So, how will the Great Evil finally be defeated? How will the heroes possibly prevail, as Hell gets unleashed on Earth?
Dustin! One more drum roll, please……..
My best guess is that Vecna is going to rebel at a key moment, acting on some deeply buried vestige of his humanity which has retained a tiny smidgeon of Love. This of course would parallel Star Wars, when Darth Vader, because of his love for Luke, betrays the Emperor at a critical moment. If Vecna is Eleven’s father, then Vecna is going to betray Lolth at a critical moment, sacrificing himself in order to save Eleven, and the world.
I also believe it won’t just be Henry’s love for Eleven, but also Billy’s love for Max, and maybe even Barb’s love for her family, Bob’s love for Joyce, etc.. After all, Henry/Vecna emphasized a couple of times that his victims were not really gone, but were preserved, in his mind. I think that the humanity of all his previous victims, some essence of it, still resides in his consciousness, and through a series of flashbacks of their memories, will appeal to him to finally break Lolth’s hold on him, and fight back, having a redemptive moment just like Darth Vader, and as a prelude, just like Dr. Brenner had when the military came to kill Eleven at the Nina compound.
The other unexpected ally who will show up at some point to turn the tide, will be 008, who is basically a combination of Princess Leia (i.e., a ‘sister’ to Eleven, who has special powers, just like Leia did), and Han Solo (i.e., a bad-ass, charismatic, overconfident criminal). Her mind-powers are the same as Vecna’s, and this will prove to be critical to helping the heroes escape him. But the final, final victory will, as I said, depend on Vecna himself rebelling against Lolth, inspired by the remnants of humanity/love that now reside within him.
Given that Stranger Things doesn’t preserve perfect parallels, I expect it won’t be quite as neat & tidy as this. Most notably, Eleven may also have to sacrifice herself, dying in the final battle as her and her true Papa, Henry, work together to defeat Lolth. Although it’ll suck for Eleven to die, this will actually be somewhat satisfying, as Eleven has all along been an unrealistic character, exactly the kind of person who, mythologically speaking, gets sacrificed at the end. Eleven’s death will also, in the end, force Mike to go on without his obviously dysfunctional attachment to the larger-than-life Eleven, and have to ‘let go’, mature, and live his own life. Thus, Mike’s character arc, which was disturbingly stalled through his attachment to Eleven, will finally be allowed to mature, leaving him, in the end, able to become an adult.
Or, they will be super sappy and let Eleven live, so that Jim (who will be with Joyce in the end), can become her healthy-Papa, and live happily ever after. Which would be nice, cuz man, Jim has been through enough…. If this is the case, Eleven will lose her powers, permanently, but will get to finally have a family and finish growing up as a more “normal” person. And the sappy-feel-good-ness will peak, as Mike will learn that his love for Eleven actually IS based on her as a person, and not the superhero-girlfriend that he puts on a pedestal.
There will be other deaths, cuz, ya know….what’s a good horror/adventure/supernatural story without some dramatic deaths? Murray might die; that would be pretty reasonable, and give him a hero death befitting of his character.
Jonathan will almost certainly die, although he will epically sacrifice himself, either to save Nancy, Will, or maybe everybody, thus giving his creepy-ass and disappointingly cowardly character from Season 4 a final redemption. Don’t get me wrong; I love Jonathan; but they did indeed make him much more cowardly in Season 4 than he was in 1-3. In the first three seasons, he was a great partner for heroic, relentless Nancy. But in Season 4, he became a pothead, avoiding the responsibilities of growing up (although, you know, no judgement here….), and also a liar, big-time, in his relationship with Nancy. They also showed how, at the end, he and Nancy weren’t ‘vibing’ anymore; there was all this awkwardness between them, and when he asked Nancy, while fixing Jim’s cabin, if they were “ok”, her answer was obviously unconvincing. Their relationship arc is effectively over, but he’ll redeem himself by sacrificing himself to save her, thereby dying a hero. This will free up Steve and Nancy to go live happily ever after and live out the dream Steve articulated of traveling around the country with his brood, Nancy, and an RV. Robin and her love interest, Vickie, will end up together, making the fandom over-the-moon with joy. And the original four boys will settle back to playing D&D. Good times.
Assuming that Jonathan dies, then this does make it somewhat less likely for Eleven to die as well. Killing two kids from the Byer-Hopper family seems like…hehe…overkill. So maybe it’ll just be Jonathan, leaving the rest of them pulling together as a family. I guess that could work either way. It’s also pretty heartless to kill off Eleven, after everything she’s been through. ……And besides, Luke Skywalker doesn’t die in the original trilogy either. So…ok, fine, Eleven might live.
Finally, we get to Will and Max. I think they’ll both make it, and in fact will be key to the turning of Vecna. After all, they are in his mind; Will can sense Vecna and knows how he thinks. Max, when she recovers, will be able to do the same, and also knows how to play mind-tricks on Vecna to hide and neutralize his powers. Even if Max never physically heals completely, she’ll become a wheelchair bound mind-warrior, like Professor X. Although she might also, in the end, be killed, depending on how mean vs. feel-good the writers end up being.
I think that Eleven’s ability to enter minds, coupled with Will and Max’s connection to Vecna, will prove to be critical. It’ll be like a psychic walkie-talkie system, allowing the heroes to communicate from Vecna to the rest, using Eleven as the channeler. Max and Will will therefore be key to everyone coordinating their strategies.
Most satisfying, is if Will and Max, being in Vecna’s head, will uncover his key weakness, his early childhood wounds which eventually drove him to become psychotic (as discussed in the next post). Thus, they will be key to discovering how to bring Vecna down, by releasing the vestiges of love-memories of Vecna’s victims, thereby leading to his rebellion.
Lolth, of course, will not actually be killed. Cuz, c’mon….a Demon Lord? But she’ll be defeated, and her incarnation on Earth will be killed, thereby banishing her back to the Abyss (errr, the Upside Down), and re-sealing the Gate.
And THAT is my set of predictions for Stranger Things, Season 5.
Or, the writers are just fucking with all of us, and will do something totally unexpected. Hahahahahaha…..