david harbour stranger things

Business Insider was fortunate recently to get to sit down with David Harbour to talk about the new season of ‘Stranger Things’ which has been making waves over on Netflix. While no spoilers will be necessarily given away here, there are some interesting theories and facts about the series so far that Harbour discussed, which Insider was very keen to hear about. While speaking with Insider, Harbour spoke in some detail about the blue hair tie that Hopper wears on his wrist throughout the series:

“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.”

As a prop, Harbour says he uses it often to convey certain emotions Hopper might be feeling:

“I’ll fiddle with it, almost like you would with a wedding ring when you’re going through a divorce but you’re still wearing it. It’s a constant reminder to him of his struggles and his guilt around not being about to save his child.”

Harbor then spoke about the future and how his daughter Sara, Eleven, and the blue hair tie will factor into the end of the series:

“At the end of the series you’ll see that Jim is not wearing it anymore, but I don’t want to to get too into that because that’s something we may talk about sometime in season three..It’s something we’ll delve more into in terms of Jim’s daughter and him confronting this Eleven relationship and what that means … there’s more to be revealed there.”

Aside from the blue hair tie, Insider also asked Harbour about the odd fact that it looks like Hopper’s daughter Sara’s hospital room appeared to be in a Hawkin’s Lab, with the staircase Hopper collapses in to grieve her death being the same one where Dr. Owens was found by Hopper and Eleven in the present. It provides some very intriguing possibilities, especially about Hopper’s past with the Hawkin’s Lab. According to Harbour:

“…it is the same location. So that’s interesting. Or it’s a similar location. But there’s actually another thing you’ll notice which is that there’s a stuffed animal lion that appears in Eleven’s room when he breaks into the lab and finds that room, and it also appears in Castle Byers, and it also appears on Sara’s lap…So yes — there is a connection there perhaps that we may go into further down the line. Again these are little things that highlight mysteries that I don’t want to give too much away from but I don’t think anything is done randomly in this show. So the fact that you’re picking up on these things is something that will pay off in some way…I love that we have these little secrets the audience can find or not find. They don’t need to it to enjoy the series but it can be a little extra layer.”

Harbour certainly gives us a lot to think about. What could the significance of the stuffed animals be? Could Sara have had a similar experience to Will and gone to the Upside Down, thus explaining why Castle Byers has her stuffed animal in it? Or did Sara have abilities like Eleven, thus explaining her sickness? (let’s not forget the visual clue, that when we first met Eleven, she too was bald). With ‘Stranger Things’ you never know, but it is fun to speculate. Feel free to share any thoughts or theories you might have in the comments below!