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What If Eleven in Stranger Things Is Even More Connected to the Monsters Than We Know?

Image: Netflix
Image: Netflix

Who’s the real monster in Stranger Things, anyway? A new video runs down the pretty compelling fan theory.


The video, put out by, suggests that Eleven’s connection to the demogorgon in season one might be deeper than it first appears. Specifically, the video posits that the demogorgon is Eleven—an aspect of her that she can’t control. The monster is named, after all, for a monster with split personalities.

This isn’t a new theory, but the video lays out evidence for it in a pretty compelling fashion. It certainly would be a nice wrinkle, helping the show problematize its ideas about monstrosity.


You can watch the video below, and sound off in the comments. Does this theory hold any water? Or is it... upside down? Okay, sorry, I had to.


io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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Literally a Bear

My theory on Stranger Things is that it’s all about the D&D games the kids play in the very beginning. The 80s were an absolute hotbed of “Satanic Panic”, where everything from rock music to fantasy games was the devil’s playground, according to the religious right - who had a ton of influence over the social consciousness at the time. So if you really want to capture the feel of the 80s in a TV series, you make that fear real: You make D&D actually Satanic. Why else would you NOT mention such a prevalent social theme in an otherwise accurate period piece? They’re showing instead of telling.

So the monsters aren’t being summoned through the experiments done by the lab - they were just looking to use Eleven to find people. She might have found and tapped into whatever the boys opened, but she didn’t conjure it. Rather, the Upside Down is being opened and the monsters are coming forth because in this TV world, Dungeons & Dragons is actually an evil, Satanic game. That’s why everything manifests after they play it, and why they can relate everything they see to some analogous monster or location in the game.