It’s been over a week since the second season of Stranger Things was released, which follows the events of the first season after Eleven sacrificed herself to destroy the Demogorgon. The early trailers already revealed Eleven makes her return from the Upside Down, but that was almost not the case, according to the show’s creators.
During an appearance at a Master Class Q&A at Chapman University, the Duffer Brothers opened up about their initial intentions with Eleven’s character. Her fate depended on the longevity of the series, which was originally going to be limited. Here’s what they said:
Maybe I shouldn’t say this because I like to pretend that it was all planned out, but it was originally pitched as a limited series. So it was like, Eleven was gonna sacrifice herself and save the world and then that was gonna be it, because there was a moment where limited series were a big deal.
At the end of the first season, after Eleven does away with the Demogorgon, she disappears leading everyone to believe she died. That would have been the end of Eleven, with her character dying a hero after sacrificing herself.
After the massive success the series enjoyed, with Eleven right in the center of it, there was no way she would not return. And so she came back with a bang in season two.
It’s quite interesting to see how shows are approached when they are limited or continuing series. Taking risks like killing off a major character is not something continuing series do often. That is, unless you’re Game of Thrones.