Warning: If you haven’t seen Stranger Things 3 yet, this is where you should stop reading. Spoilers ahead!


  • A fan theory suggests that Eleven could become the next Stranger Things villain.
  • It would follow the pattern of the last two villains.
  • We don’t know a release date for Stranger Things 4.

    Remember when Stranger Things 3 came out? Back over July 4th weekend? Yeah, good times. While that was barely a month ago, it feels way longer—which means the time before Stranger Things 4 actually comes out is going to literally feel like forever.

    So, while we wait to see what actually happens with Hopper and the rest of the gang, there’s basically no choice in the Stranger Things discourse other than to generate and discuss a series of probably-wrong fan theories. The latest is a little bit out there, casting Eleven as the villain in the show’s fourth season.

    The theory, which comes from Reddit user u/weedmonkey666, suggests that following the pattern of Will in Season 2 and Billy in Season 3, Eleven could be the next to be possessed by the Mind Flayer. As the theory puts forward, Will was possessed after coughing up a slug (left over from his time in the Upside Down) and the monster flowing through his body. Billy was possessed after getting out of his car on the side of the road and getting dragged away by the monster. Eleven, as you might recall, was bitten by the monster, and had a mini demo-slug of her own crawling inside her leg, which she ripped out. The theory suggests that the residual from that could leave her vulnerable to be possessed by the Mind Flayer in the future.

    Also, the theory points toward a moment that lasts a few frames in the closing of the Season 3 finale: a shadow appears on Eleven’s face while Hopper’s letter is being read that the theory author says resembles the Mind Flayer. Check it out below:

    stranger things netflix theory mind flayer eleven

    Netflix

    The downside of this theory is that watching in real time, that shadow looks nowhere near as much like the Mind Flayer as it does in that freeze frame (and it doesn’t really look that much like the Mind Flayer in the freeze frame either). Plus, it would make sense to think after two seasons with the Mind Flayer as the primary villain, the show’s producers would seek a new thread to keep things fresh.

    But, then again, all that being said, Season 4 really is so far away. So far. Granted that Eleven also lost her powers at the end of Stranger Things 3, we’d have to imagine that getting those back would be the first order of business in Stranger Things 4 before any villain funny business would come up. But hey, that’s just us.

    Evan Romano
    Evan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.

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