Stranger Things
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Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... as a test subject – Number 011, or “Eleven” – at Hawkins National Laboratory. She calls the enigmatic Dr. Martin Brenner “Papa,” but he certainly didn’t seem to be looking out for her best interests. Rather, he tried to expand and focus her psychokinetic gifts for his own ends.

Living... in Mike’s Wheeler’s basement, for now. Eleven was quite a sight when Mike and his friends Dustin and Lucas and found her wandering in the woods; she had a shaved head, was wearing a hospital gown and was soaking wet from a pouring rain. The boys were looking for their friend Will Byers, who had disappeared. The mysterious Eleven speaks only a few words, but soon Mike is convinced that Eleven – and her unique skills – provide their best hope of finding Will. 

Profession... a scared but special girl. Eleven (or as the boys call her, “El”) should be in middle school, but nothing about her life so far has been normal. She’s also kind of a freelance avenger for Mike.

Interests... making friends and keeping promises. Eleven has never been around other kids before, so virtually every aspect of interpersonal relationships is brand-new to her. But Mike teaches her what being a friend means, and the importance of keeping a promise. Eleven proves to be a fast learner. She also likes – well, “loves” – Eggo waffles.

Relationship Status... single; she’s only (roughly) 12, after all. Yet some new feelings are brewing between her and Mike, who is similarly inexperienced with the opposite sex. When Mike helps Eleven dress more conventionally with a wig and a dress in order to blend in better, he starts to look at her in a different way – especially when Eleven asks if she looks “pretty.” (He thinks so, yes.) 

Challenge... helping Mike and his friends get Will back without getting recaptured herself. Beyond that, Eleven needs to figure out how to live with other people, understand how to control her powerful gifts that also take a major toll on her (including frequent nosebleeds), and maybe even be Mike’s date at the Snow Ball. Yes, her schedule is pretty packed.

Personality... wary and withdrawn, but very protective to those she cares about. Eleven has had a remarkably difficult childhood, if it can even be called a “childhood.” Mike might be the first person she’s met who truly cares about her, and not just about what she could do for him. So it’s no surprise that she is very cautious around most people, just as it’s understandable how loyal she is to Mike. If necessary, she will put herself in danger to help him and his friends.


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