The Mind Flayer was the previous season’s big villain. Stranger Things season 4 shows a new monster that’s very different than the Mind Flayer.
Stranger Things season 4 features an entirely new monster – here are the major differences between the new villain and the Mind Flayer. The previous Stranger Things monster, the Mind Flayer, took over Hawkins by possessing Billy Hargrove and forcing the residents of the town to drink various chemicals to form a type of small Upside Down army. The new Stranger Things monster (possibly named Vecna), on the other hand, is taking a completely different approach. The mysterious parallel world of the Upside Down contains an array of monsters that often cross into the human world. Just like the Mind Flayer, the season 4 offender promises he’ll make an appearance in Hawkins sometime soon.
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Stranger Things season 4 will be streaming exclusively on Netflix, and the official release date is May 27th, 2022. The 4th season will be portioned out into two parts. So, while the first half comes in May, the second half will come out July 1st, 2022. Footage has revealed that Max is mourning her brother Billy’s demise, via the Mind Flayer, while Lucas easily finds his place at Hawkins Highschool in the sports world. Things aren’t as easy for the Byers at their new school, as they’re seen struggling to make new friends. It turns out, Hopper is alive but in danger, as he’s held in a Russian prison that’s using a Demogorgon against their prisoners. In the meantime, a takeover of Hawkins is threatened openly by the new Stranger Things season 4 monster.
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Several monsters have been featured as antagonists across Stranger Things’ first three seasons, named after creatures from Dungeons and Dragons by the series’ young RPG enthusiasts. After defeating a destructive Demogorgon in season 1, the main monster featured in both seasons 2 and 3 was called the Mind Flayer. The many-legged creature can manipulate people’s minds and control them in its attempts to reach the human world. The Mind Flayer causes irreparable damage to Hawkins in the process, and the Stranger Things monster looks even deadlier than its predecessor. Here’s the major difference between the Mind Flayer and the new Stranger Things season 4 villain.
Stranger Things Season 4’s Monster Might Be Human
The Stranger Things season 4 footage reveals that the latest monster is distinctly humanoid, and that’s because he may once have been one. He has the ability to think critically and even speak. This hints that the threat may be even greater than the Mind Flayer, posing quite the challenge for the characters. Vecna might be like Eleven – a child that the Hawkins National Laboratory used for experimentation. He could even be “One” (compared to Eleven’s “Eleven”): a human child sent to the Upside Down who transformed into an arachnid-type beast and became abandoned by Hawkins Lab would have just the depth a villain of this scale needs.
The Mind Flayer didn’t have the ability of speech outright, using his voice through Billy instead (and even then, the monster didn’t talk until a while into Stranger Things season 3). The new villain is the first humanoid creature to come from the Upside Down, denoting that he’s some sort of leader. While the Mind Flayer had a little support behind his takeover, Vecna is rallying the entire Upside Down to Hawkins. It looks like Mike and the gang will have a lot to worry about.
Another feature of Stranger Things’ season 4 footage that marks the monster as a bigger threat, is the widespread locations. The locations are Russia, California, the lab where Eleven was raised in Indiana, and the Creel House; the latter is likely in Indiana as well, although its full importance is not wholly known. The Creel House is a hotbed for Upside Down activity, as new monsters are seen congregating there. From the looks of it, the Creel House could act as the new gateway to the Upside Down. Taking these things into account, the Stranger Things season 4 villain is probably able to move quickly through the alternate dimension, and maybe even create doorways of his own.
Related: Who Speaks At The Start Of Stranger Things Season 4’s Trailer
Other New And Returning Monsters In Stranger Things Season 4
There is one confirmed monster making a reappearance in Stranger Things season 4, and that’s the good ol’ Demogorgon. The Demogorgon is featured in the Russian Prison that’s holding Hopper, proving that the Russians extracted creatures from the Upside Down before the gateway was closed. Or, it stokes the possibility that there’s still an open gateway somewhere in Russia. The only new monster that’s seen in Stranger Things season 4 clips is a flying, pterodactyl-like creature circling the Creel House. These winged beasts seem to travel in a flock, and there’s no doubt that their powers will prove deadly against the city of Hawkins in Vecna’s planned takeover.
With the reveal that Hopper is in Russia for season 4 after entering the gateway at the end of season 3, it seems possible that the Stranger Things season 4 monster may be able to travel from place to place in the same way. If that is the case, it would only make the humanoid creature more formidable. Since the scope of Stranger Things has only gotten bigger, and the current season focuses on the mistakes of Hawkins National Laboratory, the creature should be a bigger menace than previous seasons’ primary antagonists. People will find out exactly how threatening he is when Netflix releases the first part of season 4 on May 27th, 2022.
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Erin Edmondson is a Movies and TV Features Writer for Screen Rant. Erin has previously written for her own film review blog, “Making It Up As I Go”. She is excited to bring her talents to the professional world at Screen Rant.
Based in Nashville, Erin loves watching movies and television of all sorts, but especially adventure and fantasy movies and comedy tv shows.
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