As Stranger Things 2 continues to make Dungeons & Dragons chicer than it ever was in its day among non-nerds, the reconsideration of the mind flayer has drawn out certain rather overt parallels to the corporation–a synecdoche of sin and soul-sucking. Though the mind flayer may be rebranded to shadow monster in the show, the original vocabulary word for it, as elucidated by Dungeons & Dragons, is “illithid.”
And, according to Dungeons & Dragons law, “illithids believe themselves to be the dominant species of the multiverse and use other intelligent creatures as thralls, slaves, and chattels. Illithids are well known for making thralls out of other intelligent creatures, as well as feasting on their brains.” If it sounds like a familiar narrative in your own life, that’s probably because you’re an office worker who once possessed far more brain power and drive before beginning your tenure in the cube.
And yes, there can be no negating that the corporation believes itself to be the dominant creature of the multiverse called the world in general and Midtown in particular. So if you don’t want to be made a thrall out of, you should probably avoid the Upside Down we call mainstream society at all costs.