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What Happened To Eleven In 'Stranger Things' Season 1? The Ending Was Ambiguous


Netflix's summer smash hit Stranger Things is back for another season, and this time Season 2 debuted just in time for Halloween. Fans obviously know Millie Bobby Brown is involved in the second season, but it's unclear how her beloved Eggo-waffle-stealing character will be worked into the story, since it seemed like she died at the end of last season. Viewers know from the trailer that she's somehow returned through the magic of sci-fi, but what happened to Eleven in Stranger Things Season 1? It's not entirely clear just yet.

Fans first met her stumbling into a diner, doe-eyed, disoriented, not speaking, and claiming her name was Eleven. She just so happened to turn up on the same day a local boy went missing. Of course, frightening government dudes came in to snatch her, killing the diner owner along the way, but Eleven managed to escape. A group of four boys — friends of the missing Will Byers — found her hiding out in the woods and one of them smuggled her into his house, stashing her in the basement. Sweet, naive Michael tried to enlist grownups for help, but Eleven knew that adults were the enemy in this cruel, cruel world. She showed the boys her powers of mind control and managed to communicate that she knew where Will was — stuck in a different dimension the boys dub "the Upside Down."

She also found Will on a radio frequency using Michael's walkie-talkie. But when the boys got close to the rip in the time-space continuum that would lead them to the Upside Down, Eleven paniced and steered them away. She got back into their good graces by rescuing them from their tormentors and scaring off the bullies in school.

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Along the way, some episodes included flashbacks of Eleven's time in captivity, where a man called Dr. Brenner forced her into doing experiments to test the the scope of her powers, from crushing Coke cans with her mind to killing a cat. (She obviously refused to do the latter, and killed the two guards making her do it instead.) Eventually, we learned that Eleven's mom may be a woman named Terry Ives, who is still alive, but basically catatonic after Brenner performed tests on her while she was pregnant. Her sister believed she had a miscarriage, but Terry maintained that her baby was born with special powers so Brenner kidnapped her.

Brenner eventually figured out the boys were concealing Eleven and the gang narrowly escaped when his government agents descended upon Mike's house. Police Chief Jim Hopper and Will's mom Joyce eventually coaxed the kids into giving up their hiding location by convincing them that they believed Eleven. Eleven lost contact with Will in the Upside Down via walkie-talkie, so everyone set to work on building her a makeshift sensory deprivation chamber using a kiddie pool and road salt. She manages to travel dimensions and confirm that Will was still alive.

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They ended up getting him back from the Upside Down, but in the process, the monster who lived there was released into their world. It took literally every ounce of Eleven's life force to destroy the monster, but she did it. The monster died and Eleven seemed to have destroyed herself along with it. That's definitely what we were supposed to think, but is all hope really lost?

In the first season's epilogue, one month after the epic battle, we saw Hopper place some Eggo waffles and other table scraps out into the woods. Will also coughed up a creature from the Upside Down and we caught a glimpse of his bathroom in the other dimension. It's difficult to tell how Eleven survived from the trailer, but we do know she's isolating herself from the boys, which probably offers a clue. You'll have to stay tuned to Stranger Things Season 2 to see how the story unfolds.

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