You’ve worked your way through some of the Halloween movies; you’ve got used to seeing serial killer Michael Myers cut his way through the screen; and you have followed the story of Laurie Strode to the best of your ability. You also think you have the Halloween story firmly placed in your mind…
…but then you realise that you don’t.
Why? Because you’re not entirely sure what’s going on with Laurie Strode’s children. Some movies suggest Laurie has a young daughter, another movie makes it clear she has a son, while other movies introduce another daughter who is a fully-fledged adult.
This is all a bit confusing, isn’t it?! And it has led you to ask the question: How many children does Laurie Strode have in the Halloween movie series? And perhaps more importantly, why do none of them interact with each other?!
For an answer and an explanation, keep on reading!
In the Halloween movie series, Laurie Strode has three children. The first is Jamie Lloyd (as played by Danielle Harris, then later J.C. Brandy); the second is John Tate (as played by Josh Hartnett); and the third is Karen Nelson (as played by Judy Greer).
Jamie Lloyd was first introduced in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988). John Tate was introduced in Halloween H20 (1998). Karen Nelson was introduced in Halloween (2018).
All three characters are Laurie’s children, and all have played key roles in the Halloween movie series. However, there is one very important reason why none of them have interacted with each other over the years, and that is because Laurie’s children are regularly erased from continuity.
Confused? Then let me explain…
The Halloween movie series has a very convoluted timeline. In the original timeline, Laurie faces Michael Myers in Halloween (1978) and Halloween II (1981), then she exits the series.
The reason for this exit is because actress Jamie Lee Curtis was reluctant to come back for any further Halloween movies (at the time); so when Halloween 4 was being discussed, a decision was made to write out the character of Laurie Strode. And with Laurie out of the film, another decision was made to introduce her daughter into the timeline, to act as a sort-of link to the previous films.
In the movie, it is explained that Laurie Strode has died (off screen), and her daughter Jamie is now an orphan. Jamie then becomes the focus of the story, with her character reappearing throughout the movie.
As Jamie survives the events of the film, she returns to the Halloween series for the next entry, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989). Once again, Jamie is played by Danielle Harris, and once again she makes it through the events of the film.
Jamie then returns for a third entry, this time played by J.C. Brandy for Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995). However, this movie acts as Jamie’s swansong, as she is killed off by Michael Myers, and the character swiftly exits the series.
Now here’s where things get a little confusing.
As The Curse of Michael Myers was not well received by fans, another decision was made to reboot the franchise for the next entry, Halloween: H20. This film – which saw the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie – would act as a direct sequel to the first two Halloween movies, and would therefore ignore everything that followed.
Halloween 4, 5, and The Curse of Michael Myers were dismissed from the Halloween timeline, meaning Laurie Strode did not die after Halloween II, and she did not have a daughter. In this revised continuity, Jamie Lloyd simply didn’t exist.
With Jamie out of the franchise, a new child was introduced for Laurie. This child was Laurie’s teenage son, John.
John appeared throughout Halloween H20, and survived the events of the story. However, he didn’t return for the next film, Halloween: Resurrection (2002).
In Resurrection, John is absent from the events of the movie, but very much alive. Which is more than can be said of Laurie Strode, who is killed off again, because Jamie Lee Curtis wanted to bow out of the franchise for a second time.
But that wasn’t the end for Curtis. In 2018 the Halloween franchise was given another reboot, with the actress agreeing to return.
So, how did the story explain her second death in Halloween: Resurrection? It didn’t need to, because the new movie simply ignored everything that happened in 2, 4, 5, The Curse of Michael Myers, H20, and Resurrection.
Employing a similar trick used with Halloween H20, Halloween 2018 dismissed all of the films in the series with one exception: The original Halloween from 1978. In this revised continuity, Laurie met Michael Myers, but then none of the other events happened.
So, not only is Jamie Lloyd erased from the franchise, but now so is John Tate. Neither of these characters exist, and yep, you guessed it, for this new timeline Laurie is given another new child.
This third child is Karen Nelson. Karen is a middle-aged woman with a teenager daughter (Laurie’s granddaughter) and is Laurie’s only child.
Karen is aware of Laurie’s past with Michael Myers, and has become somewhat estranged from her mother as she has grown older. Yet, despite issues with Laurie, Karen survives the events of the movie and returns for the sequel, Halloween Kills (2021).
So, how many children does Laurie have? Technically it is three. However, she only ever has one child at a time, and that child changes depending on which Halloween timeline you are watching.
If you watch the first timeline, her child is Jamie. Her child is John in timeline two, and it’s Karen in timeline three.
And now you know.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Laurie Strode’s children in the Halloween movie series. I hope it has helped clear up some confusion about the Halloween timeline, which is one of the most jumbled timelines in horror history – although, arguably not as confusing as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre timeline.
Anyway, for more posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.