Netflix’s Stranger Things is host to a roster of heroic characters, including telekinetic teenager Eleven and trainee journalist Nancy Wheeler. Eleven could be considered the show’s primary protagonist. The former test subject uses her psionic powers to protect her friends and bravely battle interdimensional monsters like the Mind Flayer.
Nancy doesn’t have superpowers like El, but she uses her intellect and resourcefulness to fight monsters and investigate mysteries. Eleven and Nancy are both strong characters, but who is the ultimate series heroine?
10 Eleven: Fighting The Mind Flayer
Eleven seriously powers up in the third season of Stranger Things. The young heroine takes on the Mind Flayer several times whilst protecting the Party. In “The Bite,” El defends her friends from the interdimensional entity at Hopper’s cabin in a tremendous display of her psionic powers.
El’s epic confrontation with the Mind Flayer, unfortunately, leads to the loss of her abilities. Viewers can expect to see whether or not Eleven regains her powers in Stranger Things 4.
9 Nancy: Exposing Hawkins Lab
Nancy struggles to move on from the death of her best friend Barb in Stranger Things 2. Determined to seek justice, she teams up with Jonathan to take down Hawkins Lab and expose their many crimes.
Nancy and Jonathan team up with Murray Bauman in “The Spy.” She is instrumental in devising a plan to make their shocking revelation more palatable. The shady government subdivision is shut down thanks to Nancy and Barb’s parents finally receive closure for their daughter.
8 Eleven: Saving Nancy At The Hospital
The Mind Flayer has a deadly confrontation with Nancy and Eleven in Season 3’s “The Flayed.” El uses her powers to save Nancy from the melted bodies of her former co-workers, repelling the Mind Flayer from the hospital with a powerful psionic blast.
Nancy and Jonathan do their best against the spine-chilling entity, but ultimately Eleven saves them from the monster. The Mind Flayer, humbled by El’s attack, slinks away to reform with the rest of the creature’s new body.
7 Nancy: Taking On Tom & Bruce
Nancy manages to hold her own against the Mind Flayer during the fight at the hospital. A flayed Bruce pursues Nancy whilst Tom targets Jonathan. The budding journalist outsmarts her sexist colleague, beating him with a fire extinguisher before his melted remains are reanimated by the Mind Flayer.
Nancy doesn’t have superpowers like Eleven, but she utilizes her sharp mind and bravery to take on interdimensional monsters. Nancy is one of the few characters to directly oppose the Mind Flayer, proving herself a true series heroine.
6 Eleven: Closing The Gate
Eleven saves Hawkins in Stranger Things 2 when she closes the Gate to the Upside Down. The parallel world slowly starts to seep into the town as the Mind Flayer manipulates a possessed Will Byers. El returns in the nick of time to close the Gate and save her friends.
El displays an impressive degree of power by closing the Gate. Her formidable abilities draw the Mind Flayer’s attention, with the interdimensional entity setting its sights on its new enemy.
5 Nancy: Searching For Barb
The rest of Hawkins seemed content to overlook Barb’s disappearance, but Nancy refused to give up looking for her friend. Nancy’s search for Barb in Season 1 led her to Jonathan, and the two teenagers teamed up to find their missing loved ones.
Nancy displays an admirable loyalty to Barb as she investigates the Upside Down. Her determination is another admirable quality that highlights her character as a strong series heroine.
4 Eleven: Destroying The Demogorgon
Viewers discover in Season 1’s “The Monster” that Eleven accidentally unleashed the Demogorgon from the Upside Down. The teenager rectifies her mistake in the season finale by seemingly sacrificing herself to destroy the carnivorous creature.
The Demogorgon corners the Party after tracking them to the school. To protect her friends, El kills the monster she unleashed and accidentally travels to the Upside Down in the process.
3 Nancy: Fighting The Demogorgon
Eleven isn’t the only series heroine to stand against the Demogorgon, however. In Season 1, Nancy discovers the Demogorgon whilst investigating Barb’s disappearance. The determined teenager tries to kill the creature in “The Upside Down” after she and Jonathan lure it to the Byers’ house.
Nancy and Jonathan rig the house with traps to ensnare the Demogorgon. Their plan is almost successful and they manage to wound the horrifying creature.
2 Eleven: Saving The Party From Demodogs
Eleven arrives in the nick of time to save her friends from Demodogs in Season 2’s “The Mind Flayer.” The superpowered teenager pursued a solo adventure in Chicago during “The Lost Sister,” but returns to save the Party once more when Demodogs attack the Byers’ home.
All hope seems lost when the Party prepares to fight the Mind Flayer’s minions. El looks like a true superhero as she makes her epic entrance and reunites with Mike.
1 Nancy: Standing Against Billy
Nancy defends Eleven and the Party from the Mind Flayer in Stranger Things 3 when she stands against a flayed Billy Hargrove. Whilst Jonathan struggles to fix the car, Nancy attempts to hold Billy at bay with her gun, buying time for the group to escape.
Nancy unflinchingly stares Billy down as he drives straight towards her before his car is derailed by Steve. Like Eleven, Nancy demonstrates exceptional bravery in the face of danger. Even without superpowers, the senior Wheeler sibling could be regarded as the ultimate heroine of Stranger Things.
NEXT: Stranger Things: 10 Things We Don’t Understand About The Upside Down