Who Is Eleven's Dad On 'Stranger Things'? Her Origin Story May Finally Be Revealed
There are a lot of mysteries on Stranger Things, but one of the biggest ones is where did Eleven come from. Back in Season 1, it was hinted that her mother was Terry Ives and she was Terry's daughter, Jane, but that left the question of who Eleven's dad is on Stranger Things. It seems like the second season will answer that question, once and for all. Or at least, I hope it will. Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 4!
If you don't recall, back in Season 1 Hopper and Joyce went to see Terry Ives, who they believed was connected to Hawkins National Laboratory and could perhaps help them find Will. However, when they met Terry she was unable to communicate with them and it was her sister, Becky, that explained things. According to Becky, Terry participated in the controversial government program known as Project MKUltra in the early 1970s, and unbeknownst to Terry, she somehow became pregnant during this experiment.
However, Terry supposedly had a miscarriage, though she believed her daughter, Jane, was still alive somewhere. Hopper and Joyce agreed, believing that the miscarriage was a coverup and that Jane was actually taken by Dr. Martin Brenner and raised by him at the lab to be used for their experiments. They also guessed that Eleven was actually Jane.
In the second season, Eleven and Hopper got into a nasty fight, so she was stuck in the house without a working TV and had to clean. During this time, she discovered a secret basement filled with boxes of files. In one of those boxes, Eleven found newspaper clippings and a photo of Terry and Dr. Brenner, who Eleven always called "Papa." Then she used her abilities to find Terry and when she did she called her, "Mama," seemingly confirming that Terry is in fact her mother. Though, realistically, Eleven was way too young to remember her mother so she might've been just projecting, but Eleven also has telekinetic abilities so who knows?
Regardless, I'm going to assume this was confirmation and with that it's very plausible that Dr. Brenner is really Eleven's father. All the signs are there. He was a part of the experiments done on Terry and Terry doesn't know how she got pregnant, which unfortunately probably means she was either raped or artificially inseminated without her knowledge. However, maybe she just doesn't remember everything that happened in those experiments, but Dr. Brenner was awful so you can't blame me for assuming the worst of him.
Since Terry got pregnant during the experiments, it wouldn't be a big leap to guess a member of the staff did it. Based on the photo Eleven found, it's clear Terry worked closely with Dr. Brenner. Plus, there's just the obvious fact that he had Eleven call him Papa. Sure, that could've just been some weird thing he did, but I doubt it. Eleven probably is his child, which somehow makes everything he did to her (and her mother) 10 times worse.
Terry will probably never recover from what she went through during those experiments and Eleven never got the chance to grow up like a regular kid. She's still learning social cues and what various words mean. Dr. Brenner prevented her from having a normal life, but instead used her for his own experiments and personal gain. Despite Eleven and Hopper's little spats, Eleven is obviously in much better hands now.
That being said, there's only so much longer Hopper will be able to keep Eleven inside that cabin. She's getting more and more antsy and she's bound to sneak out again. Plus, with everything going on in Hawkins, Indiana right now, Hopper may need Eleven's help anyway.
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