29 May 2022, 10:04 | Updated: 29 May 2022, 10:14
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Here's your comprehensive guide to Vecna, Stranger Things 4's new villain. [Contains spoilers!]
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A new season of Stranger Things can only mean one thing: It's time to meet a brand new, even more terrifying, even more dangerous villain.
We've faced the Demogorgon, we've battled the Demodogs, the Mind Flayer has been defeated... But Stranger Things 4 has now introduced Vecna – a villain that makes Hawkins' previous threats look like child's play.
Before Netflix even dropped the teasers, Vecna had already been teased in the episode titles, leaving fans screaming, crying, throwing up, and theorising what the hell one of Dungeons & Dragons' greatest villains might do to our fave characters...
Vecna is Hawkins' latest Upside Down threat, appearing to be connected to the creepy Creel House. In the trailers, it also looks like he traps Max in a terrifying dream-like dimension at some point. (Nancy ends up there too, in one brief clip.)
With all of that in mind, and plenty of questions floating around about his mysterious storyline, here's everything we know about Vecna in Stranger Things 4 so far...
WARNING: This article contains spoilers. Do not read ahead if you haven’t watched Stranger Things 4 Volume 1!
Who is Vecna in Dungeons & Dragons?
Much like the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer, Vecna is also a fictional villain from the world of Dungeons & Dragons come to life in Hawkins.
Vecna is one of the greatest villains in Dungeons & Dragons history. He is a powerful wizard who became a lich. As well as casting spells, Vecna’s in-game abilities include:
- The ability to paralyse others with touch.
- The ability to alter reality and create visions.
- The ability to sense whenever someone close by has disclosed a secret or a deeply personal thought.
In the game, he is missing his left hand and his left eye. In the show, his left hand is replaced by a Freddy Krueger-like claw and he has two very human-esque eyes.
Who is Vecna in Stranger Things 4?
Vecna is first introduced by name in episode 1, when he appears in Eddie Munson’s final D&D campaign, ‘The Cult of Vecna’. He's also referenced in the title for episode 2, 'The Curse of Vecna'.
In the show, Vecna is depicted as a human-like, undead creature that lives in the Creel House in the Upside Down.
The Duffer Brothers have explained that Vecna takes inspiration from some of the most terrifying horror movie villains of the ‘80s – particularly Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Pennywise from IT. Yep, nightmare fuel personified.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Vecna's storyline.
Do not scroll ahead if you have not watched Volume 1! Save this page and come back to it.
Vecna's origins explained: Where did Vecna come from?
Viewers don't find out Vecna's true identity until the very end of episode 7, when both Eleven and Nancy discover his shocking history and origin story.
If the eyes and the right hand weren't enough to convince you already, it's confirmed that Vecna was once human – and he has a very strong connection to Eleven and the Hawkins Lab.
How did Henry Creel/Peter Ballard become Vecna?
While reliving her memories in the Nina sensory deprivation tank, Eleven discovers that Peter Ballard, an orderly at Hawkins Lab who befriended her and taught her how to use her powers to their full extent, is not the caring man she thought he was. (Nor is his real name Peter Ballard, he is actually Henry Creel.)
While the viewers believed Eleven to have gone rogue and killed her brothers and sisters at the start of the show, it's revealed that it was actually Peter, who is confirmed to be 001. As Eleven witnesses the horror in the room, she completely overpowers Peter with her own powers and shreds him to pieces, opening the very first gate to the Upside Down and sending him through.
As Peter falls through, he is struck by lightning and burned, before turning into Vecna. The gate closes, trapping him in there.
Where did Henry Creel get his powers from?
This is one of the biggest questions that Stranger Things 4 Volume 1 leaves viewers with. The origin of Henry Creel's psychological abilities are not fully explained, but in Nancy's visions, Vecna shows her that he had the powers from a very young age.
Viewers then find out that Henry was the one who committed the Creel House murders, killing his mother and sister, but growing too weak (much like El when she uses the full extent of her powers) to kill his father. His father survived, and the blame fell to him.
Henry did not die, as Victor said he did. He was taken by Dr. Brenner and became the very first test subject: 001. Brenner's program started with Henry, and all the other lab kids were basically experiments to try and replicate his powers.
Brenner eventually planted a chip into Henry/Peter/001's neck, keeping his powers under control. When he successfully convinced baby Eleven to remove the chip, his powers were unleashed allowing him to carry out the lab massacre.
How does Vecna kill people in Stranger Things 4? What happens to his victims?
All of Vecna’s victims have one thing in common: They’re all harbouring some kind of deeply personal trouble. Whether that be depression, grief, guilt, or an eating disorder. A week before their hallucinations start, the victims all experience headaches, nosebleeds and nightmares.
The victim then starts hearing ticking, with the ominous Creel House clock appearing nearby. The victim will then start to hallucinate and see visions of dead relatives or their worst fears come to life.
The victim will then end up in a trance. On the outside, they will remain unable to move but their eyes begin twitching and gloss over. In their dream-like state, they will find themselves trapped and soon realise that Vecna is approaching them.
Once Vecna grabs their head within in the dream, their body on the outside world begins to float. Vecna then crushes their skull in the dream, breaking and mutilating their body in the real world, and eventually exploding their eyes.
How does Vecna choose his victims?
It's not immediately clear how Vecna chooses which person he will target next. It appears as though Vecna enters a dream-like state himself where he's able to hear the thoughts and confessions of everyone in the town – kind of like when Eleven goes into the void. He then targets his next victim and their real world symptoms begin.
In 1986, Vecna appears to be targeting the teenagers of Hawkins, much like how Pennywise kills children.
However, back in the '50s, he targets both Creel parents and young Alice Creel. (We now know it was Henry Creel – who went on to become Vecna – who carried out the murders.)
As of episode 7, in the timeline's present day, Vecna has not targeted any adults... yet.
How is Vecna connected to Victor Creel?
In episode 2, Nancy interviews Eddie's uncle shortly after Chrissy's death at the trailer park. Eddie's uncle mentions Victor Creel's name, suggesting that he was the one who did the killings. Nancy and Robin then investigate Creel, and uncover his shocking link to Vecna.
Shortly after Victor Creel and his family moved into the Creel House in the '50s, strange happenings begin within the halls and gardens of the house, which Victor blames on a demon. Shortly after killing his wife, Vecna then targets Victor, showing him visions of his traumatic time as a soldier. Victor survives because the radio was playing his favourite song.
As of episode 4, it's clear that Victor and Vecna are not the same person. Victor has been in Pennhurst Mental Hospital since that night, as no one believes his story about a demon killing his family.
Victor's experience ends up helping the Hawkins gang understand what kind of threat Vecna is, where his lair might be located, and how to escape him when he catches you.
How does Max escape Vecna?
Across the first 4 episodes of the season, viewers watch as Max slowly falls deeper into Vecna's curse. At the end of episode 4, while sitting at Billy's grave, Max enters a trance and finds herself trapped in the dream world that Vecna has placed her under.
In the real world, Dustin, Lucas and Steve attempt to try and snap Max out of it but they're unsuccessful. Nancy and Robin then reveal what they learned from Victor: The victim's favourite song is able to pull them out of their trance.
The boys place Max's headphones over her ears as she begins to float up into the air. In her trance, Max hears the song and is able to run from Vecna back to safety.
Read more about Stranger Things here:
- Who dies in Stranger Things 4 Volume 1? All the deaths explained
- Who is Vecna in Stranger Things 4? His powers and identity explained
- Does Max die in Stranger Things 4? Does she have powers?
- Stranger Things 4 cast appear to hint Will has a crush on Mike
- Who is Victor Creel in Stranger Things 4? His horrifying story explained
- Does Billy appear in Stranger Things 4 Volume 1?
- Do Steve and Nancy get back together in Stranger Things 4?
- Stranger Things 4 soundtrack: All the songs in Volume 1
- Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 release date: When does it come out on Netflix?
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Who is Vecna? The
It's revealed that Vecna is actually Victor Creel's son, Henry. After realizing he has powers while feeling alone in his own home, Henry decides to attack his own family and kill them to test his power. Victor is framed for the murders at Creel House, while his son is taken away.Who really is Vecna in Stranger Things season 4? ›
In episode 7, Vecna is revealed to be Henry Creel (played as a youngster by Raphael Luce), the son of Victor Creel (Robert Englund) and his wife Virginia (Tyner Rushing) shown in the 1950s flashbacks.Why did Vecna become evil? ›
His telekinetic ability let him kill living things from the inside out. And the desire to kill more than just small animals came when he realized he “could reach into” the minds of people and see their darkest secrets.What is Vecna trying to do? ›
What Does Vecna Want? Vecna's goal is to open as many gates to the Upside Down as he can, in order to help the Mind Flayer.Why did 001 turn into Vecna? ›
Then Eleven—who in this future moment discovers that she in fact does not have the blood of her siblings on her hands—defeats Henry Creel, sending him to the Upside Down where he gets blasted by lightening and burnt to a crisp and, thus, becomes Vecna.Is Vecna 11's dad? ›
Next up, the viewers go on to theorise that One/Vecna is actually Eleven's dad. Yep, told you it was wild. The theory claims that Brenner wanted to create a child with stronger powers, so he waited until One was old enough to become a father.How did Vecna choose his victims? ›
Vecna is able to access his victim's minds by pinpointing a moment of trauma and exploiting it for his own sick pleasure. Both Fred and Max are haunted by deaths that they feel responsible for, which is why it makes perfect sense that this is how Vecna chooses to torture Nancy.Was it Vecna who took Will? ›
Re-watching the episode where Will Byers goes missing, there is a lot of evidence suggesting that it was Vecna who abducted Will and trapped him in the upside down. Many Stranger Things fans who re-watched the scene pointed out that they could hear the chimes of the grandfather clock.Did Eleven create Vecna? ›
Eleven has a memory during this episode and realizes that 001/Henry Creel (Jamie Campbell Bower) wants her to join him on his evil journey, and she banished him to the Upside Down. 001 then transformed into Vecna, the horrifying Stranger Things villain.
Vecna lives in the Upside Down and preys on people's past traumas and guilt. The monster curses its victims, making them relive their trauma in progressively more gruesome ways until it violently kills them. (And we mean, like, really violently.)Who destroys Vecna? ›
Mike, on the other side tries to give strength to Eleven, who is at risk as she is captured by Vecna. Eleven gathers her strength and overpowers Vecna, who's just about to kill Max.Why did Vecna choose Max? ›
Patrick was targeted due to his father's abuse of him. Finally, Vecna targets Max for her trauma from witnessing Billy's death and uses Barb's (Shannon Purser) death as a way to use Nancy.Why does Vecna want them to join him? ›
What does Vecna want with El? In his twisted mind, Vecna believes that he his helping the world by wiping out humans, as a "predator, but for good." When Vecna asks for El to join him, it's because he also sees her as a predator, "better" than humans.Why does Vecna need 4 sacrifices? ›
As the gates spread in Hawkins, both the worlds seem to be merging and finally becoming one. In simple words, Vecna needs a total of four gates to take over Hawkins and rule it.What happens when Vecna kills? ›
There, Vecna taunts them, rejoicing in their heartache and sorrow, before killing them. Vecna's victims die in an agonizing way, lifted high into the air. Their every joint is twisted out of shape by Vecna's telekinesis, making for a horrific spectacle.Who killed Vecna first? ›
At his empire's height, Vecna was betrayed and destroyed by his most trusted lieutenant, a vampire called Kas the Bloody-Handed, using a magical sword that Vecna himself had crafted for him, now known as the Sword of Kas.Why does Vecna have both eyes? ›
This is because his trusted accomplice, Kas the Bloody-Handed, betrayed him and used the sword Vecna created himself to chop off his left hand and remove his left eye. This ultimately destroyed Vecna. Though they're clouded with cataracts, Vecna in Stranger Things has both of his eyes.Who did Vecna killed first? ›
Vecna's first big credited kill was Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien). He followed that murder with canonically terrible driver Fred Benson (Logan Riley Bruner) and basketball star Patrick McKinney (Myles Truitt).Does Eleven destroy Vecna? ›
Eleven is able to blast Vecna away from Max at first, but once the surprise wears off, he defeats El, restrains both of the girls, and takes them to his red-tinged lair (which reminds me of Sherlock's mind palace, so I'm going to call it a mind palace).
Realizing he had tremendous psychic power, he haunted his family with visions before ultimately killing most of them. His father was framed for the murders and locked away in a mental hospital as a disturbed serial killer. Henry then found himself in the care of Brenner, who decided he wanted more kids like the boy.Did Eleven betray Vecna? ›
Looking at the Kas angle, Eleven did form a similar Kas-Vecna alliance in her past before betraying Stranger Things' Vecna and sending him to the Upside Down.Why is Vecna obsessed with clocks? ›
Vecna's obsession with time appears to be linked to his hatred of humanity. He views time as a human imposition on the natural world; an attempt to impose order on nature.Does Vecna eat his victims? ›
Trauma fuels him
Also in episode 8 of Season 4 named “Papa,” Dr. Brenner stated that Vecna consumes everything about his victims.
If Vecna can overwhelm their victim with fear, and keep them from resisting, their fate is almost certainly sealed. In the real world, he makes the victim levitate while in their trance, before snapping their bones and neck, and crushing their eyes.Is Will turning into Vecna? ›
Will Became Connected to Vecna During His Kidnapping in the Upside Down. The assumption has always been that Will survived in the Upside Down on sheer dumb luck before being trapped in those creepy hive mind vines.Who betrayed Vecna? ›
At the height of his empire Vecna was betrayed by Kas. Kas managed to destroy the Archlich before his own death, with the Sword of Kas, a lethal blade of the Undying King's own make, leaving only Vecna's left hand and left eye behind. Vecna eventually returned and by 581, had risen to godhood.Who has escaped Vecna? ›
Though Vecna is now more powerful than Eleven, at the time she managed to escape through a psychic joust. Kali's escape was far more subtle, happening before the massacre could even take place. The series implies that Kali was able to escape by using her abilities.Who started the upside down? ›
Background. The history of the Upside Down remains mysterious. Exactly how and why it came into existence is unclear. Dustin theorised the Upside Down had existed for thousands, if not millions of years.Who opened the upside down? ›
During the match, Eleven was able to overpower Vecna, using her psychic abilities to keep him pinned to the Rainbow Room wall as his body disintegrated. But before he could disintegrate completely, she unintentionally opened a gate to the Upside Down behind him, which Vecna then fell through.
Eleven demonstrated the ability to overpower Vecna when she piggybacked into Max's memory and again after Vecna took her hostage in the Upside Down. Eleven was the one who first opened the gate to the Upside Down, a skill at which Vecna was less adept.Do Vecna victims feel pain? ›
Once he takes control of the mind, he traumatizes them by showing the visions of their dark past. He takes them to unknown places and gives them a glimpse of himself. The pain of his victims doesn't end here. Every single one of his victims experiences nose bleeding and severe headaches as well.Did Vecna lose his body? ›
At the same time, Nancy, Steve and Robin reach Vecna's body in the Upside Down and throw multiple Molotov cocktails at him before Nancy shoots him, sending his blazing body flying out the window of the Upside Down's Creel House.Who has died by Vecna? ›
- Chrissy Cunningham.
- Victor Creel.
- Test Subjects.
According to Henry Creel, he was brought to Dr. Brenner when his mother caught on to his mysterious psychic powers.Does Max fall victim to Vecna? ›
Technically, yes. Max begins suffering the gory effects of Vecna's ritual—which include the victim's bones breaking and eyes bleeding—before Eleven taps into her power and blasts the monster away.Where do Vecna victims go? ›
Stranger Things shows that Vecna's season 4 victims are found in his Mindscape separate from the real world and Upside Down.How does Max avoid Vecna? ›
She breaks free, momentarily incapacitates Vecna, and runs with the determination to live toward her friends, dodging debris that Vecna throws in her path. Max hurls herself through the portal, awakes from the trance, and is held by Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin).Why did Peter turn into Vecna? ›
As Eleven witnesses the horror in the room, she completely overpowers Peter with her own powers and shreds him to pieces, opening the very first gate to the Upside Down and sending him through. As Peter falls through, he is struck by lightning and burned, before turning into Vecna.How did Henry Creel turn into Vecna? ›
There's only a short time between when a recognizable Bower first shows up on screen in Episode 6 to the end of Episode 7 when Eleven blasts Henry into the Upside Down, permanently disfiguring him and turning him into Vecna, but Bower makes the most of every minute of it.
In the real world, he makes the victim levitate while in their trance, before snapping their bones and neck, and crushing their eyes. The murder site then becomes a small gate into the Upside Down, as part of a long term goal to apparently bleed both dimensions into one.Why didn t Nancy shoot Vecna in the head? ›
After the Hawkins team develops a plan to defeat Vecna, Nancy is in charge to blow his head up with a shotgun. However, either she didn't have a great aim or she was trying to play it safe because she didn't hit him in the face even once, and that may be the reason why Vecna is still alive.Is Vecna truly dead? ›
As the ending of Stranger Things season 4, part 2 made very clear, Vecna, a.k.a. Number One, is far from finished with Hawkins. Yes, he may have been beaten and battered by Eleven, Nancy, Robin and Steve, but he did survive.Was Barb killed by Vecna? ›
Using past traumas to break down his victims, Vecna brought Nancy to the pool where Barb was killed by the Demogorgon and revealed her mangled corpse. Vecna then taunted Nancy with her own feelings of guilt - that she was responsible for Barb's death and had forgotten about her.What is the story behind Vecna? ›
Vecna was born as a human, centuries ago as a member of the untouchable caste in the Flan city of Fleeth on Oerth. He was initially trained by his mother, Mazzel, in the art of magic, before she was executed by the government of Fleeth for practicing witchcraft.Who is the real Vecna in Stranger Things? ›
From vocals to make-up, here's everything Jamie Campbell Bower did to become Vecna in Stranger Things season 4.What does Vecna want in Stranger Things? ›
Netflix Vecna has plans for world domination. Essentially, Vecna hates humanity, and wants to take over their world. He had hoped that Eleven would help him achieve this goal. But when he realised she wouldn't, Vecna instead used her.Who is the human form of Vecna in Stranger Things? ›
A fearsome entity aligned with the Upside Down, Vecna had humble origins as the human Henry Creel. After moving to a new home in Hawkins in 1959, the young Henry discovered he had remarkable psychokinetic abilities and could manipulate the perceptions of others.Why was Vecna killing everyone? ›
Ultimately, it is revealed in Stranger Things season 4's finale that the reason why Vecna was killing Hawkins teenagers was to create a massive gate that merges the Right Side Up with the Upside Down - and he specifically needed four bodies to do so.How does Vecna choose his victims? ›
Vecna is able to access his victim's minds by pinpointing a moment of trauma and exploiting it for his own sick pleasure. Both Fred and Max are haunted by deaths that they feel responsible for, which is why it makes perfect sense that this is how Vecna chooses to torture Nancy.
"Vecna seems to be actually intrigued by Nancy being able to figure him out, to be able to get this close to the truth... I think this is more Vecna's narcissistic traits that pull him to Nancy, why he wants to give her this information."Why do they call him Vecna? ›
He didn't name himself Vecna, the kids did. They named him after a DnD character who's a wizard, since Vecna's curse sounds like something a dark wizard would do.Why did Vecna turn into a monster? ›
I saw a means to realize my potential, to transcend my human form, to become the predator I was always born to be. Vecna reached out to the Mind Flayer, seemingly using his powers to reshape it into the spider-legged monster he had doodled as a child.Who created the upside down? ›
Who Created the Upside Down? In the "Stranger Things" timeline, the earliest we see the Upside Down is during Eleven's time in the Hawkins National Laboratory when an experiment guided by Dr. Brenner results in her accidentally opening the gateway between our world and the hellish dimension on the other side.Why does Vecna break bones? ›
If Vecna can overwhelm their victim with fear, and keep them from resisting, their fate is almost certainly sealed. In the real world, he makes the victim levitate while in their trance, before snapping their bones and neck, and crushing their eyes.How did Max escape Vecna? ›
She breaks free, momentarily incapacitates Vecna, and runs with the determination to live toward her friends, dodging debris that Vecna throws in her path. Max hurls herself through the portal, awakes from the trance, and is held by Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin). "I thought we lost you," he cries. "I'm still here.