Stranger Things quickly became a cult classic this summer upon its quiet Netflix release, and it’s easy to see why — if Harry Potter taught us anything (and it taught us a lot), it’s that we love seeing a ragtag group of kids fight monsters. We also love anything and everything ’80s, and we love the cast. All these things add up to pure joy when we learned of the upcoming season two. We’ve already learned about some new faces that will be joining the fray and we’re excited to meet them, but we really want to know what’s been up with the kids who battled the FREAKING DEMOGORGON last season.

So how much time has passed since season one? According to the Duffer Brothers, they had to skip a year because the kids are growing up.

“Yeah, you have to do the Harry Potter thing. You have to jump a year. Because, like, [Gaten’s] voice has already dropped quite a bit… so we’re going to skip a year. They’ll be a year older, and all their changes they’re going through, we’ll take that into account and kind of work that into the show.”

Stranger Things

The good news is that what happened to the characters during the missing year will open up more story possibilities, like how newcomers Max and Billy fit in. Max is described as riding a skateboard, which will be interesting to watch, considering the other kids get around by bicycle. Billy drives a black Camaro, but we wouldn’t expect him to be hanging out with the young ‘uns anyway.

We’ll also see more of Hopper and potentially explore his relationship with Eleven, as well as find out what really happened to the evil mad scientist Dr. Brenner. We’ll see Will struggle with the aftereffects of being in the Upside Down (that slug he spit out was seriously gross), and the show’s creators have promised justice for Barb.

And maybe the best news of all? We’ll have nine episodes instead of eight this time, which means another hour of nostalgia-inducing, monster-battling goodness.

What are you most looking forward to in season two? Let us know @BritandCo!

(h/t Digital Trends + io9, photos via Netflix)