While Stranger Things season 4 is full of great moments with the series’ beloved characters, ’80s vibes (hello, Kate Bush) and extra-long episodes, it doubles as one of the show’s scariest seasons yet, thanks to Vecna, its terrifying monster.Some very observant fans spotted several clues that Vecna actually isn’t all that new and may have been around since season one. Well, well…Season 4 didn’t waste any time introducing viewers to Vecna, via nervous cheerleader Chrissy Cunningham who began experiencing hallucinations almost straight off the bat. Both Chrissy and later characters who come across the latest Upside Down escapee see an eerie grandfather clock announcing Vecna’s presence right before things… kick off.
It’s this foreboding grandfather clock that has fans convinced Vecna has been around since day one and that he may be the ultimate evil presence that has been haunting Hawkins all this time. As one fan pointed out on TikTok, all the way back in episode one, season one when Will is biking home from playing D&D at Mike’s house and first encounters a Demogorgon’s shadow, the sound of an old clock chiming plays.
The noise itself is eerily similar to what season four characters experience when they first come across Vecna. Given this, fans believe the show may have been building to this big villain reveal. “Literally Will’s disappearance has Vecna’s finger prints all over it,” one viewer commented, while another wrote, “IT’S BEEN THERE ALL ALONG WHAT.”If that wasn’t enough, another fan found a second moment from season three where the old clock chimes after Billy has been dragged into the Upside Down.
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So, what does this mean? Is Vecna the big bad thing that has been running riot throughout Hawkins this whole time? Or is it just another red herring? The second part of season 4 comes out on July 1, and it’ll likely offer some more answers—and raise other questions.
Daniella Scott is Senior Entertainment and Lifestyle Writer at Cosmopolitan UK.