Stranger Things season 4 is arriving, and there’s hope that it can repair some of the series’ gaping plot holes – even answering why the first Demogorgon targeted Will way back in the pilot. One of the Netflix hit’s oldest issues dates back to its pilot but could be solved in the upcoming season 4, given that new footage has revealed the series’ Big Bad, Vecna. While the Mind Flayer was a formidable opponent for the Scoop Troop, it was still essentially a basic, all-absorbing malevolent force hell-bent on taking over the world, but Vecna’s presence may end up explaining why Will got the short straw in episode 1.
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Beginning back in 2016, Stranger Things is the brainchild of Hidden directors the Duffer Brothers, who hoped to fuse the family drama of 2013’s dark thriller Prisoners with the sci-fi horrors and action-adventure movies of their 80s childhood. The result was a series that combines body horror, teen romance, and twisty sci-fi mysteries in a small-town setting to become one of Netflix’s biggest streaming successes.
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Stranger Things has been critically acclaimed throughout its 3 seasons thanks to a killer cast of adults and kids alike, as well as consistently compelling storytelling that – despite strong pacing and clever twists – does occasionally feature some annoying plot holes. Some of the biggest cropped up in Stranger Things’ third season, which upped the action and scope of the show to an unprecedented extent. But well before its action-packed third outing, Stranger Things boasted some smaller plot holes that were nonetheless difficult to dismiss.
Stranger Things Season 4’s New Monster Might Have Targeted Will Through The Demogorgon
So far in Stranger Things, no good reason has been given for the Demogorgon’s targeting of Will, but season 4’s Big Bad could have been behind it. All that’s been revealed of Stranger Things season 4’s main villain are its appearance (think The Night King meets Squidward) and a possible leak of its name in episode titles: Vecna. But it’s markedly more human in appearance, even sparking rumors that Vecna is One to Eleven’s Eleven, a previous product of Hawkins Lab who got trapped in the Upside Down or even started it.
If this is the case, Vecna most likely has psychic powers. And if Vecna is the Upside Down’s leader, as it appears from early footage of the creature, then it stands to reason that Vecna could possess or control some or all creatures hailing from the alternate dimension. It’s the only Big Bad on the show so far who can talk – even though the Mind Flayer was sentient, it could only speak through other characters – so it would be a waste if the creators introduced a character who can communicate with humans without giving them human motivations to communicate. Having this explain Will’s initial disappearance would be a satisfying and rewarding payoff. If the Duffer Brothers choose to provide context for The Vanishing Of Will Byers in Stranger Things season 4, it’d both help the show resolve one of its most annoying plot holes and also help the show stay grounded in what is looking to be quite an overstuffed piece of work.
Post-Apocalyptic Future Hawkins: Does Will’s Kidnap End The World?
Well before the Mind Flayers and secret Russian bases, Stranger Things was a show about a kid who went missing – and Stranger Things season 4 could take the story back there for the long con. After building up the mystery, it was revealed that the Demogorgon creature escaped the Upside-Down to attack Will and trapped him there. This simple set-up allowed the show to establish the monster as a major threat and cause the episode’s titular “Vanishing of Will Byers” in one fell swoop, but it never really explored why the Demogorgon attacked Will.
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Some pretty convincing fan theories highlight Stranger Things season 4’s probable focus on time travel and the possibility that the Upside Down is a future Hawkins that has seen far, far better days. Were this the case, Vecna might know that the Upside Down’s rise to prominence starts with Will, and might have sent the Demogorgon back through time to make sure that history unfolds as Vecna planned. (Not unlike Terminator, a common Stranger Things point of reference.)
To nab Will, the usually animalistic Demogorgon had to open locked doors, stalk its way through Hawkins, and find the kid. It seemed highly deliberate. Something or someone else probably kicked off the Rube Goldberg machine of this series’ events.
Can The Demogorgon Think?
From what viewers have seen in Stranger Things so far, the Demogorgon – scary as it is – is just an unthinking, unfeeling predator that lives to eat. The so-called Demo-dog that well-meaning Dustin raised in Stranger Things season 2 is proof the monster is relatively thoughtless and has basic motivations compared to later, more advanced monsters like the Mind Flayer. It’s unlikely that these beasts escape the Upside-Down, learn how to unlock doors, and hunt down Will without powerful help. Since the Mind Flayer controlled Billy and Will himself, viewers now know that Stranger Things’ monsters are capable of psychological manipulation and complex thought. The Demogorgon was likely controlled by a more sinister force – likely Vecna – and one with real, terrible reasons for picking Will specifically.
Does Will Byers Have Powers?
Will’s adventure’s in Stranger Things’ Upside Down might have granted him powers. It’s clear that Eleven has special powers thanks to Hawkins Lab’s dicey experiments, and it’s not unlikely that Stranger Things will soon reveal there’s something special about Hopper too since he survived certain death at the end of season 3. The series has shown that Will was more capable of handling the Mind Flayer’s psychological torture than teen bully Billy, who quickly succumbed to its control despite attempting to resist the voices invading his head. This could mean that Will possesses powers under the surface that could feature in Stranger Things season 4.
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It’s possible the Demogorgon was just hungry and the Mind Flayer sought him out because he’d already been to the Upside-Down, but this being Stranger Things, a conspiracy seems more likely. What with Billy being older and theoretically more mature than Will, it seems unlikely the young teen would be better equipped to take on the Mind Flayer than the older villain Billy, yet Will was able to survive encounters with both the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer relatively unscathed. That’s a feat even Eleven herself struggled to pull off, so the possibility that Will possesses some form of powers similar to those boasted by Eleven would make sense of how he survived and why both monsters sought to control his mind.
Is The Demorgon Hunting Will Linked To Hawkins Lab?
With Dr. Brenner’s return, Hawkins Lab is back in a big way. Hawkins Lab was awfully eager to help out Will in Stranger Things season 2 when he was possessed by the Mind Flayer, but it might not be their first encounter with him. it’s possible that the Demogorgon simply escaped and picked Will as a snack at random, but his friends meeting and working with Eleven feels too convenient for this to be the case. With the kids already living near one another and Eleven’s mother being the victim of MK Ultra-style brainwashing experiments, it’s not unlikely that Joyce would have unknowingly run afoul of Hawkins Lab before the show began. Maybe the shadowy, unaccountable government organization is responsible for whatever powers Will may possess, such as their experimentation that led to Eleven’s psychic abilities.
How This Plot Hole Affects Stranger Things Season 4
It may be ancient history on Stranger Things by now, but season 4 could explore the question of why Will was attacked way back in season 1 episode 1 in a way that enriches the series. Game of Thrones tracked Bran Stark from a life-altering injury in the pilot to his eventual Kinghood, and season 4 could similarly give Will some real skin in the game. Watching Will progress from season 1’s victim to season 4’s power-wielding force of nature would be a superb arc, especially given that Eleven seems to have lost her powers.
Season 3’s ending split the Byers from the rest of the Hawkins gang, so this question might help explain if there’s a connection between Will and El and how Hawkins Lab is involved. Such a plotline could bring back El’s lost sister Kali and explain what is going on beneath the seemingly normal suburban surface of Hawkins, Indiana (or the new location in California) once and for all. The question of what drove the Demogorgon to Will may seem insignificant, but Stranger Things season 4 could prove that the inquiry is central to the show’s many unanswered questions.
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About The Author
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Cathal Gunning has been writing about movies and TV online since 2020. His obsessions include The Simpsons, Stephen King, the Scream series, and the horror genre in general. He has spent more time thinking about Stranger Things than the writers of Stranger Things, and he has never seen a Star War.
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