Eleven??? She’s the proper hero of stranger things 3. Not billy. Billy made a nice sacrifice, but el was the hero. El, a 13 year old girl who has been through childhood abuse, withheld from the world, touch starved, emotionally starved, attention starved, starved of proper love—just as billy in some regard—and felt the additional pains of billy’s sufferings. Literally had to approach a man she knew to have become an abuser himself in order to save her friends. Experienced his pain and kept on pushing to reach the source. Felt the fear of said source. Endured a physically painful bite to her leg, overused and lost her powers—an integral part of her identity, especially her worth, for as long as she can remember—and yet, she shows Billy—a LITERAL monster at this point—compassion. She doesn’t fight, she can’t at this point, but she doesn’t surrender. She shows genuine compassion. After 3 seasons showing her mistreatment, her role as a fighter, a killer (albeit in self defense), a destroyer, she takes all that pain and it makes her gentle and kind once her power of destruction is taken away. She’s truly The Hero.
jim wasn't ever touch starved, at least not as bad as he usually is, until after tarsus. after he lost his kids. those first nights alone, with no one laying next to him, terrified him. made him crave touch, until his shithole stepdad ruined touch for him even more. then a partner, dumping him for being too clingy, neither of them realizing why jim's always all over them. after that, jim stops allowing himself contact. all it does, it seems, is lose him people.