Is Vecna the Mind Flayer in Stranger Things? Theories

Over the years, Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ has introduced some of the most nightmarish antagonists ever to appear on television. In season 1, the audience meets the Demogorgon, a humanoid predatory creature that originated from the Parallel universe, the Upside Down. In season 2, we learn that the Demogorgons, as a species, have six different stages of development. The Mind Flayer or the Shadow Monster or the Tornado is also introduced in the same season. He is a colossal being, entirely made out of tiny particles. In season 3, the Mind Flayer emerges as the primary antagonist. Moreover, as he is the supreme ruler of the Upside Down, he is also supposed to be the main antagonist of the entire series.

We meet a completely new monster in season 4. Vecna is unlike anything we have seen before in the show. Whenever Vecna kills one of his victims, a portal between the human world and the Upside Down opens up. If the certain similarities between Vecna and the Mind Flayer have made you wonder whether Vecna is actually the Mind Flayer, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Vecna the Mind Flayer?

No, Vecna is not the Mind Flayer. Much about the latter is shrouded in mystery, even though he was the main antagonist in the third season. The Mind Flayer’s origin or that of the Upside Down itself is yet to be revealed in ‘Stranger Things.’ In 1984, the Mind Flayer turned Will Byers into his host. Using Will and a massive pack of Demodogs, the Mind Flayer tried to take over the human world. But his plans were thwarted by Eleven, who closed the Gate between the two dimensions, severing the link between the malevolent entity and its agents. In 1985, the Mind Flayer returned after the Russians used a device called the Key to open the Gate. The Mind Flayer turned Billy Hargrove, Max’s stepbrother, into his host and melted people and rats to create a human-world version of itself. When Joyce closed the Gate, the Mind Flayer was banished to the Upside Down.

In season 4, Vecna terrorizes Hawkins, Indiana, in 1986. The true names of neither the Demogorgon nor the Mind Flayer are known. The group — mostly Dustin — has named them and Vecna after characters from ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ fantasy role-playing game. In the course of season 4, the audience learns the real identity of Vecna. In 1959, he was known as Henry Creel, who moved to Hawkins with his parents, Victor and Virginia, and sister Alice. Henry always had psychotic tendencies. Although his father thought Henry was just a quiet and sensitive child, his mother recognized that something was deeply wrong with him. After realizing his powers, Henry tormented his family before killing Virginia and Alice and ensuring Victor would spend the rest of his life in an asylum.

Unfortunately for Henry, he didn’t understand the extent of his powers and went into a coma when he killed his mother and sister. After he regained consciousness, he discovered that he was placed under Dr. Brenner’s care. Henry subsequently became 001 or One, the first test subject at Hawkins Lab. However, Brenner also recognized Henry’s nature and implanted a device called Soteria right under the skin of his neck. It apparently put a barrier between Henry and his powers. In 1979, Henry or One convinced Eleven to remove the Soteria. When she did, he went on a rampage, killing staff members and multiple test subjects. Ultimately, Eleven fought One and created such a powerful psychic connection with him that it ripped a hole into the space-time continuum. This created a Gate through which Eleven banished One into the Upside Down, where he transformed into Vecna after seemingly coming into contact with the Mind Flayer. In season 4 episode 7, titled ‘The Massacre at Hawkins Lab,’ Dustin speculates that Vecna is a five-star general in the Mind Flayer’s army and has been tasked to create multiple portals. If this is true, a war between two dimensions is on the horizon.

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