Hints Eleven Will Be More Powerful In Stranger Things Season


Stranger Things hinted Eleven will be even more powerful when the show returns for season 5. Stranger Things season 4 finally revealed Eleven’s full origin story, one her own mind had repressed because of trauma. It gave a sense of her power, as she proved the only one capable of matching Vecna, Dr. Brenner’s Number One.

Vecna’s powers are natural, but Eleven’s were created. She was one of Dr. Brenner’s many experiments, a child whose mother was exposed to substances such as LSD during pregnancy. Dr. Brenner successfully created at least 14 powerful individuals, but Eleven was the greatest of them all – and she was one he feared. Unfortunately, this left her open to the manipulation of Number One, who tricked her into freeing him so he could slaughter her siblings. Eleven learned the true scale of her own powers the hard way, when she successfully banished Vecna into the Upside-Down.


Related: Stranger Things Clearly Has A Mike Problem That Season 5 Must Fix

There’s a sense in which Stranger Things has been the story of Eleven learning to master her powers. Twice now, she’s been forced to seek guidance from others to help her figure out how her abilities work; from Kali in Stranger Things season 2, and from Dr. Brenner himself in season 4. Tragically, even this training proved insufficient to prevent Vecna fulfilling his sinister plan; he is master of the Upside-Down’s hive mind, apparently drawing on all its life-force to boost his abilities. The stage is set for a final fateful confrontation, and fortunately, Eleven may well have something of a power-up of her own in Stranger Things season 5.

Eleven’s Powers Don’t Work The Way She Thought They Did

Stranger Things Season 4 eleven powers millie bobby brown

Eleven’s training began under Dr. Brenner, who learned how these powers work through studying Henry Creel. From Creel, Brenner learned these powers respond to negative emotions such as anger, and flashbacks confirm he suspected Eleven’s potential in large part because of the repressed rage he sensed burning within her. Creel reinforced this idea when he attempted to encourage Eleven to experiment with her powers, telling her the secret lay in unleashing her anger. He saw the same things within Eleven that Dr. Brenner feared, but he sought to use them.

Eleven learned a similar lesson in Stranger Things season 2, when she went to her “Lost Sister” Kali for help. Like Eleven, Kali had learned everything she knew about her powers under Dr. Brenner’s teaching, and she too believed anger was the key to true power. She had let that anger consume her, becoming absolutely committed to revenge on Dr. Brenner and all his colleagues in the CIA’s Project MKUltra. But season 2 actually subtly suggests Kali was wrong, because Eleven rejected her philosophy – and, by extension, rejected the perspective of both Vecna and Dr. Brenner.

Eleven’s powers are not rooted in anger; they are rooted in love. Stranger Things season 4’s flashbacks revealed Eleven was only able to banish Vecna into the Upside-Down when she experienced a buried memory of her mother’s love. In season 2, Eleven accomplished one of her greatest feats to date – closing the Gate to the Upside-Down – when she was fighting to defend the friends she loves. Returning to season 4, Eleven was only able to blast Stranger Things villain Vecna away from Max when she heard Mike speaking words of love and encouragement to her.

Related: How Stranger Things Season 4 Avoided The Mistakes Of Seasons 2 & 3

Time and again, Eleven’s experience of loving and being loved has been the key to her powers. Dr. Brenner made a mistake when he used Henry Creel as a template for unlocking psychic powers, because Creel was a being who could not love or be loved. Eleven’s true powers come from transcending Dr. Brenner’s teaching, not from embracing it, and she has the potential to be more than Vecna could ever be, setting her up to become even more powerful in Stranger Things season 5.

Eleven Has Unlocked New Powers In Stranger Things Season 4

Stranger Things Eleven and Max Starcourt Mall

The end of Stranger Things season 4 saw Eleven demonstrate greater power than ever before. Vecna successfully killed Max, and somehow her death tore apart the boundary between Hawkins and the Upside-Down. But, incredibly, Eleven refused to accept Max’s death. Fueled by her memories of her friend, Eleven resurrected Max, and in so doing she appears to have affected Vecna’s entire plan in some mysterious way. The boundary closed again, and it took Vecna two days to lick his wounds and somehow force it open once more.

It’s currently unclear how Eleven’s resurrection powers work. They haven’t completely restored Max, because her body is still broken, and her mind remains absent, as Eleven confirmed when she tried to enter it again. It’s possible the key to Max’s survival lay in the fact Eleven was inside her mind, psychically connected to her at the moment of her death. The Duffer brothers have modeled Eleven on the X-Men’s Jean Grey, and in X-Men comics Jean’s telepathic powers were boosted when, as a child, she experienced the death of her best friend Annie. Even Jean wasn’t able to do what Eleven has done, however, as she seemingly resurrects Max in Stranger Things season 4.

However this power may work, it’s important to note how Eleven unlocked it. It was done through love, not through rage, as Eleven remembered all the moments she had spent with her best friend – her only female friend. Eleven’s love for Max served as an anchor to her power, allowing her to use it in a way even Vecna had never displayed. This twist raises the exciting possibility she will go on to discover even greater powers in Stranger Things season 5, as the Hawkins kids battle against Vecna and the forces of the Upside-Down. The two-day pause between Max’s initial death and the Upside-Down invasion meant the stars of the show all had the time to gather at Hawkins, with Eleven even learning her adopted father Hopper was still alive. If Eleven’s powerful abilities are rooted in love, then she now has all she needs to beat Vecna; all those Eleven loves have gathered together, meaning she will fight in their defense. This means Eleven will truly be even more powerful in Stranger Things season 5, simply because her powers don’t work the way Vecna – or Dr. Brenner – believed they did.

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