Who Is Vecna, and What Is He Based On?

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When Eleven sacrificed her powers back in the finale of season 3 of Stranger Things to close the large gateway to the Upside Down, we came to believe that we have seen the end of the demonic creatures that come from that other dimension. But season 4 made us see that things weren’t over yet as a bigger and stronger baddie is now out to get the people of Hawkins, Indiana. This creature comes in the form of a powerful entity called Vecna. But who is Vecna, and what is he based on?

Vecna is an undead creature that lives in the Creel house found in the Upside Down. He is a powerful dark mage-like undead that could curse people all the way from the Upside Down and then sucks up their life force so that he could gain more power. He is based on the Dungeons and Dragons character of the same name.

It should be noted that a good part of the Stranger Things lore is inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, as the different creatures they face are from the D&D game itself. That said, Vecna is the newest D&D boss to make its way to Stranger Things as he torments the town of Hawkins. Now, let’s get to know more about Vecna and what he is based on.

Who Is Vecna on Stranger Things Season 4?

Stranger Things keeps on adding to what has already been a great lore over the course of four amazing seasons. Of course, every season adds more twists and big bad enemies that end up tormenting the town of Hawkins, Indiana. While we thought that the threat was already over when Eleven sacrificed her powers to close the gate that led to the Upside Down during the finale of season 3, things aren’t exactly what they look like.

Season 4 introduces quite early a new big bad villain that seeks to torment the people of Hawkins as a creature called Vecna made his debut. He was first mentioned by name when the Dungeons and Dragons club called Hellfire, led by Eddie Munson, played a game that involved the D&D counterpart of Vecna.

However, as the series went on, it began to look like Vecna was indeed a true creature in Stranger Things, especially after he tormented and eventually killed the cheerleader named Chrissy, whose death sparked the entire plot and led to Eddie becoming the suspect for her murder. Throughout the entire series, Vecna preyed on the teenagers of Hawkins and even went on to torment Max, who he nearly killed. So, who is Vecna in Stranger Things season 4?

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It was explained in episode 2 of Stranger Things season 4 that Vecna is a creature that comes from the Upside Down and is an undead wizard and spellcaster of immense power. Dustin, Lucas, Max, and the others are now forced to team up with one another in the hopes of finding a way to stop Vecna from killing more people in Hawkins while also figuring out a way to clear Eddie’s name of the murders that Vecna had been committing.

Throughout the season, Vecna killed Fred and one of the members of the basketball team. As mentioned, he nearly killed Max as well. It was clear that Vecna preyed on young teenagers who were suffering from traumatic pasts that they wanted to move on from. Fred was suffering from a time in his past wherein he accidentally killed a person. Meanwhile, Max was suffering from her guilt of not being able to save her brother Billy during the final part of season 3.


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Vecna’s sole purpose is to suck out the life force of the teenagers he preys on so that he can become stronger. And his activities could be traced back to the 50s as Nancy and Robin were able to find out that Victor Creel and his family were some of Vecna’s first victims when they moved into a new home that seemingly had a portal or gate that led to Vecna’s lair in the Upside Down.

The ending later revealed that Vecna was actually Creel’s son and had learned to use his psychic abilities in a dangerous manner as he was the one responsible for killing his mother and sister and for the imprisonment of his father. He was also revealed to be Number One in the experimental facility where Eleven grew up. One was the person who massacred everyone in the Hawkins lab but was defeated by Eleven, who sent him to the Upside Down using her powers until the other dimension ripped him apart and turned him into the creature we now know as Vecna.

In a way, as David Harbour himself said, Vecna is a psychological horror that preys on the psyche of the person. He is unlike any of the other creatures we have seen in Stranger Things because the manner he uses to kill is very different, as he basically kills his victims from the inside. And this is what makes him the most dangerous villain in Stranger Things yet.

What Is Vecna Based On?

Of course, like all of the other villains in Stranger Things, Vecna is a creature that was taken straight out of the pages of Dungeons and Dragons, as the very same Vecna in the series was inspired by the Vecna in D&D. This is the same case for the Demogorgon and the Mindflayer, as it could be possible that the person who created D&D in the world of Stranger Things has inside knowledge of the Upside Down and sought to create a game that was connected to the things that he knows about that other dimension.

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The D&D version of Vecna isn’t too different from the Stranger Things version. In D&D, Vecna is a powerful lich that formed an army in an attempt to gain ultimate power and become a god. He first appeared in 1974 but wasn’t really given a true story until 1989. In his fleshed-out story, Vecna’s goal was to become stronger so that he could become a god. And he did so using a ritual that was supposed to give him godlike powers.


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Vecna was eventually killed, but his corpse got left behind. This allowed his spirit to walk through the multiverse so that he could gain followers from different universes, all while becoming more powerful in the process. 

As one of the greatest villains in the history of Dungeons and Dragons, Vecna is a powerful wizard that has a lot of different abilities that allow him to create visions, alter reality, paralyze others with a mere touch, and sense the thoughts and feelings of other people. It is often said that Vecna is the most powerful villain in D&D history or is at least right at the top together with the other powerful villains in the history of the game.

It was also mentioned that the Stranger Things counterpart of Vecna is actually inspired by Freddy Krueger, the demonic creature that killed victims in their sleep. However, Vecna did so while his victims were still awake. Still, he used their past traumas against them so that he could create visions to trap his victims in a trance-like state that takes their consciousness to the Upside Down, where he would kill them and suck up their life force.

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