SPOILER ALERT. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Let’s just jump into this with my thoughts on Stranger Things, as well as some questions we need answered. Again, and for the last time, SPOILER ALERT. Would love to hear your thoughts. (I’m writing this before reading any other fan theories so these thoughts are all my own!)
- Clearly, Eleven is still alive.
- And, almost certainly, so is Papa. (Since we didn’t actually see him die.)
- Will…oh Will. You can’t survive in the Upside Down for a week and not have some kind of emotional trauma. So maybe that’s what he was experiencing at the end of the final chapter? Or maybe he was impregnanted with the Demogorgon’s spawn and he is just a host. This could be possible, but since Joyce/Hop saw an egg (that clearly did not need a host) in the Upside Down forest, it’s unlikely.
- How was Will the only one who survived? Yes, he was ‘good at hiding’ but this takes it to a whole new level, considering that everyone else had been eaten. My theory: Will was the first one taken. At that point, the Demogorgon might’ve been new at hunting, or a baby, or both. Either way, the “non-Upside Down” world was new to the monster, so he might’ve been confused and unable to hunt at his peak, allowing Will to run. Either that, OR, the monster was focused on spawning, not hunting, and needed Will alive.
- Does Papa love Eleven? Well, if he does, it’s clearly in a tormented way. But I think there’s more to their story than just Frankenstein and his monster. As with Mary Shelley’s work, the relationship is obviously conflicted, but there is deep emotion there. I think we might see more of this in Season 2.
- Where did Hop go with the bad people at the end? What exactly were the terms of the agreement between him and Dr. Brenner? Is he in cahoots with them now? Clearly he’s feeding El, but what happened when he went back to Hawkins Lab? My theory: This is all an elaborate mind game (see #8) and this is all a drug-induced psychosis. Hop is now having to help Hawkins clean up the mess they made, AND make sure they have follow-up data. Hawkins (Dr. Brenner) needs to know what happens to the people after they’ve returned to a “normal” state, and Hop is responsible for reporting that data. But, what about El? Hop knows the deal here, and he is NOT about to return that girl to Hawkins. She’s likely living in the woods with….who? Who are we missing? No one. That means that Hop isn’t the only one in on this. Mike probably is as well, and maybe Joyce and Jonathan. They’ve probably built up “Castle Byers” for her to stay in.
- Nancy and Steve….oh Nancy and Steve. Classic. But I’m glad it ended that way, because it would be unrealistic for her and Jonathan to get together.
- Have you seen Shutter Island? I’ve had a feeling that this is going to turn out in a similar way. That all of this is in their heads, likely due to the “LSD hippie crap” that Hawkins is/was testing. If so, that gives the writers a LOT of freedom on where they can go with this.
- The acting in this series is SILLY GOOD. I mean incredible. I was constantly in awe at how realistic and natural El’s facial expressions were.
- IF Eleven were to be dead, I’d be angry. She should’ve lived over Will, because the emotional trauma Will will suffer from being in the Upside Down will never be repaired. Eleven gets my survivor vote.
- Who are the other ten? This is a stretch, but we know that El’s mom Terry willingly participated in the clinical trials. I think Dr. Brenner was sleeping with his patients (read: Terry Ives), impregnating them, and then taking the babies to do further research on. Therefore, Eleven is Dr. Brenner’s eleventh child with his patients. It seemed that he also had a “normal” son, since the person who originally goes into the Upside Down @ Hawkins Lab was referred to as “son” just before he enters (and dies).
So, to wrap all of that in a bow, here’s my fan theory: The Demogorgon, and everything related to it, is a hallucination, brought on by the “LSD hippie crap” that Hawkins is testing on their residents. Could also be mind-control drugs, but either way, there is no “Upside Down”. Heck, even El might be a figment of their imagination (that would be sad). Hop made a deal with Hawkins to collect follow-up data, but he’s actually part of the study as well–he just doesn’t know it. Dr. Brenner is obviously still alive, because the Demogorgon isn’t real, so he didn’t get eaten, and he is still running the study, and will continue to run the study. But Steve saw the monster, too! Yeah, and Steve had some pretty serious blows to the head before that. Seriously, the guy should’ve gone to the hospital. Then what happened to Barb and the others? People die in drug studies. She was a casualty of war. Or she’s locked up at Hawkins, still being tested on. BUT ELEVEN! I know, she’s my fave too! But, likely, a figment of their imagination. Since Hop is a part of the study, he still thinks she is real, which is why he continues to feed her. But what if she IS real!? Well, then, I believe she does have the powers we’ve seen. However, I think she is a messed up little girl. If you ONLY listen to what El says, it doesn’t necessarily equate to what happened. She says like twenty words total, and a lot of them are “bad” and “monster” and “friend”. That could mean A LOT OF THINGS. But we saw her flashbacks! Yep, and none of them were her with the actual monster in the Upside Down. She was in a dark place, likely hallucinating. Don’t you find it strange that the “Upside Down” that El went to was different than the one that everyone else went to?
Anyway, that’s where my brain stops for today with this. Would love for you to challenge my theory!