What Happens to Kirsten’s Parents in Station Eleven? How Old is Kirsten?

‘Station Eleven’ is a post-apocalyptic miniseries set in the days leading up to and the years following a deadly flu pandemic that wipes out most of the human population. The narrative’s opening is exceedingly dramatic, with a silent but deadly disease killing people before anyone can even figure out what is happening. Jeevan is at a theater performance when chaos erupts and he finds himself becoming the unwilling guardian of a young girl whose parents have ominously disappeared. So what seems to have happened to young Kirsten’s parents? And how old is she when she first meets Jeevan? Let’s dig into the details and find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.

What Happens to Kirsten’s Parents?

When Jeevan initially comes across Kirsten, she is looking for her “wrangler,” Tanya, who is responsible for all the child actors of the production. Amidst the chaos that follows Arthur’s death, Tanya seems to have disappeared and when no one else comes to pick Kirsten up, Jeevan offers to drop her home. However, when they get to her house, it seems to be empty. By now, Jeevan has been warned of the impending disease outbreak by his sister and is beginning to panic.

He finally manages to reach his brother Frank’s house, picking up thousands of dollars worth of groceries on the way so they can barricade themselves indoors. Since Kirsten’s phone is dead and her home seems to be empty, he decides to take the young girl along with him.

Initially, it is only Jeevan who takes the impending calamity seriously. However, once they see an airplane crash in front of their building and chaos ensue, the gravity of what is happening begins to set in. It is at this time that Kirsten, so far relatively relaxed, begins to get worried about her parents and repeatedly texts them but doesn’t get an immediate response.

‘Station Eleven’ masterfully depicts the strange and devastating ways in which the apocalypse affects individuals, and the revelation that Kirsten’s parents are dead is especially chilling. The young girl finally gets a reply from one of her parents’ phones. However, the message says that the owner of the phone is dead and lying at a morgue, ending with a warning telling Kirsten to not come to the location.

At first, the poor girl is confused by the text and just screams, describing it as a “strange message.” However, the truth slowly sinks in and it becomes clear that Kirsten’s parents are dead. Though we only get confirmation of the death of one parent, the fact that the young actress never hears from her other parent clearly means that they both likely die quite early on in the story.

How Old is Kirsten?

Kirsten is eight years old when the calamity starts and Arthur dies. Thus, she is eight when the story begins and is likely still the same age when she and Jeevan leave their building shelter eighty days into the apocalypse. We are then given a glimpse of the young Shakespearean actress in year 2 (after the pandemic) when she is around ten years old. At this point, Kirsten seems to be a feral child who comes across the Travelling Symphony while trying to steal food. Finally, we are taken twenty years after the apocalypse in one of the show’s multiple narratives and then meet a grown-up Kirsten who is about twenty-eight years old.

Read More: Station Eleven Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Recap and Ending, Explained