The narrative arc of Eleven in season 4 of Stranger Things does not bode well for the fate of the character… But should she die in season 5 of the series?
Warning, spoilers! This article reveals key plot elements of Season 4 of Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read on!
Eleven’s Story Ark (Millie Bobby Brown) in Season 4 of Stranger Things has something to worry fans of the Netflix series. Indeed, this season digs into the young girl’s past, but she also has to face new traumas there. That Season 4 focuses on Eleven and her desire to confront her past isn’t surprising since she’s doing all of this to better regain her powers.
During these 9 episodes, Eleven manages to overcome the blockage that prevented her from using her powers, to stand up to Vecna with the help of the rest of the gang and she even shows that she now has a new power when she brings Max back from the dead.
Season 4 clearly makes Vecna the main antagonist of the series and Eleven in particular. They both have the same telekinetic powers, and the show ups the ante in Season 5 by making them opposite extremes of roughly equal strength. When she takes advantage of him, the show suggests it’s because of her friends and her strong connection to them.
The savior trope
This end of the season places Eleven in the posture of the Savior. We are shown that she defeated Henry Creel/One/Vecna in the past, much like Lucifer was banished from Heaven and ejected to Hell. She directly opposes his hatred of humanity and his plans for total destruction. Similarly, when Vecna holds her prisoner in her Mind Lairits position is very close to that of the crucifixion.
Then, Eleven brings Max back to life, showing resurrection powers which is quite common among saviors. Stranger Things therefore makes Eleven the Savior, as opposed to Vecna who becomes the archetype of the fallen angel. These diagrams obviously draw the bases for the upcoming Season 5.
The setting up of his death
All these elements put together indicate that there is a good chance that Eleven will die in season 5. First of all because one of the markers of the Savior is his sense of sacrifice to save humanity. Now that the Upside-down world invaded Hawkins’s – making Vecna even more powerful – Eleven may have to give it her all to save her friends, family and the rest of the world from the evil that plagues her. She will have to sacrifice herself to save the world from the Upside Down and Vecna.
By making Eleven an archetype, Matt and Ross Duffer do not hide their intentions about his coming death. And since the series ends with season 5, no character is immune. The original plan for Season 1 was already to kill Eleven by the time she confronts the Demogorgon by sacrificing herself to destroy all of the Upside Down. But when the Duffer brothers realized the show could become a hit and more seasons could follow, they gave the little girl a second chance.
With the many references to an emotionally charged ending, the original plan might as well be executed.
Would his death be a good choice for the series?
Kill Eleven in a season 5 that would have jumped in time would be daring and interesting. If the level of writing is assured, it could indeed add emotional charge and respond to the brutal reality that the series has portrayed from the start. What is at stake now with Vecna is neither more nor less than the destruction of all humanity.
The devastation of losing Eleven would add a dose of grief to what would otherwise be a happy ending. None of the previous seasons ended on a purely positive and happy note, with each concluding on a bittersweet tone.
Eleven’s sacrifice to save her friends – and humanity as a whole – thus becomes increasingly likely for the series’ conclusion. It would make for a bitter, sad, hopeful, and uplifting ending. Everything the Duffer Brothers love!
Whatever new characters or monsters will appear in Season 5, the ending of Season 4 makes it clear that the final season will be unlike anything the show has shown before. With the end of the series, anything goes. And with the stakes so high and the archetypes laid out so clearly, Stranger Things fans have plenty to worry about and prepare for a heartbreaking death.