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After Sara... I saw her too. And I heard her. I didn't know what was real. And then I figured out that it was in my mind, and I had to pack all that away... otherwise I was gonna fall down a hole, that I couldn't get out of.

–Jim Hopper, November 9, 1983


Jim Hopper, portrayed by David Harbour, is a major character in the first and second seasons of Stranger Things.

Hopper was Chief of Police in the small, sleepy town of Hawkins, Indiana, where he used to live out a carefree existence - yet haunted by a troubled past. After the young son of an old friend disappeared mysteriously, Hopper's life became infinitely more complicated. As many events unfolded, he came to know about Eleven, a young girl who was experimented upon by Hawkins Lab for her inherited abilities. However, in order to save Will, he had to give up her location, a decision he would regret.

Later Hopper found Eleven and unbeknownst to everyone, took her to his cabin for her safety. Living together for almost a year, the two formed a father-daughter bond. After the pumpkin patches began to rot suddenly, he discovered the corrupted tunnels beneath Hawkins were responsible for it. Following the massacre at Hawkins Lab, Hopper reunited with Eleven and they closed the Shadow Monster's Gate together. Eventually, he adopted Eleven as his daughter and took her to the Snow Ball.

History

Main article: Jim Hopper/History

Personality and traits

The loss of his daughter and family life left Hopper emotionally reserved and cynical. To manage his pain, he regularly drank alcohol, smoked several cigarettes a day and developed an addiction to anti-anxiety drugs. Instead of making real connections with people, he slept around with several women who he never contacted again.

Despite being the Police Chief, he didn't care about his job, as he regularly slept in and showed up late, and had an indifference to the cases brought to his attention. Only when Will Byers went missing and it turned out to be a government cover-up did he start caring about doing his job properly, as he had a personal interest in the case.

After discovering Eleven and taking her in to his cabin as her new home, Hopper grew to be highly sympathetic and responsible, which was why they quickly formed a father-daughter bond. To ensure her safety as well as fear for losing her like his daughter, Hopper placed trip-wires around their location and had no other choice but to prohibit Eleven from leaving the cabin at all. His care for her was so fierce that one day, he got mad at her for putting herself in jeopardy, an act he regretted. He later acknowledged this and asked her forgiveness. His sense of duty also didn't waiver during their time together, as he would often go to check out Will's condition and help him out as well as scrutinizing the reason behind the abnormal incidents of Hawkins.

Hopper's empathy for Eleven was the reason why, with the help of Dr. Owens he later took her as his adopted daughter.

Skills and Abilities

  • Gunmanship: As a former Army veteran and the present Police Chief, Hopper is noteworthy for his experience with a variety of firearms, ranging from short handguns to .22 LRs to sub-machine guns. While he mostly carried his revolver around with him during investigations and settling minor disputes, he was shown to be remarkably proficient in handling assault rifles and shotguns when he fought side by side with Eleven and protected her from the Demodogs by shooting a substantial number of them without much difficulty.
  • Survival Instincts: Hopper's basic surviving skills helped him considerably when he was trapped in the tunnels corrupted by the Upside Down, such as, placing cigars for leaving a trail to follow, as well as crafting a makeshift torch from a branch.
  • Craftsmanship: His military life led him to be familiarized with some crafting skills too, as displayed in "The Pollywog" when he constructed trip-wires around Eleven's location.
  • Morse code: Hopper also had some knowledge regarding radio operation and its mechanisms, as he taught Eleven how to communicate over the radio using Morse code during their time together, as well as was very quick to infer the Morse Codes the then possessed Will was trying to signal.

Relationships

Sara is Hopper’s late daughter who died of cancer. Her death severely affected him, causing him to enter a deep state of grief and depression. Sara’s death provided him with motivation to help Joyce find Will, and later played a part in his decision to take in Eleven. Additionally, he wore her blue hair tie around his wrist as a memento, which he later gave to Eleven who wore it during the Snow Ball.

Diane is Hopper's ex-wife and Sara's mother. They were married for seven years, but divorced shortly after Sara’s death. In “The Flea and the Acrobat”, Hopper called her, telling her he doesn’t regret the time they shared together.

After her defeat of the Demogorgon at the end of the first season, it is revealed that Eleven is alive and comes back through a Gate to escape the school. Hiding in the woods, Hopper had been leaving food for her in a lock box until she one day arrives during one of his drops. Hiding her for almost a year in his grandfather's old cabin, for what he believed to be her own safety, the two form a father-daughter bond.

While Hopper thoroughly cared for Eleven, his decision to prohibit her from leaving the cabin ultimately infuriates her as she became enraged for being continued to be promised to see Mike, even though it had been almost a year. They argue one night which causes Eleven to shatter all the windows. The next day, she leaves the cabin to visit her mother. Hopper, who was taken to Hawkins Lab for his injuries, regretted his actions and apologized Eleven for his misbehavior and admitted that he only wanted to protect her, though unaware that she already left.

After passing through many hardship and challenges, they reunite again to forgive each other and finally close the Mind Flayer's Gate together. At the end of the events of Season 2, Hopper adopts Eleven officially as his daughter "Jane".

Hopper and Joyce have known each other since high school. They were fairly close, often skipping class to smoke together, even being caught by a teacher on at least one occasion. Their friendship continued well into adulthood, and remained even after Hopper returned to Hawkins after living in another city for several years.

While Bob and Hopper knew each other since high school and were friends from then, Hopper always trifled Bob for his passive nature, calling him "Bob the Brain". However, Jim developed a sense of respect for Bob when he put himself in danger in order to help the group escape from the lab, which ultimately leads to Bob's tragic demise.

Appearances

Season One appearances
The Vanishing of Will Byers The Weirdo on Maple Street Holly, Jolly The Body
The Flea and the Acrobat The Monster The Bathtub The Upside Down
Season Two appearances
MADMAX Trick or Treat Freak The Pollywog
Will the Wise Dig Dug The Spy
The Lost Sister The Mind Flayer The Gate

Family tree

Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Bill
 
 
 
Diane Family Tree icon 001
Diane
 
 
 
Jim Hopper Family Tree Icon 001
Jim Hopper
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Diane's second child
 
 
 
Sara Hopper Family Tree icon 001
Sara Hopper
Deceased
 
 
 
 
 
Jane Ives Family Tree icon 001

Jane Hopper

Jim's Adopted Daughter

Memorable Quotes

Hopper:

  • "I know you do experiments on kidnapped little kids, whose parents' brains you've turned to mush. And I know you went a little too far this time and you messed up in a big way."
  • "Bike like this is like a Cadillac to these kids."
  • "Mornings are for coffee and contemplation."

Hopper to Joyce:

  • "You wanna know the worst thing that’s ever happened here in the four years I’ve been working here? You wanna know the worst thing, was when an owl attacked Eleanor Gillespie's head because it thought that her hair was a nest."
  • "You know what I would give? For a chance? You know what I would give?"

Hopper to Murray:

  • "Listen, you know what? I liked your alien theory a lot better. And you want my advice? Why don't you stop bleeding those people dry and go home? All right? Go home!"

Hopper to Dr. Owens:

  • "Maybe when this is all said and done, maybe you could help her out too, you know? Maybe you could help her lead, like, a normal life. One where she's not poked and prodded and treated like some kind of lab rat, you know?"

Hopper & Eleven:

  • Hopper: "I am sorry, for everything. Sometimes, I could be so so..."
  • Eleven: "Stupid?"
  • Hopper: "Yeah, stupid."
  • Eleven: [Both holding their hands] "I have been stupid too."
  • Hopper: "I guess we both broke our rules."

Trivia

  • The name "Gillespie" (from Hopper's quote about the owl) could be a possible reference to the famous Silent Hill franchise (a series that largely focuses on many things - among which: deformed human-like creatures, other worlds and dimensions, as well as a town seemingly in the middle of nowhere and in which strange things happen. Also, the plot in the first game revolved around a father trying to find his missing daughter - as opposed to a mother looking for her missing son).
  • In the 1987 movie Predator, the first man ever killed by a Predator was named Jim Hopper.
  • The pills Hopper takes in the beginning of the series are Tuinal, a popular sedative/anti-anxiety drug that was discontinued in 1991.[1]
  • The blue bracelets around his right wrist are his daughter's hair ribbons--every time he wakes, he looks at them before he does anything else.[2] After adopting Eleven as his daughter, he passes the bracelets to her, as seen during the Snow Ball.[3]
  • When Hopper approaches the guard at the morgue, the guard is reading Cujo by Stephen King. Hopper's line "That's a nasty mutt" is a reference to the book being about a rabid dog.
  • Hopper drinks Schlitz beer. [4]
  • He takes his coffee black.
  • Not only does he rearrange Powell's cards when he arrives at the station, he has a box of gambling chips on his kitchen table; leading the audience to believe he may have an affection for gambling.
  • The typewriter in the first scene between Hopper and Joyce is an IBM Selectric III.
  • The truck he drives is a GMC K5 Blazer.[5] [6]
  • His license plate number is 98Y5, with the state shield displayed next to the number. [7]
  • His Character and look is based on Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Han Solo.

Gallery

View Gallery

Click the above image to view the gallery for Jim Hopper.


References

  1. "Montauk Pilot"
  2. "Interview: Actor David Harbour Embraces ‘Stranger Things’"The Young Folks. August 3, 2016.
  3. "12 Clever Details You Might've Missed in Stranger Things Season 2"Dorkly
  4. Screenshot from The Vanishing of Will Byers
  5. "Screenshot"
  6. "Screenshot"
  7. "Screenshot"


The Upside Down
Locations The Upside DownThe GateHawkinsHawkins National LaboratoryPublic LibraryPortalsHawkins Middle SchoolHawkins tunnel system
Entities D'ArtagnanThe DemogorgonDemogorgon (species)The Mind FlayerSlug-like creatureHawkins tunnel systemVines
Visitors Joyce ByersWill ByersElevenSteve HarringtonDustin HendersonBarbara HollandJim HopperMax MayfieldBob NewbyShepardLucas SinclairMike WheelerNancy Wheeler
Miscellaneous Upside Down eggThe Upside Down (episode)Dungeons & DragonsThe Void
Articles may contain spoilers.