The Duffer Brothers have revealed that the antagonist of Stranger Things season four’s first volume (and perhaps mastermind of the whole darn thing) is Vecna, an ancient god-like lich who hails from Dungeons & Dragons. We got a glimpse of him at the beginning and end of today’s ripping trailer for the Netflix hit.
In a discussion about that new season four trailer with IGN, the Duffer Brothers likened their take on Vecna to ‘80s horror titans like Hellraiser’s Pinhead, It’s Pennywise, and A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger, complete with haunted houses. “Those were the monsters that really inspired us this season,” Ross Duffer said to IGN. “Something else we really wanted to do go back to season one 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 three, 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.”
Venca, for those unfamiliar with D&D, is described via Critical Role’s wiki as “...calculating and ruthless when it suited him, able to manipulate people’s greatest fears to his own benefit and enjoy it. He sought to ‘play with the toys’ left by other gods beyond the Divine Gate and reshape the world, his Exandria, to his liking.” (He was a recently featured in a campaign on the multi-platform RPG show.) And if his similarities to Game of Thrones’ Night King weren’t obvious enough, the Duffers noted to IGN that Vecna’s look comes from prosthetics artist Barrie Gower, who also worked on the HBO series’ chilling antagonist.
Makes sense that the biggest bad in the Upside Down would be cut from cloth that our D&D-obsessed Hawkins heroes would understand, and we have a feeling that a new season four character—Eddie, head of the high school’s Dungeons & Dragons club—will be involved. We definitely suspect he’s working with Vecna to bring him to life. And we don’t have too long to wait to find out: Stranger Things season four, volume one drops May 27 on Netflix.
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