Stranger Things' Eleven: The Hero We All Need

It’s no secret that the TV show of the summer was the new Netflix original series Stranger Things. The show, set in the 1980s, circles around a group of citizens from Hawkins, Indiana who all have connections to Will, a middle school boy who has vanished under suspicious circumstances. It’s not hard to love the characters in the show; there’s Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, Will's three best friends who would all go to the ends of the earth for him; Joyce, the intuitive mother who will stop at nothing to get her son back; Hopper, the tough town sheriff who secretly has a heart of gold, and more. But there’s one character in particular who steals the spotlight and emerges as the hero of the show: Eleven.

(Warning: spoilers ahead!)

The fact that the show’s creators the Duffer Brothers decided to make the hero of the show a young girl is, to put it bluntly, incredibly empowering for females of all ages. Because of her powers, Eleven becomes the ultimate key to finding and saving Will. Every single person ends up relying on her: the sheriff, the mother and brother, and the younger boys. A twelve year old girl is the most powerful character on the show.

Eleven’s special abilities come at a cost — she becomes drained the more she uses them. Thus, El proves herself utterly selfless as she saves the people around her: she catches Mike after he jumps off the cliff, she uses the radio to locate Will in the Upside Down, and she flips a van so that her and the boys can escape.

El altruistically protects the people around her despite having never been treated with respect or love. She has been through more physical pain and abuse than any other character on the show, yet she emerges as the strongest and most loving character. She remains loyal to Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, even when they get upset with her. The meaning of friendship becomes the most valuable aspect to El and the show.

Ultimately, Eleven sacrifices herself for her friends and a boy she has never even met. Her selflessness and perseverance can inspire all of us. As a young girl, she directly challenges anyone who has ever used the “like a girl” insult. Eleven is a badass hero who deserves all the Eggos in the world.