Stranger Things 2: Who is Kali and what does she mean for the show?

If there's an Eight, does that mean there are more 'numbers'?

This post contains spoilers for Stranger Things 2.

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Stranger Things 2 has introduced several new characters, but none are so fascinating as Kali – aka Eight – who, it turns out, came from the same lab as Eleven (or Jane, as we might as well call her now).

Who is Eight?

We first see Eight when she’s driving with a group of masked criminals away from a crime scene and being chased by police. It’s revealed she has a similar tattoo to the one Eleven has on her wrist, with the numbers ‘008’.

In a later episode, it is revealed that Eight’s real name is Kali Prasad, who disappeared in London when she was younger. The newspaper report Eleven finds says: “LONDON – Metropolitan police admit they have few new leads in the disappearance of the young girl, Kali Prasad, who was reported missing several days after she was last seen, Saturday the 12th. The girl’s disappearance shines a light on the growing epidemic of the many thousands of children under the age of 18 reported missing every year in the UK.”

The report continues: “The first 24 hours are the most likely to yield results and locate the child. Unfortunately, Kali’s 24 hours are past, but London police have not given up hope. At least one neighbour believes she’ll see Kali again. “I know she’s alive, I know it, I feel it in my bones. That girl was stubborn from the day she was born, and if she’s fallen down somewhere or been taken, It’ll take more than a little adversity to keep her low for long. We’ll hear from her again, you can bet on it.”

For now, that’s all the information we have on Eight.

What are Eight’s powers?

Eight is an illusionist. As we see at the start of Stranger Things 2‘s first episode, she can make people see things that aren’t really happening. The first time we see her, she makes a police officer believe that a tunnel has collapsed, forcing that officer to brake sharply and cause a multi-car collision that allows Kali and her friends to escape.

In a later episode we see Kali preying on the fears of her friend Axel – she makes him see spiders on his hand. She even manages to make the group invisible during a police raid – while they all stand still – and later she conjures up an enormous metal barrier between the gang’s camper van and the police.

These last two instances prove she can use her powers on multiple people at once – though it appears her powers do have limits, especially when her attention is divided between several things, as in the final case, where Eleven’s departure caused the barrier to fade.

What does Eight’s arrival mean for Stranger Things?

From the evidence of the original Stranger Things, it was easy to assume that all Eleven’s predecessors had died during their time as test subjects. And in the memory loop or ‘dream circle’ of Eleven’s mother, we only saw two children at the Hawkins lab: Eleven and Kali.

It’d be wrong to suggest, though, that only those two survived the experience. In fact, the existence of Eight is sure to excite fans about the possibility of other ‘numbered’ people with special powers. Following the events of Stranger Things 2, we can presume that we’ll be seeing more of Kali in season 3, and maybe the arrival of more numbers, like Nine or Ten.

Who plays Eight/Kali?

Kali is played by a Danish actor called Linnea Berthelsen. She recently graduated from East 15 Acting School in London.

Berthelsen doesn’t have a huge number of credits yet – but here’s a Danish short film she made in 2015.