ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

Just like any show involving supernatural elements, Netflix's Stranger Things saw plenty of theories popping up online about the functioning and meaning of the rather spooky Upside Down and its main inhabitant, the Demogorgon. What exactly is this faceless monster whose head looks like a zombie tulip thirsty for blood, and what's it doing in there?

Intentionally or not, Stranger Things left plenty of room for interpretation, so theories about the Demogorgon went from speculating that it was Eleven's double in the Upside Down to suggesting it represented Eleven's puberty and her getting her period. I know.

Eleven / Netflix
Eleven / Netflix

But just like little girls with a bloody nose and a shaved head, not all theories are as crazy as they seem. This time, it's YouTube user Planet Calvin who came up with the idea that the Demorgogon could be Eleven's mother — more precisely, the incarnation of her mind in the Upside Down. Sound absurd? Hear him out, and check out his follow-up video over here.

What If The Demogorgon Was The Tortured Soul Of Eleven's Mom?

Mr. Calvin starts by making an excellent point, and it's that usually shows don't introduce a new character for nothing. And if you look at Terry, the poor MKUltra mom now glued to her chair with a dead look in her eyes, it seems like she was just there to reinforce the feeling that the government is indeed supporting some pretty dreadful experiments — or echo Joyce's own experience of (almost) losing a child. In both cases, there's no new information, just a confirmation of things we already know.

If Terry means much more than that, however, it could be because she's got a much stronger link to Eleven's current adventures than we thought. While it was more or less confirmed that she's Eleven a.k.a. Jane's mom, she doesn't seem to be doing anything now. Or at least her physical body isn't.

Turned Into A Monster By The Experiments, Terry's Mind Is Desperate To Find Her Child


Here's the core of the theory: The Demogorgon is Terry's tortured mind, turned into a monster after the many experiments and the pain of losing a child — remember she was told she miscarried. So why is it roaming around the Upside Down and eating kids? It's been searching for Jane for years, but the more the frustration grew, the more it turned to anyone who could make up for her lost daughter.

This interpretation is extremely far-fetched, but it's also kind of heartbreaking, isn't it? Throughout Stranger Things, the Demogorgon was certainly pictured as dangerous, but it was never actually stated whether it was evil. The idea of a monster made monstrous by the wrongdoings of others is so much more subtle than just a bloodthirsty beast, so it adds a nice layer to Eleven's story.


And if I may add an extra argument to Mr. Calvin's theory, it would also nicely explain why the monster seems to be collecting the bodies of its victims, instead of just digesting them like any hungry monster would, and wrapping them in egg-like shapes. Is it desperately trying to breed? Goddamn, now I'm sad for the Demogorgon!


What do you think of this crazy 'Stranger Things' theory?

For more Stranger Things awesomeness, check out our VFX breakdown!


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