Upside Down”, the final episode of the first season of Stranger Things, the monster attacks our heroes and a group of ill-intentioned adults as they stand in a hallway at Hawkins Middle School. The attack is presaged by an electrical interruption — the lights flicker. Seeing this, Mike looks to the bodies on the floor of a group of people recently killed by his friend, Eleven, and says “blood!” He understands that the monster is coming, drawn by the blood seeping from the corpses.

We know that other characters in the show (Nancy and Jonathan) have come to the same conclusion — that the monster seeks blood — but they had more evidence and made an analogy to sharks. How did Mike know about this trait of the monster? Did they share their conclusion with him? Had he previously figured it out on his own? Was he figuring it out only now? And if so, on the basis of what evidence?

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    My first thought is that Nancy and Jonathan would have definitely shared their knowledge and experience with the Party, if for no other reason than to explain the still relatively fresh and healing wounds on their hands. – G_Hosa_Phat Nov 10 '17 at 15:36
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    @G_Hosa_Phat I am pretty sure that at the time of this incident, Nancy and Jonathan had left to confront the monster (in preparation for which they cut their palms), and had not yet returned. They definitely did not disclose their plans to the kids before departing and had no opportunity to do so afterwards. – Michael Stern Nov 10 '17 at 20:20
  • @MichaelStern, you are probably right. I'm probably getting the timeline mixed up in my head. I thought Nancy and Jonathan did their little "blood pact" thing before taking the kids to Hawkins Middle, but I'd have to watch the last couple of episodes of S1 again. – G_Hosa_Phat Nov 10 '17 at 20:36
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    @G_Hosa_Phat They leave the school to go "finish what they started" with the demogorgon (because they know that Hopper and Joyce aren't really prepared to deal with it, but are going to the upside down anyways). That said, it doesn't really invalidate your point. They already know at this point that the blood draws it in. It seems reasonable that they would have shared that information when the kids parents and teens were all together at the bath. – JMac Nov 10 '17 at 20:50
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Well, he figured it out on his own. They're a bunch of a smart guys as we've seen through out the series.

When the demogorgon appears in the school, that is the time we hear Mike saying "Blood!". So, he never knew that the blood attracts the demogorgon, but he reached that conclusion in seconds.

There was blood already on the floor caused by the death of those workers at the lab and the demogorgon appears a few minutes after that. What else would make it reach in the school? Of course, blood.

How did Mike know about this trait of the monster?

They played Dungeons and Dragons game in the first episode of the first season, where Mike says,

Mike: Something is coming. Something hungry for blood.

A shadow grows on the wall behind you, swallowing you in the darkness.

It is almost here.

And later,

That came from something else.

The Demogorgan!

Since they played this game and there was nothing else that could attract the demogorgon, it didn't take time to reach that conclusion.

Did they share their conclusion with him?

As the show script suggests, they didn't. Only Jonathan and Nancy knew about the blood thing and didn't share it with anybody.

Had he previously figured it out on his own?

No, he didn't because he never faced demogorgon until the finale episode.

Was he figuring it out only now?

Yes, he was.

And if so, on the basis of what evidence?

As I mentioned before, there was this only conclusion of demgorgon appearing in the school all of a sudden.

  • "I'm sure they didn't. Only Jonathan and Nancy knew about the blood thing and didn't share it with anybody." How do you know this? Given the context of how he says it, I came to the opposite conclusion. Why would Mike scream "blood" unless they all knew the demogorgon was attracted to blood. It would have made more sense from a storytelling and logic perspective if he said something like "it's coming" when he saw the blood, unless the others knew the implication as well. Nancy and Jonathan had met with the kids already, and easily could have shared that information. – JMac Apr 9 '18 at 13:36
  • @JMac In the entire first season, they didn't share it with anyone given that how delicate that topic was. If you have out-of-universe explanation, feel free to mention. What I said is totally from the show script, i.e , in-universe. For Mike screaming blood, I have already mentioned their D&D game and that was just intuitive. Like when you climb down the stairs, you always know what your next step would be. What you are asking is out-of-universe and I gave in-universe explanation. Therefore I stand by my answer and am willing to keep your downvote. – A J Apr 9 '18 at 13:58
  • In universe, there's no proof given either way about how Mike knows this information. By this point in the story, Nancy and Jonathan already met with everyone else at the school and were there for the "bath" scene. I don't think it's safe to assume that they didn't mention the blood to the group. The way that Mike yells out blood seems to be as a warning. It would be pointless to yell it as a warning unless the other kids also knew about how blood worked. I'm not saying it's 100% sure he was told; but within the context he absolutely could have been told that. – JMac Apr 9 '18 at 14:03
  • @JMac I am not sure how this is unclear. You're saying Mike yelled that, but you haven't noticed the point that Mike says blood after Demogorgon comes. So, this was his intuitive thought because they played that D&D game and what else would attract that creature all the way to the school. Please read ny answer properly and understand it before making a comment without head and toe. – A J Apr 9 '18 at 17:19
  • It's only the flickering lights that happen when he says it. I'm not ruling this out; but the show leaves other possibilities open. We know that Nancy and Jonathan knew about the flickering lights and the attraction to blood. Given that they had all just been together sharing information about what was going on in each of their respective plots; I don't think we have enough information to say for sure that Mike didn't have this explained to him. It may have been just that moment when he even considered the consequence of the blood; but that doesn't mean he just figured out the demogorgon. – JMac Apr 9 '18 at 17:22

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