‘Stranger Things 4’: The Duffer Brothers Break Down Vecna, This Season’s Big Bad

TL;DR:

  • The ‘Stranger Things 4’ trailer revealed Vecna
  • The Duffer Brothers confirmed Vecna is the new monster in Stranger Things Season 4
  • Like The Mind Flayer and Demogorgon, Vecna is another ‘Dungeons & Dragons’-inspired monster to haunt Hawkins
Vecna, the new monster from Stranger Things Season 4, emerges at Creel House in an episode of the new season.
Vecna in Stranger Things Season 4 | Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Netflix released the jam-packed trailer for Stranger Things Season 4 on April 12. While fans caught up with the old characters and met some new ones, it’s clear who stole the show in the trailer for Stranger Things 4: Vecna, the new monster. Thankfully, the Duffer brothers, the creators and executive producers of Stranger Things, cleared things up for fans.

Vecna is a ‘practical’ monster, according to the Duffer brothers

The Duffer brothers spilled some exciting details about Vecna to IGN, including how the show brought the monster to life.

Unlike the monsters featured in Stranger Things Season 2 and Season 3, Vecna is almost all “practical effects,” according to IGN.

“Something else we really wanted to do go back to Season 1 and actually do a monster that we could do mostly practically. What you’re seeing here is 90% practical [effects]. And Vecna, throughout the season, is 90% practical. We wanted a presence on the set that our actors could react to, whereas in Season 3, they were reacting to a beach ball. We wanted something there that we could actually film, and I just think that that makes this villain scarier and more real and tangible and we’re just really excited for people to see him this season.”

Ross Duffer, via IGN

Stranger Things Season 4 looks a little different compared to previous seasons. Although fans have only seen a small glimpse of Vecna in the trailer, there’s no doubt Vecna is the scariest villain in the Stranger Things universe to date. It also means that there’s a person behind those menacing eyes.

At first glance, Vecna resembles the Night King from Game of Thrones. According to the report, Netflix enlisted the help of Game of Thrones prosthetic designer Barrie Gower to bring Vecna to Hawkins.

Vecna’s ‘D&D’ origins

Before getting into what we know about Vecna in the new season, it’s essential to understand where Vecna came from.

For those who don’t know, Vecna is a being from the lore of Dungeons & Dragons. Its inclusion in the new season keeps the trend of D&D-inspired monsters in the world of Stranger Things.

So, what is Vecna exactly? Greyhawkonline.com has the most concise explanation for non-D&D fans online.

“Originally from the World of Greyhawk, Vecna was described as a powerful wizard who became a lich. He was eventually destroyed, and his left hand and left eye were the only parts of his body to survive. Even after he achieved godhood—being a member of the third edition’s of D&D gods (the pantheon of Oerth)—he is still described as missing both his left eye and left hand. Vecna’s holy symbol is an eye in the palm of a left hand.”

via greyhawk.online

More interestingly, Grayhawk claims the most consistent theme about the being is “is Vecna’s never-ending quest for power, ending, should he succeed, with Vecna as the only deity in existence.”

Could that be the key to the mystery of the Upside Down and what’s wrong with Hawkins?

What we know about Vecna in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4

Vecna has been on fans’ radar since Netflix announced the episode titles for Stranger Things Season 4 back in November 2021. “Vecna’s Curse” is the second episode of Stranger Things Season 4. When the episode was announced, fans speculated Vecna would be the season’s villain. The Duffer brothers confirmed that.

In the new trailer, fans see two clips of Vecna and hear his voice for the first time.

“You’ve broken everything. Your suffering is almost at an end,” Vecna says. “It’s time. You have lost.”

That line is terrifying, but it’s nothing compared to the first look at Vecna. Fans quickly – and accurately – pointed out that Vecna looks like the Night King from Game of Thrones. Vecna has sharp claws and some levitating powers or was hoisted up by spider-like legs. None of those things bode well for the kids of Hawkins.

Fans also know Stranger Things moves beyond Hawkins in the fourth season. Based on the trailer, Vecna’s presence will be felt in and around Hawkins, for the most part.

In the short clip, we see Vecna in Creel House, or what appears to be Creel House in Hawkins or the Upside Down. Creel House is the former home of Victor Creel, played by horror legend Robert Englund, who starred as Freddie Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

Based on other teasers for the new season, fans know Victor Creel murdered his family nearly three decades before the events of season 4. In the trailer, fans get their first look at an eyeless Victor Creel.

Stranger Things Season 4 premieres on Netflix on May 27, 2022. The second half of the season premieres on July 1, 2022.

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