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'Stranger Things' season 3 new photos reveal new bondings, as petrified Hawkins teens face unknown antagonist

Not everything is going to be a fun fourth of July mood because amidst the fireworks and carnival, each character seems to have a worried, scared expression on their faces.
UPDATED MAY 23, 2019

Summer being here means just one thing for fans of 'Stranger Things': the season 3 premiere is not all that far away! Focusing primarily on the summer in Hawkins, Indiana, the new season is going to showcase the lives of our favorite teens - Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas - as they go through yet another chilling experience with unknown dangers lurking in the fictional town set in the 80s. And if the newly released character photos from the upcoming season are any confirmation, there's a lot going on apart from the fireworks associated with the date of its premiere, July 4.

The photos offer a colorful look into how the teens' lives change over the summer. Even though clad in summer outfits, we see the fan favorite gang of kids once again teaming up to fight yet another antagonist.

For the most part, the plot of the upcoming season has been kept tightly under wraps, so we don't exactly know what to expect, but by the expressions that each of the characters seem to be sporting in the new photos, things aren't going to turn out well.

Eleven (L) and Max (R) are surely becoming better friends in season 3 of Stranger things. Source: Netflix

With fireworks going off in the background, it's clear that the fourth of July will play an important role in the upcoming season. The official trailer released ahead of the season has also stressed on the significance of the date, which incidentally happens to be the release date for season 3 too. But not everything is going to be a fun fourth of July mood even though the newly released photos show the characters amidst what seems like a carnival, with fireworks going off in the background. The reason? Their expressions.

For the most part, almost every character sports a worried expression on their face as they look directly into the camera. If we didn't know better, it wouldn't be hard to deduce that they are directly looking at a Demogorgon - the demonic creature that has plagued Hawkins in the past season. But what if there's something even more dangerous this time? Not like the shadow monster from the past was any less scary, but let's just hope it's something that the kids are finally able to defeat in the end. There better not be any character deaths this time, as fans would like to say!

Mike (L), Will (M), and Lucas (R) are teaming up again to solve unknown dangers plaguing Hawkins this time. Source: Netflix

At the same time, the show's social media also released these character photos in chunks, which could signify certain possible groups the gang is going to split up into. Even the posts were captioned in such a way that it made the grouping seem deliberate; so clearly, there will be way more than the usual number of subplots the show's fans are accustomed to coming across.

One of the posters show Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Max (Sadie Sink), and even though we saw Eleven hating Max for the most part of the second season, as established by the trailer, and now with these photos, their friendship is likely to evolve to greater heights.

However, our gang of boys still seems to remain intact with another photo showing Mike, Will (Noah Schnapp), and Lucas (Caleb McLoughlin) together at the carnival, but Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) seems to be significantly missing from this photo so it's quite likely that he had his separate, probably a more dangerous, plot line to be worried about.

Dustin (L) is surely teaming up with Steve (R) once again in season 3. Source: Netflix

But worry not, Dustin is still there in the set of photos released, even if it's not alongside his Dungeons and Dragons friends. We see Dustin in another photo with Steve (Joe Keery) - the older guy with whom he had bonded for the most part of season 2. It's quite likely that their bond only grows tighter in the upcoming season, but there's also quite an unlikely addition to the entertaining duo. Steve's new ice cream parlor coworker Robin (Maya Hawke) and Lucas' little sister Erica also included in the photos featuring Dustin and Steve, meaning it's quite possible that whatever the fan favorite almost parent-child duo will be up to, will involve these two ladies as well.

Other pairings include Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) together in a photo, so we know their bond is tightening up for the better in season 3, just like Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy's (Natalia Dyer), with the young couple possibly teaming up once again to solve bigger mysteries revolving their siblings, Mike and Will, respectively. The only character who got his solo featurette in these photos was Billy (Dacre Montgomery), but we know the bad-boy bully will grow to enormous significance in the upcoming season, as a whole separate teaser focusing on his job as a lifeguard at a pool was released recently too!

'Stranger Things' returns with season 3 on Thursday, July 4. 

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