The Stranger Things crew has faced the Demogorgon, the Mindflayer, and now Vecna. The latest monster, whose name is dubbed by Dustin, begins tormenting Hawkins at the beginning of season 4, setting his sights on the popular cheerleader Chrissy. Vecna kills Chrissy in the most gruesome way possible — breaking her bones, gouging her eyes out, and mutilating her beyond recognition. Vecna later does the same to Nancy’s classmate and one of Lucas’ basketball teammates.
Vecna’s victims are all kids who’ve experienced intense trauma. He curses them, tormenting them with their inner demons until he’s ready to kill. All of Vecna’s torment is taking place in his victim’s mind. The people in the real world can do nothing but watch. Vecna curses Max, but she is saved from death when Dustin, Lucas, and Steve start playing Kate Bush’s music.
Vecna’s Origin Story
Vecna seems to be exclusively torturing Hawkins until his connection to Eleven is revealed in the Volume 1 finale. Eleven has been reliving her past in an attempt to get her powers back. Brenner thrusts her back to the massacre at the Hawkins Lab in 1979. While Eleven thinks she’s the one who killed her siblings, that’s not the case.
During that time at the lab, Eleven was befriended by an orderly named Peter Ballard. He told Eleven that Two and the others were going to kill her, and Papa would “allow it to happen.” Peter used the opportunity to try to rally Eleven to his side. “You frighten him. He knows you’re more powerful than the others, and he also knows he can’t control you. That’s all he wants. Control,” Peter said.
Peter urged Eleven to listen to him and escape the lab. Eleven wondered why Peter was helping her. “Because I believe in you. It is time you are free from this hell,” he said. Eleven was able to sneak down to the basement to meet with Peter. He revealed an escape route but said that she was the only one leaving. Because of a chip in his neck, Brenner could track him. He was also weakened by the chip.
To reciprocate the help he’d given her, Eleven ripped the chip from Peter’s neck. That’s exactly what he wanted. Peter wasn’t an ordinary orderly. He’s actually One, the test subject that started it all. He revealed his 001 tattoo to Eleven before easily killing guards. One went on a killing spree at the Hawkins Lab, not Eleven.
When Eleven saw the destruction One has caused, he continued to build on his origin story. One is actually Victor Creel’s son, Henry Creel. At the same time, Nancy watched Henry’s life play out while she was stuck in the Upside Down and cursed by Vecna. Henry was the one who killed Victor’s wife and daughter. He became fed up with humanity and began to make his own rules. He set his sights on destroying humanity.
At the time, Henry didn’t understand his limits. He fell into a coma after attempting to kill his father and was placed under Brenner’s care. Brenner discovered Henry’s immense powers and made him his first test subject. Henry was the guinea pig for Brenner’s research and was dubbed One. Brenner eventually decided to recreate Henry. That’s how Eleven was born.
Vecna’s True Identity Revealed
One asked Eleven to join him in “reshaping” the world. Eleven refused. They fought in the lab, and it looked like Eleven is going to fall to One. Her bones began to break, but Eleven managed to garner all of her power and fight back. Eleven destroyed One while simultaneously opening the gate to the Upside Down. As One fell through the Upside Down, Vecna was created. When Brenner asked Eleven what she’d done, he wasn’t talking about the massacre. He was talking about opening the gate.
Vecna (a.k.a. One, Henry Creel, and Peter Ballard) was created in 1979, four years before the Stranger Things started. Since 1979, Vecna has been living in the Upside Down. While Dustin believes Vecna is the Mind Flayer’s “five-star general,” Vecna could be the one controlling everything. Stranger Things season 4 Volume 1 is out now. Volume 2 will be released on July 1.