Jamie Campbell Bower’s Vecna Doesn’t Have a Nose in ‘Stranger Things’ for Good Reason

The Stranger Things Season 4 villain Vecna isn’t the first villain without a nose, nor will he be the last. Snakes are often the inspiration for villains like Voldemort and beyond, and there’s a good reason why. Here’s the most likely reason Vecna doesn’t have a nose in Stranger Things 4 Volume I. 

[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things 4 Volume I.]

Vecna from 'Stranger Things' Season 4 close up and lacking a nose in his lair.
Vecna from ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 | via Netflix

Jamie Campbell Bower plays a noseless Vecna in ‘Stranger Things 4’ 

Jamie Campbell Bower, who fans might recognize from Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsSweeney Todd, and the Twilight Saga, brings Peter Ballard/a grown Henry Creel/001 to life. Bower’s 001 fully becomes Vecna when Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) forces him into the Upside Down in “The Hawkins Lab Massacre” during Stranger Things 4 Vol. I. 

Vecna used to look like a normal human being. As a child, Henry Creel was a “troubled boy” whose parents thought the move to Hawkins would help his behavior. However, he discovered a love of black widow spiders and Henry’s powers only grew. 

After killing his mother and sister, Henry falls into a coma and his father believes him to be dead. In reality, he was the cause of the massacre that put his father in prison for life.

When Henry comes out of a coma, he is put under the care of Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine). Realizing Henry’s powers are too strong, Dr. Brenner installs a chip to subdue them. Then, Henry works as an orderly with the other subjects in the Hawkins National Lab under the name Peter Ballard and tries to convince Eleven to join his side. She refuses and uses her powers to banish him to the Upside Down, where he takes on the form of Vecna. 

Snakes and their lack of a nose represent the evil seen in Vecna and Voldemort

From religious texts to Disney’s The Jungle Book, snakes are often used to symbolize evil. In the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, serpents represent power and chaos from the underworld, which is what Vecna is to the town of Hawkins. The Jungle Book‘s Kaa uses his hypnotic eyes to control his victims, mimicked in Stranger Things by Vecna’s Curse. 

With such a storied reputation, snakes have become the inspiration for many a villain. One of the most infamous snake-like villains is Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies and books. Author J.K. Rowling describes the villain in her books: “pale skin, a chalk-white, skull-like face, snake-like slits for nostrils, red eyes and cat-like slits for pupils, a skeletally thin body and long, thin hands with unnaturally long fingers.”

Vecna is similar in appearance, though less snake-like and more skeletal. Really, he’s more of a snake/spider combo villain, what with Henry’s obsession with black widow spiders. Regardless, as Finn Wolfhard said during Netflix Geeked week, Vecna is “the scariest monster in Stranger Things history.”

Vecna is a villain from Dungeons and Dragons

A lot of the inspiration for Vecna comes from Dungeons and Dragons, the favorite fantasy game of the kids in Stranger Things. The game’s Vecna was a “once-human king … that ascended to godhood” (via Forgotten Realms). 

“While he was once considered the most powerful lich to dwell on that world, over the ages he spent in undeath Vecna became maligned across the multiverse and was considered the scourge of all civilization.” Sound familiar? 

See Vecna in his snake-like glory in Stranger Things Vol. I on Netflix

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