Season 4 of Stranger Things ended with a dantesque finale. Even if volume 1 delivered some answers on the existence of Vecna, a certain aura made of mysteries still surrounds the character.
Warning, spoilers! This article reveals key plot elements of Season 4 of Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read on!
Season 4 of Stranger Things introduced the series’ ultimate villain, Vecna - who was previously Henry Creel, then One (Jamie Campbell Bower) before turning into a monster of the Upside Down – a filthy being who has been working in the shadows since the beginning. Episode 7 delivered some top-notch information about Vecna, starting with her identity. In episode 9, Vecna explains to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) how he went from Henry Creel to Vecna.
However, some key information is still missing about who will take center stage in the fifth and final season.
Why can Vecna only open portals now?
This is the question that torments a good number of fans at the end of season 4, when Vecna has managed to put its plan in place. A plan which consists of the invasion of Hawkins by the Upside Down after killing four teenagers. Each death causing the opening of a small gate between the two dimensions.
In previous seasons, Vecna only uses portals that already exist in Hawkins. The only one able to open and close them is Eleven. But we learn during season 4 that Vecna absorbs the power of everything it destroys. After Eleven closed the Grand Portal in Season 2, Vecna only had a weak connection to the real world through the Mind Flayer.
So he needed to strengthen that connection. It did in Season 3, Episode 7, when the monster created with the Mind Flayer’s powers latched onto Eleven’s leg and left a piece of itself inside her. The blood she lost was later seen to react to Billy’s presence (under the influence of the Mind Flayer) suggesting that the connection sought has been made. Which means Vecna can open its own portals.
This explains why Vecna didn’t attack Hawkins himself earlier. When he was shipped to the Upside Down, Vecna had no way to leave him. So he had to use the Mind Flayer to attack Hawkins. He also needed to understand the extent of Eleven’s powers since their first confrontation. Thanks to Demogorgons and at the Mind Flayer, Vecna began to slowly break down the barriers between the two worlds.
Why is Will logged into Vecna?
The season 4 finale reveals that Will (Noah Schnapp) is directly connected to Vecna. In reality, Will has been connected to the Upside Down since the very first episode of the series. First abducted by a Demogorgon and then taken to the Upside Down, he stayed there long enough to ingest the particles of this alternate reality. Then in season 2, it serves as a receptacle for the Mind Flayer.
Chances are, this was all part of Vecna’s plan from the start. While trapped in the Upside Down, Will ingested enough of these particles to make a connection to this other world, on purpose. This connection is strong enough in Season 2 to bring Will back to the Upside Down and allow the Mind Flayer to enter his body and use him as a host.
While the rest of the gang were able to thwart the Mind Flayer’s attack by using Will as a host and closing the portal at the end of Season 2, Will’s connection lasted until Season 3 and resurfaced in season 4 ending. The fact that season 4 ends with Will feeling that connection, as the Upside Down invades Hawkins suggests that what started with Will in season 1 may well end with him in season 5 .
But that raises the question of what role Will will play in the final showdown against Vecna. Will he be Vecna’s Trojan horse and will he turn in spite of himself against his friends? Or is his connection on the contrary an advantage for Eleven and the band of Hawkins making him a kind of spy, able to know what will be the next blow delivered by Vecna? We will have to wait to find out…