‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 has seen Vecna emerge as the new antagonist. After fighting various creatures from the Upside Down, and realizing the sinister intentions of the Mind Flayer, the group from Hawkins faces a deadly villain, who has powers similar to Eleven. 

Vecna starts off killing people in the small town, first plaguing them with distorted visions, before appearing in their minds, taking control, and using psychic powers to break their bones, make them bleed from the eyes, and altogether meet a gruesome end. 

Max falls in Vecna’s crosshairs, leading the brave band from Hawkins to stand up to the psychic in an effort to protect their friend. While Eleven engages Vecna in a mental battle in his mind palace, the antagonist makes it clear that this is the beginning of the end, and a victory over him wouldn’t really have a lasting impact in the fight against evil. 

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Vecna’s plan has been to let the Upside Down merge with the normal world, and then take over it, to rebuild the planet as something “beautiful”. He’s been working alongside the Mind Flayer, to this end, but realized that he must do it himself to get things right. 

Dr Martin Brenner or ‘Papa’, who trained Eleven and One – who went on to become Vecna – predicted in the penultimate episode that there is a barrier between our worlds, and Vecna is chipping away at this, to create pressure, causing the dam to snap. 

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The psychic says as much, admitting that taking four lives would allow him to open four gates, allowing the Upside Down into the normal world. Despite failing to kill Max, Vecna manages to take her to the brink and succeeds in his mission to open the gates. 

The Upside Down merges with Hawkins, and the impact is soon felt when particles start raining down, killing life forms. The entire group reunites in the small town, and will have to fight the might of the Upside Down together to foil Vecna’s plans of taking over the world.