At the end of Stranger Things 3, Eleven’s powers stopped working and then the Demogorgon appeared. Is that a coincidence?
Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things 3!
At the end of Stranger Things 3, Eleven, the most powerful character in the Netflix original series, is reduced to benchwarmer in the biggest sequence of the series so far after she loses her powers.
In the scene, Eleven says she needs to re-charge her “batteries.” Three months have passed since that night at the Starcourt Mall, but Eleven’s powers have not come back by the end of the season.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Eleven’s powers, why they went away, and why, after this long break, she hasn’t been able to tap into them.
Clearly, her powers are not completely gone. There’s something that happens when she tries to use them, but they are weak. She can’t do the very basic things that she once could, and it’s puzzling to her.
Obviously, many people think it’s simply a plot development to make sure that she can’t immediately locate Hopper, and maybe that’s true, but I don’t think so. The Duffer Brothers are masters of only giving away crumbs of information when they want to, and that’s one of the reasons this show is so successful.
I have a theory about why Eleven’s powers have disappeared. Before we begin, I should note that this theory is half-baked, at best, and it’s not mine entirely. It simply builds on a theory I read about a while ago from Reddit user Peter45 and Vulture made a video explaining that theory.
Eleven and Demogorgon connection
This theory goes all the way back to season 1, and it was written about following the season. But now, we’re two seasons past that point and I still don’t see how it all connects yet. The theory, basically, concludes Eleven and the Demogorgon from season 1 are connected to one another. It’s how Eleven knows all about Will and Barb’s disappearance into the Upside Down before she should.
Watch the Vulture video below to explain the theory.
There’s so much to unpack here, but I’ll do my best. Because of this connection to the Demogorgon, there are many who believe Eleven is somehow connected to the monster.
The video points out a few connections from places where Stranger Things draws inspiration, as well. In Dungeons and Dragons, the Demogorgon has two heads and two distinct personalities. In the X-Men comics, Jean Grey is both the Phoenix and the Dark Phoenix. Connecting the dots, Eleven, therefore, is one half, presumably the good half, of some connection, while the Demogorgon would be the bad half, and it could have been created by the trauma caused by the experiments.
I don’t know if that’s true or not. There is a lot of evidence supporting this theory, and there are connections between the Demogorgon and Eleven that are unexplained now. This theory helps to answer those questions.
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How does Eleven recognize Will in the picture from Mike’s house? How does she know he was taken to the Upside Down by the monster? How does she know that Barb is dead before she searches for her in the Upside Down? Why does Eleven disintegrate with the monster in her final scene at the school?
In the final scene, when Eleven makes the monster disappear, the monster makes the same motion Eleven is making while she pins it against the chalkboard, as noted in the video. Clearly, we can agree something is weird between Eleven and the Demogorgon.
How it relates to Eleven’s powers
So, for the sake of this discussion, let’s just assume that Eleven and the Demogorgon are linked somehow. Could that be the reason for Eleven’s missing powers at the end of Stranger Things 3?
This is a half-baked theory, as I mentioned, but I think it could make some sense.
While Erica and Dustin were escaping the Russian base, they saw a big cage, one big enough for a Demogorgon, along with a prod of some sort for hurting the interdimensional beast, most likely. Erica steals it, and it’s used to help free Robin and Steve.
Well, what if, in the chaos that was the third season, the Russians were somehow able to locate THE Demogorgon and take it with them back to Russian before the Upside Down was closed? Then, with Eleven and the Demogorgon’s connection, the Demogorgon was somehow able to steal some of Eleven’s powers. Perhaps, her powers became diluted because of the distance between Russia and Hawkins?
I don’t see why that couldn’t happen if they are connected after all. There’s also the Mind Flayer that we can now, I believe, throw into this mix.
In “Chapter Six: E Pluribus Unum” of Stranger Things 3, Eleven uses the void and reaches out to Billy. The Mind Flayer is waiting for her, and Billy grabs Eleven’s arm. This throws Eleven off, and she falls into Billy’s memories, basically. While she is able to use this moment to her advantage, the Mind Flayer uses it against her, and presumably, it gets inside her mind.
As she can see Billy’s memories, the Mind Flayer can then see her memories. If that happened, and I think it can because, somehow, the scene changes and Billy finds her in Hopper’s cabin, then the Mind Flayer would likely become aware of this other part of Eleven’s psyche or her past, the Demogorgon.
Because the Mind Flayer can control the Upside Down and its inhabitants, there’s no reason to assume the Mind Flayer couldn’t find the Demogorgon, “flay it” or take control over it, and use it to its advantage.
If you think about this way, the Hawkins Heroes have taken Eleven in, shown her kindness and what it means to be human and allowed her to help them fight off these monsters. And, she does it for them willingly.
In a similar way, the Mind Flayer could use the Demogorgon to become the anti-Eleven, basically.
We saw Eleven and the Demogorgon uses power in similar ways. Eleven can move things with her mind, and it appears this Demogorgon can, too. Remember when it unlocked the door to the Byers’ house in the first episode? It also pulled the deer away from Nancy and Jonathan in the woods even though the Demogorgon wasn’t really there.
If they both draw power the same way, maybe there is something stopping them from using that power?
I know how far-fetched this sounds. I don’t know if I believe it myself, but it’s the only explanation that I can think of that acknowledges the connection between Eleven and Demogorgon in season 1 and the mysterious disappearance of Eleven’s powers when the Demogorgon comes back at the end of season 3.
Of course, this theory is built a big assumption that the Demogorgon that appears at the end of Stranger Things 3 would have to be the Demogorgon from the first season. We don’t know that for sure, but I think it is. If Eleven is still alive after being “destroyed” in season 1, that means the Demogorgon is probably still alive, too.
I don’t know where the series goes from here, but I’m guessing that it will eventually have to start answering important questions about what it’s already shown us, how the Upside Down works, and more!
For that, we’ll have to wait until Stranger Things 4! According to reports, production on the new season starts this fall, although that has not been confirmed by Netflix.
Stay tuned for more news about Stranger Things 4!