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Terry Ives is a recurring character in the Netflix original series Stranger Things. Terry is Eleven's biological mother yet she is not her legal guardian. She is portrayed by Aimee Mullins.

History

Background

While in college, Terry took part in Project MKUltra. Under the supervision of Dr. Martin Brenner, she was subjected to experiments involving the intake of mind-altering, psychedelic drugs and becoming sensorily deprived. During this time, she was unknowingly pregnant with her daughter, Jane. According to her sister, she miscarried in the third trimester. In reality, Brenner had kidnapped Jane so that he could conduct experiments on her, and had it covered up as a miscarriage. Knowing this, Terry tried to sue Brenner in order to get her daughter back, but was unsuccessful due to a lack of evidence. About five years prior to Will's disappearance, she somehow entered a lethargic, unresponsive state.

Season One

Believing Hawkins National Laboratory had something to do with Will's disappearance, Hopper went to the public library in order to research past newspaper articles concerning the lab. Among the clippings, he discovered that Dr. Brenner had been involved in MKUltra and accused of abusing his test subjects. One of those subjects was a woman named Terry Ives, who had attempted to sue Brenner for allegedly kidnapping her daughter.

After finding out that Will's body had been faked, Hopper went to Joyce to tell her everything he had discovered while investigating. He showed her the newspaper clipping about Terry Ives, and remembered the sighting of a kid with a shaved head at Benny's. He then realized he had been inadvertently tracking down Terry's daughter the whole time. They decided to find Terry, hoping she could shed some light on the lab and help in the search for Will.

Terry newspaper

Upon arriving at Terry's residence, they were greeted by her sister, Becky, at the door. Before letting them in, she warned them that if they wanted to know anything they were “about five years too late.” Joyce and Hopper attempted to question Terry about her relationship with Brenner and the lab, but received no answers due to her being in a catatonic state.

Becky explained Terry's participation in Project MKUltra and the supposed effects it had on her. In hopes of “expanding the boundaries of the mind”, participants such as Terry were given various psychedelic drugs—mostly LSD—and placed in isolation tanks, were they would become sensorily deprived. During the time she was undergoing these experiments, Terry was unaware of her pregnancy.

When asked if they had any pictures of Jane, Becky revealed that Terry had suffered a miscarriage in her third trimester. Leading Joyce and Hopper to a baby room, she told them how Terry liked to “pretend” that Jane was real. For the past 12 years, Terry had kept the room especially for Jane, saying she'll someday return. Not only did Terry believe Jane was alive, but that she was also born with “abilities," such as telepathy and telekinesis, and it was because of those abilities that she was taken to be used as a human weapon by the government.

Joyce wondered if Terry could have been telling the truth about Jane, but Becky informed her there were no records of Jane's existence, with even the doctors having confirmed the miscarriage. Hopper suggested that it could have been covered up, which made Becky remark that he and Terry would've gotten along.

At the police station on Christmas Eve, there were several newspaper clippings regarding Will tacked on the wall. One of those clippings mentioned a person with the surname Ives showing disgust over the actions of Hawkins Lab. Whether this person was Terry, her sister, or another person entirely is unclear.

Relationships

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

*Terry's picture appears in a newspaper article.

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Jane's Father
 
Terry Ives Family Tree icon 001
Terry Ives
 
 
Becky Ives Family Tree icon 001
Becky Ives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eleven Family Tree icon 001
Jane Ives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Trivia

  • In the original pilot script, a person named Terry Ives is mentioned, however that Terry Ives was male, implied to be a conspiracy theorist, and had no direct connection to the lab, its experiments, or Eleven.
  • In the room she kept for Jane, there is a baby mobile that plays Brahms's Lullaby. Eleven appears to have a strong reaction to Nancy's music box, which plays the same lullaby. This has led fans to speculate that Eleven's reaction towards the music box was her "recognizing" the melody.


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