Stranger Things 4 theory explains how Eleven's real dad is 001/Henry Creel (2023)

19 June 2022, 10:49 | Updated: 8 July 2022, 16:54

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.

(Video) Stranger Things Theory: Is Vecna Secretly Eleven’s Dad? (Nerdist News w/ Dan Casey)

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Over the years, Stranger Things has left us with some pretty big questions, and based on what we've seen 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 theory explains how Eleven's real dad is 001/Henry Creel (3)

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.

(Video) 001 is Elevens father… (THEORY)

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

(Video) STRANGER THINGS Season 4 Volume 1 Henry Creel Explained

Stranger Things 4 theory explains how Eleven's real dad is 001/Henry Creel (4)

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 theory explains how Eleven's real dad is 001/Henry Creel (5)

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.

(Video) Elevens Real Father

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 theory explains how Eleven's real dad is 001/Henry Creel (6)

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 the finale of Stranger Things 4, 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 aboutThe Empire Strikes Back, which is...the darkest movie inStar 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.

(Video) Stranger Things 4 Theory! Is Henry Creel Eleven’s Dad?! #strangerthings #strangerthings4 #shorts

Could there be a shocking dad reveal on the way for El in season 5?

Read more about Stranger Things 5 here:

  • Stranger Things 5 will focus on Will and Vecna will return as the villain
  • Stranger Things 5 will feature a time jump
  • Stranger Things creators reveal their plans for season 5 made Netflix execs cry
  • Stranger Things 5 theory suggests how Eddie could return as Kas and kill Vecna
  • Stranger Things 5 will be the last season of the Netflix series
  • Stranger Things season 5: Release date, spoilers, cast, news and trailers

WATCH: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson try to name every Marvel film in ONE minute


Is Henry Creel Eleven's father? ›

This new theory according to PopBuzz suggests that Eleven's real father is none other than the original Hawkins Lab test subject 001 who turned out to be Henry Creel aka Vecna. Fans think that Vecna himself is Eleven's father due to her being the only test subject who has had powers on par with his abilities.

Could 001 be Eleven's dad? ›

So, who is Eleven's biological father? Well, according to PopBuzz, the new theory argues that Eleven's real dad is none other than the original Hawkins lab test subject 001, who was revealed to be Henry Creel/Vecna.

What is the theory that one is Eleven's dad? ›

The theory claims that Vecna is Eleven's father. It first showed up on a podcast called Just The Nobodys, which was posted to TikTok. At first glance, the theory is pretty out-there, but there's actually enough evidence to give it credence.

Who is Henry Creel father in Stranger Things? ›

Birth and early life. Henry Creel was born in 1947 to Victor and Virginia Creel, and had an older sister by three years named Alice. He did not fit in with his peers; his father described him as a "sensitive" boy. According to Henry, his teachers and doctors said he was "broken".

Is Eleven Henry Creel's daughter? ›

Brenner is Henry Creel's biological father, then u/OH1523 takes u/SLGHammr's hypothesis one step further: Henry is Eleven's biological father, making Dr. Brenner and Virginia Creel her grandparents. We know Henry was born in 1947 and showed signs of telekinetic powers growing up.

Is Vecna and Henry the same person? ›

Vecna was not always a hideous beast of the Upside Down. He was once a troubled child in the real world named Henry Creel. Henry's “problems” caused his family to move to Hawkins in 1959.

How did Henry Creel get his powers? ›

So, how did she know about Brenner? Remember also that we have evidence that powers can be inherited -- El inherited her powers from Terri Ives, for example. So it stands to reason that Henry inherited his powers from one of his parents.

Is 11 a clone of 1? ›

Eleven (Stranger Things) - Wikipedia

While the details of One and Dr. Brenner's involvement in Eleven's birth remain fuzzy, fan theories posit that Eleven is One's clone, making her his identical twin, and by definition, his sibling.

Did Dr. Brenner know about Vecna? ›

Brenner and the son of Victor Creel. He's the infamous Number One, but had his powers blocked and worked as an aide in the Hawkins National Lab. He befriended Eleven at the lab and not knowing Vecna was evil, Eleven restored his powers resulting in the massacre and his expulsion to the Upside Down.

Are Vecna and 001 the same? ›

The episode then cuts to Vecna in 1980s Upside Down, zooming in on his arm, where a tentacle slides away to uncover 001 tattooed on his wrist. So Vecna is 001, who is also Victor Creel's son.

How did Eleven's mom get pregnant? ›

Terry becomes pregnant over the course of her participation in MKUltra by her adoring boyfriend, Andrew, who gets kicked out of school because of protesting. But Terry doesn't find out that she's carrying a child until after Andrew is drafted into the army.

Who is Eleven's biological mom? ›

Teresa "Terry" Ives is a reccuring character in the Netflix sci-fi horror series Stranger Things and the protagonist of is related novel, Suspicious Minds. Terry is Eleven's biological mother who loves her daughter.

What did the Creel parents do? ›

One of the most important sequences in this episode featured Vecna showing Nancy the real circumstances of the “eyeball murders” in the 1950s, with flashbacks indicating that young Henry Creel murdered his family when his mother tried to get him psychological help and he intentionally framed his father Victor for the ...

What did Victor Creel do to the baby? ›

As viewers learn over Stranger Things Season 4, Victor served as a soldier in World War II and accidentally bombed the wrong home, killing the family inside, including an infant.

Is Henry Creel The Mind Flayer? ›

From the information we got during the Stranger Things 4 finale, we can conclude that Henry Creel is the one calling the shots; in fact, Henry is the Mind Flayer.

Is Karen Vecna's sister? ›

Wheeler is Vecna's sister are pretty slim. While it's possible on a theoretical level, it would just be a really weird plot twist, even for Stranger Things. However, it's still odd that Mrs. Wheeler was the only side character with a poster.

How did 001 get his powers? ›

The only reason I believe that to be the case is because, if I'm not mistaken, Eleven's powers were revealed to have come from her mother's exposure to LSD while she was in the womb during the MK ultra experiments.

How old was Henry Creel as a kid? ›

How old is Stranger Things' young Henry Creel star Raphael Luce? Henry Creel in Stranger Things season four was 12 years old when he murdered his family in 1959. Actor Raphael Luce, who is behind Henry, is a little older as he was born on December 29, 2006, making the actor 15.

Who did Vecna turn out to be? ›

The final scene of Volume 1 shows a shot of Vecna, and a close up of the 001 tattoo on his arm, confirming that Henry Creel, a.k.a. Number One, became Vecna.

Is Vecna half human? ›

Vecna was born as a human, centuries ago as a member of the untouchable caste in the Flan city of Fleeth on Oerth. He was initially trained by his mother, Mazzel, in the art of magic, before she was executed by the government of Fleeth for practicing witchcraft.

Why is Vecna named Peter? ›

However, the writers' Twitter account have clarified that the name was just a fake to put fans off the scent, writing: "Peter Ballard was a fake name for casting. His name is Henry Creel and you should not call him Peter.

Did Henry creels mom have powers? ›

In fact, it is possible that Henry Creel's psychokinetic powers are naturally occurring. While it may be a side effect of her involvement in Project MKUltra, Eleven's mother, Terry Ives (Aimee Mullins), exhibited limited psychokinetic abilities of her own.

How did Vecna get his powers as a kid? ›

However, Eleven stood her ground and ultimately overpowered him, sending him through a gate to the Upside Down; there, he gradually transformed into the being known as Vecna.

Why did Henry Creel have a chip? ›

Henry got a chip in his neck to inhibit his powers and eventually became an orderly. He befriends Eleven under the false pretense of trying to help set her free, but really he wants her to join him in wiping out humanity. She “kills” him, flinging him into the Upside Down realm where he burns and turns into Vecna.

How did 11 create Vecna? ›

She engaged him in a telekinetic duel, successfully casting Creel into the Upside Down. The defeat exposed Creel to interdimensional energy, which ravaged his body and began his transformation into Vecna.

Are clones technically siblings? ›

“Parent” conveys the notion of a generation between the clone and the source. On the other hand, in terms of the number of genes in common, a clone might better be thought of as a sibling. Ordinarily a parent gives a copy of half its genes to the child, the other parent supplying the other half.

Did Dr Brenner create Eleven? ›

So, Dr. Brenner waited for One to get older to make him breed with Terry Ives to create Eleven—to make sure that she was the strongest, and clearly, she is." Yep.

Did the upside down exist before Vecna? ›

There's been debate as to whether or not this scene implies that Eleven created the Upside Down or merely opened the first gate to it. But according to Millie Bobby Brown, the Upside Down existed before El ever meddled with it.

Why does Vecna want Max? ›

Of course, the real reason Max became Vecna's victim was because creators the Duffer brothers and producer/director Shawn Levy wanted to showcase Sink's talent and really allow her to get some meaty material to work with this season.

Why does Vecna break bones? ›

In the real world, the victim's body floats into the air, as Vecna snaps their bones and devours their innards, leaving them mutilated and looking like a shrivelled husk. He does this as all his attacks mimic his first telepathic kill, his own mother, back when he was a human child.

Who is Eleven's adopted dad? ›

Eleven (Stranger Things)
FamilyTerry Ives (biological mother) Andrew Rich (biological father, deceased) Becky Ives (biological aunt) Jim Hopper (adoptive father) Joyce Byers (adoptive mother) Will Byers (adoptive brother) Jonathan Byers (adoptive brother)
Significant otherMike Wheeler (boyfriend)
11 more rows

Did Eleven's powers come from Henry? ›

It is possible that Terry was born with powers but, unlike Henry, never discovered or honed them. This may explain how Eleven could stand her ground against Henry/One and banish him to the Upside Down; her powers are both inherited from Terry and also the result of Dr. Brenner's experiments.

Where did 001 get his powers? ›

Henry Creel/Number 1's Powers Explained

Brenner's children were granted powers by treating their mothers with psychedelic drugs during pregnancy. Henry Creel appears to be different, however; there's no evidence his mother ever experimented with LSD. Rather, his powers seem to be natural, developing around puberty.

Is Papa El's real dad? ›

Dr Brenner isn't actually Eleven's father and 'Papa' is simply the name he is known to her by. It seems to be Brenner's way of making himself appear more friendly to her and the other subjects.

What was Eleven's mom repeating? ›

Throughout Eleven's visit, Terry kept repeating the same phrases on a loop: "Breathe. Sunflower. Rainbow. Three to the right, four to the left.

Who is Eleven's younger self? ›

On Twitter, the official Stranger Things writers account revealed that young Eleven is played by the actor Martie Blair.

Who is Eleven's sibling? ›

Linnea Berthelsen (born 13 July 1993) is a Danish actress of Indian descent, who is best known for her recurring role as Kali, also known as Eight, the sister of Eleven in the second season of the science-fiction horror Netflix original series Stranger Things.

How old is Vecna? ›

Provided he actually ages in the Upside Down, Vecna could be in his late 30s in 1986, the year that Stranger Things season 4, volume 1 takes place. Vecna became a monster seven years prior, when Eleven defeated the adult Henry Creel, a.k.a. Number One, at Hawkins Lab and he became banished to the Upside Down.

Who hurt Eleven's mom? ›

Terry attempted to take her daughter by force, entering the lab with a gun; however, Brenner caught her and forcefully subjected her to electroshock therapy, leaving her in a permanent state of severe catatonia.

Does Dr Brenner care about Eleven? ›

He shows genuine concern for Eleven in the flashbacks to her past trauma, and a large part of the reason that he attempted to keep her in the bunker was because he was concerned that she was not strong enough to confront Vecna, thus cementing her death if she attempted to confront him at that time.

What is Vecna's full name? ›

His name is Henry Creel and you should not call him Peter. You can, but it's weird. The shock twist in episode 7 of Stranger Things 4 revealed that Eleven and Vecna (aka Henry Creel or 'One') have a long history with each other, which could well come to a head in the plus-sized final episodes next month.


1. How Henry Creel Got His Powers In Stranger Things Season 4 Explained
2. Stranger Things (4x07) - Vecna’s Origin Scene
3. The REAL Reason Why VECNA Revealed His Backstory to NANCY | Stranger Things 4 Volume 1 & 2
(Hulthen Entertainment)
4. Stranger Things 4 - Henry and Eleven Scene
5. Stranger Things | This VECNA Theory Is MINDBLOWING!
(Hulthen Entertainment)
6. Stranger Things Theory - Vecna Is Eleven's Father!
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Last Updated: 04/06/2023

Views: 5263

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Birthday: 1993-07-01

Address: Suite 763 6272 Lang Bypass, New Xochitlport, VT 72704-3308

Phone: +22014484519944

Job: Banking Officer

Hobby: Sailing, Gaming, Basketball, Calligraphy, Mycology, Astronomy, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Rev. Leonie Wyman, I am a colorful, tasty, splendid, fair, witty, gorgeous, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.