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That's right! Act like I'm not even here! Go crawling back to your dead wife and loser son!
Elias to Noah Stilinski in Sundowning


Elias Stilinski is the father of Noah Stilinski, father-in-law of Claudia Stilinski, and the grandfather of Stiles Stilinski, as well as the first known member of the family to use "Stiles" as a nickname. He currently suffers from severe dementia and now lives in a nursing home several towns away from Beacon Hills, California where his medical needs can be met.

Early Life

According to Noah Stilinski, Elias was an engineer in the U.S. Army as a young adult during World War II, which he described as the best years of his life. At some point afterward, he married an unnamed woman with whom he had a son, Noah. Elias was both verbally and physically abusive to his wife, something that angered and bothered Noah so much that, on at least one occasion, he got in between Elias and his mother, which led him to be pushed through a glass coffee table. As a result, Noah has a deep scar on his collarbone that has tiny bits of glass still stuck in it in the present day.

In his old age, Elias developed dementia and was put into a nursing home for more intense treatment, where he uses his talent for mathematics to try to help him concentrate on his memories.

Throughout Teen Wolf

In Sundowning, Scott McCall and Lydia Martin were trying to figure out who the "Stiles" was that they learned about through Lydia's automatic writing when Sheriff Stilinski revealed that his father, Elias, was also known by the nickname Stiles. Scott, believing that Elias may be able to help Lydia, Malia Tate, and himself remember the friend who the Ghost Riders erased from their memories and went to the Stilinski House to learn more about him. At the house, the Sheriff explained that Elias was an Army engineer who contributed to the World War II effort by building bridges. However, when Scott suggested that he and Lydia talk to Elias, the Sheriff (with backup from his wife, Claudia) refused, insisting that Elias would be unable to help, and that even if he could, he wasn't the kind of person to whom someone can just "talk."

Despite the Sheriff's refusal, Scott, Lydia, and Malia went to Elias' nursing home anyway, where they found Elias in a daze. Though he was able to identify himself as Elias Stilinski, all he was able to initially do was ask if it was time for his medication. After confirming that he did go by the nickname Stiles in the Army, Scott asked him if he knew any of them, leading Elias to mistake Scott for a younger version of his son, Noah. Lydia, having a hunch as to what was wrong with Elias, asked him what year it was, and Elias responded that it was 1976, and that it was his son's birthday next week. This confirmed that Elias did indeed have dementia, and when Lydia said as much, Elias once again asked if it was time for his medicine.

After Scott tried to explain his true identity, Elias continued to insist that Scott was actually his son, and Malia tried to get him to quiet down so that they weren't caught sneaking into the nursing home. Elias stated firmly that he didn't like Malia as she began to eat the food off of his dinner tray, and when Lydia reminded him that his son was the Sheriff of Beacon Hills, he became upset and began to break down. Malia encouraged Scott to use the Alpha memory-manipulation ritual to try to learn what Elias knew without having to talk to him, but when Scott refused due to the high risk of killing him, Malia attempted to do it herself. Scott jumped to his feet and grabbed Malia by the wrist before she could get near him, and Elias, who had calmed down somewhat, remarked, "Young lady, you need to clip those nails."

Shortly afterward, the sun set, and Elias began babbling incoherently about how he didn't want them there and that he was going to have to report them. When Scott asked Lydia what was wrong with him, Lydia realized he was "sundowning," a phenomena experienced by dementia patients that causes them to lose their faculties after the sun goes down. Lydia went on to use Elias' mathematical equations of statistics to help him focus until he became lucid once again.

At this point, he was able to recognize Scott and Lydia. First, he remarked that he knew Scott's father, Rafael, who he claimed couldn't hold his liquor and had an affinity for checking out younger and prettier women, before then stating that he also knew Lydia was Natalie Martin's daughter, who he snarked was "pretty once, too," and "always believed she was the smartest person in the room." Malia, offended on both of her friends' behalf, flicked out her claws and was about to coyote-out on Elias when Scott stopped her, just as Sheriff Stilinski arrived to break up their conversation.

When the Sheriff reminded the teens that he explicitly forbade them from coming, Elias insisted that the four were just having a "nice conversation," but the Sheriff ignored him in favor of ushering Scott, Lydia, and Malia out of the room. Elias became upset and stormed toward his son, calling him "Noah" and accusing him of acting like he wasn't there as usual before cruelly adding, "Go crawl back to your dead wife and your loser son!" This seemed to confuse and anger the Sheriff, but when he asked Elias what he meant, his father's lucid period had ended, causing him to quietly ask if it was time for his medication again.

That evening, Scott and Sheriff had a conversation about Elias, where the Sheriff revealed the scar he sustained after being thrown through a glass coffee table, as he had stepped in between Elias and his mother to protect her from his physical abuse.

Personality

Elias at first seemed like a gentle man, due in part to dementia having robbed him of many of his memories and personality traits. However, after Lydia helped him focus on his memories through reviewing mathematical equations, Elias' true personality was revealed, making it evident that he was a dark, cruel, hostile, and rude man before he became ill. This was further evidenced during his conversations with Scott, Lydia, and Noah, during which time he taunted them about Scott's father's alcoholism and penchant for cheating on his wife, Lydia's mother's aging beauty and know-it-all personality, and the Sheriff's late wife and currently missing son. According to the Sheriff, Elias was also physically abusive on top of being emotionally abusive, and he has a deep scar on his collarbone to prove it after Elias threw him through a glass table.

Skills

Though Elias' dementia has caused him to lose many of his skills and talents, he still appears to be very knowledgeable about mathematics during his lucid moments. Due to his past as an Army engineer, it is likely that he is well-versed in other sciences and engineering, as well as weaponry such as firearms. At one point, he was likely also competent in close-quarters combat, though his advanced age and dementia make it unlikely that he could easily defend himself in the present.

Etymology

  • Elias: Elias is a variant of the masculine given name Elijah that is used in the Greek New Testament. It is derived from the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ (Eliyyahu), which means "my God is YAHWEH." In the Old Testament, Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker who was active in the 9th century BCE, and notably confronted King Ahab and Queen Jezebel for their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al; at the end of his life, he was carried to Heaven in a chariot of fire and was then succeeded as a prophet by Elisha. He was also popular in medieval tales, which led to its general use as a given name in the Middle Ages, only to die out for several centuries until being revived by the Puritans in the Protestant Reformation.
    • Variants of the name in other languages include: Ilyas (Arabic, Turkish); Elias (Biblical Greek and Latin, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish); Eliou (Biblical Greek); Eliyyahu (Biblical Hebrew); Helias (Biblical Latin); Ilia, Iliya (Bulgarian); Ilija (Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian); Elia (Dutch, Italian); Elian (Dutch); Eelis, Eljas (Finnish); Élie (French); Ilia (Georgian); Ilias (Greek); Illés (Hungarian); Ile (Macedonian); Elis (Medieval English); Eliasz (Polish); Ilie (Romanian); Ilya (Russian); Elis (Swedish).
  • Stilinski: Though the name Stilinski has been implied to be of Slavic (specifically Polish) origin, it appears to be a made-up surname with no discernible etymology as far as it is known.

Trivia

  • Because of his dementia, Elias seems to be aware of the original timeline of the show, indicating that the Ghost Riders' reality warping powers did not effectively make him forget that Claudia Stilinski died and that Stiles Stilinski no longer existed.
  • Like Lydia Martin, Elias appears to be quite gifted when it comes to mathematics, especially statistics, which is a fitting skill for an Army engineer.
  • Like his grandson, Elias went by the nickname "Stiles" during his youth and young adulthood.

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