Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 will be here anytime soon, and by the looks of the trailer, it will be emotionally draining for us.
But in the meantime, let’s discuss our grotesque monster. In Season 4, Vecna has been in the Upside Down for some years, and his psychic talents have progressed to the point that he can traverse dimensions, albeit he was already mighty.
The vines clinging to his flesh show that the Upside Down has practically become a part of him, implying that he has some power or influence over the creatures there. By the conclusion of Volume 1, it appears that Vecna was killing individuals to open portals between dimensions, but we don’t know why he didn’t do it sooner.
He was sharpening his skills. While he has always been strong, his ability to span entire realms is remarkable. It’s logical to suppose that this took time and practice. He may have also used that time to plot and deepen his relationship with the Upside Down, learning to influence or dominate the creatures there. Or He was anticipating Eleven’s departure from Hawkins. One of the most crucial aspects of this period is that Eleven has finally departed Hawkins, making it far more vulnerable to Vecna’s influence. And it’s the ideal opportunity for Vecna to strike, since there appears to be no one present to stop him.
Season 2 of Stranger Things introduces us to Mind Flayer, a malicious entity that appears to have psychic control over every creature in the Upside Down. The Mind Flayer, like Vecna, can enter human hosts’ minds and possess and control them. However, unlike Vecna, the Mind Flayer cannot influence the home dimension from the Upside Down in the absence of an open gate. The Mind Flayer also appears to be physically incapable of leaving the Upside Down, emerging as a city-sized sentient storm in the shape of a spider. His objective seems to be to kill or dominate all animals in the Home Dimension, similar to his goal in the Upside Down, and he pursues this goal throughout the second and third seasons.
Dustin believes Vecna is a “General” for The Mind Flayer, carrying out his orders like the other monsters who inhabit the Upside Down. However, now that we know Vecna’s actual identity, this may no longer be the case.
The Mind Flayer is said to govern all of the creatures in the Upside Down through a hivemind. However, Vecna’s conversation with Eleven/Nancy about his history reveals a strong will of his own and a personal plan apart from the Mind Flayers’ intentions.
Despite coming from (as far as we know) two separate realms, Vecna and The Mind Flayer share many talents and personal ambitions.
The Mind Flayer’s look also firmly ties him to Vecna. In the Upside Down, his shape resembles a crimson storm (much like the one Vecna fell through upon entering the Upside Down and the one that Max later sees when she unwittingly enters his mind). On the other hand, his form is spider-like, alluding to Vecna’s obsession and affection for spiders.
The Mind Flayer also fits Vecna’s definition of spiders as “great predators” having complete control over the ecosystems in which they live.
All of this led to Vecna (consciously or subconsciously) developing the Mind Flayer by manipulating the energies of the Upside Down to his liking.
If the Mind Flayer is just a manifestation of Vecna’s will, it might explain Vecna’s absence in the first three seasons and the Mind Flayer’s apparent absence in Season 4.