November 14, 2017
This ‘Stranger Things 2’ Detail Provides More Insight into Hopper and Eleven’s Relationship
The first season of Netflix’s Stranger Things ends with Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) leaving some Eggos in a box in the woods. The implication: he’s the only person who knows Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) survived her battle with the Demogorgon, and that’s going to factor into season 2 in a big way.
Those two characters have a unique relationship in the second season, and now the internet has spotted a Stranger Things 2 detail that deepens their connection even further.
Spoilers for Stranger Things 2 ahead.
The show’s second season sees a change in dynamic for Hopper and Eleven. In an attempt to keep her safe from evil scientists who might want to experiment on her further or utilize her skill set for nefarious purposes, Hopper takes Eleven in and keeps her isolated at an old cabin he owns. The two butt heads over the course of the season because Eleven wants to see Mike but Hopper won’t let her leave the cabin, and though there is some pretty intense confrontations between them – not to mention exploding glass and a telekinetically-hurled dictionary – they eventually talk through their issues and Hopper adopts Eleven as his own daughter.
A big part of the reason Hopper gets so frustrated at Eleven is because he already lost his own biological daughter, Sara, to a disease before we met him in the first season, and he’s scared he’ll screw up and lose Eleven as well. But an eagle-eyed Redditor (via Buzzfeed) noticed this touching detail that complete’s Hopper’s arc as a broken man to a full-fledged parent figure.
As we saw in season 1, Sara used to wear a blue hairband when she was a little girl:
When Sara got sick, Hopper took her hairband and wore it on his wrist:
After Sara dies, Hopper continues to wear the band on his wrist to honor her memory, but it’s never commented on or made a big deal of in the show. It’s just a quiet little character detail that only hardcore fans would notice.
But here’s where Stranger Things 2 comes in. After the portal is closed, Hopper meets with Dr. Owens to get his adoption papers and asks the doctor if he can let Eleven/Jane go out in public for one night. We discover the reason she wants to go out is so she can attend the Snow Ball with Mike, and when we see her there, take a look at what’s on her wrist:
Yep. Sara’s hairband. Hopper has presumably passed it on to her, signaling the end of an era for him and the start of a new relationship with a new daughter. The cool part is that there’s no treacly speeches or scenes in which we see any of this happen – it’s just little character touches that enhance our appreciation of the show even further. Hopper and Eleven’s relationship is one of the best parts of season 2, so this tiny detail makes a good thing even better.