Stranger Things is the breakout Netflix hit of the summer (sorry Orange Is The New Black, and sorry you had to be dragged into this, Barb). Part of the reason this seamless homage to ’80s horror is so successful is because of all of the questions it raises. There is so much we don’t know about the Upside Down and the monster that exists inside of it, but this one fan theory might give us a couple solid ideas.
Warning: there are spoilers below, and if you still haven’t seen all of Stranger Things, your window of getting spoiler alerts is quickly closing. It’s been long enough, just do it!
This fan theory alleges that Eleven was the monster the whole time. Everything makes sense now. Our minds our blown.
Let’s look at the facts!
The Demogorgon imagery
The entire show focuses on the dichotomy between the Upside Down and the real world, but what if it was really the dichotomy between Eleven’s good and bad side? The Upside Down is nothing but a reflection of her personal demons. In the very first few minutes of the show, the kids are shown playing Dungeons & Dragons and the idea of Demogorgon is introduced. Demogorgon has two opposing heads — one destructive, one deceptive. This is literally foreshadowing the existence of Eleven. Following this idea, Eleven is deceptive and the monster from the Upside Down is destructive.
But is Eleven really that deceptive?
At first we thought the government agents might have been lying when they said that Eleven was dangerous and that the boys were in imminent danger just by hanging around her. But Eleven is presented with the facade of a scared, little girl. She is so far from seeming dangerous that it’s hard to believe. Still, let’s not forget how she callously snaps the neck of a whole bunch of people and seemingly leaves her “papa” to die (even he kind of deserved what he got). What if the government agents weren’t lying, and we were just seeing the story as told from the boys’ perspective. Eleven is dangerous.
Eleven is the only one who can readily access the monster without being attacked.
When Eleven finds the monster, she finds it in a pitch black room in the Upside Down. There is nothing else there. To get there, she has to go into a sensory deprivation tank and be left with purely her own thoughts. This is because she is the monster. We are literally watching her create the monster in her mind. Why would she be able to walk right up to it without it attacking her like it literally attacks every other living being it comes into contact with? It very well cannot attack itself without causing itself harm.
Eleven recognizes Will and Barb in photos without ever having met them.
This is because the monster has seen those characters, and she is the monster.
Eleven’s showdown with the monster proves they were one in the same.
When Eleven finally shows down with the monster in the last episode of the season, she uses her telekinetic powers to try to take him down. She raises one hand and, in a move that clearly mimics her own, the monster does the same. Eleven bursts into a pile of ashes when the monster is destroyed. This is because she cannot destroy the monster without destroying herself because she is the monster.
Eleven actually says she is the monster.
Let’s be honest, Eleven is pretty literal when she talks. She doesn’t speak much, but when she does, it’s very blunt. Originally, we thought she said she’s the monster because she feels guilty that she accidentally ripped open the space-time continuum. What if she says she’s the monster because she, quite literally, is the monster. She opened up the door. In fact, she created the door.
Eleven may not even be aware of the fact that the monster is her destructive, evil side. She’s actually terrified of it. It seems like as the season goes on, she takes more and more responsibility and starts to come to terms with the fact that this may actually be a part of her. Isn’t it curious that she’s the only one who can destroy it?
What do you think?