Stranger Things creators explain Eleven’s speech "plot hole" in season 4 flashbacks

7 June 2022, 11:15

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By Katie Louise Smith

"Two years in isolation and really limited memories of what had happened to her. So that’s one reason for the speech."

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If you're one of the people who sat there during your Stranger Things 4 binge watch and wondered why Eleven could speak in perfect sentences when she was a child, you weren't the only one...

The second half of Stranger Things 4 Volume 1 sees Millie Bobby Brown's Eleven take part in a top secret project (Nina) that aims to restore her powers through the reliving of her own repressed memories from her time at the lab.

But after watching those flashbacks, fans began speculating as to why Eleven's speech was much more advanced, particularly considering the fact that she had a very, very limited vocabulary when she escaped the lab in season 1.

While some people called the show out for the "plot hole", the Duffer brothers have now revealed that there is actually a reason as to why El's speech is completely different in the flashbacks – and it's something that Volume 2 will dive deeper into when it returns on July 1st.

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Duffer brothers explain Eleven&squot;s speech "plot hole" in Stranger Things 4
Duffer brothers explain Eleven's speech "plot hole" in Stranger Things 4. Picture: Netflix

While answering a few burning questions about Volume 1 in an interview with Variety, the Duffer brothers explained why El's speech in the flashbacks is much more developed than when we met her in season 1, as an almost mute 11-year-old.

Turns out it's not actually a plot hole, more of a plot point that hasn't been explained in full just yet.

Discussing the questions that have been raised by fans, Matt Duffer explained: "Well, she is being socialized the same way with the other children and then she goes into — and she does not remember any of this — she goes into, you learn a little bit more about this in Volume 2, I guess I’m revealing a little bit, but she goes into a coma, reawakens, has no memory of these events and then is raised in total isolation by Brenner, who doesn’t dare bring in another number, for fear of this happening again."

"So he chooses to focus solely on her. She lives alone, in an isolated room. This is the Eleven that we meet in Season 1. Two years in isolation and really limited memories of what had happened to her. And so that’s one reason for the speech."

Stranger Things 4: Eleven was around 8 years old in the flashback scenes
Stranger Things 4: Eleven was around 8 years old in the flashback scenes. Picture: Netflix

So, in terms of the timeline for those wondering: The massacre at Hawkins Lab occurred in 1979, when Eleven was around eight or nine years old. Up until then, she was being raised with all the other kids and was able to speak in the same way we see the other kids speaking.

After she sent Peter Ballard/001 flying through the gate to the Upside Down, Eleven then went into a coma (which we will, presumably, see in Volume 2.)

As a result of trauma and repressing those memories, coupled with the fact that she was then raised in complete isolation (until 1983, when she escaped), El lost the ability to speak in the way that she used to as a young child.

And there you have it. Volume 2 will probably reveal even more about El's past and what happened after she opened the first gate to the Upside Down, so stay tuned!

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