A Stranger Things trend where characters whose names begin with “B” die returned in Season 4 of Stranger Things, but with an interesting twist.
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for stranger things season 4.
Not only stranger things season 4 brings all the horror and heart expected from Netflix’s hit, but it also continued the show’s biggest trend about death – with a twist. stranger things Season 4, Volume 1 exposed Eleven’s forgotten memories of her time at Hawkins Lab and subsequently, Vecna’s true identity. While Volume 1 touched on many questions and theories from the first three seasons, there was a strange commonality between the characters who were already killed off that it brought back in a slightly different way.
That common denominator is that characters whose names start with a “B” always seem to die. In stranger things season 1, restaurant owner Benny Hammond was murdered after providing refuge for Eleven following her escape from Hawkins Lab. Barb Holland also died in stranger things this season after being dragged upside down by a Demogorgon. stranger things season 2 also tragically killed Joyce’s boyfriend Bob Newby in a Demodog attack. In stranger things season 3, Bruce Lowe, a Hawkins Post reporter possessed by the Mind Flayer, was killed by Nancy. Finally, in the Season 3 finale, Max’s half-brother Billy Hargrove was killed, sacrificing himself to save Eleven from the Mind Flayer who had possessed him for most of the season.
Since all the other seasons had a character named ‘B’, he was certain this would happen again in stranger things season 4. And he did – except stranger things season 4 altered this old pattern as none of the first names of Vecna’s victims began with “B”. Instead, their surnames did. Taking the dramatic death of Fred Benson in stranger things season 4, volume 1, and the death of Dr. Martin Brenner in volume 2 into consideration, stranger things Season 4 continued its biggest trend of killing off characters with “B” names, just with a new caveat that last names matter now.
In particular, the disappearance of Dr. Brenner not only continued Sforeign things‘ odd trend, but it also served to demonstrate Eleven’s growth. After much convincing, Eleven agreed to let Dr. Brenner help restore her powers at a secret facility by having her face her trauma from when he imprisoned him and experimented on her and other gifted children, including including Vecna / Number One. Dr. Brenner was killed during a military raid on the facility, but thankfully only after Eleven managed to regain her powers and restore her lost memories of Hawkins Lab. Her dying wish was for Eleven to say that she understood that everything he did was for her. Instead, she simply said “Goodbyeand left him to die. Eleven now realizes that while she may have turned One into a Vecna and opened a portal to the Upside Down, the real monster behind it all was always Dr. Brenner.
The twist in stranger things also hints at who might die in the show’s fifth and final season. If surnames beginning with “B” are fair game, the Byers – Will, Jonathan and Joyce – are all possibilities, though Will seems the most vulnerable due to his connection to the Upside hive mind. Down. Other targets could include Robin Buckley and Murray Bauman. More importantly, in addition to his powerful Henry Creel and One identities, Vecna passed through Peter Ballard while working at Hawkins Lab after Dr. Brenner’s Soteria device blocked his Force powers. His alternate name could allude to Vecna’s anticipated demise.
Time will tell if stranger things Season 5 continues the series’ disturbing death pattern. With his powers restored and Dr. Brenner gone at the end of stranger things season 4, Eleven has the closure she needs to defeat Vecna alongside her friends and defeat the Upside Down once and for all. Hopefully this time it won’t be nearly three years for the thrilling series to return to Netflix and end the “curse” of Hawkins.
Next: Explaining the Entire Plan of Vecna and Its Massive Impact on Stranger Things
stranger things season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.
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