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Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things 2. If you haven't finished the new season, check out one of our other stories.
It's been two weeks since Stranger Things' second season premiered on Netflix, and subscribers are still reeling from the horrifying and heartwarming sophomore adventure. Stranger Things 2 (as the Duffer Brothers called it) expanded the world of Hawkins and the colorful cast of characters that were introduced in Season 1. Much of the second season focused on Hopper's fatherly relationship with Eleven, and actor David Harbour just confirmed a popular fan theory about his character. Namely, that the blue bracelet he's seen wearing in every scene was his late daughter Sara's hair tie. Harbour explained:
It's something subtle we do, and in fact if you watch the first [scene] of Jim Hopper in season one, he wakes up in the morning and before he even checks his watch he touches that bracelet on his arm. It's the first thing that he does every morning because he never wants to forget her. Sara and the death of his daughter is his grounding place for reality... You'll see in the first flashback with Sara that she has her hair up in these little pigtails and she's wearing these blue hair ties. And then when you see me with her in the hospital after she's going through chemo, and we've shaved her head, he's wearing it on his right wrist when he's reading to her. So it's this bracelet that was her hair tie, and he wanted to wear it since she couldn't wear it in her hair anymore --- it was a little thing between them. And then it becomes a thing that's like a security blanket for him, it's a reminder for him. And you'll notice throughout the series I will occasionally play with it like when I'm talking to Eleven or going through a difficult time.
David Harbour's comments to Business Insider highlight exactly what makes Stranger Things such a remarkable TV experience. Because while the characters are met with malevolent forces that are out of their control, they also grapple with more relatable real world issues. While Hopper was trying to keep Eleven safe from Hawkins Lab, he was also grieving Sara's death and having conflicting feelings about his new role in Eleven's life.
It should be interesting to see how Hopper and Eleven (Jane?) continue developing their familial bond as Stranger Things moves forward. Hopper got some new documents for the official adoption from Dr. Owens, and we'll presumably jump forward another year in Season 3. Will she end up actually going to Hawkins Middle with the rest of the group? Or is she stuck learning new words from the dictionary in Hopper's cabin? We'll have to wait and see.
Stranger Things is currently streaming the first two season in its entirety on Netflix, alongside its new after show. Check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.