How did “Stranger Things” season 4’s Eddie Munson capture the hearts of viewers and steal the spotlight from the rest of the talented cast?
I have been a fan of Stranger Things since the first season came out in 2016. It is absolutely one of my favorite shows.
Throughout the many seasons, there have been so many characters that I have had disagreements with some of my friends over whether they are likable or not. However, it was not until this season that I saw so much love for a single character from practically every fan of the show.
This character is none other than Eddie Munson.
Even if you have not watched the latest season of Stranger Things, chances are, you have seen pictures/edits/videos of this character.
Eddie Munson was a new addition to the story this season, but you wouldn’t think so based on the amount of love he received online.
So what is it about this character that makes him so much more lovable than other fan favorites?
Eddie Munson has a strong presence. He is so unafraid to be himself, and he fully embraces that he is weird and different. He is not one to try to fit into the crowd, and he makes his presence known loud and proud from his very first appearance in episode one.
While other characters, like Steve Harrington, for example, are loved by most of the fans of the show, Steve’s change of character often leads fans to forget his actions in season one of the show. Or, perhaps not “forget,” but rather, forgive.
Steve may be the loveable, dorky babysitter we have all come to adore, but in season one, his desperate need for acceptance led him to act as a bully.
Eddie was never shown to be this way. Rocking the long hair, denim vest, and hellfire club t-shirt, Eddie never tried to conform, showing that it was okay to be different.
Eddie’s soft eyes and sweet smile made it nearly impossible to not absolutely fall in love with the character.
Although he may come across as a hard guy from the outside, on the inside, he really is just a caring guy.
This can be seen through his interactions with Chrissy. When she begins hallucinating (under Venca’s Curse), she turns to Eddie in an attempt to get drugs that will help her stop seeing these horrible things. But of course, Eddie doesn’t just give her the drugs and go. He takes the time to talk to her, to comfort her, to make her smile.
Eddie Munson had a heart of gold, and this scene with Chrissy was just the first sign of that.
Of course, after everyone assumes that Eddie is the murderer behind the disturbing killings taking place in Hawkins. He supposedly looks the part. And being the captain of the “Hellfire Club”, many assume he is satanic. But of course, people that know how Eddie is behind the scenes, including our loveable Dustin Henderson, unquestionably believe in his innocence.
Eddie does not see himself as a hero by any means. When he sees Chrissy die, he is quick to run away, as he does not want to stay behind and try to fight off whatever evil entity killed her. That seems to be something that Eddie has done throughout his life — run away whenever he is afraid rather than stay behind and try to fight.
Dustin and the gang want to help clear Eddie’s name. They all come together to find Vecna and kill him so that no more innocent people have to die.
Although initially resistant, Eddie tags along for all the “fun” that this plan involves – hiding from the police, buying a bunch of army supplies, stealing a trailer (and hotwiring it). Eddie is willing to do all of these crazy things, not only to save himself but to help his new friends.
Eddie’s true heroism is not shown until the season finale of season 4.
*Major plot spoilers ahead*
The plan is split up into several phases, including a phase in which Eddie and Dustin will distract the demo bats away from Vecna’s lair long enough for Steve, Nancy, and Robin to enter it.
Steve is sure to tell the pair that if things get bad to abort and not be a hero. Sounds simple enough, right?
After playing his guitar to “Master of Puppets” by Metallica, Eddie and Dustin retreat into the upside-down version of Eddie’s trailer to hide from the demo bats. Unfortunately, the pair did not count on the bats getting into the trailer through the vents. So, Dustin and Eddie plan to do as Steve told them and head back to safety.
As Eddie is climbing the bedsheet to get back into the normal world, he has a moment of realization – he doesn’t want to keep running away anymore.
He wants to help these new friends of his, and he doesn’t want things to go bad for them. So, he decides to buy the team more time and makes himself bait for the demo bats.
Watching Eddie ride his bike as all the demo bats chased him had me holding my breath.
All I could think is, “Come on Eddie, you can make it!”
Part of me wanted to hold onto hope that he would make it; part of me wanted to believe that this lovable character would survive to the end. But once he was knocked off the bike, I knew there was no happy ending in store for Eddie Munson.
Dustin being the one to find Eddie was easily one of my top 5 most heartbreaking moments of the show so far.
Dustin and Eddie had become such good friends, best friends, practically brothers – just for Dustin to have to watch as Eddie died.
But Eddie did not die as a loser, or a monster, or any of the awful things that most of the people of Hawkins painted him to be; Eddie Munson died a hero.
I doubt that we will see Eddie Munson again in the final season. It is heartbreaking to lose a character so universally loved. But with a show like Stranger Things, we are prone to have our hearts broken. So, thank you to the Duffer Brothers for creating such an amazing character. Thank you to Joseph Quinn for bringing to life this character.
And thank you to Eddie Munson for showing us what it means to be heroic.