Stranger Things season 4 is approaching its launch date! The new season, which premieres on May 27, will introduce a new Big Bad from the Upside Down to Hawkins. And, like the Demogorgon that hunted our young heroes in the first season, this creature has the same name as a legendary Dungeons & Dragons villain: Vecna.
The Whispered One. The Undying King. The Lord of the Rotted Tower is a powerful character. Vecna has various titles. Even with an exploring group at your side, the archimage turned lich turned lesser deity is not someone you want to fight. Thereafter the first version of the game, Vecna has terrorised D&D parties, and she has appeared in every edition since. His physical parts have, to be more precise. The sole artifacts—unique magic items—in each edition’s Dungeon Master’s Guide have been the Eye of Vecna and the Hand of Vecna. The character must sacrifice their own hand or eye and replace it with Vecna’s withered body part in order to wield these cursed yet powerful items.
So, what does all of this mean for the Stranger Things character Vecna? While Vecna of the Upside Down is not a god, he does exude an aura of death. Vecna from Stranger Things is murky and… slimy, like the rest of the Upside Down. Unlike his namesake, who looks to be a skeleton, ethereal lich, this Vecna appears substantial and underground, covered with damp plant and organic waste. He’s also undeniably human-shaped, unlike the hideous creatures who have previously assaulted Hawkins’ heroes.
Although facts are scant, Vecna is tied to Victor Creel, a new Stranger Things 4 character played by Robert Englund. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-creator Ross Duffer stated Creel’s narrative is “pivotal” to Hawkins and its residents. And when Will and his buddies eventually meet this big villain, it’ll almost certainly be on his territory. “In the Upside Down, we spend more time than in any other season.” Duffer told IGN, “It’s not even close.”
Stranger Things season 4 appears to be on track to provide some significant answers. The next season will launch on Netflix on May 27.