Who is Vecna in Stranger Things, Explained

Vecna is the humanoid monster that serves as the primary antagonist in the first volume of the fourth season of Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things.’ Although he first appears in the season premiere, titled ‘The Hellfire Club,’ his name isn’t mentioned. His true identity isn’t revealed until the mid-season finale, but Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) names him Vecna after the character of the same name from the ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ fantasy role-playing game.

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Vecna is regarded as one of the most powerful villains of the game. He is an evil wizard of great power. After Dustin, Steve (Joe Keery), and the others find Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), the latter describes in graphic detail how Chrissy, the head cheerleader at Hawkins High, died. Reflecting on the fact that it almost sounds like magic, Dustin draws the connection between Chrissy’s death and Vecna’s curse. The group later starts referring to the monster responsible as Vecna. Here is everything you need to know about him. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Who Is Vecna?

Besides Chrissy, Vecna claims the lives of Fred, who works with Nancy at the school paper, and Patrick, a high school basketball player. He nearly kills Max, but Lucas and the others save her. There are certain similarities between all these individuals — they are all teenagers and have depression stemming from a deep sense of guilt. So, the killings aren’t random. Dustin figures out that the Gates or the rifts to the Upside Down have opened up in all three locations where Chrissy, Fred, and Patrick were killed. It is again Dustin that makes the comparison between the hierarchy of the Upside Down and the military of the human world.

The Mind Flayer rules over the entire Upside Down. He is presumably its most powerful resident. The Demogorgons are foot soldiers in the Mind Flayer’s army, whereas Vecna is the five-star general with the ability to create the Gates. Several characters in the series, including Dr. Owens, believes that a war is on the horizon. And that’s why he takes Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to the Nina Project in Nevada so that she can regain her powers. There, with Dr. Martin Brenner’s help, Eleven remembers exactly what happened on the day when most of her fellow test subjects were killed at Hawkins’ Lab.

Eleven recalls that she befriended an orderly (Jamie Campbell Bower) who was not much older than her. She was constantly bullied at the lab by Two and the others. During one particularly violent encounter, she suffered a concussion, prompting Brenner, who ran the lab, to punish Two. The friendly orderly told Eleven that Brenner was afraid of her and wanted her dead. He even agreed to help Eleven get out of the facility.

However, it is eventually revealed that these were all lies. The friendly orderly was actually One or 001, the very first test subject. His real identity is Henry Creel, the son of Victor Creel, the man housed at Pennhurst asylum for killing his family. It turns out that Victor didn’t kill his family; Henry did. He never fit in with other children. His doctors and teachers thought that something was wrong with him. After coming to Hawkins with his family, Henry found a nest of black widows and began to relate to them. He came to regard human rules as a deeply unnatural structure and sought to undo it all. His powers became his tools to do just that.

Henry started with his parents, killing his mother in the manner he would later use on Chrissy and the others. Nancy witnesses this after she is trapped in the Upside Down version of the Creel home. In Eleven’s memories, One killed most of the guards, doctors, nurses, and several other test subjects. Eleven fought with One and defeated him, inadvertently opening a Gate and sending him to the Upside Down. There, it seems that Henry transformed into Vecna after seemingly coming into contact with the Mind Flayer.

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