Who is 001 in Stranger Things, Explained

Since ‘Stranger Things’ began streaming in 2016, the identities of the other test subjects at the Hawkins Lab besides Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) have been the subject of much speculation. Over the years, other test subjects have been introduced in the show itself and related projects. In season 2, Kali Prasad or 008 or Eight makes her first appearance. In the companion comic books, other residents of Hawkins Lab, including Jamie or Nine, Marcy or 9.5, Francine or Six, and Ricky or Three appear. However, in the fourth season of ‘Stranger Things,’ the narrative really delves into that morsel of mystery and introduces all the test subjects, including the first one. Here is everything you need to know about him. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Who Is 001?

After the third season began streaming in July 2019, almost the entire ‘Stranger Things’ fandom speculated whether the Mind Flayer is One. The main argument for this was that the supreme ruler of the Upside Down and Eleven had similar powers. The fourth season clarifies that this isn’t the case. At the start of the season, Hawkins is plagued by a new entity from the Upside Down. Given the way it kills its victims resembles magic, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) names it Vecna, after the evil wizard of the same name from the ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ fantasy role-playing game.

It is later revealed that Vecna is actually 001, Dr. Martin Brenner’s first test subject at Hawkins Lab. He was originally known as Henry Creel, the son of Victor Creel. Sometime after World War II, Henry moved to Hawkins with his parents, Victor and Virginia, and sister Alice. Their first month in their new home was happy, but things took a turn for the worse after that. Carcasses of dead animals started to pop up around the house. Alice, Virginia, and Victor began having horrible visions one by one. Virginia was eventually killed in the exact same way as Vecna would kill his victims in the future. While Victor was trapped in one of his visions, Alice was killed. He thought that Henry died as well and that the entire thing was the work of a demon. The authorities concluded that Victor committed the murders and sent him to Pennhurst asylum, where he has been locked up since then.

Henry’s doctors and teachers always thought that there is something wrong with him. After spotting a nest of black widows, Henry found a new sense of purpose in his life. He came to regard human rules as a profoundly unnatural structure and decided to bring it all down. His powers helped him with that.

Afterward, Brenner came into his life, and thus Henry became One. Eventually, Brenner realized Henry for the monster he was and implanted a device called Soteria in his neck, which neutralized his powers. One subsequently became an orderly at the lab. After Eleven arrived, he apparently figured out her potential and made her believe that he was one of the few friends she had at the facility. This wasn’t that hard to accomplish as Two and several others constantly bullied her. One even convinced Eleven that Brenner had plans to have her killed and urged her to escape. When he told Eleven about Soteria, she removed it. This led to One regaining his powers. He then went on a rampage, killing, guards, nurses, and several other test subjects.

Realizing what she had unleashed back into the world, Eleven fought One and defeated him. She opened a Gate to the Upside Down and sent One hurling into there. One subsequently came into contact with the Mind Flayer and transformed into Vecna. In 1986, Brenner and Owens realize that a war is on the horizon and help Eleven regain her memories and powers in Nevada. Meanwhile, in Hawkins, Nancy draws the interest of Venca while she is in the Upside Down, and he reveals the truth about himself to her.

Read More: Who is Vecna in Stranger Things, Explained