Jamie Campbell Bower Explains How Henry Creel Got His Powers

Stranger Things 4 introduces the world to its scariest villain yet with Vecna. The monster, who calls the Upside Down home, kills his victims by mangling their limbs and causing their eyeballs to explode. However, Vecna’s identity and backstory are more complicated than other creatures from the alternate dimension. Jamie Campbell Bower, one of Stranger Things 4’s new cast members, recently broke down his thoughts on the character’s transformation from Henry Creel into Vecna.

[WARNING: This article contains detailed plot spoilers regarding Stranger Things 4 Volume I.]

Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard in the Rainbow Room at Hawkins National Lab. Jamie Campbell Bower believes Henry Creel was born with his powers.
Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard | Cr. Courtesy of Netflix

Henry Creel is the alleged murderer, Victor Creel’s son

When fans first meet Vecna in “The Hellfire Club,” vines cover his body, and if you watch with captions, you’ll notice the monster makes a lot of “wet squelching sounds.” Vecna’s humanoid shape hints at his original identity.

In Stranger Things 4 “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab,” Vecna explains his origin story to Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) when he drags her into the Mind Scape. This scene parallels where Peter Ballard (Jamie Campbell Bower) reveals the truth about the events on Sept. 8, 1979. Audiences learn that Victor Creel (Robert Englund) never murdered his family as the town of Hawkins believed. Instead, Henry (Raphael Luce,) Victor’s son, used his supernatural powers to kill his mother and sister before passing out from overexertion. When Victor went to Pennhurst, authorities placed Henry in the care of Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine,) and someone changed Henry’s name to Peter. Henry Creel and Peter Ballard are the same person, and when Eleven banished him to the Upside Down, the universe transformed into the monster known as Vecna.

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Jamie Campbell Bower says Henry Creel was born with his supernatural powers

One of the lingering questions after watching Stranger Things 4 Volume I revolves around how Henry got his powers. We know from Peter’s story that Dr. Brenner “tried to recreate him,” so it makes sense that the other children gained their powers through an outside source. However, Bower believes it’s much more straightforward.

Bower recently spoke to Uproxx, and interviewers asked him about Henry’s powers. “The way I always saw it was that he was the first person to be born very special and very different. I never saw it in terms of what it would be like to be Spiderman. In Spiderman, he gets bit, and then from being bitten, he garners these powers. I always saw Henry as this person who was just born with this natural ability and it took him going to this deep depths of despair and isolation for those powers to come to fruition and to become real,” Bower explained.

Audiences don’t know if Peter Ballard/Henry Creel is a reliable narrator in ‘Stranger Things 4’

Stranger Things 4 showrunners Ross and Matt Duffer notoriously keep the show’s twists and turns close to their chest. Keeping that in mind, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow at Bower’s simple explanation. On top of that, viewers don’t know if Peter/Henry is a reliable narrator. He lied to Eleven to manipulate her into removing the chip in his neck by making her believe it allowed Brenner to track his whereabouts. In reality, the chip kept his powers under control. So, we don’t know if Brenner tried to recreate him as he said or if there’s a different explanation. This means we also don’t know how Henry Creel got powers to start. Regardless, we hope to find the answer in Stranger Things 4 Volume II. The final two episodes premiere on July 1, 2022.

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