‘Stranger Things 4’: Who is Henry Creel?

Now that we’ve all had a solid 48 hours to digest Stranger Things 4 Volume I, it’s time to look at some of the new characters. Stranger Things 4 introduces us to Henry Creel (Raphael Luce,) but his identity isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Here’s what we know about the character.

[WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Stranger Things 4 Volume I.]

'Stranger Things 4' reveals Henry Creel's backstory. Vecna shows Nancy in the Mind Scape what really happened to the Creels in 'The Massacre at Hawkins Lab'
Nancy Wheeler learns Henry Creel’s backstory in ‘Stranger Things 4’ | Cr. Tina Rowden/Netflix

‘Stranger Things 4’ gives audiences a brief look at Henry Creel in ‘Dear Billy’

In Stranger Things 4 Episode 4, “Dear Billy,” fans finally meet Victor Creel, played by Robert Englund. Showrunners made sure audiences knew Victor played a crucial role this season and hinted at his backstory connecting to the Upside Down. When Robin (Maya Hawke) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) weasel their way into speaking with Victor at Pennhurst Insane Asylum, he tells them about his experience.

In 1959, Victor, his wife Virginia, and two children, Alice and Henry, moved to Hawkins, Indiana. Victor explains they wanted a fresh start, but the family begins to experience odd occurrences shortly after moving into the house. The lights flicker, the radio plays music out of nowhere, and Victor sees terrifying visions. One night at dinner, an unseen force murders Virginia in front of her family. As Victor tries to escape with Henry and Alice, he becomes entranced. When he comes out of the trance, he sees Alice dead on the floor with Henry unconscious but still alive. Victor tells Robin and Nancy that Henry slipped into a coma and died a week later.

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Vecna weaves a different tale about Henry Creel

Pieces of the Stranger Things 4 puzzle start to fall into place toward the end of episode 7, “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab.” As Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) memory returns, we see Peter Ballard (Jamie Campbell Bower) explain his true motives. His tale combines with Vecna’s, who shows Nancy how he came into existence. 

Henry Creel never died all those years ago, as Victor believed. Instead, when authorities arrested Victor for the murder of his family, they placed Henry in the care of Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine.) Peter, originally named Henry, tells Eleven he never felt like he fit in as a child. He resented everyone else living everyday lives and took out his rage on his family using his supernatural powers. While Victor took the blame for his family’s murders, Henry actually committed them. 

When Dr. Brenner took Henry into his care, he experimented on him. Peter/Henry explained to Eleven that Brenner only wanted to recreate children with his same supernatural abilities. At some point, Brenner began to fear Peter/Henry because he couldn’t control him or his powers. When Peter/Henry tried to get Eleven to join him on his murder spree, she banished him to the Upside Down, which somehow transformed him into Vecna.

Peter Ballard isn’t a reliable narrator in ‘Stranger Things 4’

Henry Creel’s origin story is told to the audience by Peter Ballard and Vecna in Stranger Things 4. The fatal flaw is that neither of these characters are necessarily reliable narrators. Each of their tales is told in a way that only gives their perspective. This leaves plenty of questions for the audience because we don’t know whether to trust their words or not. 

On top of that, we only see Peter’s story from Eleven’s memory. We know her memory has the potential to be incorrect. Plus, there’s always a chance Dr. Brenner somehow manipulates her memory into what he wants her to see. 

Hopefully, we get more answers in Stranger Things 4 Volume II. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for all your Stranger Things updates!

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