‘Stranger Things’ has thus far stayed away from major character deaths, but managed to evoke emotions by killing off fan-favourites. Earlier in the show, it was Bob, who died trying to get the better of Demodogs. In Season 4, Eddie Munson decides to become a martyr.
When Eddie is first introduced, he’s the president of the Hellfire Club, a group that plays Dungeons and Dragons. Played by Joseph Quinn, Munson quickly endears himself to fans, with his penchant for metal and decision to stick around Hawkins, despite being suspected of murder.
Eddie doesn’t start off as a hero, regretting the fact that he ran away the night Vecna killed Chrissy, the cheerleader. However, over the episodes, he transforms into one, fighting to keep Hawkins safe – a town that hates him. Going into the fourth season, there’ve been concerns about Steve’s safety, though the Duffer Brothers had warned that fans should be worried about all characters.
Though both have reached their heroic potential, it is Eddie who falls. There are several hints of Munson’s oncoming death – including Quinn’s interview, where he says that he’d be glad to return to Season 5 if asked.
In the show itself, before the group embarks on the plan to defeat Vecna, Robin tells Steve that she has a feeling things won’t go completely right. Meanwhile, we see Eddie and Dustin jousting with makeshift shields, while they share an emotional moment, with the former asking the latter to “never change”.
Cut to the Upside Down, Eddie reiterates that he and Dustin are not “heroes”, their job is to distract the bats in that realm, giving Steve, Nancy, and Robin a chance to attack Vecna.
Eddie’s guitar riffs do the job but as he and Dustin hideout, the bats breach their enclosure through vents. In order to buy the trio some more time, Eddie takes off on a bicycle, pursued by the bats. They knock him off the bike and he starts limping away. However, in a final moment of solidified resolution, Eddie turns around and faces the swarm of bats.
He tries to hold his own but is outnumbered and outmatched. By the time Dustin reaches the scene, Eddie is nearly gone. In a touching moment, he leaves the Hellfire Club in Dustin’s control and mentions how he didn’t run this time. Dustin, for his part, conveys news of Eddie’s heroship to his uncle at the end of the episode.
Dustin also gives him Eddie’s guitar pick and thus ends the character arc of the metalhead Dungeon and Dragons player, who found true friendship in Gaten Matarazzo’s character.
Fans have reacted on Twitter after witnessing Eddie’s death.
While most have expressed sadness, many have also cherished the bond the two shared, with comparisons being drawn to Dustin and Steve’s friendship that’s developed over the past seasons.