Stranger Things 4 theory suggests Eleven's real dad is 001/Henry Creel

19 June 2022, 10:49 | Updated: 19 June 2022, 20:27

By Katie Louise Smith

Who is Eleven's dad in Stranger Things? A new season 4 theory suggests 001/Henry Creel/Vecna is actually Eleven's real father – and it low-key makes sense.

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Over the years, Stranger Things has left us with some pretty big questions, and based on what we've seen so far in season 4, we're finally getting closer and closer to some long-overdue answers. One particular question that fans are still dying to know the answer to: Who is Eleven's real dad?

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has had a couple of father figures in her life, in the form of Dr. Brenner (Papa) and Jim Hopper, but the show has yet to reveal who her actual biological father is.

Now, thanks to a massively viral – and low-key convincing – theory, fans are now suggesting that Eleven’s biological dad could be none other than 001, Henry Creel a.k.a. Vecna himself.

Shortly after Volume 1 dropped, the shocking theory started popping up across social media with fans dissecting all the ways in which it appears to make sense with the narrative and the timeline. It then trickled over to TikTok where one video from @justthenobodys discussing the possible twist has racked up 9.3 million views and over 1.7 million likes.

Who is Eleven's real dad in Stranger Things?

Stranger Things 4: Who is Eleven's real dad? Is 001 Eleven's father?
Stranger Things 4: Who is Eleven's real dad? Is 001 Eleven's father? Picture: Netflix

Stranger Things 4 explained more about Dr. Brenner’s twisted experiments with the children in Hawkins Lab, and in doing so, we learned that the powerful Henry Creel was the very first test subject – named 001.

Brenner’s ultimate motive was to create more children just like 001, with telekinetic and psychic abilities. As far as we’ve learned, around 18 children were part of the experiments, all with varying degrees of strength when it came to their powers. But only Eleven had powers that could seemingly match the strength of 001's.

The theory suggests that the reason why Eleven is so much more powerful than her siblings is because her abilities could be biological and passed down through genetics… Henry’s genetics.

READ MORE: Noah Schnapp says there are "some deaths coming" in Stranger Things 4 Volume 2

Here’s where the theory goes wild. Viewers are theorising that Brenner, in his bid to recreate 001, decided to kick his experiment up a notch after the previous 10 test subjects weren’t proving to be powerful enough. In order to do that, the theory suggests he used Henry’s actual DNA in the form of a sperm sample and artificially inseminated Eleven’s mother Terry without her knowing, while she was part of Project MKUltra.

Of course, it’s an incredibly disturbing and sinister thing to do, but given Brenner’s history at the lab, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to believe that he’d experiment with 001’s DNA in that kind of way.

Another version of the theory suggests Henry may have struck up a relationship with Terry during her time at the lab and got her pregnant. Shortly after that, Brenner could have implanted the Soteria device into Henry's neck.

(And if you’re wondering about 001/Henry’s age when all of this happened, here’s a quick breakdown: Henry was 12 years old in 1959, when he killed his mother and sister. Eleven was born in 1971, making Henry around 23 at the time. He would have been around 30-31 years old when he killed the lab kids in 1979.)

READ MORE: Stranger Things 4: Is Eddie 010? The viral theory explained

Stranger Things 4: Is 001/Henry Creel actually Eleven's real dad?
Stranger Things 4: Is 001/Henry Creel actually Eleven's real dad? Picture: Netflix

The theory goes on to suggest that the reason why Henry was so intrigued with Eleven, and why he always helped her when they were in the lab, was because he somehow knew, or sensed, that she was biologically connected to him and therefore capable of being as powerful as him.

Throughout his conversations with Eleven, Henry/001 continues to draw similarities between himself and El. In Henry's monologue at the end of episode 7, he also tells her that he was "so very glad" that she, specifically, was born into the programme, adding that she was "superior" to all the other children in terms of her strength.

As well as befriending Eleven in order to gain her trust so she would remove his Soteria implant, we learn in the final episode that 001 initially spared El because he wanted her to join him. He viewed her as an ally rather than an enemy because they were "alike".

Over on Reddit, fans have also dived even deeper into the theory, connecting a specific comment from Hopper in episode 7 about being "hardwired to reject our fathers," to the way in which Eleven rejected Henry's offer to join him on his mission.

One user wrote: "I was reading this and I recalled how Hopper said to the prison guard (forgot his name) how something in us makes us reject our fathers to make our own way in the world. This would make sense if 1 was 11's dad considering how 11 rejected 1's proposal to do her own thing."

Another added: "I would also go as far as to say Eleven was [001/Henry's] only kid, which is why her powers were like his. Also Eleven having daddy issues calling Brenner papa again, and Hopper talking about passing fucked up genes on to his kid seem like foreshadowing for One being Eleven's father."

READ MORE: Stranger Things 4 fans think Lucas gets caught by Vecna thanks to behind-the-scenes video

Stranger Things 4: Who is Eleven's real dad?
Stranger Things 4: Who is Eleven's real dad? Picture: Netflix

What happened to Eleven’s mother in Stranger Things?

Eleven’s biological mother Terry Ives began taking part in Project MKUltra in the late '60s. The programme, run by Brenner, saw Terry subjected to experiments involving the intake of dangerous mind-altering, psychedelic drugs and placed into sensory deprivation tanks. Terry was part of the project until 1971, when Eleven (Jane) was born.

In season 1, Terry’s sister Becky tells Hopper and Joyce that Terry found out she was pregnant while taking part in the programme. Terry carried Jane to term while continuing on with the project, but after giving birth to her daughter, she was later informed that she had miscarried in the third trimester. But, as Terry very well knew, that was a lie to cover up Brenner's abduction of Jane.

Stranger Things 4: What happened to Eleven's mum Terry Ives?
Stranger Things 4: What happened to Eleven's mum Terry Ives? Picture: Netflix

Who is Andrew Rich? Is he Eleven's dad?

This is where some fans have called the theory into question, pointing out that the Stranger Things novel Suspicious Minds has already revealed Eleven’s biological father to be a man named Andrew Rich.

In the novel, Andrew was dating Terry at the start of her time with MKUltra. It's then stated that Brenner pulled some strings behind the scenes to have Andrew expelled from college and drafted out to fight in the Vietnam War, where he later died.

However, thanks to the release of Stranger Things 4, several plot points from the novel have now been contradicted by the show's narrative and timeline.

As of Stranger Things 4 episode 7, the show itself has yet to confirm the identity of Eleven's biological father. Despite all we've learned about El's childhood and Terry's history, the name Andrew Rich has never popped up in the show's canon.

Given Stranger Things’ penchant for a solid Star Wars reference, the final part of the theory fits almost too perfectly.

The Duffer Brothers have said that The Empire Strikes Back has had quite an impact on the fourth season of the show, telling IGN: "We talked a lot about The Empire Strikes Back, which is...the darkest movie in Star Wars. We talked a lot about that and wanting to capture that tone."

The Empire Strikes Back just so happens to include the iconic scene where Darth Vader reveals that he is Luke Skywalker's father.

And episode 8 of Stranger Things 4 is called 'Papa'. Obviously, that could just refer to Eleven and Dr. Brenner, or Eleven and Hopper, but... could there be another shocking dad reveal on the way for El?

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